Right AGAIN!

We pegged this one back in May of 2013 with our insightful expose on Scything your Lawn. As you can see from the google trends report in the article, lawn scything has since flat-lined.  Good, and also easily predictable.  Why cut plants?  Murderers.  It’s better to craft a sustainable pollinator habitat or a permicultural edible landscape.  Duh.

Virtual Surreality

Nothing is hipper than the Victorians, right?
Your great grandmother was a into VR before you.

VR is HAWT! With viewers like Google Cardboard and Oculus Rift covering both ends of the income spectrum, it looks like virtual reality has sliced its way out of the geetk-tech gestalt and into the main stream. Basically, it uses binocular vision and your phone to give you a new perspective (actually two new perspectives) on the world around you. This is magnifying-lens-on-an-ant HAWT right now. Given that it’s just re-purposing an ancient (meaning pre-television) technology called stereoscopy, and that it has a hand held form factor, this absolutely satisfies the conditions of the Gilderman Hypothesis and therefore hip. As a mater of fact, it’s pegging the trend-o-tron right now, interestingly with Finland in the lead for regional search interest. We cannot yet determine if this means that Finland is a hipster hawtbed or that the Finnish are so depressed in “real life” that they are obsessed with virtual life. Both could be true.

Anyway, when a trend is peaking, it’s OVER! So what’s HAWT NEXT? Well after we’ve explored virtually all of reality, the only thing left is surreality. Don’t worry,  this can be achieved easily. Seeing as binocular vision is about bending light, VSR (yes, Virtual SurRealism ) is a perfect next logical step.

Surreality is when Artists painted unnerving, illogical scenes with photographic precision, created strange creatures from everyday objects and developed painting techniques that allowed the unconscious to express itself” –The 20th-Century art book. (Reprinted. ed.). London: Phaidon Press. ISBN 0714835420.

As with all good hipster-tech, this is based on some gadget which causes the user to become more and more isolated from others, leading an insular life in the name of hyper-connectivity and “social engagment.”

So here’s what you have to do.

Get as much odd bits of cardboard and a hot glue gun as you can. Toilet paper and paper towel tubes are a must! Now, with all the cubist verve you can muster, put together a whack ass pair of goggles. Tin foil, lenses from old glasses (the bigger, the better) all at odd angles will complete this infernal contraption. Make sure to create some way to strap it to your head so you can wear it later as you barge in to the tea house and stand in the middle of the room, hopefully interrupting a planning meet-up for Kale fest, and begin to gather images for your surrealist photo sphere. For added retro panache, use a bit of flash powder left over from when you were learning parlor magic as a hobby and have an assistant flash each time you “expose” a frame. That’s about 24 times so they’ll love this and get ready for some awesome facial expressions in your high tech futurist art master piece. Toss in some mutterings like “…mmm, melty…” or “Zang Tumb Tuuum!” to put the icing on the cake as you stuble around the room bumping into things trying to walk wearing your Virtual Surreality headset.

Honey Boo Boo & Deepak Chopra = HAWT

tumblr_mpzsx0nkdx1qkfspko1_500Nothing makes us HAWTER than a bunch of academics doing an in-depth study of stupid people.

Some eggheads from the University of Waterloo used the New Age Bullshit Generator to see just WTF idiots are thinking … or not thinking … or whatever.  

They basically thought the tweets were just as profound as the randomly generated sentences, so they were equally bad at seeing the B.S. in both.’

 Then, of course, the Washington Post does a story about it. The staff at Hawtnext is entirely gung-ho about contributing to the meta-nature of this examination. We often use the Click-o-tron to make ourselves feel superior.

Interestingly, these people have actually stumbled on some ancient esoteric knowledge. What’s REALLY HAWT here is that the stupid people are masters of Zen Koans without even trying. Zen Koans are solution-less riddles used to reveal to zen students the ways of meaninglessness … or whatever.  But, much like in quantum physics, once an experiment has been observed, it doesn’t exist. So thanks Mr. Scientists for destroying the zen of these innocent stupid people. Of note, is that funding for this study was provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Surfacing: Anything to do with Narwhals

Get the Point?
Get the Point?

