White Hot: Post-ironic Irony

wwfcapTen or fifteen years ago, in near-paleolithic hipster times, you’d see trustfunders in blue-collar foam domes and polyester work shirts with names like “Gus” or “Clement” embroidered on them. A PBR in hand, the most working-class of all working-class beers. And all of it was ironic, because these dudes had never worked a day in their lives, if you don’t count practicing with their experimental dronewave band as work. The girls were no different, piling on ugly sweaters and homemade smocks, ironically peering through granny glasses at their knitting, shakily riding coaster bikes with huge baskets on the front, crafting, baking, and basically doing everything their home economics teachers taught them to do in seventh grade, except, like, not for real.

Then something happened. Time passed. That money from the parents, which was never as much as one might have anticipated, ran low and fizzled out. Life happened. Those guys had to get jobs — pushing brooms, turning wrenches, carrying things, delivering things. Suddenly that ironic work shirt became pretty practical. On one’s own dime, saving money on cheap beer seemed like a good idea. Couples married. Children were born. Those girls who “like to knit” lost the quotation marks and became women who actually liked to knit. The granny glasses became actual bifocals. Crafting circles became a real social outlet. It still seemed a little punk rock to wipe that cake batter off of your sleeve tattoo, but the thrill of punk rock was nothing compared to the joy of baking a nice cake for your loved ones.

Irony, in these ancient circles at least, disappeared, replaced by a new, more humble, earnestness.

But that was then and this is now. That was them and this is you. You aren’t middle-aged. You sure as hell aren’t earnest. Swipe your ATM card: There’s plenty of money in your account. It’s time for a new hipster. A meta-hipster. It’s time for post-ironic irony.

Now listen up, because this is complicated and you should definitely not attempt this if you have any doubts about your ironic “abilities.” Where they zigged, you zig harder. Where they zagged, you zag like your life depended on it. Where they said, “Hey! Look at me! I’m a traditional American!” You say, “Hey! Look at me! I’m a pre-post-ironic previous-generation hipster!” And then you wink like your eyeball is about to fall out.

This is what makes it white hot: You’re going to have to step way outside your comfort zone. Seriously, you’re going to have to drink PBR. You’re going to have to dress like a buffoon, and not the good kind of buffoon but the lame kind of buffoon. You’re going to have to listen to Death Cab. It’s going to get ugly and dangerous.

But if you pull this off, you’re a hipster stuntman. You can do this. We know you can. And if you can’t, well, it was nice knowing you.

Scorching MetaTrend: Anything Old Timey

bridge club
farting dust is all the rage

We here at NHT sometimes like to step back and try and spot the trends in our trends, it gets us all scotch-bonnet hot when we are able to see a major trend influencer from the 30,000 foot level because we’re so often in the trend trench, mustache wax under our finger nails, that we miss the big picture. For quite some time we’ve been talking about this serious meta-trend from many different angles. Music, Books, Food and even sun glasses that might fit over other glasses, we’ve seen how things that your grandpa and grandma did or liked are a central component in many hipster trends. Hipters want to be just like really old people, even though they’ll never hire them for jobs they might be well qualified for, but they want to look and act just like them. Is it a harkening back to simpler times or is it a total lack of original thoughts and ideas? As we all know, it’s probably both. Yes hipsters love nothing more than buttoning on the suspenders, starching the collar and heading out to folk dance in the community center, it makes them feel like they’re in the TV shows they grew up with. And that’s OK, because remember, the gods gave us television to show us how we should want to live and if hipsters want it to be the Hallmark channel, that’s just “Honkey Dorey.” Awareness of this really hit me last weekend when I was invited to become part of a weekly bridge club. Now remember, being invited to any kind of single themed “club” that meets at someone’s home or apartment is the highest honor a hipster can bestow on anyone. It started with books and knitting but now, hipsters being the eternal seekers, it’s moved into artisinal pastimes like pickling and candle making. While there are many examples of how to adopt old timey ways, we’re going to focus on the ancient realm of geriatric table games.

To be clear, this does NOT include board games, especially ones involving miniatures or small cardboard “chits.” Games like Settlers of Catan, Stratego, Power Grid or any of the Avalon Hill series of bookshelf games are so proto hip that they too far out on the hipster horizon for any but the most advanced bleeding edge hipsters, leave these to the Nerdsters for a bit longer, but keep your eyes on this soon to be emerging trend.

