Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Sunday, 19 February 2012

How to Fit In At a Hipster Party

I promise they are less intimidating than they look

              It is Saturday night, 10:30 pm and a girl you met in the campus rec room has invited you to her party. A feeling of anxious excitement flutters around inside of you, but it is brought on by the prospect of success rather than failure. Checking yourself out in the mirror, you feel like Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Match Point: you are sporting your favourite purple polo and brown loafers; your hair is gelled into that ideal faux-hawk position; and your jeans are tight enough to show off a bit of your fine form, but not too tight (you don’t want to give it all away on this first night).  With a six pack of Heineken and a confident swagger, you head out into the night certain of the prospect of success.

             Upon arrival, she greets with a smile, a hug, and a kiss on the check. But as she leads you inside and you scan the interior, you can’t help but notice some odd behavior: everyone is wearing skinny jeans, plaid and oddly large glasses, smoking belmonts and drinking Colt 45, and dancing in a strange fashion to music which is not house. Then it hits you like an occupy protest: you are at a hipster party! Don’t panic, situation is still salvageable. If you like this girl enough to not immediately take flight for the exit, here are some steps to help remedy the situation. 

The Entrance:
             It is important to remember that hipsters have a different value set than you are used to. The chest pumped-up, biggest dick in the room masculinity will only earn you ridicule here.  To blend in with this crowd, you need to relax your posture, take smaller, less imposing strides, and look down at the ground frequently, because nothing says you are cool like not making eye-contact. 

Introductions:
            You are going to have to meet a lot of people who have probably judged you as a bro the moment you entered the room. But that is OK: you can turn it on their heads by assuming a semi-ironic posture while still embracing the traits you know and love. Refer them to as bro while conversing. Stick you fist out and tell them to “pound it.” Enjoy their confused expression as you call them a duster.

Drinking:
             Hipsters get drunk like everyone else. Might I suggest some ironic shotgunning to break the ice. However, as these people are not yet your friends, do not talk about how much you have had to drink. No one cares. 

Smoking:
            If you have made a few friends after a group shotgun and one of them offers you a cigarette, you need to partake. Inhaling toxins into your body is emblematic of that “I don’t give a shit” attitude these people are well known for. So smoke up buddy-boy.  

Music:
            This is a tricky subject and you need some confidence in your musical tastes to succeed. Don’t think that saying, “hey, have you heard that new arcade fire song?” is going to impress anyone. You need to dig into the more obscure.  I suggest the most unknown classic rock song you can think of.

Dancing:
            Usually some dancing breaks out at these parties. To blend in, you need to keep it low-key. Jumping up and down and fist pumping suggests the kind of enthusiasm these people despise. Might I suggest a dance which I call the hipster shuffle: alternate sliding your feet to the side and back, each movement taking two beats; as for the upper body, move it around in some irregular fashion while ensuring that you return to a normal position every 8 beats. And remember, eyes on the floor.

           That's all the help I can offer. Stay faithful to this guide and by the end of the night everyone will be saying: “I thought that guy was a total bro when he walked in, but he is totally a hipster.” And as a final note, please remember not to ask: "So why did you decide to become hipster?" You will destroy all of the evening’s progress.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

The Benefits of All-Boys School

Learning to fist-pump at a young age

My fellow alumni: are you tired of people saying all-boys school must have sucked? Want to be able to stand up for yourself and say more than: “No, you suck.” Well next time, you can back up your angry response with this list of reasons why it was actually great. Afterwards, I’m sure they will be left wishing they had spent 10 years there as well. 

