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Tech bro comes close, but the devil’s in the details

The tech bro is notorious for taking hipster stuff and infusing it with a healthy dose of mainstream turd-factor.

Looks like hipster. Surprise! Is tech bro.
Looks like hipster. Surprise! Is tech bro.
  • Dear Hipster:
  • About 18 months ago, work brought me down to San Diego from San Francisco. I’m living in Scripps Ranch now, but I rented a little house in South Park when I first moved down here because it was a lot closer to the job. Anyways, I have read some of your There vs. Here columns lately, and I couldn’t agree more. Things are really different up in SF as opposed to here. For starters, San Francisco doesn’t really have hipsters anymore! During the 15 years that I lived there, the stereotypical hipster population moved out of the city, usually to Oakland, because the tech bro overflow from Silicon Valley has pretty much rendered life in the city unattainable for anyone earning less than six figures per annum. They say the rising tide raises all boats, but sometimes it actually just sweeps away everything in its path; and only the fortunate can float to safety. Of course, that’s pretty much old news to anyone who’s lived around the Bay in the past decade or so; but here’s where I think it gets interesting: the nouveau riche tech bros (and lady tech bros, of course, whatever they ought to be called) haven’t just moved into the ramshackle Victorian row houses for which my former home is oh-so-famous. No. They have also taken up seats at the local beer gardens, installed worm farms to facilitate their urban gardens, gone vegan, grown beards, and plundered every vintage record shop for miles around. Like cultural cuckoo birds, the Bay Area tech bros laid their metaphorical eggs in the hipsters’ nest, and the hatchlings snatched up every cheap music festival ticket in sight. What’s more, just like the be-cuckoo’d sparrows (insert “cuck” joke here) the hipsters willingly fed the invaders, thinking the whole while how great it was that fair-trade coffee and the Arcade Fire were catching on with just about everyone. Well, it was only a matter of time before the fledgling hipsters got pushed right out by the bigger, larger, stronger newcomers. Now, like I said, all the hipsters had to move to Oakland. Sorry. I guess I don’t have a question.
  • — Tina

So. Yeah. About that. I have a short vacation coming up next month, and if you want to pinch-hit for me here, you’re clearly 100 percent qualified.

I would add one note for offline reader edification: the “tech bro” above is a specific subclass of new Millennium yuppie who works in the high-tech industries in or modeled on Silicon Valley. The tech bro is notorious for taking hipster stuff (such as vinyl records, open office plans, and Coachella) and infusing them with a healthy dose of mainstream turd-factor. If my broad-strokes depiction lacks merit, look no further than the curly-haired asshole guy on Silicon Valley for an ideal representation. While the tech bro superficially resembles the hipster at first glance, because, e.g., both are often spotted atop a fixed-gear bicycle, those who know how to look easily parse the skin-deep resemblance. For example, where the tech bro often purchases the first mass-produced fixie he can find, the hipster will spend countless hours scouring swap meets and the darker corners of Craigslist for a vintage Italian track bicycle no longer fit for competition but ripe for pounding city streets. The devil’s in the details.

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Looks like hipster. Surprise! Is tech bro.
Looks like hipster. Surprise! Is tech bro.
  • Dear Hipster:
  • About 18 months ago, work brought me down to San Diego from San Francisco. I’m living in Scripps Ranch now, but I rented a little house in South Park when I first moved down here because it was a lot closer to the job. Anyways, I have read some of your There vs. Here columns lately, and I couldn’t agree more. Things are really different up in SF as opposed to here. For starters, San Francisco doesn’t really have hipsters anymore! During the 15 years that I lived there, the stereotypical hipster population moved out of the city, usually to Oakland, because the tech bro overflow from Silicon Valley has pretty much rendered life in the city unattainable for anyone earning less than six figures per annum. They say the rising tide raises all boats, but sometimes it actually just sweeps away everything in its path; and only the fortunate can float to safety. Of course, that’s pretty much old news to anyone who’s lived around the Bay in the past decade or so; but here’s where I think it gets interesting: the nouveau riche tech bros (and lady tech bros, of course, whatever they ought to be called) haven’t just moved into the ramshackle Victorian row houses for which my former home is oh-so-famous. No. They have also taken up seats at the local beer gardens, installed worm farms to facilitate their urban gardens, gone vegan, grown beards, and plundered every vintage record shop for miles around. Like cultural cuckoo birds, the Bay Area tech bros laid their metaphorical eggs in the hipsters’ nest, and the hatchlings snatched up every cheap music festival ticket in sight. What’s more, just like the be-cuckoo’d sparrows (insert “cuck” joke here) the hipsters willingly fed the invaders, thinking the whole while how great it was that fair-trade coffee and the Arcade Fire were catching on with just about everyone. Well, it was only a matter of time before the fledgling hipsters got pushed right out by the bigger, larger, stronger newcomers. Now, like I said, all the hipsters had to move to Oakland. Sorry. I guess I don’t have a question.
  • — Tina

So. Yeah. About that. I have a short vacation coming up next month, and if you want to pinch-hit for me here, you’re clearly 100 percent qualified.

I would add one note for offline reader edification: the “tech bro” above is a specific subclass of new Millennium yuppie who works in the high-tech industries in or modeled on Silicon Valley. The tech bro is notorious for taking hipster stuff (such as vinyl records, open office plans, and Coachella) and infusing them with a healthy dose of mainstream turd-factor. If my broad-strokes depiction lacks merit, look no further than the curly-haired asshole guy on Silicon Valley for an ideal representation. While the tech bro superficially resembles the hipster at first glance, because, e.g., both are often spotted atop a fixed-gear bicycle, those who know how to look easily parse the skin-deep resemblance. For example, where the tech bro often purchases the first mass-produced fixie he can find, the hipster will spend countless hours scouring swap meets and the darker corners of Craigslist for a vintage Italian track bicycle no longer fit for competition but ripe for pounding city streets. The devil’s in the details.

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