Trending Up: Turning Everything into a Frickin Game

We’re all just pawns

They call it “Gamiification“, and if you ask your MBA buddy Theo, that means “the application of game methods and elements to traditionally non-game activities.” You know it as the progress bar on your favorite professional connections website, or getting a digital badge for making digital badges.

Gamifiication is fire bolt hot right now. Go to any uber-borg CRM conference and mention Gamification and they’ll give you a fist full of drink tickets and let you party with Green Day. The root of it is that hipsters don’t mind working if they can pretend it’s actually playing. How else would you be interested in getting more “fit” unless you were also actually, and by actually we mean virtually, doing a cholesterol destroying trek on the great wall of China? This all dovetails with the hipster-illennial desire to have everything be super-epic-awesome. Nothing says “I’m a warrior hero” like total dominance of the terrifying “Quest to Print Only Double Sided Paper / Attack of the Ink Goblins” scenario that the printer admin in IT (the one who wears a utili-kilt) came up with to encourage workers to print less. You can beam with glory when he perches the Yoda plush toy on your cubicle wall and, handing you a can of unicorn meat, proclaims “Savior of the Trees you are!”

So to bring this to the next level, which you LIVE for, go find a copy of Milton Bradley’s The Game of Life. One from the 70’s will be at the next estate sale you hit up this Sunday (half price because it’s under $50) when you’re out with Cedric and Jasmine. Now it’s time to get all artsy-crafty. Change EVERYTHING to represent your co-workers and office situations. Re-write all the event cards to be about the most uncomfortable office politics you can imagine. Faithfully recreate the ups and downs of work day in your collab. Make it AS TRUE AS POSSIBLE, this is going to have to hurt or the irony of playing Life, about work, at work just wont be bittersweet enough. Now, at Monday morning’s needless scrum, reach into your re-purposed blue plastic Ikea tote – now messenger bag – and throw down your “The Game of Work.” Your friends will love this. At first they’ll see the little 3D playing pieces (made from re-purposed tiny cheese wax) and coo … “Cute” and “Hey you got my handlebar mustache just right!” (they wont even get the waxed mustache made of wax subtleties but that’s okay, some irony is best left to enjoy alone, in silence) … then start playing. Each person gets one turn every half an hour … this way it kind of folds into the day. Watch as things get really tense as Life-Work-Game all blend into a tepid tapioca of reality and illusion. Award “workpoints” for mundane stuff like answering emails and cleaning the tea pot. Everyone will go home engaged and confused, laying in their futons at night, strategizing on how to win at the game of their life, at work. You will love this.

Rising: Half Pants

Somehow, we cant find a pic of men’s half-pants. Anyone care to shoot a selfie after doing this one?

It’s Summer and shedding the layers helps, especially when climate change is wreaking havoc with the thermometer, making it dance like an egg on a Death Valley roadside. (

How’s a hipster to get cool without “being cool?”

Why, just slice off one of your pants legs of course.

Like the weather, half pants are NIF-Hot right now. This is an IMPORTANT TREND and there can be no cutting corners. Just unzipping below the knee of those fuddy-duddy Columbia trekking pants is a cop out… And those gothic “one legged pants” are nothing but narcissistic boy-skirts asking for a spanking … don’t even think about it. There is only one way to own this hipster gold and that’s by taking a pinking shears and slicing off one leg of a pair of pleated dockers at just below the pocket lining. Just feel the freedom! Stride with confidence into your next HR review, put the foot from the bare leg up on the chair, cup your chin in your hands and say “Let’s DO this thing!” Make sure your socks are baggy and loose at the ankle to complete the effect.

The half-pant is not only cooling and comfortable, it also says you’re a flexible, complex and cultured person. All admirable hipster qualities. At the same time casual and “businessy”, it’s the perfect ultra-committal non-committed assertion. When, and if, people dare to ask, you can reply auf Deutsch.

Diese halbe-hosen wurden direkt aus Hamburg für mich heute geflogen. Haben sie ein Kompliment meine Wadenmuskeln?

then take out a briar pipe, bang against your exposed inner thigh, and light up knowing you won this round.

Chopping up: Back axing

The urban lumberjack, ready for anything

The normals are into carrying pocket knives and multi-tools, so what does a hipster do to really separate themselves from the flock? Carry a large Scandinavian forest axe on their back at all times of course!

