#16) Looking directly at things
Sunday, September 14, 2008
The human eye is one of the most intriguing components of human physiology. Scientists have studied the organ for centuries, using its points of divergence from our animal relatives to map evolution on phylogenetic trees and debunk Creationist lines of thought evidenceless fantasy myths.
But even more interesting to researchers than the human eye is the hipster eye, which differs from the normal human eye in a variety of ways, some of which are light sensitivity, magnification and overall perception. In fact, sociologists and behavioral psychologists everywhere are rejoicing in light of new evidence suggesting that the hipster eye is, indeed, a mutant phenotype; for this is the evidence they have been searching for far and wide to explanation certain anomalous hipster behaviors. [Note: Those afflicted with this condition are said to have Hipster Eye Deficiency Syndrome (HEDS).]
One such behavior that has baffled researchers for years is the tendency of hipsters to avoid daylight at all costs. While this is typically attributed to hangover symptoms, HEDS explains data that previously did not make sense. In past research, when comparing the capacity of people to make it to work on time the day following a night of binge drinking, there was a large discrepancy between the population of Williamsburg and the population of Manhattan.
This difference can now be explained by the fact that hipsters simply cannot tolerate the faintest glimpse of light under conditions of baseline hung-overness. Therefore, when hipsters actually are hungover, their light-sensitivity skyrockets, causing them to experience discomfort on the same scale that the average corporate employee in Manhattan would experience during a waterboarding session.
While one might expect the solution for this crippling ocular disability to require expensive retinal surgery or potent pharmaceuticals of the opiate class, crafty hipsters have discovered a remedy of wearing $5 neon-framed sunglasses found at the Bedford Avenue flea market (AKA, the tables of random crap lining the street) or on any street corner in Manhattan. (Note: Of course, hipsters do not actually venture to Manhattan, allowing Bedford Ave street vendors to jack up the price 200 percent, which hipsters are accustomed to paying.) It seems that the neon frames are the key to this technology, as the colors — which are soothing to hipsters — reflect off their photoreceptor cells at the back of the eye at precisely the right angle so as to stimulate an endorpin release in the brain.
Crafty hipsters that have discovered the mind-altering potential of neon sunglasses can be seen capitalizing on this technology even when not pained by the light of day.
Another perplexing hipster behavior researchers have struggled to explain is the impulse to capture surroundings on digital devices. For example, years ago people who attended concerts at times as recent as the 1970s found that watching the artists with their eyes was sufficient to enjoy the show, the memory of which could be accessed for years to come (more or less depending on the amount of drugs being done at the time). But modern-day hipsters are seemingly incapable of watching any segment of a live performance for more than five minutes without digitally capturing it. This can be explained by the fact that, due to mutations eye-brain signaling mechanisms, hipsters are physically incapable of transferring an image or sequence of images from working to long-term memory without looking at the scene through the lens of a digital device. In fact, there are some hipsters who prefer to view entire live shows through their digital cameras!
Another example of the lens phenomenon is that when something out of the ordinary happens to a hipster (meeting a celebrity, witnessing an automobile accident, etc…), he will not register it as real unless it is captured by his cell phone camera! Without this device handy, the event occupies a place in the hipster’s mind that has accessibility similar to that of the average human’s dreams.
What’s even more perplexing than how hipsters view the world around them, is how hipsters perceive themselves. While most people have a pretty good idea of their personal appearance by using mirrors and other reflective surfaces, the self-image of a hipster is built entirely through pre-selected photographs that are posted on their facebook and myspace profiles. In fact, hipsters are so unaccustomed to looking directly at themselves, that they sometimes do not even recognize their own appearance when viewed in photographs that they did not post to the web; there are even some hipsters who will only identify with images of themselves after the images have been doctored beyond recognition in Photoshop! (I swear that is the last dig… probably.)
The reasons for the differences in hipster visual acuity are myriad and are probably a combination of both genetics and environmental factors. But the most logical explanation stems from the hours upon hours of time spent in front of a computer screen surfing Williamsboard and studying about what bands to pretend to like on the Pitchfork Media website.
Beyond neon glasses, which only address the light intensity issue, hipsters often require such complex ocular adjustments they will endure painful bodily wounds to avoid looking directly at their surroundings. Two days ago, I struck up a conversation with an hipster who was wearing the largest framed glasses I had ever seen. He did not appear to be handling chemicals at the time but his glasses rivaled safety goggles in their surface area! When I questioned the size of his glasses, he revealed that they gave him calluses on his ears for the first month that he wore them!!
Coincidentally, I am watching an example of Hipster Eye Deficiency Syndrome (HEDS) in action right now by observing a hipster who is sitting in my place of work! He came in wearing tight jeans and a tie that probably came from my grandpa’s contribution to the Salvation Army, and at first I was surprised to see that he had no type of lens sheilding his eye. But then, as he took out a book to read, he donned a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses! If I did not know about HEDS, I would be completely baffled by this behavior, as most people require light to read.
Through this hipster, I also learned that hipsters are also not adept at comprehending written words w©ith the same accuracy as the average human, though this problem may also be attributed to a difference in the neural wiring of the eyes to the brain in a manner similar to dyslexia. When the hipster approached me seeking internet resources, (completely missing the large “self-serve” sign on the counter, I instructed him to follow instructions on a computer screen that read: “CLICK HERE TO BEGIN.” But instead of clicking, the shaded hipster tried repeatedly to press the screen with his finger! Unsuccessful, he gave up, frustrated, and came back to ask for guidance.
For all people in managerial positions reading this: Now that you know about HEDS, you should probably be sympathetic to your hipster employee and give him the benefit of doubt when he stumbles into work 4 hours late with neon-framed sunglasses on.
Photo of reflective green glasses from The Groove Effect; Photo of hipster street band by Christophe Legris for Stuff Hipsters Don’t Like ©2008; Photo of atomic neon sunglasses from List4uOnline, this website where they have a bunch of weird shit mostly for ravers I presume.