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Life without the hassles of living
January 31, 2013 9:33 AM   Subscribe

Is being cool too much work? Enter CouchCachet, which checks you in to the hottest locations on Foursquare whenever you get home (after checking to make sure your friends have never been). And that is not all: among its other features, it will "tweet lyrics by indie bands that people haven’t heard of, wax poetic about local microbrews that you just discovered at some cool speakeasy and... upload low-fi pictures of 20-somethings in skinny jeans to your Instagram.”
posted by blahblahblah (67 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
...in other words, it will ensure making you fucking insufferable.
posted by Kitteh at 9:36 AM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Now you can even fake faking it.
posted by TwelveTwo at 9:37 AM on January 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


I was faking it before it was cool.
posted by rtha at 9:38 AM on January 31, 2013


“It will wax poetic about local microbrews that you just discovered at some cool speakeasy,” said Mr. Fountain, 36, of Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. “It will also upload low-fi pictures of 20-somethings in skinny jeans to your Instagram.”
I love everything about this, but I would love it more if it let me replace the club and restaurant names with those from Bret Easton Ellis novels: "I just became the mayor of Dorsia on @foursquare!"
posted by griphus at 9:40 AM on January 31, 2013 [5 favorites]


Psh. You've probably never heard of the nothing I do.
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:40 AM on January 31, 2013 [5 favorites]


blahblahblah: " upload low-fi pictures of 20-somethings in skinny jeans to your Instagram.”"

Manti Te'o must have been a beta tester.
posted by boo_radley at 9:47 AM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Now you can even fake faking it.

The main thing is insincerity. If you can fake that, you've got it made.
posted by gauche at 9:52 AM on January 31, 2013 [8 favorites]


The internet continues to be the largest Turing Test ever devised.
posted by TwelveTwo at 9:55 AM on January 31, 2013 [6 favorites]


Also, I'm not on foursquare. Please tell me this is an actual thing and not just a funny fake social network website made as a comment.
posted by gauche at 9:55 AM on January 31, 2013


what happens when the spammers start using this? it'll be weird/awesome.
posted by raihan_ at 9:56 AM on January 31, 2013


The main thing is insincerity. If you can fake that, you've got it made.

See, this is why I've stopped believing in sarcasm or doing anything ironically. If you're going to say something, fucking say it. If you're doing to do something, fucking do it, but own your words and your actions. You're "just joking" when you say something racist or misogynistic, you said it, own that.

This makes me a ton of fun to be around I can tell you.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 9:58 AM on January 31, 2013 [10 favorites]


This will be useful in the future, where having a fake but plausible and clean social media profile will be requisite in getting a job, since HR departments will no doubt scour them for undesirable check-ins and activity.
posted by hellojed at 10:08 AM on January 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


See, this is why I've stopped believing in sarcasm or doing anything ironically.

I totally agree. It's too much work sifting through needlessly-piled-upon layers of meaning, and the ongoing performance that is involved in using things like twitter and facebook and foursquare, I think, requires people to hide behind those layers. It's exhausting.

That's what I meant by implying that something like CouchCachet is a kind of faked insincerity because it is a part of a performance hidden behind layers of irony and meaning, but it is itself a totally faux component of that performance.

Wait a minute -- is "Jean Baudrillard" taken on foursquare yet?
posted by gauche at 10:09 AM on January 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is funny, and all, but it's a shame that microbrewed beer is getting all tied up in this. Anybody can enjoy good microbrews quite sincerely, no hipness required.

Well, not those poor celiac sods.
posted by gurple at 10:10 AM on January 31, 2013


It's too much work sifting through needlessly-piled-upon layers of meaning, and the ongoing performance that is involved in using things like twitter and facebook and foursquare, I think, requires people to hide behind those layers. It's exhausting.

Yes! I'm just not dealing with that nonsense.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:12 AM on January 31, 2013


Fake FourSquare checkins have always been a "problem". I know a bar owner who was incensed when he lost the mayorship of his own bar to some person he had never seen. He started hanging around the bar even more and took to watching the feeds from the bar cameras on his phone when he was anyplace else. He got all the regulars and bartenders to sign up for foursquare to see if we could spot the guy. It became an obsession. At 2am, half drunk he would whip out his phone and tell anyone who would listen how he lost the mayorship of his bar. At this point the new mayor was checking in 4-5 times a day and nobody ever saw him.

I'm not sure what the new mayor got from all this, I suspect it was one of the bartenders or regulars fucking around. I know it wasn't me. I saw what losing the mayorship had done to my friend, he was now a husk of a man, unsure of his role and place in the world. No longer the mayor of his own bar.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:14 AM on January 31, 2013 [9 favorites]


> Is being cool too much work?

