When in Rome : Old trends for a new age.

Party like it’s 530 ce

So as we careen into the 21st century, we often lose sight that our elders have often cut some pretty hawt paths well before us, and that we can draw inspiration from the lengths they went to be hawt. Remember, history isn’t just the list of what websites you’ve visited in the last week, it’s a guide, kind of like a Pinterest but chiseled into stone. Today, with our current leader giving us subtle hints, and an insane chorus of “Quid pro quo” being bellowed from the news spigots, we explore how the Romans stayed on top of the #hawtstack for centuries by suggesting a few obscure things from the past that you can use to stay one step ahead in the present. We’ll be covering the hawtster Roman trifecta of body care, food and accessories.

By Anonymous (Roman Empire) - Walters Art Museum
Nothing like bronze for that delicate post pugilistic scrape down.

The Strigil – skin care has always been super hawt. From eyebrow shaving to chemical bleaching, hawtsters spend gobs of time and money on keeping themselves healthy looking. Likewise, while the internals of the the Romans, and their empire, rotted away, ancient Romans were obsessed with keeping their outsides attractive. One way to do that was to collect the sweat of others who were actually hawt, like gladiators, to use as facial lotion and even as an aphrodisiac. So, some kind of collecting device was needed, enter the Strigil. From personal, post sauna, experience I can vouch that it works! Use either broad gentle arcs or mildly aggressive detail strigiling in tight corners, to remove and collect small puddles of aromatic and viscous fluid. Ah, stop to smell the resulting nectar like a fine Valpolicella blend. Also, one now has yet another use for the tincture jars purchased at the hawtster neighborhood apothecary wholesalers.

Garum – Previously we’ve covered the hawster trend of condiment blending. There, we mentioned the mediterranean fermented fish sauce called Garum. Well, it’s making a momentous resurgence, particularly in Denmark. As all hawtsters know, ANYTHING DANISH is scathingly hawt, and this applies to condiments too. This stinky, salty, and fetid topping is a multitool of food adornment. Nothing stakes a hawtster’s claim on being noticed like uncorking some experimental 8 year old mackerel garum from Nordic Food Labs on your “matpakke.” Sitting on an Ikea table, preferably a MALM.

The Rete – Be advised, this is advanced hawtserting and should only be attempted if you’re above 7th level. If you’ve paid any attention to movies of ancient Roman gladiators, you’ve seen those trendy “gladiator sandals” that are all the rage, the staff at HawtNext currently approves of the gladiator sandal craze on several levels but, we feel that unless you pair them with other accoutrement of the war sporting set, you are a flagrant hypocrite. We suggest the staple weapon of the iconic combatant of gladiator yore the Retiarius, or “net-man.” His main tool was a combat version of the weighted fisherman’s net. Either make one, in which case you’re practicing net making which totally is #deephawt, or you visit your local wharf, which is in itself a sunken treasure trove of #deephawt, and get one.


If completed successfully, the #multihawt will rocket you to a supreme hawt status only achieved by a few epic hawtsters of the distant past. First you must construct the finest and most delicate goldfish garum. Use the koi from the pool outside the Muji next to the food court at the local mall. Secretly, bury the earthenware jar of the festering results in the container of the palm tree next to the koi pond and wait, 6 months is a bare minimum. That fateful day, with your new handcrafted Rete and gladiator sandals, just as lunch in the food court is building to a frenzied tumult, You spring into action. Seemingly emergent from a vigourous session of goat yoga, stride confidently into the center of the court and begin to remove your sweats, literally. Work quickly and with a jsua de vie that proves you know what you’re doing and you love it! Gracefully trace your shoulder blades and inner thighs with your Strigil, tapping off the resulting moisture into a tincture jar and sealing it with beeswax. You’ll be the center of attention soon enough.

