The Conversation

Hipsters: All things hip

The 5 Stupidest Decisions in My Life

Mar 5, 2013 8:42 PM PT

In response to Top Five Smartest Decisions of My Life:

I'd love to join the game here, but I'm coming up about 4 smart decisions short of an official entry. As an alternative let me tap a much richer source of material: my monumentally epic bad ones.

5. Betting my brother 5 bucks I could ride a Honda SL-125 with no hands while standing on the seat.

4. At 14, discovering my mom's bottle of lime vodka.

3. Dating a dance/poetry major.

2. Spending a sunny day at the Bonneville Salt Flats, in shorts, unaware of reflected sunlight.

1. Volunteering for the Ted Kennedy presidential campaign. 

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Jedediah Bila's Top Five Smartest Decisions

Mar 5, 2013 5:38 PM PT

In response to Top Five Smartest Decisions of My Life (Thanks, John!):

The wonderful Jedediah Bila saw our Conversation posts and sent along her own list!

So, I saw Lisa's Top Five Smartest Decisions of My Life and, well, couldn't resist.

5. Seeing Rome, Paris, and Bruges with sixteen-year-old eyes. Because without those sights, my twenties wouldn't have been quite so interesting.

4. Spending Summer '99 in Spain. I fell in love with paella. I went on a motorcycle ride that rocked my world. I discovered letter-writing. And I realized how much I loved the two best friends I'd left behind.

3. Learning to read in Spanish. Because Puértolas, Alberti, and Neruda really are that delicious.

2. Taking a workshop at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Who knew that playing someone else would help you find yourself?

1. Going on a date at the age of 18 that changed my life. Because although I left the man a few years later, I'll never forget the way I loved him.

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Sell Me On This Pod-Coffee Deal

Mar 5, 2013 12:43 PM PT

In response to Top Five Smartest Decisions of My Life:

Seriously-- I'm thinking about it but I still don't get the Added Value.  A Keurig takes one minute to deliver hot coffee?  Well, that's good, but my generic brand coffee brewer takes five minutes, soooo.... I guess maybe that four minutes is important but I don't know, I usually use that time for my morning power-routine of high-impact calisthenics and E2F (exertion-to-failure) cardio-work (i.e., pooping).

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The dogged pursuit of every last voter

Feb 5, 2013 6:30 AM PT

In response to Time to get hip:

I remember the precise moment when I first began having grave doubts about the Romney political machine, and the overall conservative view of the electorate: when Obama political technician Jim Messina talked about using computer technology to locate "marginal voters" and usher them to the polls.  A lot of people on the Right began mocking Messina, because they thought he sounded pathetic - he might as well have been talking about rounding up unicorns and planting ballots upon their horns!  But I didn't think it was funny at all.  Messina said some odd things during the campaign, but this made perfect sense to me.  Why not use the power of data mining, coupled with a little old-fashioned shoe leather, to track down disaffected voters and persuade them to pull the lever for your guy?

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Time to get hip

Feb 5, 2013 5:30 AM PT

In response to Lisa :

Great points. It reminds me of some articles I read from the Red Mass Group and Ars Technica.  They analyzed how the GOP lost the tech game and it is for many of the same reasons we are losing battles on the small business front. The dems have brilliant, smart technical innovators on their side, running their digital game. The GOP, not so much. 

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How Not to Win Over Hipsters

Feb 4, 2013 5:18 PM PT

In response to Get Hip:

I remember an article some magazine did about Republican hipsters (can't find it on Google) about half a year back; as conservatives passed it around, the majority of the response was mockery—"weirdos" this, "betas" that. And that, more than any top-down campaign failure, I feel was one of the biggest factors of our 2012 drubbing.

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The Hipster's Guide to Small Business

Feb 4, 2013 4:48 PM PT

In response to Get Hip:

Great post, Iowahawk.  I think it would be great if some free market groups could reach out to small business owners and dreamers to offer training sessions on internet marketing and navigating local laws and regulations.  Whether it's food trucks or the hipsters showing off their products on Food Channel's Foodcrafters the entrepreneur spirit seems to cross political lines.  I'm sure some groups will look at the folks behind these businesses and think it's not worth the effort... and that's why we always lose.  Sure it could be a decade before the dread-locked Oregonian understands how the red tape and government regulations created by leftist bureaucrats hinder his organic nut butter business, but it's worth it.  Even if conservatives don't gain votes, at least they're helping small businesses create jobs. 

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Get Hip

Feb 4, 2013 3:17 PM PT

Earlier today I tweeted that "conservatism needs more fixie bike Portland hipsters who own boutique cupcake food trucks, and fewer Karl Roves." I wasn't being ironic (or meta-ironic).

Tweak their pretensions all you want, but nobody has a deeper understanding of entrepreneurship, hard work, and the regulatory hurdles facing a small business owner like a Park Slope hair stylist. Or an Wicker Park tattoo artist. Or a San Francisco pedicab operator. Ignore the Obama sticker on their shop window, this is someone painfully familiar with day-to-day muggings inflicted by City Hall and the IRS. You might be surprised at how receptive they are to a message of smaller government - and just wait until they get their first Obamacare invoice.

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