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.

Kill the Messenger: Revisionism v. Previsionism

Obligatory Photoshopping
Obligatory Photoshopping

At first, we thought this funny post would be about casting your favorite actor in your favorite movie … even if they were never in it originally. So, not that I’m a fan of The Sound of Music or Marylyn Manson, but the potential of having him replace Julie Andrews cavorting around the Alps wearing a drapery might somehow make SOM one of my new favorite films of all time, almost beating out Plan 9 from Outer Space.  Well, now it can be done! Then, as I watched the video, I became super disturbed. Especially when they had George Bush’s words coming from Hillary Clinton’s mouth which, frankly, looks and sounds less absurd than we had thought it might. The revisionist implications flooded me like a wall of ripe sewage. Umm … recasting movies … no problem .. fun! I can see this becoming a HAWT new PS4 thing to do at parties. The contest becomes to pick a movie and then pic non-sequitur actors .. all fun .. ironic .. Wizard of Oz: The Next Generation with Data as Tin Man …

A truly hipster evening! But then I began to think how this could be used to change the past, or even the present. BTW, as a result of this post I came up with what I thought was a new word. 

“Previsionism.” The process of changing facts before they exist was actually coined by Edwardo Crum, on the 25th of October, 2012 whilst he was minding his own business sipping some coffee.

Anyway, all I know that using this technology to mess with heads and wallets and facts has McLuhanian (<—hell, two new words (kind of) in one post!?! This must be HAWT) implications, and that makes it HAWT NEXT.


Right AGAIN!

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

Virtual Surreality

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

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

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

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

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

So here’s what you have to do.

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

Dialing up: No-phoning

Which one of you wants to carry a message to Flora at the artisan coffee shop?
Which one of you wants to carry a message to Flora at the artisan coffee shop?

“I don’t own a phone” you’ll remark coldly when that one barista named Flora finally asks you for your number. At first she’ll cock her head in slight confusion. She’ll quickly try to hide any lack of understanding and say “I get it.” You’ll nod in the affirmative as you gaze longingly out of the artisan coffee shop window and deliver the line that makes it all worth it: “I just feel like we all need to unplug.”

No-phoning is a very new trend that will never reach a high level of popularity, which is perfect. Additionally, not having a phone will enable you to explore other unique and envy-worthy communication techniques. You can try your hand at breeding and training homing pigeons. This is a classic example on how to multi-trend because telling people that you’re a pigeon fancier is Chernobyl-hot right now. Imagine the wonderment in Flora’s baby blue eyes when she receives her first pigeon-gram… you asking her out to see a private screening of an obscure silent film in your friend Theo’s basement that he has converted into a 1910-era moving picture theater.

String up some telegraph wires between local hotspots like the artisan coffee shop and that old book store that people stand around in front of. You can send coded messages that will require your friends Ike and Matilda to use a WWII Enigma machine to decode. After spending a solid 7 minutes of turning rotors and typing on something called a plugboard (awesome) they will receive your message: “Heading to the old book store that people stand around in front of, see you in about 7 minutes.” Just as they finish reading the message you will ride up on your Honda Hobbit and bask in hipster stardom.

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.

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 ..so 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.

Bubbling Up: Lawrence Welk


As enamored as hipsters are with the neo-folk-pop-bluegrass wave, it’s soooo popular that, by definition, it’s got to be OVER! So, whats a self respecting hipster to do next if they shouldn’t be knee slapping anymore to TBT or are letdown when a “popular” band does something unexpected? The next hipster shiny musical object must continue that quintessential harkening back to a simpler, more earnest zeitgeist. In these VUCA filled times, nothing says banal and epic obscurity like the Lawrence Welk Show. It’s got everything. From not so subtly ironic numbers like “One Toke Over The Line” and the odd ass “Hippie” thing to more deep-hipster must haves like electronica and serious country music.

Imagine the effect when you burst into the next Co-Op board meeting wearing a polyester suit the color of fresh ketchup humming “Music to Watch Girls By.” The raised eyebrows (provided they haven’t been shaved off) will soon turn to nods of shamed agreement when you wax on about the work of color television pioneer Rose Weiss.

Of course this next musical exploration will also give you a chance to let everyone know how important it is to support public television by organizing weekly Welk viewing parties at your favorite sports bar. Everyone should dress like their favorite Lawrence Welk Family member and show up Saturday evening at “Schmitty’s” or “Schultz’s” right at 5pm (preferably when the big game is suuuper close) and use one of these spiffy DIY hipster-tech devices to swap the channel on all the huge TVs to LW on the local public television station. Stand up and yell “WELK SESH” and start dancing like Sissy and Bobbie doing a disco number. You’ll make a bunch of new friends.

Dialing up: Retro web browsing

Retina display is for the normals!
Retina display is for the normals!

Everything old is new again. Except for technology, which is why hipsters so adore old tech. It will never be new again and that will keep it out of the grubby little hands of the normals, with their Samsung Galaxy S4s. From Polaroid cameras to giant 1980’s boom boxes, we love to show people just how much we admire the craftsmanship of aging silicone-based mechanisms. But why have we stopped there? There’s a whole world of possibilities. Today’s focus: retro web browsing.

