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.


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

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.

Always Up: DIY Coffee.

She is repulsed and attracted to the red socks

Keffe, kaffe, java, mud. Joe. Crank case oil.

Face it, coffee will always be hip, unless you’re Mormon, even hip Mormons don’t drink coffee.

While we are still recovering from the whole Starbucks craze, smaller and more specialized shops are beginning to take their place on the thoroughfares and in the empty storefronts of emerging Americana, selling Americanos…and it’s become such a trend that even Starbucks has taken notice, even adding a “blonde” roast to their line of homogenous offerings along with Alanis Morissette retrospective CDs and stale finger like pastries.

These little hipster start ups are being run by a fairly eclectic cross section of proprietors. Some have been in the industry for a while, and some just got the itch to try something new, and are slowly changing the face of American coffee…gone are blends with silly names. Now it’s single origins from countries you’d never expect with estate names you can’t possibly hope to pronounce like Rösterei Demmel in Liechtenstein.

A more recent trend, borne out of the “third wave” movement could be considered the “fourth wave,” or the practice of growing your own coffee trees, harvesting, and ultimately roasting your own beans after they’ve been gently massaged through the alimentary canal of your pet cat. This is of course after you’ve caught on to the newly trending open concept kitchen pico-farm…you’ll be on the absolute cutting edge of hipness by owning your own teenser plantation. Make sure to honor the folk traditions of the miniscule share crop artisans you have working for you by wearing the tiny hats and scarves of their people. To insure their loyalty, threaten their livelihood by warning them they could be working on a baby corn farm instead. For an added element of cool, try roasting your coffee one bean at a time in your own steampunk inspired nano-roaster and serving it to your hipster friends in a doll house coffee service. In between stunning them with your grasp of bean-lore you can tell them the tiny cups and saucers are for their own good because this cat crap coffee is so strong it’ll take paint off a car hood (call it a “bonnet” for the hipster “cup” de grâce.)

Now: UpSocking

This has it ALL going on!

Socks are the red headed bastard child of daily attire. This makes them the perfect growth zone and hipster fashion cause célèbre. Long over looked as mere “foot tubes” the sock has a long and venerable history of serving humanity. This wide, and currently underrated, story is ripe for exploitation. We’ll get to that later. First, get sock-gressive! Reach down and feel those cloth tubes loosely gathered around your ankles. What!! NO SOCKS!! Firstly, don’t tell me you’re bare-footing .. We covered it aeons ago, so it has to be over by now. And further, DON’T tell me you are not wearing socks. That is Sooo Kevin. Even Kevin is tired of ruining another pair of Keens with his stink foot just to say he “feels free” and “doesn’t have warts.” Give us a break. You have socks on and you know it…Don’t be ashamed like we said, you’re taking part of one of the greatest human epic sagas to never be told. The Saga of Socks! Now you’re feeling it, that’s right … go on and play with your socks because they don’t deserve to just sit there, all saggy and ruffled, your socks demand attention. They demand respect, they demand to be grabbed onto and pulled straight up your leg, elevated to their fullest possible potential. Stretch those sock up! And keep them up! Remember, looking like you’re casual takes a lot of attention to detail.

Sharing your new “sock-taughtnes” is the most important thing you have to deal with. How else can everyone appreciate how much you appreciate obscure niches of cultural reference? Of course wearing shorts, if you must wear anything other than socks (UpSock Streaking is a whole level of hip that, we’re sorry to say, you shouldn’t even consider) shorts make for the quickest showcase of your new found fashion commitment. Remember, people expect to see pulled up socks on menschen, die Lederhosen tragen and , of late, some sports celebrities so skip that. To have the greatest value, you want your UpSocking to be shocking.

Go find the longest pair of black socks you can get and, here’s where you have to really stretch, you know that guy in I.T. who works at the helpdesk? … Yeah, the one who does cosplay and works as a juggler at renfest. Ask him for his garters. At first he’ll cock his head at you and move your name down his list of RAM upgrades … keep at it, butter him up by talking retro web browsing and mention the “singularity” … pretty soon he’ll listen and even eager bring his prized garters in (serious trendtron points if he offers to bring you to a “munch” … decline claiming you’re too “vanilla”) Tell him you’ll have them back. If he’s a geek worth his salt these will be beauties. They may even have bangles on them. Now, pull up your new polyester socks and clamp on the garters. Feel the tight fit, the skin like adherence to your shins. Head to your marketing meeting, the one where you have to present on SEO to the web scrum. Just before you walk into the meeting room, push the left one all the way down to your ankle. Enter the meeting. Fidget and fuss as consultants stand in front of the group spouting on about “APIs” and “Haptic Blah-de-blahs”, make sure your co-workers notice how uncomfortable you are. Finally, as you launch into your awesome prezi about client demographics, do a dead stop … look at the consultants in the eye and slowly roll up your left pants leg. Roll it way up … as far as possible .. you don’t work out so you should be able to get it to about mid-thigh (to bad you don’t half-pant) DONT STOP STARING AT THE CONSULTANTS … dealing with this is how they really earn their money. Once you’ve got the pants rolled up, grab the ribbed cuff of the black sock and stretch that thing suuuper tight tight that your leg hair is coming through the fabric. Then fix the clasp on I.T. guy’s renfest garter. Launch into a concise history of the Knights and Ladies of the Noble Order of the Garter. Mention Prince William is the 100th Knight of the Garter (everyone loves him) and finish your prezi with a newly found over confidence. They’ll all be rushing out to buy garters later that day. Your work here will be finished.

Oh La La: Frenching It

J'étais dans bérets avant il était populaire
J’étais dans bérets avant il était populaire

Hey all you hipsters and hipster helpers, NHT is getting all French and taking some days off in August to recharge our batteries. Since launching our site in May (WTF) we’ve done at least 5 posts a week. That’s a whole heap of hip! We invite you to revel in our past glory.

Some things we learned.

  • Everyone wants to know more about Eyebrow Shaving.
  • Sunglasses that fit over other glasses are dangerous and have lawyers attached to them.
  • Keeping hip is hard

With the last bits of summer on, we’re out deeply embedding ourselves hip deep in hip. Back soon to bring you more trend reports and helpful advice … Stay Hip and Stay tuned!