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Joy Division Unknown Pleasures meets Jack Black from High Fidelity-type character

Run over and scream “SHE’S LOST CONTROL!” into his face

Unknown Pleasures, unknown songs
Unknown Pleasures, unknown songs

Dear Hipster:

I have a co-worker named Cliff who is quite the hipster. He drinks good local coffee, he eats locally sourced food, he even rides a cool older bike with Italian parts on it. He knows obscure movies and has good taste in music. The guy is even a yoga instructor! Some of the guys at work have even taped the “Ask a Hipster” illustration onto his locker. However, Cliff has gotten himself into a bit of a situation. I’m pretty sure hipsters are annoyed by the trend of the younger generation wearing band shirts when they are not familiar with the music. Cliff has a cool Joy Division shirt he wears from time to time. It’s the one with the squiggly lines on it. [That would be Unknown Pleasures – Ed.] Well, I guess the other day he was grocery shopping at some artisan grocery (luckily not his local) while wearing the shirt. As he was checking out, the aging punker-type grocery cashier went there! “Cool shirt, what’s your favorite song on that album?” Poor Cliff got caught with his skinny jeans down! I’m pretty sure he actually owns a few Joy Division records, but for some reason, he couldn’t answer! Perhaps he was tired from a long day. He could have never expected to be ambushed like that. Of course, the contempt was laid on thick by the cashier, and poor Cliff was paralyzed with embarrassment. So the question is, what should he do now? Going back in could be dangerous. What if we are dealing with a Jack Black from High Fidelity-type character? I don’t want to see poor Cliff’s hipster identity damaged even further. Please help!

— Christopher

You want to know the saddest part of this whole story? I have spent way more time than you might expect trying to come up with a clever Joy Division joke, but there’s really nothing funny about Joy Division. I wanted to come up with a joke because I really wanted to soften the blow here for Cliff, because there’s no good way out of this predicament. Sure, Cliff could roll up into the store, spot the same clerk, run over and scream “SHE’S LOST CONTROL!” into his face, and then flee before Mr. Sassy Clerk Man can tempt Cliff into admitting Grace Jones did it better. But the sassy clerk will still (correctly) assume that Cliff went out and asked some hipster for help naming Joy Division songs.

The only way out of this one is to beat the clerk at his own game. Cliff needs to contract a graphic designer to create a t-shirt displaying a fake album by a fake band; or maybe a fake album by a real band, which might be even more duplicitous. Whatever he does, it needs to be super convincing. He needs to wear that shirt to the store with the sassy clerk, who will eventually be unable to resist acting like he knows a thing or two about the fictional album. He won’t be able to resist the opportunity to burn Cliff twice. And when he asks about favorite songs on the fake album, Cliff can casually deliver any one of the following sick burns:

“The one about the guy who didn’t recognize a fake [insert band here] shirt when he saw one.”

“What? Oh. Yeah. I guess not everyone gets it. It’s pretty obscure.”

Or.

“Bwaaahahahaaaa dude, seriously?”

Then he can consider the score officially settled. Otherwise, he probably should never go back to that store again.

— DJ Stevens

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Unknown Pleasures, unknown songs
Unknown Pleasures, unknown songs

Dear Hipster:

I have a co-worker named Cliff who is quite the hipster. He drinks good local coffee, he eats locally sourced food, he even rides a cool older bike with Italian parts on it. He knows obscure movies and has good taste in music. The guy is even a yoga instructor! Some of the guys at work have even taped the “Ask a Hipster” illustration onto his locker. However, Cliff has gotten himself into a bit of a situation. I’m pretty sure hipsters are annoyed by the trend of the younger generation wearing band shirts when they are not familiar with the music. Cliff has a cool Joy Division shirt he wears from time to time. It’s the one with the squiggly lines on it. [That would be Unknown Pleasures – Ed.] Well, I guess the other day he was grocery shopping at some artisan grocery (luckily not his local) while wearing the shirt. As he was checking out, the aging punker-type grocery cashier went there! “Cool shirt, what’s your favorite song on that album?” Poor Cliff got caught with his skinny jeans down! I’m pretty sure he actually owns a few Joy Division records, but for some reason, he couldn’t answer! Perhaps he was tired from a long day. He could have never expected to be ambushed like that. Of course, the contempt was laid on thick by the cashier, and poor Cliff was paralyzed with embarrassment. So the question is, what should he do now? Going back in could be dangerous. What if we are dealing with a Jack Black from High Fidelity-type character? I don’t want to see poor Cliff’s hipster identity damaged even further. Please help!

— Christopher

You want to know the saddest part of this whole story? I have spent way more time than you might expect trying to come up with a clever Joy Division joke, but there’s really nothing funny about Joy Division. I wanted to come up with a joke because I really wanted to soften the blow here for Cliff, because there’s no good way out of this predicament. Sure, Cliff could roll up into the store, spot the same clerk, run over and scream “SHE’S LOST CONTROL!” into his face, and then flee before Mr. Sassy Clerk Man can tempt Cliff into admitting Grace Jones did it better. But the sassy clerk will still (correctly) assume that Cliff went out and asked some hipster for help naming Joy Division songs.

The only way out of this one is to beat the clerk at his own game. Cliff needs to contract a graphic designer to create a t-shirt displaying a fake album by a fake band; or maybe a fake album by a real band, which might be even more duplicitous. Whatever he does, it needs to be super convincing. He needs to wear that shirt to the store with the sassy clerk, who will eventually be unable to resist acting like he knows a thing or two about the fictional album. He won’t be able to resist the opportunity to burn Cliff twice. And when he asks about favorite songs on the fake album, Cliff can casually deliver any one of the following sick burns:

“The one about the guy who didn’t recognize a fake [insert band here] shirt when he saw one.”

“What? Oh. Yeah. I guess not everyone gets it. It’s pretty obscure.”

Or.

“Bwaaahahahaaaa dude, seriously?”

Then he can consider the score officially settled. Otherwise, he probably should never go back to that store again.

— DJ Stevens

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