There’s multiple levels that you can take this, but to get the edge on other readers I’d recommend taking it to the only level elite hipsters know. The NEXT level. The ultimate primer here is, of course, the only true computer authority of consequence in the 90’s: Stewart Cheifet, host of Public TV’s The Computer Chronicles. Any and all references to this show are your instant pass to uber-hipster-geek-hero status. Thankfully, The Internet Archive has lovingly preserved many episodes. It’s imperative that you watch all of them. Added bonus if you can organize a viewing party at a local sports bar. After you’ve bathed yourself in wave after wave of mid 90’s tech terminology, you’ll be ready for the next step. The hardware. You’ll still need to be portable (so people can see you using it and ask you about it), and it still needs to be able to run Windows ME (to be ironic). But it needs to be oldish, something from either Compaq or Tandy would be ideal. Never rock an IBM as that practically screams that you’re a corporate sellout yuppy dink. If you can get your grandpa’s Osborne to surf the web, you will shame even the most ancient and venerable paleo-hipster techguru. You’ll probably also need an acoustic coupling modem.

Now that you have a new old notebook (never call it a “laptop”) and an operating system that boasts 37% uptime between bluescreens, you’re ready to proceed onto selecting a web browser. Now your first inclination is going to be to jump right into Netscape Navigator 1.0. Wrong. Kevin (to remind new readers, he’s like an OVER detector), is already running that with pride on public transportation, playing a web-based emulation of Oregon Trail. So lame. But I digress, Kevin just gets under my skin. You need to jump right to Netscape Communicator. It’s old enough to be interesting and different (which you love) and new enough to actually work. If you have the initiative to dive further into obscurity, which I’m sure you do, because you’re here, maybe try your hand at earlier browsers like mosaic, lynx, and the ultra-niche web alternative gopher.

Next step, get to the nearest cybercafe. The problem here is that wireless high speed internet is ubiquitous, so there are no longer places that refer to themselves as cybercafes. So basically, just go to any cafe. Stride determined to the barista and ask loudly, “is this a cybercafe?!” She’s likely a millennial who has never realized that there was a time in humanity’s past that there wasn’t fast, free, wireless internet everywhere, so she will look at you like you’re from outer space. Awesome. Carefully explain that you need to get hooked up to the “world wide web” (use quote fingers for added flourish) with a baud rate of at least “14.4k” (use those exact words) and inquire where the jack is for you to connect your modem. Once you’ve booted up go to the Internet Archive’s wayback machine and furiously start clicking your roller ball mouse. As soon as you are sure everyone is looking at you, pull out the retro phone handset from the modem and bathe them all with loud hideous squealing. Wipe the phone quickly with a moist towelette and jam it back into the modem. Next, pull a vintage dot-matrix printer from your rucksack and loudly print off an ascii art portrait of Spock. Ripping off the holes strips on the side of the freshly printed masterpiece, tack it (never staple) it to the faux painted wall next to you. After that, open up Eudora and punch out a couple of hurried electronic mails (don’t call them emails) to a few of your retro brethren. You are at the summit of hipster nerd power.

By now a crowd has gathered and the questions will start streaming (ha) in, which you’ll love. “Why don’t you just get a tablet?” Throw up your hands in disgust. “Right! Like I’m going to line the pockets of of the mega-rich corporate thieves turning out technology from child slavery camps** in Taiwan when there’s perfectly good stuff out there on ebay!” They will be shocked by your hostility. Perfect. “My phone has 2,600 times the transistor count of your ‘notebook’,” a smug half-hipster wearing orange non-prescription glasses will snap back. Don’t give him an inch. “This is a 486 DX! It has a math co-processor! It’s pre-pentium!” He will tilt his head quizzingly and realize there’s no point in arguing with you. And he’s right. Because you’re right. Even if you don’t know why.

** NHT does not endorse child labor of any kind

Hot: Scything your lawn

hipsterscytheAccording to treehugger.com, gas-powered lawn mowers put out as much smog as 40 cars. I don’t know if that’s true or not but I will tell you that it doesn’t matter if it’s true or not and that it’s a great thing for you to say to people when they ask you what the hell you’re doing in your yard. What are you doing? You’re scything of course! For a long time hipsters have been using old fashioned reel mowers because they feel all old-timey and remind people of the days of Dennis the Menace. But everyone has heard of reel mowers being used again, and there’s even advanced hipsters who bike mow. Reel mowers are OVER!

So if you insist on having a yard rather than an organic edible permaculture landscape, there’s only one way to cut the grass… a scythe! Be sure to select a handmade scythe, preferably by a local artisan. Remember that when working with a scythe there is about a 40% chance of accidental decapitation. That’s the cost of being hip… totally worth it! Try to pick times of the day where people are most likely to see you working, and will ask you what you’re doing. Then you can talk for 20 to 30 minutes about “how fragile our planet really is,” and how you’re “leading by example.” Also, be sure to pick up a few books on hand tools and try to get people to ask you what you’re reading. I suggest Hand Tools: Their Ways and Workings


UDPATE 12-08-16 : This IS a thing