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.

Climbing Up: Shelf Elfing

Shelf elfing
Hold the pose or fail!

Admit it, there’s nothing cuter than those cheeky little felt elves that your Grandmother half-hides throughout her condo. Like most bizarre anthropomorphic reinterpretations of humanoids, reports indicate that the shelf elf got it’s start in Japan. Very little is actually known about the origin of these creepy-cute Christmas sprites. For the holiday hip, this is perfect. Also referred to as “Japan Knee Hugging Elves,” they are owning Etsy and Pintrest right now, a sure harbinger of hip. In fact, check the chart below. Shelf elf interest has doubled each Christmas. So what to do, throw a couple of them around your studio apartment? No way! The only way to fully exploit this trend is to become a shelf elf yourself!

Shelf elfing is an offshoot of planking and owling so this is familiar turf. You’ll love this because with second Hobbit movie coming out, elves are Sammath Naur hot right now. The first thing you need to do is get a pointy red and white Christmas hat (no brim). Then ask the util-a-kilt wearing geek from IT to loan you his fake Spock ears. If he hesitates for more than 37 seconds, tell him that as far as you’re concerned, “Vulcans are the elves of space” and flash him the “live long and prosper” gang sign. This genre-blending and hand waving will stun him. (BTW, if this is successful, you’ve leveled up to hipster-mage status). Now put on the hat and ears and find a perch. The higher and just a bit out of view the better. Now, it’s all about the tuck! Pull those knees up to your chin as best you can, here’s where your yogalaties will come in good use. Crunch that core and wait! Soon your co-workers will begin to filter past on their way to the midday social media scrum. If you’ve found a good spot some of them won’t even see you sitting there with an insane cheeky grin going. Don’t worry, that means the ones who do will be totally surprised. If someone spits up their soy chai tea, you’ve succeeded.

Remember to adhere to proper shelf elf lore! Move to a new place every day, be totally silent, blankly staring at a spot on the floor and keep that bizzaro-chipper smile going. If done correctly this is going to hurt, but it’s totally worth it because you’re a mutha-effing SHELF ELF now, and you talk directly to Santa. If any of your co-workers try to talk to you or worse yet touch you, HOLD OUT! Later, after elfing, find them in the break room and chew their normal ass out. Start swearing at them in Quenya, the language of Elrond and Legolas from Lord of the Rings. Angrily assert “Iston i nîf gîn!” (I know your face) and “Boe? BOE?!” (for what purpose?) After the ear thing you’re already in huge standing with IT kilt guy (who is munching on steamed soy beans with a nice ginger sauce in the corner table), but upon witnessing this Elvish bereavement his adoration of you will go through the roof! Finish your holiday tirade with “Úcarnet nin!” (you betrayed me), pull on your hat, climb up and sit on top of the vending machine and resume your eerie shelf elfing. You’re a shelf elf now, even if you don’t know why.