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Normal Heights foodie gang goes underground

Hipsters sabotaged the dining industry by seeding the foodie scene with cravings for kale and grass-fed meats.

Foodie gang turf claim in Normal Heights?
Foodie gang turf claim in Normal Heights?

Hello again, Hipster:

I saw the attached graffiti near my workplace in Normal Heights. Are there hipster turf wars in San Diego? Is this the foodie gang’s tag? If they have a beef with another clique, does it involve real beef?

— XXXXXXX [name redacted for security]

I guess it was only a matter of time before the past caught up to me. I’ve seen movies. That’s what the past does. It catches up, and there are consequences.

Back in the ’90s, they called it Project Hornrim. The CIA wanted a weapon to deploy against what it saw as a rising threat of mainstream consumer culture supported by faceless corporate juggernauts. They trained us in high-stakes cultural infiltration. Hipster agents invaded the music industry around the year 2000 and had some success turning Top 40 radio so bad that nobody would listen to it anymore. Unfortunately, a lot of people ended up actually liking Justin Bieber.

We used to operate in radio silence. We could communicate only through tags like the one you saw in Normal Heights. My unit, Building Really Obscure Tasting Habits (BROTH), aimed to sabotage the mainstream fast-casual dining industry by seeding the foodie scene with cravings for kale and grass-fed meats. We tricked McDonald’s corporate brass into flavoring the fries with beef, then outed them to the press. We tried to undermine Coke through a carefully orchestrated disinformation campaign that began by planting the seeds of an idea to sell bottled tap water, then fanning the flames of indignation when people found out they’d been hoodwinked. Neither one met with success, and once the White House caught on to what we were up to (turns out the government really likes mainstream consumerism — who knew?) it was lights out for BROTH and the rest of Operation Hornrim.

The hipster agents, disavowed by the CIA, vanished into the murky underworld of craft brewing and third-wave coffee roasting. I thought I was the only one left, but seeing this tag gives me hope that some of my fellow hipster agents are still out there, somewhere, fighting the good fight.

I’ve got to go. I’ve said too much.

Dear Hipster:

As a followup to the question from the lady who wrote in a little while ago asking about brightly colored clothes, what are the most and least hipster colors (both in and out of fashion)?

— Lilly

Color choice says a lot about who you are as a hipster.

Neon or day-glo tones tell the world, “I am in love with the early 1990s! I may not have even been born then, but I sure want people to think I was.”

Black is the color of the self-proclaimed überhipster (not to be confused with the hipster Uber driver) who disclaims any affectations of hipsterness on the grounds of having been cool before being cool was cool.

Rainbow patterns that make it look like a unicorn booted all over your stuff (not to be confused with tie-dye) can mean, “Oh my god, Care Bears, amiright?!” or “I’m so manly I can afford to be ironically fabulous,” or, “Just look at all the fks I don’t give!” Either way, super hipster.

But really, it’s not so much the color as how you use it. A hipster by any other hue would be as hip.

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Foodie gang turf claim in Normal Heights?
Foodie gang turf claim in Normal Heights?

Hello again, Hipster:

I saw the attached graffiti near my workplace in Normal Heights. Are there hipster turf wars in San Diego? Is this the foodie gang’s tag? If they have a beef with another clique, does it involve real beef?

— XXXXXXX [name redacted for security]

I guess it was only a matter of time before the past caught up to me. I’ve seen movies. That’s what the past does. It catches up, and there are consequences.

Back in the ’90s, they called it Project Hornrim. The CIA wanted a weapon to deploy against what it saw as a rising threat of mainstream consumer culture supported by faceless corporate juggernauts. They trained us in high-stakes cultural infiltration. Hipster agents invaded the music industry around the year 2000 and had some success turning Top 40 radio so bad that nobody would listen to it anymore. Unfortunately, a lot of people ended up actually liking Justin Bieber.

We used to operate in radio silence. We could communicate only through tags like the one you saw in Normal Heights. My unit, Building Really Obscure Tasting Habits (BROTH), aimed to sabotage the mainstream fast-casual dining industry by seeding the foodie scene with cravings for kale and grass-fed meats. We tricked McDonald’s corporate brass into flavoring the fries with beef, then outed them to the press. We tried to undermine Coke through a carefully orchestrated disinformation campaign that began by planting the seeds of an idea to sell bottled tap water, then fanning the flames of indignation when people found out they’d been hoodwinked. Neither one met with success, and once the White House caught on to what we were up to (turns out the government really likes mainstream consumerism — who knew?) it was lights out for BROTH and the rest of Operation Hornrim.

The hipster agents, disavowed by the CIA, vanished into the murky underworld of craft brewing and third-wave coffee roasting. I thought I was the only one left, but seeing this tag gives me hope that some of my fellow hipster agents are still out there, somewhere, fighting the good fight.

I’ve got to go. I’ve said too much.

Dear Hipster:

As a followup to the question from the lady who wrote in a little while ago asking about brightly colored clothes, what are the most and least hipster colors (both in and out of fashion)?

— Lilly

Color choice says a lot about who you are as a hipster.

Neon or day-glo tones tell the world, “I am in love with the early 1990s! I may not have even been born then, but I sure want people to think I was.”

Black is the color of the self-proclaimed überhipster (not to be confused with the hipster Uber driver) who disclaims any affectations of hipsterness on the grounds of having been cool before being cool was cool.

Rainbow patterns that make it look like a unicorn booted all over your stuff (not to be confused with tie-dye) can mean, “Oh my god, Care Bears, amiright?!” or “I’m so manly I can afford to be ironically fabulous,” or, “Just look at all the fks I don’t give!” Either way, super hipster.

But really, it’s not so much the color as how you use it. A hipster by any other hue would be as hip.

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