As the security guard moves in to attempt to calm the gasps of astonishment from the surrounding mall denizens, withdraw your net and show them your gladiatorial skills. Once restrained, look about the throng for the Pollice verso, or thumb signal. Thumbs up? You’re good to go! Thumbs down? Finish him off by digging up your garum from next to the koi pond and feeding him a heaping glop of rotten fish guts on a saltine.

Be glad, Neo-Roman, you’ve done as they did that’s hawt, NOW!

Mix it Up: Condiment Blending

So much about this ad-hoc desk snack with a basic hot sauce blend is so right!

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.

PB & J – The only REAL way!

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.”

Stepping Up: Far Parking

The view from a prime far-parked vehicle, now get sauntering!

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.

The Low Hanging Fruits: Hyper Local Eating

Are you ready to join the “farm to mouth” movement? These tomatoes are.

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!


Downward Goat: Co-dePETdency

downward goat
I mean just look at that goat! Your emotional dependence has turned him into a depressed backpotato. He’s dying inside.

Well, it’s finally happened. We’ve created such a homo-sapien centric stress-ball of a world that we are forced to rely on our domesticated animals for comfort, relaxation, and emotional support. You can’t walk through an airport without seeing a long line of fragile needy humans lined up for some petting time with therapy dogs. It’s the ultimate in psychic subjugation and cross-species emotional slavery. If you can’t handle the twisted mess that is your life, DON’T FOIST IT ON YOUR DOG, and definitely DON’T DO YOGA WITH YOUR GOAT! Thankfully, there are some sane actors in the midst of this madness. A major airline drew the line on some hipster performance artist’s comfort peacock. Unfortunately, the bizarre cruelty had already emotionally scared the beautiful bird because the crybaby milk-toast human had named him “Dexter.” We’ve even anthropomorphized actual llamas to the extend that they have developed “berserk llama syndrome.”  We can’t make this stuff up, folks.  Look, just because your goldfish “Francis” doesn’t literally commit seppuku every time you come home from work sobbing over a mediocre performance review, it doesn’t mean she isn’t crying. Remember, you’ve entrapped her in a watery prison as your unpaid therapy-fish, and you can’t see her tears.

The 2018 Grammy for Best Picture is literally about a loner human falling in love with a fish person.

HOWTOHAWT:  So, the next time your flatmate, Selene, flops down on the couch mournfully sobbing and begins to unload on “Fonzie” the house Chi-Poo about her traumatic shift at the Juicery, you must act quickly. Go get Theo’s tweed blazer (the one with elbow patches) and field notes. Purposely stride into the living room, grab the moist-eyed pup and sit him firmly on the ottoman. Sit in the armchair, and, opening the notepad, posit “soooo, Herr Fonzie,  let’s begin with some word association.”

You’ve already trained him in advance to bark annoyingly with vegan dog treats when he hears the words “mother” and “pain.” You’ve also trained him to whimper when you dip your fountain pen in some ink, and to lay down and cover his head with his totally cute paws when you pull off your tiny circle specs while stroking your goatee and saying “I see.” Selene will be so stunned and humiliated that she’ll flee to her room and curl up in her hammock in embarrassed silence where she belongs. You can confidently know that you’ve saved the dog, this time.

Sigmund Freud was onto something when he said “time spent with cats is never wasted.” Not because it’s good for the wimpy humans, he was looking out for the cats! Cats are clearly immune to human attempts to use them as an emo-soak. They just don’t care. Cats have been ignoring our problems and still getting fed since the pharaohs. So human-up and either get a grip, or get a cat.


Boxing Up: Delivered Kits

It’s couch time, you’re latest shipment from cuddlebuddies.com has arrived. If you’re keeping Leo for more than 24 hours don’t forget to petfoodfeed.com him.

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!

Rising HAWT: Trump, The Real Steampunk

Trump aint cosplaying around!

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.

Saving Real Clowns from Creepy Clowns

This is actually Lon Chaney.
This is actually Lon Chaney.