If you want to really ride the Oldey train, which is steam powered of course, it’s time to hit the deck, the card deck that is. Nothing has the dusty reek of times gone-by like any of the Whist based games like Wendellhead, Tarneeb and Contract Bridge. If you haven’t been so lucky, like me, to have been invited to an already existing card coven of bridge playing hipsters, you’ll have to get one going yourself. This is good, because this will give you a chance to prepare in advance and do some self promotion, you will love this. Advertise with a poster, hand screened of course, designed by your graphic designer friend. Have the little tear off parts of the poster take interested hipsters to a blog you’ve already made to post images and scores and crap. Next require that all players in your uber-exclusive bridge club, called the “Tricksters” read Hoyle’s “A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist.” It was published in 1743, if that isn’t Olde Timney-ey enough to be impressive, your friends are not hipsters, they’re D&D players. Get as far away from those loser nerds as possible. Now, you wont be playing Whist, so just claim that they have to “understand our roots.” The most important item of a good bridge game night is the table. It’s got to smell like your grandma. The next time you’re at an estate sale, which is like every Sunday morning, find the moldiest smelling folding table and chairs you can. It’s got to smell like cologne from the 50’s. Wrap it in plastic so the moment you pull it out at Bridge club night it sends a waft of stale baby powder and Milk of Magnesia at your assembled gamers. And so, your adventure into the hipster dementia domain begins. Don’t forget to make everyone drink piping hot really weak coffee. Enjoy, you’ll be here for years … and years.

Scorching MetaTrend: Anything Old Timey

bridge club
farting dust is all the rage

We here at NHT sometimes like to step back and try and spot the trends in our trends, it gets us all scotch-bonnet hot when we are able to see a major trend influencer from the 30,000 foot level because we’re so often in the trend trench, mustache wax under our finger nails, that we miss the big picture. For quite some time we’ve been talking about this serious meta-trend from many different angles. Music, Books, Food and even sun glasses that might fit over other glasses, we’ve seen how things that your grandpa and grandma did or liked are a central component in many hipster trends. Is it a harkening back to simpler times or is it a total lack of original thoughts and ideas? As we all know, it’s probably both. Yes hipsters love nothing more than buttoning on the suspenders, starching the collar and heading out to folk dance in the community center, it makes them feel like they’re in the TV shows they grew up with. And that’s OK, because remember, the gods gave us television to show us how we should want to live and if hipsters want it to be the Hallmark channel, that’s just “Honkey Dorey.” Awareness of this really hit me last weekend when I was invited to become part of a weekly bridge club. Now remember, being invited to any kind of single themed “club” that meets at someone’s home or apartment is the highest honor a hipster can bestow on anyone. It started with books and knitting but now, hipsters being the eternal seekers, it’s moved into artisinal pastimes like pickling and candle making. While there are many examples of how to adopt old timey ways, we’re going to focus on the ancient realm of geriatric table games.

To be clear, this does NOT include board games, especially ones involving miniatures or small cardboard “chits.” Games like Settlers of Catan, Stratego, Power Grid or any of the Avalon Hill series of bookshelf games are so proto hip that they too far out on the hipster horizon for any but the most advanced bleeding edge hipsters, leave these to the Nerdsters for a bit longer, but keep your eyes on this soon to be emerging trend.

If you want to really ride the Oldey train, which is steam powered of course, it’s time to hit the deck, the card deck that is. Nothing has the dusty reek of times gone-by like any of the Whist based games like Wendellhead, Tarneeb and Contract Bridge. If you haven’t been so lucky, like me, to have been invited to an already existing card coven of bridge playing hipsters, you’ll have to get one going yourself. This is good, because this will give you a chance to prepare in advance and do some self promotion, you will love this. Advertise with a poster, hand screened of course, designed by your graphic designer friend. Have the little tear off parts of the poster take interested hipsters to a blog you’ve already made to post images and scores and crap. Next require that all players in your uber-exclusive bridge club, called the “Tricksters” read Hoyle’s “A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist.” It was published in 1743, if that isn’t Olde Timney-ey enough to be impressive, your friends are not hipsters, they’re D&D players. Get as far away from those loser nerds as possible. Now, you wont be playing Whist, so just claim that they have to “understand our roots.” The most important item of a good bridge game night is the table. It’s got to smell like your grandma. The next time you’re at an estate sale, which is like every Sunday morning, find the moldiest smelling folding table and chairs you can. It’s got to smell like cologne from the 50’s. Wrap it in plastic so the moment you pull it out at Bridge club night it sends a waft of stale baby powder and Milk of Magnesia at your assembled gamers. And so, your adventure into the hipster dementia domain begins. Enjoy, you’ll be here for years … and years.