Chanting “SITTING IS THE NEW SMOKING”, how many of your co-workers have recently limped into the facilities office and demanded a rising desk platform? Yes, the never ending quest for health and productivity has brought the modern workplace many new and exciting ergonomic distractions, all the while fluffing the budget of HR department “wellness” programs beyond reason and expectation. Ever since Bernardino Ramazinni ‘s riveting 1713 CE read “De Morbis Artificum,” workers have seized on any opportunity to complain about how they get paid. In the beige morass of today’s cubicle culture the balance ball seemed to offer a modicum of respite, until that time it careened out from under Cindy as she simultaneously “worked her core” and her expense reports. That thing hit Tad across the room like a beach ball at a spring break riot. He’ll never be the same, not to mention Cindy’s fractured coccyx. Skipping over the variable desk height craze mentioned above, the latest hawt trend is the pedal desk and it’s inane variants.
Starting with attaching pedals under a single desk, this human hamster wheel has now morphed into treadmill desks and pedal encrusted meeting tables which generate electricity, how convenient for the company owner’s electrical bill. So, as you glance across the “effort-loft” and see the multitudes of social media engineers bobbing up and down in their chairs you silently scowl as you realize that somehow this has to go to the HAWTNEXT level, and it’s up to you.
HOW2HAWT: With sitting, standing, running, and biking already taken by the normals, there is only one clear choice left. Go Prone or Go Home (and not to work from there). Once the sole occupational domain of sex workers and snipers, prone-ductivity™ for everyone has arrived! While, as appealing as it sounds to march into facilities like all the other wimps and demand some form of cubicle accommodation, we suggest that in the short term you DIY this. You’ll need a couple of heavy duty step ladders and a metric crap-ton of bungees. Imagine the glazed stares of confusion as you stride into the cubicle jungle and begin to rig this up. There will be muffled murmurs, there will be whispered rumoring between their pedal panting paper pushing and treadmilled search engine optimization. Setting up the ladders to form a triangular tunnel in front of your computer, begin to harness yourself in bungee after bungee until you are floating in mid air. If you dare, and you do, go full on Richard Harris in “A Man Called Horse” for the final bit as a testament to work-life balance. Then, with a resounding crack of your knuckles, and lay into that email campaign. You’re finally laying down on the job now, and that’s HAWT!
Postmodernism is woven deep throughout the trendster ethos, and this certainly holds true for squeezable food adornments! The hawtness of this up-and-comer is currently exemplified by a seismically ironic and disquieting resonance in countless social media posts (mostly the result of insidious paid social amplification) about the dawning of the age of Mayochup. Yes, not satisfied to have separate containers for both their creamy egg white-based spread and the venerable tomato-based staple; American consumers are excited to have them unified in a single dispensing apparatus!
Is this further evidence of the epidemic laziness and sloth of our culture? We say NAY! This is may very well be the height of squeezable science. Falling eerily in line with the Gilderman Hypothesis, anything having to do with condiments themselves is undeniably and exceedingly trend worthy. Short of re-creating the tasty Roman condiment made of smashed up fish guts and salt called Garum, blending whatever is at hand is a quick and satisfyingly colorful way of becoming a hyper-trendy foodinista.
There is so much about this to relish. Not only is Mayochup an exciting new branded product for trendsters to trumpet to each other, it also makes the huge problem of “condi-crowding” a thing of the past. As table sizes diminish and the plethora of crowd-funded artisan sauces, spreads, and chutneys become a dizzying blur of potentially sticky situations, the available space at the dining surface becomes premium.
No discussion of blended condiments is worth its pink Himalayan salt (pre-mixed with course ground white pepper of course) without recognizing the unquestioned leader in the mixed-spread space, J.W. Smucker’s Goober! The wise food sages behind this not only realized that kids are the ultimate exploitable consumers and that breakfast-making parents are attracted to anything which can save any speck of valuable prep-time. They also realized that at the heart of many profit driving trends (and also at the heart of Zen Buddhist philosophy), is anything inherently based on engaging with the dichotomy of opposites, such as selling peanut butter and jelly in the same jar. Yin-yang YUM!
Step one is to completely erase the word mayonnaise or mayo from your vocabulary. Simple, single purpose, spreads are now dead to you. So do a mental “find and replace” and paste in “aioli sauce” in any instances of the word “mayonnaise.” Most of your hipster friends will already be well aware of what aioli sauce is (basically mayonnaise with a splash or two of something else), but chances are nobody at work will, the bunch of losers.