C’mon hipsters and hawtsters here’s what happens when you pay us no heed, we originally wrote about the need to save the clowns three years ago. Now in their hour of most dire need, we sound off again. Even NPR and  CNN are alerting us to the creepy clown invasion. It is IMPERATIVE the we reclaim the clown from the media fired hell that has begun to consume it. DO what it takes to tropebust this NOW to save us from our own perverse need to twist joy into fear!

Creepy clowns are OVER! Real clowns need our help. It is imperative that all hipsters, acknowledged masters of recycle and reuse, tie on some oversize shoes and ridiculously step forward to reclaim the clown from horror movies and nightmares to place them once again where they belong, smack dab in the middle of our funny times. For too long now hipsters have let the forces of evil and commercialism abscond with the very font of happiness and homespun hilarity that is a clown. This is ripe turf for all levels of hipsters, from younglings to advanced. There are several ways to begin this sacred quest, both viable.

How2Hawt: The first is a direct path to months of good conversation topics and stories to mystify your housemates, find and join a clown school. Imagine the gleeful surprise when you walk in to the commune with an arm load of vegan banana pies and begin hurling them at the gardening committee. Those are shrieks of joy you’re hearing for sure. When your baker’s dozen are covering the room you can shrug and say “Homework!” then give your signature clown laugh, (btw, get a signature clown laugh) and do a silly two step out the door of the moon porch. Clown school is perfect for hipsters who are looking for reasons why things are funny. Remember, the more facts you know about something and the more you talk about doing that thing, the closer you get to actually doing it without really having to. This is hipster gold. A great film to reference is Fellini’s “The Clowns (I Clowns). It’s suuuper meta and will give you countless obscure tidbits to throw out, even during nose painting practicum at clown school, you’ll love this.

The error [of these clowns] has so taken hold that they are not forbidden from the residences of great men, those indeed who expose their bodies’ shameful members in front of everyone, so that even a cynic blushes to see it. Still more astonishing, the clowns are not ejected even when the racket of their bottoms befouls the air with repeated noise, more shamefully emitting what is shamefully held in. (John of Salisbury – Policraticus 1159)
The error [of these clowns] has so taken hold that they are not forbidden from the residences of great men, those indeed who expose their bodies’ shameful members in front of everyone, so that even a cynic blushes to see it. Still more astonishing, the clowns are not ejected even when the racket of their bottoms befouls the air with repeated noise, more shamefully emitting what is shamefully held in.
(John of Salisbury – Policraticus 1159)
The other path to hipster hijinks and the resurrection of the clown is to go solo, or as we call it rogue rouge. Start by having a sneezing fit at the yoga studio. After you pull 5 meters of multicolored rags from your nose, tie them up and call it a Buddhist prayer flag, you’ll stun them long enough to apply a foamy red nose, white face paint and 1 mascara tear. Nothing helps lighten up a serious session of intense Hatha yoga like fart noises during sun salutations. Don’t worry, their silence is just awe and inner joy. BE ADVISED, Actually farting for entertainment purposes is ancient white hat clown wizardry that you are NOT APPROVED to attempt. You can keep the giggles going by grabbing all their antique neti pots and juggle them. So what if they’ve been just used. This is serious fun and you are just being विदूषक जैसा.

So remember, this is a TOP PRIORITY HAWTSTER MISSION! We must save the clown at all costs, our future relies on your actions today. So pack all your hawtster friends in a smart car, pull up in front of the freegan tea bistro and keep on coming out. Do it for Bozo!

On Point: Unicycle Archery

HWTNXT has been watching (and doing) archery for quite a while. With the popularity of Hunger Games, archery is now “Science Fashion” hawt . Now is the perfect time to trend blend it with the another hawt pursuit, and of course we choose the unicycle.

As evidenced by the video, we’re not alone. Mounted archery was a defining characteristic of the Eurasian nomads in antiquity and the “dandy horse” a fixture of poncy European aristocrats, this makes for a perfect one two punch for the modern Hawtster.