For too long hipsters have suffered without a mascot. This deplorable situation has to stop! After significant research, focus grouping and highly subjective introspection we’ve determined that the perfect hipster totem is the narwhal whale. Honey bee, coffee civet and urban chicken all came in close seconds. Each a respectable representative of the animal kingdom in their own right, they all fall short compared to the mysterious, enigmatic and otherwise obscure narwhal whale. The word alone … “NARWHAL” is just cool to say. It’s also has the conservation status of “Near Threatened (IUCN 3.1),” and nothing says hipster like being “nearly threatened.”

Several “narwhallian” traits (if you don’t use “narwhallian” in a sentence today, you’re a subpar hipster) that make Monodon monoceros the hipster animal of choice include but are in no way limited to:

  • Narwhals have the summertime habit of just lolly-gagging, inactive, at the surface of the sea. Called “logging” this can be considered the animal kingdom equivalent of “planking“.
  • Queen Elizabeth paid the equivalent of 2.5 million dollars for a jewel encrusted Narwhal tusk for her “curiosity cabinet.” Just having a curiosity cabinet or “Wunderkammer” is suuuper hip. Don’t get us started on how Queen Elizabeth represents one of the original metro-sexual hipsters. That’s another article for another day.
  • There’s an ancient narwhal tusk spear with a friggan metal tip made out of meteorite iron. Couple that with some necro-pants and you are an Icelandic Wiccan sorcerer of hip. Furthermore, narwhal tusks have magic properties attributed to them including fending off poison and melancholia, the later being especially useful to the tragically hip

There are many more reasons why the hip should adopt the narwhal as their clan symbol. But enough “why,” let’s get into the “how.” Firstly, adopt the use of “narwhal,” “narwhalian” and “narwhalling” as both verbs and nouns. “I’m sick of this project not getting done, I’m going to narwhal it!” or “She’s so quiet and narwhally,” your coworkers will look confused at first, but then start using the term themselves, you’ll love this. Second, definitely take up “tusking,” which isn’t, as you might think, listening to the 1979 Fleetwood Mac album over and over, but is in fact the practice of bull male narwhals rubbing their tusks together to simultaneously maintain dominance hierarchies and sensitive sensory organs. You can figure out the ergonomics of this activity on your own, just don’t invite anyone from HR.

Finally, in keeping with another hipster trend, form a fraternal organization. Joining ancient animalistic cults like the Elks, Eagles and Owls is Planck hot right now. This actually deserves an article of its own, but suffice to say, the hip should create one themselves called “The Loyal Order of the Noble Narwhal” or some whack thing like that. They could file a 50c3 or something and get non-profit status. Secret noises like clicks and “bangs” could be part of bizarre initiation and drinking rituals. Imagine the silly short brimmed pointy hat involved. Then early into the morning, after most of your friends have gone home from an exuberant night of revelry and tusking, you can look up at the stars imagining yourself floating on your narwhal back, at peace, the unicorn of the sea … even if you don’t know why.

Hear Ye to Stay: Town-Criering

towncrier3asAs hipsters well know, teh social mediaz are the dominant way to get messages out these days. Well, before the facebooks and the twitterverse and the google+ and instagrams and the tumblrs how did people feed their narcissistic needs? You got it, by Town Criering. Originally officers of the court, tasked with making legal announcements to the mostly illiterate townsfolk, the town crier was an essential part of daily life. Also called a “bellman” (do not make the mistake of EVER asking a crier to haul your bags to your room, nothing hurts more than getting clocked with a brass handbell.) Town criers strode up and down the streets of the town announcing all manner of news, advertisements, market days and such.

