Peaked: Stuff

These unwanted toys want you to stop your stuff addiction
These unwanted toys from a trash island floating in the North Pole want you to stop your stuff addiction … and kill Santa.

While it’s been happening for a while, people are starting to finally feel the hurt from the sheer amount of stuff we’ve created. The definition of the word itself is worth noting.

Stuff (noun)  – the material of which anything is made.

Given in that context, stuff has this building-block-of-the-cosmos ring to it. I like to think stuff is some kind of base element which can be reformed to make anything. When to need to refer to anything, you can use the word stuff. “Hey get your stuff out of my house!” or “I have the stuff, do you have the money?” Now, unless you believe in creatio ex nihilo, stuff is a perquisite for existence. According to Carl Sagan, “we are star stuff” which is a noble way to look at it and we’re currently up to our armpits with all our star stuff.

Sure, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and laws banning plastic bags for single item purchases are important examples of too much stuff but HWTNXT is all about making the obscure relevant so here are other ways to look at the stuff-splosion.

The rapid rise of self storage – According to the Self Storage Association,”Some 65% of all self storage renters have a garage but still rent a unit; 47% have an attic in their home; and 33% have a basement.” Many people just walk away, leaving their stuff to star in “reality” television.

On average, English kids own 238 toys but only play with 12 daily. That’s 5%! Now we know the secret truth about the origin of the heartbreaking and dysfunctional “Island of misfit toys” from the classic Rankin/Bass Rudolf television show. BTW, I’m the jelly shooting squirt gun!

How2HAWT: So what to do about this? Well, thankfully the Swedish have a good idea, it’s kind of an anti-Ikea idea,  Start repairing stuff.  In his misguided 1932 stuff-ifesto “Ending the Depression through Planned Obsolescence“, Bernard London advocates for making stuff cheaply to save ourselves. It lead to a institutionalization of disposability and the tragic death of the fix-it-men. Case in point, my Fisher / Paykel dual drawer dishwasher. I have steadfastly refused to allow this thing to give into it’s makers idiocy of design and potentially despicable intentional failures. I’m proud to claim that I’ve repaired or replaced every internal component of this Kiwi beast. I have accepted the greasy mantle of fix-it-man and I will not allow my dishwasher to be a testimony to the discardable.

 So DO YOUR PART! Grab those tools, set up a workbench, toss that lamp up on it and start fixing it. Thats HAWT!

Rearing Up: Centauring It!

Serene and volatile, You too can Centaur this.
Serene and volatile, You too can Centaur this.

Perviously HWTNXT:HipsterTrends has advocated for animal proxies to become the standard bearers for the “nxt-of-times.” But, now, charging forward through the pillowy myths of time, comes the perfect totemic symbol for today, the Centaur! At once brash and barbarian, then pivoting to be wise and sensitive, the centaur is the perfect anthropomorphized icon for our troubled times. Think of being a centaur like having a super brash and “transbeast” way to respond to any challenge in life. Half human half horse, all business! Probably why the epicenter of interest is the Ukraine.

Not just the uncouth partiers of Percy Jackson, centaurs have come to represent the internal clash between our base instincts and cultured sensibilities, fertile stomping ground for a cutting edge hawtster like you. With the recent discovery of a habitable Earth like planet around Proxima Centauri, our nearest stellar neighbor only 4 light years away, the time of the the centaur has arrived.

How-to Hawt: When Bobertta (your ineffectual human manageress) decides it’s time for a punitive “performance review”, don’t cower under your cubicle tangled in ethernet and mouse cables in sweaty heaving, NO! Stand immediately forcefully shoving your throne ( ill fitting and inanely named task chair from Sweden ) back – allowing it to roll into Seth’s cubie across the way with authority. Then, reaching spread eagled with fingers out, take a chest exploding deep breath, stomp a nubby toe-boxed keens loafer down, SNORT and exclaim, “By the daughters of the Lapithae, it is time!” With a hearty whinny-laugh, do your best Churchill Downs pre-race clopping down the hallway to her office. Glance about as if you are returning from a battle. As centaurs always have one raised eyebrow, change them frequently during the review. Centaurs luxuriate in their chest hair, even female Centaurs, so don’t hold back, a medical grade comb can accentuate this. A true centaur would remember that this is their performance review, not the manager’s, so own it and know you’re HAWT!