Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Apocalypse Now: All You Haters Dis My Topia

So this is it. The Apocalypse™ is finally upon us, and life as we know it is now coming to an end. Of course, we can't say we didn't see it coming. Indeed, in retrospect it was completely obvious:

July 24th, 2011: Cadel Evans wins the Tour de France. (I'm still trying to wrap my mind around that one.)

These, then, were the signs--clearer than the ironic mustache on your face--that human existence was about to be transfigured. Now, there's no turning back, for it has begun. America's credit rating has been downgraded from Dura Ace to Ultegra. The stock market is plummeting so quickly that Andy Schleck should hire it as his descending coach. And in London and beyond, people have been rioting for days.

Now, there's nothing particularly funny about this sort of violence. To be perfectly honest, it saddens me deeply, and given the Apocalyptic™ state of affairs recently it's hard not to feel despondent. Nevertheless, I should share that readers have been alerting me to the apparent phenomenon of "hipster bystanders:"

Secondly, one of the most peculiar thing was the amount of hipster bystanders. Either shocked by the force of the police, or targeted by rioters. We witnessed one hipster’s fixed speed bike being stolen, as he protested “hey man you can’t steal my bike, that’s not on, that’s unfair” his mugger simply looked him dead in the eyes asserted the well known phrase “OR WHAT?” and rode off.

Hipster or no hipster, it seems to me that a looting victim is a looting victim. And then when you read stuff like this, it all seems like some Anthony Burgess near-future dystopia:

Youths used text messages, instant messaging on BlackBerry phones and social media platforms such as Twitter to coordinate attacks and stay ahead of the police.

This is frightening. Really, no matter where we live or how secure we may feel, we're all just a few "tweets" away from a socially networked wave of violence and destruction--and if the looters don't destroy your livelihood then the crumbling economy will. But don't blame the looters:

"This is the uprising of the working class. We're redistributing the wealth," said Bryn Phillips, a 28-year-old self-described anarchist, as young people emerged from a store with chocolate bars and ice cream cones.

And don't blame their financial industry looting counterparts either. They're just being the most awesome duders they can be:

The above video was forwarded to me by a reader, and it truly is a stunning piece of self-aggrandizement:

Legitimate daytraders, swing traders, and active investors are true masters of their craft, rising above human nature to churn out profits consistently from the market. Just like great artists, athletes, and professionals train years to become proficient, so do great traders, honing their skills of analysis, risk control, and mental discipline to gain an edge in the markets. While doing so they also benefit the economy by adding liquidity. Despite this, the independent trader and investor is in an industry where his/her needs are unrecognized and unmet. Our goal is to change that by addressing their needs like never before.

Like firefighters, they are true American heroes--even if churning out profits consistently for yourself despite what the market is doing is a skill akin to liberating a plasma TV from a burning store, inasmuch as both involve acting purely in your own self-interest on a moment-to-moment basis.

So what will the post-Apocalyptic™ world look like? Will socially networked looters and day traders in fortified Wi-Fi hotspots pick the landscape clean as hipsters look on with bemusement? Or are hipsters and looters both unwitting agents of our financial overlords, mere instruments of consumption, differing only in their methods and wardrobe? Most importantly, how will the rest of us flee, and to where? Frankly, thanks to the Upscalification of Everything, few of us can even afford basic survivalist tools anymore. Axes cost hundreds of dollars:

A decent "Summer Camp Care Package" full of cheap novelty shit to help you while away those lonely nights off the grid will set you back $145:

Even toy blocks for grownups are like $85:

There is some indication though that pods of hipsters may already have sought refuge in the wilderness and are even now living lives of pure idyll. Consider this video which was forwarded to me by a reader, in which some of them have formed a utopian hillbombing society:

Mountain Cream B&T from CREAM Bikes & Things on Vimeo.

In this mountain society, there are no laws, apart from the Law of Gravity:

There are also no brakes, which is why they "whip-skid" incessantly and can't make it down a single descent without completely destroying a tire:

I'm not one for fawning over bicycles, but I do believe that our bikes communicate with us, and what this bike is saying is, "You're an idiot."

So what do the hillbombers do when they need new tires in their mountain retreat? Perhaps they don't. Perhaps they "curate" them from nearby rubber trees, or else the tires simply fall from the sky. Also, when hungry, they cook their meat over an open flame, which they tend to using an artisanal hatchet:

The hillbombers know nothing of toil, or hardship, or responsibility. They know only the joy of endless libation:

And of looking through mirrored sunglasses upon the landscape while trackstanding in a state of perfect Zenlike tarck-tastic stasis:

Aloof, they flirt with death, whip-skidding their way out of dangerous situations:

Oh, how they whip-skid, free from the constraints of all common sense::

All they need is their bikes, and each other, and maybe an extra headband or two, and of course the willing woman whose job it will be to bear their children and carry on their legacy:

These, children of the future, are your forebearers. Forgive them, for they knew not what they did.


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