Another basic … never reach for “Frenches” mustard again. You want giant, loud and proud mustard seeds suspended throughout a brownish-hued viscous reclaimed canning jar (never use a plastic squeeze bottle, you monster). Hopefully, you still have a horseradish root in the back of your freezer from last year’s organic edible landscape. Grind some of that into the jar and make sure everyone sees you as your eyes begin swelling shut from the fumes. Now THAT’s mustard! Badass.
Hot sauces. We could probably write an entire treatise on the subject and likely eventually will so stay tuned. For today, some foundational heuristics … Mitch in the mailroom likes to brag about how he can down an entire 8 oz bottle of 9-million Scoville unit extract sauce along with his Taco Bell Gordita. Mitch in the mailroom is an asshole. Get hot sauces that are “hot” but actually have good flavor. Here’s a good example. If you think you’re going to impress Thora the quirky and loveable barista by gnawing on a Carolina Reaper while waiting for your pistachio-rose latte you are dead wrong, like your taste buds.
Enough with the basics. Now, it is the time once again to channel your inner Bob Ross. Remember back when the local plein air painter needed to make some cash, and you immediately signed up for his “Paint like Bob Ross” classes. You’re about to put your skills to good, and tasty, results.
Grab your (as of yet unused) Bob Ross brand palette. Replace the dabs of phthalo blue or burnt umber with any of the plethora of hot sauces, pickled relishes and verdant salsas which dominate the fridge you share with your flatmates. Be liberal with your choices, too many blobs of condiments here is not enough! Now, with a fist full utensils and the same plein air easel that you used to paint miniature canvases at the ice caves, stride into the food co-op during the free-range paleo-vegan chili cook-off benefit that you lost last year. They’ll remember you from the frozen chili you made because you proudly called it “chilly.”
As you set up the easel begin with the Ross quotes. Claim “talent is a pursued interest” while laying down a brisk whisking of scotch bonnet marmalade as a base. As those around get splattered with specks of burning flavor, continue with “there’s nothing wrong with having a tree as a friend!” If you paid attention while at the painting class, you’ll soon have a vague and impressionist seascape built out of yummy sauces. Make sure to paint some happy little ducks using actual duck sauce and blend out the school of pollock, swimming underwater, with fish-n-chips vinegar. The ironic poignancy of these details will not be lost on the security guards when they attempt to shut you down. As you are being dragged off the premises, gleefully licking your canvas, stare at the chili team from the local food shelf and assert, “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.”
For your whole life, you have been programmed to “find a good parking spot.” There’s one right there! That guy is leaving! You can fit in there! Counterfeit a handicap plate! You spend extra time (and gas) trolling through endless “open spot deserts” slowly crawling behind other shoppers, following them creepily in the hopes of their departure. You attempt to balance the contradictory feelings of the guilt of not exercising and the determination that you deserve to be at the front of the line. Well don’t fret, you can have it all! Strap on your exercise tracker and get ready for the brave new world of FAR-PARKING! Imagine the peeling clamor of joy that will erupt from your passengers the next time you effortlessly glide past perfectly good “rock star” spots right in front of the door to the mega mart du jour and claim the perfect spot, as far away in the parking lot as possible. There is sooo much meta-irony here that you are probably going to explode in a hipster conflagration. Relish in the knowledge that you are, in one simple act, skewering both the petrochemical industrial complex AND the health-ista anti-carbonists. This is gold.
Allow me to paint a little picture of this hawt gem of an idea … Theo, Matilda, and Miles are all loaded up in your green Subaru wagon. You are jamming to Theo’s Spotify channel (mostly death country, with the occasional Alanis tune just to be ironic), and you are on your way to the LARP/ pinball arcade in Matilda’s friend Archie’s basement. When a grinding and sullen low key death country ballad by Goth Brooks comes on it will be the perfect time to wax about the dire obesity epidemic in America. After munching on some freshly sprouted chickpeas from your dashboard chia (another article, another time), you proclaim “I just think that we need to help ourselves more by walking more.” They’ll attempt to point out the fact that you own a car. Just turn and glare at them, they deserve it. They asked YOU to drive THEM … 5 blocks. Their guilt and self-doubt is now complete and they are at your far-parking mercy. This is the perfect time to #trendblend this with another trend we advocate, “only-lefting.” Remember you aren’t trying to make a right by only turning left, you are trying to park as far away from your destination as possible, so add a block with each left turn. Maintain their stunned silence and complicity by going into a diatribe about the Fibonacci sequence. You may even pique their interest in math enough to get them chanting “1 , 1 , 2 , 3 , 5 , 8 , 13 , 21 , 34 , 55 , 89 , 144 , …” along with you before they realize you have taken them in a graceful and ever-increasing spiral of distance away from where they actually want to be. Now it’s time to walk. Ideally, you’ve actually parked FURTHER away from your destination than you originally started. If they complain, glare at them and reference Thoreau’s thoughts on hiking versus “sauntering.” No self-respecting hipster can question ANY REFERENCE TO THOREAU! But, to show your benevolence, you can always SUPERHAWT this by grabbing a bus or some ride-away-free-bikes to get to your friend’s house knowing full well that you’ve far-parked this one real good, and that’s HAWT.