According to data provided by USA Archery, the sport’s governing body in the U.S., total membership in the association has jumped 262% from 2011 to 2014

How2Hawt: To honor the past, and take this into the future, we suggest the following.

First, spend a lot of money with Eryk Jadaszewski of polishhussarsupplyplus.com. When the HWTNXT office powerball pool hits, we’re buying this guy out and wearing this shit ALL THE FRIGGAN TIME. Must haves for unicycle archery are the Hussar Wing Sets and Bow and Arrow Cases.  We cannot stress enough how important Eryk’s work is to the future of re-enacting medieval Lithuania. This man must be supported in anything he does.

Dont ask, just do it!
Dont ask, just do it!

This focus on Polish Hussar mounted archery is not meant to diminish the rich tradition of Yabusame. But the religious component of modern Japanese mounted archery must be respected. We find winged Hussars to be somehow more “street.” The one homage we can pay however is the use of the Shinto phrase “In-Yo-In-Yo”, which translates to “darkness and light”, when an arrow is let fly.

So, as you roll up on the fire dance collective’s Equinox party practice, and proceed to empty your Hussar quiver into the side of their wooden supply cart full of accelerant and beads, gently balancing on one wheel while deeply intoning Japanese, you’ll gain fear, respect and admiration. Because you’ve just freaked out the freaky, and that’s HAWT.

Dark Side for the WIN?

Ren from Ren and Stimpy
Ren Höek

Kylo Ren

This one is from the could-a-told-ya-so-why-do-a-study-about-it department. Leave it to some Germans (actually Swiss psychological researchers studying Germans in some kind of unholy self fulfilling Teutonic kopf-spiel) to determine that in fact, narcissistic psychopathic Machiavellians are more “successful” at work. Go figure.

narcissism was positively related to salary, Machiavellianism was positively related to leadership position and career satisfaction, and psychopathy was negatively related to all analyzed outcomes.

The “Dark Triad” isn’t just a Hong Kong gang from a Jackie Chan movie, it’s in each of us. These insidious malevolences have been found to equate to the western sense of “success”, especially in Germany. Could this explain the VW emissions debacle?

Sie werden nehmen wertvollen Leitersprosse Platz für meinen Fuß !

So this all begs the question, how best to survive/thrive in the face of this darkness? We really can’t call this a “trend” in that jerks have always risen to the top of the corporate cesspool, but it’s still worth a teenser bit of exploration. To heighten the irony, let’s extract this from the glass and formica of the corporate world and inject some Sith into a bucolic bastion of nicey nicey, the next board meeting of your scavenged bicycle co-operative. Imagine the twisted countenances around the table at the bike cave when you show up, late of course, dressed in black and distorting your voice through a toilet paper tube covered in black duct tape. As a side note, HawtNext cannot stress enough the importance of having a large supply of cardboard tubes! Every dark sider has a distorted voice. Next, stand ominously at the head of the table and glare at the velocipedian neo-hippies. “I tire (sick humor is a sure sign of psychoapthy) of your inaction and timidity” you deeply intone with clenched fist in front of you. “The time for action is NOW!” What the action is, is unimportant, the importance is that you’ve made them feel feckless and ineffectual. “You!” pointing at the unicycle representative. “I admire your purity, align with me and we will control the streets!” Yes, your transition is complete, you are sowing discord and disarray playing factions against each other. Because the unicyclist is also a mime, he wont say anything when you pretend to air-squeeze his throat for hesitating to do your bidding, he may even pretend to wince because mimes like to play along. Now turn on the heel of your black keen sandals and leap on your bike (try not to get your cloak caught in the single fixed gear) and ride off cackling “I’ll get you and your little dog too!” None of this will of course work because the Freewheeler Co-op is an Anarcho-syndicalist collective and being a jerk at work relies on a hierarchical power structure.

By the way, if you are dealing with someone who is part of the Dark Triad (especially if it’s yourself), try some honesty and humility, a sure fire remedy for a case of the meanies.