1.      Deodorant is optional

2.      Nobody screams if while changing in the hallways your penis slips out of your boxer shorts

3.      At middle school dances, physical contact while slow dancing is the best  (yes, girls are allowed)

4.      The lunch ladies look a lot hotter than they probably should

5.      You get to dress up as a woman for school plays

6.      There are few repercussions if you openly fart in class

7.      In class, it looks like you are paying attention while ogling your female English teacher (there are usually a few lookers in the bunch)

8.      Nobody worries about the ratio because every night is bros night 

9.      The best part of the day is when the moms arrive

10.  You can use it as an excuse if you make a sexist comment in university

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Monday, 13 February 2012

10 Signs You Are Already a Bro

A bundle of bros in their natural habitat

Due to the great success of my previous post on hipsterdom on reddit, I have decided to dive back into the world of cultural stereotypes. This time the target of my disdain is brodom: a peculiar form of white male young adulthood seemingly omnipresent across our cultural landscape.  Yet brodom, because of its existence as a large and hegemonic cultural phenomenon, possesses more minute differences on the level of taste and style across regions. However, the most common strand is an uncritical acceptance of the norms of white masculinity (although superficial embracing of black masculinity and ghetto culture in general are also observable).

            The most striking contrast between hipsters and bros is that hipsterdom requires a certain level of self-reflection to ironically play off of cultural symbols and meanings, and thus is produced by a highly conscious choice; few bros, on the other hand, have ever made a conscious decision to become bros:  it is simply a cultural norm of which they have always been a part and have never seen any particular reason to deviate from. I am not sure if bros are really aware of their own cultural world: many likely see themselves as just “chill dudes who like to party.” Even when bros travel abroad, they usually do so with other bros in large bro bubbles to ensure that nothing disturbs their neatly packaged cultural universe.  So if you have suspicions of being a bro, refer to the list below to find if you are a cultural stereotype.

1.      You consider yourself a beer connoisseur because you sometimes drink Stella 

2.      When a car passes blasting electronic music, you unconsciously begin fist-pumping

3.      You spend time with your gym buddy critiquing the other’s muscles while coming up with a plan to “get big” for beach season

4.      Your Dave Matthews Live in Central Park album has not left your car’s CD player in five years 

5.      You wear a backwards cap and Ray bans in the pool

6.      You find hockey lingo such as “duster” and “chirp” regularly seeping into your vocabulary 

7.      By the end of a party, you usually find yourself without a shirt on

8.      You like the blackberry commercial about the “music innovator”
 
9.      You have worn a Speedo as a Halloween costume
10.  Even when sober, you still like house music


Ryan MacKellar now works as an SEO Consultant here. This is purely for a cheap backlink. 


Saturday, 11 February 2012

The Queen's Barbell Thief: A Few Pounds Short of a Plate?

Hipster breaking into the Queen's ARC


At Queen’s, I have encountered strange and often idiotic behavior: engineers dousing themselves in toxic purple paint, students kicking brand new Queen’s jackets home on the sidewalk, and band members playing the rear-ends of female members like the bongos. Yet never could I have imagined such blatant idiocy from a school that undergrads describe as “Canada’s Best.” At 5:00am on February 3rd, the person pictured above broke into the Queen’s ARC and stole a barbell for his personal collection.

 For the past hour, I have been trying to unravel the thought process leading to this decision. Here is what I have thus far: at 4:30 am, likely under the influence of marijuana, the suspect was flexing his muscles naked in front of the mirror. Lamenting his lackluster biceps and scrawny behind, he decided it was time to bulk up for beach season. Yet reflecting upon how trips to the ARC and back this would entail, he realized bringing a few weights home would require only one trip and afterwards he could work out as he pleased in the comfort and convenience of his own room.  

"This is going great!"
        Although impressive that he successfully broke into the ARC, the rest of this heist suffered from poor execution.  I’m not sure if whether, in his inebriated state, he forgot the existence of security cameras, the internet, and social media or if he thought it cool to dress up for the cameras, but the only place he could avoid detection with an outfit like that is in Brooklyn. A purple and pink winter jacket would not permit one to blend in with the rest of the Queen’s population; a better selection would have been a Queen’s jacket. Also, as I suspect the sunglasses were a fashion statement rather than an attempt at concealment, he should have worn a hood, a hat, a scarf, anything over displaying his satisfied smirk for law enforcement officials.

            Fortunately, this menace to society, because of his idiocy rather than criminality, was apprehended soon after. He was arrested by the Kingston police at his house, laying low upon discovering his face plastered all over the Internet.  So, while cleaning garbage at the side of the highway, I hope he remembers next time to do a better job at hiding his face: had he done so earlier, he probably would have gotten away with it.
"I have totally gotten away with this"