With Spring here and Summer coming on, we’ll all soon be swimming in fresh produce. For quite a while now, sourcing your food from as close to home has been HAWT! Farm to table restaurants and CSAs are all the rage. But with the scarcity of immigrant labor to pick the rows and rows of fabulous greens and the rest of the US too busy blogging and harvesting insights from social media analytics to do any farming of consequence, how are we going to be able to eat all those verdant vegetables? Not to worry! We have your back … while you’re on your back. The answer is to eat food as it drops off the plant, #HyperLocal!
We know that you, like us, are crippled by soul rending guilt everytime you un-pod some heritage kale imagining the deadly flashes of steel as it was culled before its time. Act now and you can put an end to the horrendous vegi-torture and chlorophyll curdling leaf screaming as a squash is separated from its stalk against its will. No more exerting your mammalian privilege as you force a strawberry from it’s vine, you are one with the plant, your are eating Hyper Local.
How2Hawt: Unless you have zen priest level patience (which is sizzling HAWT btw) you’ll need uber awareness of ripping times. Go to the nearest farmer’s market and begin to gather intel. Disguise yourself and an itinerant banjo player named “Wandering Johnny.” Start with conversations about bees and move to when your target vegetable will be at peak ripeness. The goal here is to be as close to the source of your food as possible when it’s ready to be eaten. Once you know that something is going to be harvested the next day, wait for closing time at the market and follow a farmer home at a discreet distance. As darkness falls, you can spring into action. Slowly creep into the field and, laying below your selected tomato plant, lay there mouth open in rapt anticipation for the fruit to fall. Now, this is where your commitment to #hyperlocal eating has to drive your persistence. Remember, how extreme your commitment, the more bragging rights you have.
Think back to when Theo showed up at the Juicery, brushing fresh loam from his peg leg jeans, with a mouth full of acorns? He seemed sooo cool, so engaged, so full of squirrel like radiant oneness. So, no stem shaking, don’t even blow on the tomato as you await that glorious moment when it determines the time is right to fall into your open maw of it’s own free will. Imagine the expressions of awe and reverence you’ll get when you, pushing the beaded curtain aside, enter the Juicery with a coconut tightly gripped between your bloodied lips. They know what you went through to catch that thing as it plummeted 30 feet onto your patient, waiting face. This is purely a vegan quest so hand pick out any bugs that enter your mouth before you accidentally consume them. Root crops can present an existential issue as you can only truly eat them when they pop themselves up out of the ground. Most carrots and potatoes tenaciously cling to life like an octogenarian fighter pilot. Honor their process by sticking to above ground fruits. An aquatic variant is to free dive in a kelp patch smiling like the Cheshire cat, allowing random bits of seaweed to layer themselves across your teeth. Above all, you are caring for your food, eating it on its terms and that’s HAWT!
In the face of an overwhelming dystopia of normality, soul crushing conformity, and bleak banal sameness, we all fear becoming lost in the grand narrative of history. One way to battle, however fultiley, against this eventuality is to try and frame every little daily effort or tiny life challenge as some form of epic journey. The “journey” analogy has been with human-kind for generations, so it has some merit. After Lao Tzu wrote “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” in The Tao Te Ching, it should have stopped right there! Such an awesome truth, so deep and meaningful, that even a gazillion meme gifs showing a mountain in the distance with the quote overlaid in fuzzy papyrus font can’t kill it.
Life tends to be an accumulation of a lot of mundane decisions, which often gets ignored.
So no, Terri from HR, your latest quilting efforts aren’t a “Textile Journey.” Hauling silk and peppercorns overland from Beijing to Belgrade by dromedary in the middle-ages was an F’ing “textile journey!” No, no, no! This self-aggrandisement and wonton importance seeking has to stop. We’re going to puke the next time someone talks about learning to make decorated cupcakes as their “Baking Journey.” Our lives are not supposed to be some Jason-and-the-Argonauts level sojourn to be dramatically re-told in an amphitheater, our daily existence is JUST THAT, existing … every day!
HOWTOHAWT: You’re going to have to #TROPEBUST this hard! Everyone and their uncle are on some form of feckless “journey.” So we suggest that you go deep into the heart of darkness, community education classes.
