(Jackalope by Erik K)
Further to yesterday's post, I am still having trouble reconciling the hillbilly-esque "hipster" (or hipster-esque "hillbilly") pictured with the can of PBR. Certainly this co-mingling of styles is nothing new--it dates back at least to Bob Dylan. Still, there's just something unsettling about the current incarnation, and in an attempt to understand it I delved deeper into the photo album and found this photo of the same person in repose at home:
Scanning the room, the majority of visible elements seem to fall into the "hipster" column:
While the adjustable wrench and the PBR can go both ways, and while "hipsters" rarely wear white socks, overall I don't think it would be inappropriate to consider this person a "hipster." But the proverbial jackalope in the room is, of course, the pistol. Until now, "hipsters" resisted guns as fervently as they resisted sincerity. So the advent of a new breed of gun-toting "hipster" is a disturbing sign.
So why might a "hipster" feel the need to arm himself? Is he protecting his slovenly home from some malevolent third party's attempts to clean it? Has excessive marijuana smoking made him paranoid? Did he simply find it nestled in his beard one morning after a long night of excessive PBR consumption? No, I don't think any of these explanations are adequate. Unfortunately, the implications are probably far more insidious.
As incongruous as a gun-toting "hipster" may seem, there is certainly historical precedent for this behavior. The last "hipsters" to take up arms were the Symbionese Liberation Army in the 1970s:
The SLA were most famous for kidnapping heiress Patty Hearst and robbing a bank. It could be then that the armed "hipsters" from yesterday's post are planning a similar caper. Perhaps they plan to kidnap Paris Hilton, go to a track bike boutique, and steal a bunch of cogs.
But probably the most famous "hipsters" to use deadly weapons were the Manson Family in the late 1960s:
Under the command of Charles Manson, the Manson Family concocted what was probably the most ambitious plan ever devised by a group of "hipsters." Basically, they were going to make a Beatles-esque album. Obviously, all groups of four or more "hipsters" attempt to record an album at some point, so this is not remarkable in itself. But the Family did not stop there. This album was going to be so great that it was going to incite an apocalyptic race war in which the blacks would annihilate the whites, which the Family would wait out in some kind of underground city. (This is not as far-fetched as it sounds, because most "hipster" music does make you want to kill white people.) But like most "hipsters," they couldn't really get the album together, and instead of following "hipster" tradition by simply ditching their plans and talking vaguely about making a movie, they decided to kill a bunch of people. The lesson, of course, is that when "hipsters" plan, bad things happen. "Hipsters" are like titanium bottom bracket spindles--put too much pressure on them and they crack.
So I'm relatively certain that the "hipsters" from yesterday's post are tragically following in the Manson family's footsteps. By selling that old Gitane conversion for $300, they hope to jump-start the Fixed-Gear Apocalypse. Once it's underway, they'll probably hunker down somewhere with a few years' supply of canned beer until the land has been laid to waste and the fixed-gear riders smote. Then, they can re-emerge as the only fixed-gear riders in the world. I only hope they don't grow impatient in the meantime and begin to kill.
Speaking of the Fixed-Gear Apocalypse, there's no shortage of signs out there--as long as by "signs" you mean weird bikes. For example, a reader has sent me this horrifying photo, which reveals what bicycle hunters call a "six-point buck":
So it is written in the "Book of Redundancy":
"There shall come a bicycle, and that bicycle's handlebars shall have barends, and those barends shall in turn have barends. And there shall be much sorrow and rending of Primal jerseys."
Then I saw this specimen, also foretold by the "Book of Redundancy":
"Atop a steer tube extender shall be clamped an adjustable stem, which in turn shall be angled heavenward. To the bars shall be clamped a mount for a GPS, or perhaps an electric shaver, and to the seatpost shall be clamped a reverse-entry clipless saddle. Its rider shall reap the souls of fixed-gear riders, and he shall place them in his Jandd bag for easy portage."
Even more horrifying was this Cervelo, spotted by Daddo.one:
While at first glance it appears to be as fine a bicycle as you're likely to find under any dentist, closer inspection reveals this terrifying saddle:
I don't know what creature's buttocks one might find perched atop a saddle like that, but I can only imagine that it is cleft in twain to make room for the tail of Satan himself.
I also recently spotted this early 90s Paramount:
One might think the fact that it still retains its original derailleur drivetrain (not to mention its original pie plate) and has not been converted to a fixed-gear despite having horizontal dropouts is an encouraging sign. However, note the paint job, which happens to be virtually identical to Ratt vocalists Stephen Pearcy's unitard circa 1984:
Clearly the fact that a bike from the early 90s has an early 80s paintjob means it exists perpetually 8-10 years in the past. Essentially, it's an apparition, and eventually it will be converted to a fixed-gear--but by then the Apocalypse will have already happened and nobody will be alive to see it. Not even this poor, innocent Pista, with it's saggy chain and droopy saddle:
And its incongruously perky bars:
It is with this tragic countenance that it shall greet its demise.
But probably the most disturbing sign I've come across was this warehouse in Brooklyn, which appears to be housing some kind of pedal-driven contraption:
I wasn't about to run afoul of the dog, and I wouldn't be surprised if there were some armed "hipsters" in there too. It's possible this is some kind of flying machine, or else some kind of "lunar cycle." In any case I think someone may be building the cycling equivalent of Noah's Ark.
I hope they can find a male and a female jackalope.