In the German town of Goslar, the crier informed the citizens to refrain from using the local river as a bathroom on days when the brewery was collecting water for the local beer.

 Kinda makes your piddly job in analytics seem trivial now doesn’t it? Town criering is the ultimate in social media throwback, so retro that no one else on pintrest has even thought of it yet, perfect. Pursuing town criering NOW will give you a chance to draw several breaking hipster trends into one obscure and noticeable activity, you’ll love this.

First and foremost, a good town crier needs a bell. Of course no ordinary bell will do, walking around tinkling some anemic peace chimes or yoga harmony jingles will only undermine the importance of what you’re criering. You need a solid bell of note and nothing says PAY ATTENTION like a Schulmerich. They claim to be “the world’s largest and oldest existing manufacturer of handbells in the United States.” This is a perfectly ironic and confusing, and all we know is that, swinging that bright brass monster in the crisp dawn light, you’ll be the envy of all your hand-bell choir hipster friends. Next, the always important attire. A Tricorne hat (which we are emphatically stating will be THE next hipster hat), knickers and possible Ben Franklin glasses, holy hell this is epic hipster gold in the making! Why didn’t we think of this before!?

Once you’re all rigged up, the next thing is to get out there and do it! If you live in close proximity to other hipsters, we suggest the ol’ crack-o-dawn strategy. After a late night of drinking endless craft ciders and listening to high decibel circuit bent experimental electronica, nothing says “hi how are ya” like standing in the courtyard of the old button factory (now hipster condos) and stoutly ringing a huge hand bell reading hashtags from twitter and facebook. The classic town crier call starts with “OYEZ, OYEZ!” Then launch into a 37 minute regurgitation of everyone’s most self-obsessed postings from the night before. Use the most olde-englishy type accent you can muster.

“OYEZ! OYEZ!”
*KLANG KLANG*
“MISTER THEO SAYS ON YE OLDE TWIITER ..”
*KLANG KLANG*
“..OUCH, MY HEAD DOTH HURT AS A SPLIT MELLON DROPPED ON THE WARF! OMG HASHTAG TIED-ONE_ON! HASHTAG THEOPROBLEMZ!”
*KLANG KLANG*

Remember, you have big shoes to fill, modern town criers hold the Guinness world records for the loudest humans, reaching 114 decibels so step it up! You’ll have lots of new admirers and after a week of doing this, maybe … just maybe they’ll all start to think twice before posting needless dribble.

Climbing Up: Shelf Elfing

Shelf elfing
Hold the pose or fail!

Admit it, there’s nothing cuter than those cheeky little felt elves that your Grandmother half-hides throughout her condo. Like most bizarre anthropomorphic reinterpretations of humanoids, reports indicate that the shelf elf got it’s start in Japan. Very little is actually known about the origin of these creepy-cute Christmas sprites. For the holiday hip, this is perfect. Also referred to as “Japan Knee Hugging Elves,” they are owning Etsy and Pintrest right now, a sure harbinger of hip. In fact, check the chart below. Shelf elf interest has doubled each Christmas. So what to do, throw a couple of them around your studio apartment? No way! The only way to fully exploit this trend is to become a shelf elf yourself!

Shelf elfing is an offshoot of planking and owling so this is familiar turf. You’ll love this because with second Hobbit movie coming out, elves are Sammath Naur hot right now. The first thing you need to do is get a pointy red and white Christmas hat (no brim). Then ask the util-a-kilt wearing geek from IT to loan you his fake Spock ears. If he hesitates for more than 37 seconds, tell him that as far as you’re concerned, “Vulcans are the elves of space” and flash him the “live long and prosper” gang sign. This genre-blending and hand waving will stun him. (BTW, if this is successful, you’ve leveled up to hipster-mage status). Now put on the hat and ears and find a perch. The higher and just a bit out of view the better. Now, it’s all about the tuck! Pull those knees up to your chin as best you can, here’s where your yogalaties will come in good use. Crunch that core and wait! Soon your co-workers will begin to filter past on their way to the midday social media scrum. If you’ve found a good spot some of them won’t even see you sitting there with an insane cheeky grin going. Don’t worry, that means the ones who do will be totally surprised. If someone spits up their soy chai tea, you’ve succeeded.