If you aren’t already, get qualified to teach community education classes. Once you’ve done that, create a class called “Life Journeys: Getting from there to here.” You’ll get two lonely old guys, a wiccan coffee roaster and several retired librarians. Perfect, these are the “life journey” thought leaders. Remember, cut the head off and the body will die. Start with journaling, another trend that’s better left to the dust heap of hipsterism as well. A “Journey Journal” is just stupid enough to work as a focus for their questions. Do about 4 sessions where you do a lot of sharing, interpretive dance, and rock stacking. Pepper a bunch of lyrics from the band Journey in the lectures, ending each night with “…don’t stop believing.” Then it’s time for the “capstone,” an unannounced and grueling 25 “klick” hike through the swamp outside town. Ideally, the weather is super inclement and they’re not dressed for a hike. Have the IT Guy from your work, the one who wears a kilt, set up at “klick” 22 on a hillock in the middle of the dankest part of the bog. He should be shirtless and painted blue with his hair all sticking on end with lye. He’s going to be super thankful you invited him here to do this btw, so he’ll owe you. As you all trudge up, the wiccan coffee roaster probably carrying one of the old guys, he begins to sing the song “Where My Heart Will Take Me” (originally performed by Russell Watson).
It’s been a long road
Gettin’ from there to here It’s been a long time But my time is finally here
And I will see my dreams come alive at night I will touch the sky And they’re not gonna hold me down no more No they’re not gonna change my mind
(Chorus — MAKE THEM SING THE CHORUS OR THEY’LL FAIL THE COURSE!) ‘Cause I’ve got faith of the heart I’m going where my heart will take me I’ve got faith to believe I can do anything I’ve got strength of the soul No one’s going to bend nor break me I can reach any star I’ve got faith I’ve got faith Faith of the heart
Soon, leeches, dehydration, hypothermia and insipid pop music lyrics will cure them of needing to take any more asinine “journeys.” You can be assured that the ripple effects of your work will be felt for many grateful generations, and that’s HAWT!
It’s not hard to pinpoint the allure of making your own stuff. You feel a sense of accomplishment and pride as you admire/eat/drink/wear/ride/use whatever it is you just made. But far more importantly, literally the most important thing in the world, is other people knowing that you made something. Social media has made this possible in spades and every mid-tier hipster has made something to show off on facebook, instagram, reddit, etc… Hell, even Kevin down at the artisan tea shop made that crummy messenger bag from re-purposed retro flour bags. And Andy in accounting makes a kickass IPA, even though I would never tell him that to his face. Andy, in accounting. Ugh. Anyway, the point is that even normals are getting in on our turf so we need to do something huge to set ourselves a cut above. Make your own EVERYTHING.
“The aim to make everything” has, of course, gotten digital and academic with the MIT “FABLAB” specification. A network of distributed micro-manufacturing centers propped out with a dizzying array of extruders, embroiders and plasma torches mostly located at Makerspaces will allow anyone to fabricate anything on-demand. Need some new hangers? Open up your handy 3D CAD application and copy, paste, click … no more wrinkled tweed blazers for you!
Don’t run off just yet, I know this sounds daunting and perhaps even a bit completely absurd, but when you really think about it, that’s what being an elite hipster is all about. It’s that “notice-me” flair that landed you your present gig running a Neapolitan-kimchi keto pizza truck. You’re going to need to commit to this hard, like you’ve done everything else to position yourself as hipster royalty in the region.
HOWTOHAWT: When you commence making, I’d advise that you start with the big three: food, water, and shelter. Those three alone should keep you pretty busy for the first couple of months considering it’s winter and you will likely die once you move out of your studio apartment. (Side note, don’t forget to “pack it in, pack it out” by building your own coffin.) Next, smugly declare to your roommate Theo: “another set of hands built these walls, my hands will build my own.” After you have clothed yourself with crude garments that you fashioned from the “borrowed” hair of the neighbor’s Afghan hound, hit the trail! The first night will likely be rough, so get an early start. I suggest finding a build site near a fresh water source that is somewhat secluded as you will need to poach a considerable amount of wild game to feed yourself until spring when your first foragable leeks emerge from the frosty sod. For a temporary shelter, construct a quinzhee hut, and begin felling spruce trees. This will prove difficult without a cutting implement, so first you will need to forge an axe blade. Before you do that you will need a forge, etc. If you’re already feeling overwhelmed, GOOD! Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. Just ask the DIY deity in the video below, Richard Proenneke, who would rightfully ashamed of you for your shamefully weak “browsing the internet” and fully reading this stupid article to its end. Go whittle a cabin, looser! Then, maybe, you’ll be HAWT.
