MODESTO -- You know how all those Christmas decorations in your house sparkle and look so beautiful during the season, then a day or two after the holiday is over start to look heavy and cluttered. If you leave the tree up past New Year's day, your house feels claustrophobic, like the limbs are reaching out to choke you.
Except that last box of Christmas-packaged fine chocolates sitting on the coffee table. That puppy? Oh, that still looks good right into Valentine's Day if you pace yourself on the lifting of that pretty little festive lid, of course.
It's kind of like that with pop culture phenomenons, isn't it? They're all fun, kicky and interesting during their 15 minutes of fame. But most take on that claustrophobic feel around minute 17 or 18. Except, that is, for a few of the pop confections that have chocolate-like staying power, good for a few more nibbles.
So with all that in mind, let's take a look at the biggest pop culture news makers in 2012 and who needs to be packed up with all that tinsel for a while, those who need to hit the curb for good along with the tree and those who remain nibble-worthy. My opinion might not match the rest of the world's, but, really, what do they know, anyway?
Psy and "Gangnam Style" Everyone tried that kooky horse-trot dance introduced to the video-viewing world by South Korean pop star Psy, if even only in the closed-curtain confines of their own homes, didn't they? But the shine's definitely worn off this ornament. Sure, it was the first YouTube video to surpass 1 billion clicks. But we're so over the dance, the song, the sexy ladies. Heck, even Psy himself said it's time to retire the tune. If he's done, shouldn't the rest of us be done, too? Oh, most certainly. Kick it to the curb.
"Call Me Maybe" So this tune was nearly as big as "Gangnam," and clearly the song of the summer. Carly Rae Jepsen's hit was the rage on radio and on YouTube, where the song was dubbed and imitated by everyone from college students to President Barack Obama. Well, by Obama via a dubbed video that was oh-so endearing. But the song is so fun and infectious, it still isn't quite groan-worthy yet when it comes on the radio. Good for a few more nibbles.
Royal watching With the Queen's jubilee, the Olympics in London and the endless fascination with all things Will and Kate, British royalty was a jewel in the crown of trends for 2012. America tapped into its pre-independence hail-to- the-throne with fervor. With the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge expecting the arrival this year of another future heir to the throne, royal fever isn't going away anytime soon. In fact, we'll be in its throes for a very long time. Good for many more nibbles.
Zombies Look, "The Walking Dead" is a TV hit and that's great. The show isn't leaving, but the allure of the rotting undead is well past ready for the graveyard. They're not pretty to look at, and are darn creepy if you really stop to think about it. Zombies have overstayed in their seat at the dinner party. Can't we just bury them already? Pack it up.
Honey Boo Boo Well, what can we say here? Little Alana Thompson captured the attention of the nation with the "redneckognizing" ways of her family on the TLC channel's reality TV train wreck "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo." Trust me, you don't have to be a viewer of the show to know all you need to about this Georgia family. Alana, aka Honey Boo Boo herself, and her mom were all over the airwaves and more for a big chunk of 2012. Personally, I think we're done here, but at least one pop culture corespondent on the "Today" show this week claimed the "Honey Boo Boo" troupe is here to stay, thanks to the advent of season two of their TV show. Well, we can always dream of curbing this show.
"50 Shades of Grey" I might be the only living female over the age of 16 who hasn't read this book. Still, like the item above, you don't have to experience a pop culture phenomenon to know all you need to about it. This chick-porn read of the year seeped into our collective consciousness and made the world all hot and bothered, en masse. Look, I didn't read it and have no plans to do so, but Hollywood surprise, surprise is making a movie based on the book. It isn't going away. Those who nibbled will continue to do so.
Lindsay Lohan Well, she certainly made her share of public appearances this past year. Many of them were in court, of course, but she was out there. This actress-on-the-edge could not stay out of trouble, no matter how hard she might have tried. Sadly, as her personal life continued its long derail, she couldn't get her career on track, either. A mess of a gig hosting "Saturday Night Live" was just a precursor to the slamming she took in reviews for her stint as Elizabeth Taylor in the Lifetime TV movie "Liz & Dick." It's sad to see someone take such a repeated metaphorical beating. Lohan needs a quiet 2013 to regroup and rehab. Let's pack away the gawking and hope she can recover.
Kanye and Kim Oh, K. I was over the whole Kardashian clan a million years ago, it seems. But with the other "royal" baby on the way, it seems the world will suffer this pair and the rest of their extended overexposed family well into the future. At least Kanye West has an actual talent that thrust him into the public eye. Kim and company? Not so much. Woe to the world, we'll be nibbling on their exploits for another year.
Taylor Swift Well, the cheese may stand alone here, but I'm kind of over this country crossover diva-ette. Too many high-profile romances, too many awards, too many times I heard how "We are never ever, ever getting back together." For the record, I'm fine with that. She's a talented young lady, but perhaps some time out of the limelight will make us care again. Pack this fascination away, if only for a while.