Axes have been hot amongst a select group of urban lumberjacks for the last year or so, but this trend isn’t even close to reaching its full potential. Until you see that one dude named Kevin who still drinks PBR and rides a fixed gear bike sporting an axe you can wear yours with pride. Don’t just waltz into Wal-Mart and grab a fiberglass handled Fiskars or worse yet a Bear Grylls survival hatchet with nylon sheath. Make sure you buy one that was hand forged by a local artisan, maybe the guy who made your scythe. Bonus points if you make your own handle from native organic free-range hickory, or better yet ironwood.

Since the original posting of this important trend, Axes now have hero epic status. Ax Cop ALWAYS has his ax. What will you say when people ask you about your axe? (and you know they will, which you’ll love). “Why am I carrying an axe? Perhaps a better question is why aren’t you?”

Trending up: Baking Soda Shampoo

scrub that hair, hipster

So what if my Grandpa called them “dirty hippies”, we all know that modern day hipsters bathe and take pride in their manes of flowing hair. But why take a shower using traditional shampoo, full of its boring chemicals and potential carcinogens? In fact, many are pointing their fingers at manufactured items, wondering what’s really in their ingredients and what are these ingredients doing to our health … and, if we must shower, how can we be more hip about this?

Your next step: run to the cupboard, grab all the baking soda and vinegar you can find. While it may feel gritty at first, mush some of the baking soda and water through your locks. After rinsing, give yourself a splash of vinegar conditioning treatment. While the battle rages on over the best vinegar, apple cider or white distilled, the number of uses for this kitchen ingredient certainly continues to grow. Take it as a badge of pride when the other hipters look at your foaming swirly hairdoo and call you “volcano head.” For added pizzaz, try using the same process for your “south of the border” hair. Weee!


White Hot: Post-ironic Irony

wwfcapTen or fifteen years ago, in near-paleolithic hipster times, you’d see trustfunders in blue-collar foam domes and polyester work shirts with names like “Gus” or “Clement” embroidered on them. A PBR in hand, the most working-class of all working-class beers. And all of it was ironic, because these dudes had never worked a day in their lives, if you don’t count practicing with their experimental dronewave band as work. The girls were no different, piling on ugly sweaters and homemade smocks, ironically peering through granny glasses at their knitting, shakily riding coaster bikes with huge baskets on the front, crafting, baking, and basically doing everything their home economics teachers taught them to do in seventh grade, except, like, not for real.

Then something happened. Time passed. That money from the parents, which was never as much as one might have anticipated, ran low and fizzled out. Life happened. Those guys had to get jobs — pushing brooms, turning wrenches, carrying things, delivering things. Suddenly that ironic work shirt became pretty practical. On one’s own dime, saving money on cheap beer seemed like a good idea. Couples married. Children were born. Those girls who “like to knit” lost the quotation marks and became women who actually liked to knit. The granny glasses became actual bifocals. Crafting circles became a real social outlet. It still seemed a little punk rock to wipe that cake batter off of your sleeve tattoo, but the thrill of punk rock was nothing compared to the joy of baking a nice cake for your loved ones.

Irony, in these ancient circles at least, disappeared, replaced by a new, more humble, earnestness.

But that was then and this is now. That was them and this is you. You aren’t middle-aged. You sure as hell aren’t earnest. Swipe your ATM card: There’s plenty of money in your account. It’s time for a new hipster. A meta-hipster. It’s time for post-ironic irony.

Now listen up, because this is complicated and you should definitely not attempt this if you have any doubts about your ironic “abilities.” Where they zigged, you zig harder. Where they zagged, you zag like your life depended on it. Where they said, “Hey! Look at me! I’m a traditional American!” You say, “Hey! Look at me! I’m a pre-post-ironic previous-generation hipster!” And then you wink like your eyeball is about to fall out.

This is what makes it white hot: You’re going to have to step way outside your comfort zone. Seriously, you’re going to have to drink PBR. You’re going to have to dress like a buffoon, and not the good kind of buffoon but the lame kind of buffoon. You’re going to have to listen to Death Cab. It’s going to get ugly and dangerous.

But if you pull this off, you’re a hipster stuntman. You can do this. We know you can. And if you can’t, well, it was nice knowing you.