Remember to adhere to proper shelf elf lore! Move to a new place every day, be totally silent, blankly staring at a spot on the floor and keep that bizzaro-chipper smile going. If done correctly this is going to hurt, but it’s totally worth it because you’re a mutha-effing SHELF ELF now, and you talk directly to Santa. If any of your co-workers try to talk to you or worse yet touch you, HOLD OUT! Later, after elfing, find them in the break room and chew their normal ass out. Start swearing at them in Quenya, the language of Elrond and Legolas from Lord of the Rings. Angrily assert “Iston i nîf gîn!” (I know your face) and “Boe? BOE?!” (for what purpose?) After the ear thing you’re already in huge standing with IT kilt guy (who is munching on steamed soy beans with a nice ginger sauce in the corner table), but upon witnessing this Elvish bereavement his adoration of you will go through the roof! Finish your holiday tirade with “Úcarnet nin!” (you betrayed me), pull on your hat, climb up and sit on top of the vending machine and resume your eerie shelf elfing. You’re a shelf elf now, even if you don’t know why.

Emerging: Shaking with both hands

hipsterhandshakeBro hugs are deader than Jean Stapleton, let’s pretend fist mashing never happened, and until the old-school gimme-five comes back, shaking with both hands (also known as a “two-shake” or a “bo’ shake”) is the social embrace of the moment. It begins life as your basic shake, but becomes almost self-aware with the addition of the second hand to the back of the shakee’s already-being-shook hand, usually a full second after the handshake has been originated. The result of this clasp is an additional degree of sincerity that, combined with solid eye-contact, let’s everyone know that you’re coming from a place that is equal parts deep and real, and still assures everyone you are not carrying a dagger up your sleeve (even if it’s just for eating with). This maneuver is delicate and has so many layers of meaning that we felt it was important to make our first howto video. So, please sit back and enjoy! You are officially lame if you dont go out immediately and try this at once. Notice that it’s not done correctly unless both participants emerge from the moment with a heightened sense of awkwardness and fragility which must be overcome with platitudes and small talk.

We’re also keeping our eye on the single-handsake/tricep squeeze lockup, but it’s not quite there yet.

Immediate Action: DIY Trademarking your own DNA

own your own
own your own

You did it before. Remember when your folk-metal trio recorded that 3 song EP on Audacity, burned it to a CD and mailed it to yourself thinking, “There, Nine Inch Nails can NEVER STEAL THESE TUNES!” Well, you can use all the same labels and packaging again when you mail your own DNA to yourself. Uber-Mega_Agri_Corps like Monsanto and Sony are out to own your individual genetic fingerprint, you better get the jump on them. Do it quick before the GMO corn accidentally used to make your Stacy’s Tortilla causes your fingerprint to devolve and become a footprint. Seriously, the next time you are getting a new gauge for your ear gap, take the disc of unused flesh and put it in a zip lock baggie. Drop that in an envelope and then another envelope (for the lawyers), include your 23andme reports for ultimate bases covering then ride your fixed gear bike to the post office and send it yourself via registered mail. When it comes, put the envelope in your freezer next to the free range rabbit carcass that you hit with your Chevy volt the other day and sit back knowing you are … one step ahead of the Man(santo).

UPDATE (06/13/13) See, this is how we roll. If you didn’t take our advice the day we give it, YOU ARE ONE OUT OF LUCK HIPSTER. You snooze, you loose! We’ll work on getting the info out sooner but, the onus is on you to stay on top of the NEXT HIPSTER TREND!

Trending Up: Turning Everything into a Frickin Game

pawn
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

wowza
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.