P.S. To save time, here’s an article I wrote back in 1970 on the subject.
Finally the ultimate hipster / hawtster activity symbolizing engaged detachment has arrived, boxed kit deliveries. No more muss, no more fuss, no more annoying shopping and the tedious lists that are never ever completely emptied. You’ve already let hunting (unless it’s online for birthday party themes) fall into the dim mists of the past, now it’s time to sever the stone chains of gathering go too! Not limited to meal-kits, the pre-packaged and drone-delivered revolution now extends to full spectrum living. From birth to death, the pesky need to go to a store is a thing of the past.
HOWTOHAWT: The eternal “what next” problem still remains, after you’ve sufficiently impressed the neo-brutalists in your Thursday architecture discussion group with your awesome package opening and burner turning-on skills, there’s still that icky issue of what to to with the grimy and germ infested flat, sharp and pointy things you used to do the chef-ing. Out of elbow grease? Don’t have a sink? No Problem! If you haven’t already crushed or repurposed the box, you’re golden. Just toss that dirty dinner detritus in there, print a shipping label (use the printer at work because you don’t have one) and return it to the mysterious oblivion from whence it came. “But wait!” You assert, “what am I to do these uneaten vinegar roasted broccoli florets and artisanal baguette crusts?” Not to worry (btw – your flatmate, Theo, is really concerned about all your worrying)! With one click, shipscraps.com, sends your unused food to a thin and hungered person of your choosing. That’s right, you even get a poor person profile and starvation dashboard so you can see the real impact your left-overs making in the world. How about that, just by not giving into the capitalist “market” economy and having everything shipped, pre-prepared, in boxes to your front door. Now, #THATSHAWT!
With his triumphant rejection of a unified global response to climate change (#fakescience) and his affirmation of the need for a return to coal, President Donald J. Trump outs himself as the REAL steampunk. From Babbage’s brass gear computing to coal fired forestry robots the days of steampunk as a mere hobby for overpaid millennial IT workers are OVER, the coal fires are here, they’re HAWT and they’re MAINSTEAM.
Alright, we aren’t suggesting that you begin construction on a gigantic steam-powered tarantula ala the seminal steampunk opus “Wild, Wild, West.” What we are suggesting is that you demonstrate acceptance and tolerance for the ways of our new leader in quizzingly and impressional ways. Rig a tiny furnace to your desk fan and lazily toss a lump of the classic combustible strata in. Stoke the fire with a miniature bellows while looking over your shoulder at the morning meeting with the Bob’s. When the office Greenparty Action lunch clutch starts up, stand all “il duche” over them and sharpen a few #2’s with your steam powered pencil sharpener. A subtle cough to simultaneously simulate black lung AND communicate your disapproval of the Paris accord will add the proper emphasis. If you really want to wow them (you do), tote around a dead canary in a cage (#deadcanary). That will make them think.
Anna Young, who didn’t skip a beat or, let a half marathon get in the way of her lactation cycle. Reported inmanyplaces, she breast pumped while running and also maximized social exposure with the hashtag #normalizebreastfeeding. HWTNXT absolutely endorses a mother’s right to safely practice mothering how she sees fit and to do so while running is an amazing example of AlwaysRunning.
These guys and gals of the Italian military are famed for being elite mountain marksmen AND running ALL THE TIME .. to include playing brass instruments.
Now, I know it may be a bit difficult to take the Italian military seriously but there’s something pretty fricking audacious about trotting and playing a trumpet while wearing a hat displaying a plume of black capercaillie feathers.
Of course, the top of the AlwaysRunning heap are not even human and have inspired the Green Wheel. Anyone who works out in a modern gym is used to tracking their physical output in amps, or electrical output, now some Lebanese guy wants to trap that. In something that has Matrix like overtones, he envisions human hamster wheels where AlwaysRunning is converted into an alternative electrical energy source.
HOW2HAWT: Ok, AlwaysRunning means always be running! But, unless you are Forrest Gump this is not possible. What you can do though is run at times one wouldn’t expect, start by taking “running errands” to a new level. So, grab that grocery cart, don’t forget some WD-30 for the wheels, and blaze at full bore through Whole Foods. As a nod to safety, have some spotters along, station them at the ends of aisles for those drifts past the end caps. The key to grocery getting is a stiff scoopy arm and not being too picky with the results. Vegan Saag Paneer is just as tasty as Beef Vindaloo. Dont watch old episodes of Supermarket Sweep, that is not AlwaysRunning. Work your way up to the liquor store, AlwaysRunning is all about pacing.
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.
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!