Yes. I believe being cool is too much work. You've heard "too cool for school"? Update to "too cool to be cool".
posted by bukvich at 10:18 AM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


it was only a matter of time before Being Your Own Brand was too exhausting and required people to outsource it to automatic brand managers.
posted by The Whelk at 10:23 AM on January 31, 2013 [17 favorites]


I hope it also tweets pictures of meals at appropriate times. Free range eggs and locally sourced bacon at breakfast time, chipotle kimchee taco from a roving food truck for lunch, and some strange, labor-intensive, and ironic preparation of a lowly meat (like cube steak) at dinnertime.
posted by ErikaB at 10:23 AM on January 31, 2013 [11 favorites]


Everyday on the MAX Yellow line I would pass by Fat Cobra, a local smut shop in Portland, and check-in on FourSquare.

I was so happy when I became Mayor, but then got in a turf battle with someone else over who could get the most e-points for allegedly visiting. I just moved to Los Angeles so my reign has come to an end.
posted by wcfields at 10:31 AM on January 31, 2013


This is funny, and all, but it's a shame that microbrewed beer is getting all tied up in this. Anybody can enjoy good microbrews quite sincerely, no hipness required.

Eh, beer snobs can be truly insufferable, all the more so because, as you say, beer is supposed to be the everyman drink. Beer is moving in the direction of wine in developing this asshole culture of "connoisseurs". As ErikaB notes, this is true for food as well.

Basically, for anything a culture of snobbery will arise that will drain the joy out of that thing and belittle all who aren't part of that culture. I'm not sure why "I like this thing a lot and want to learn about it" becomes "look at these worthless morons who dare attempt to like this thing in their primitive way", but it seems inevitable.
posted by Sangermaine at 10:34 AM on January 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


hellojed: "This will be useful in the future, where having a fake but plausible and clean social media profile will be requisite in getting a job, since HR departments will no doubt scour them for undesirable check-ins and activity."

Or we could start loudly decrying the assumption that this future is a foregone conclusion, or something that we should be okay with.
posted by schmod at 10:35 AM on January 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


The main thing is insincerity. If you can fake that, you've got it made.

"O poeta é um fingidor ... "
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:42 AM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


it was only a matter of time before Being Your Own Brand was too exhausting and required people to outsource it to automatic brand managers.


Actually...
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 10:45 AM on January 31, 2013


See, this is why I've stopped believing in sarcasm or doing anything ironically.

I was pleasantly surprised not too long ago to see that "postironic" was a thing. I'm so fucking weary of crap parody and "knowing" fourth-wall breaking and people terrified of being laughed at for something sincere and having irony as a cover. For the same reason I'm glad that nerds are cool, and it seems like cool in a lasting way rather than a passing fad way. Because "nerd" just means "fearless enthusiast".

Irony is mostly social fear. Fuck that shit.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:50 AM on January 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


P.S. If you can't be yourself because you're afraid of what your friends will say, they're not your friends. They're the friends of some imitation self that you don't even like.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:53 AM on January 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


P.P.S. I do realize I've just recited the moral of two thirds of all the teen sitcom episodes and afterschool specials produced since 1953...
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:58 AM on January 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Fake FourSquare checkins have always been a "problem".

I live across the street from a park. I can maintain my mayoralty from bed each night, just before I go to sleep. I can't tell if this is frustrating or entertaining to whoever it is nearby that unseats me whenever I get lax and forget to check in for a while.

I have a balcony facing out onto the park, and it is my dream to get some sort of banner I can hang from it and maybe make an annual tradition of taping a special address to my subjects.

"Denizens of Glenwood Park, it's been a tough year, but a good one. Our bathroom was tagged just three times, a 400 percent decrease over last year! But the good news there was offset by the bad: A five-fold increase in teenagers dry-humping on the teeter totter.

When I became your mayor, I said I'd clean up all the dry humping, so I'm pleased to announce that I've purchased a rather large flashlight and a bullhorn. Some of you have seen or heard me testing it, and I'm sorry for the obvious effect it had on your dogs. A little mineral oil in a pill pouch and they'll be right as rain!"
posted by mph at 11:11 AM on January 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


I mean I know Hipster Hate just never gets old, but scorning people for eating free range eggs and / or locally sourced bacon? Jesus Christ, you can have a healthy scepticism of excessive irony without turning into a total joyless husk.
posted by ominous_paws at 11:12 AM on January 31, 2013


Plus its a lot cheaper to just buy joyless husks at the farmer's market.
posted by griphus at 11:15 AM on January 31, 2013 [8 favorites]


People knock the laborious cooking times for joyless husks but in a pressure cooker they only take about 40 minutes.
posted by ominous_paws at 11:17 AM on January 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


Are these husks gluten free?
posted by ook at 11:18 AM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


I take powdered joyless husk pills to help regulate my lactose issues.
posted by The Whelk at 11:18 AM on January 31, 2013


(also in proof that nothing ever changes "gluten-free" was used as a backhanded joke in the movie version of the stage play, The Women, in 1933.)
posted by The Whelk at 11:19 AM on January 31, 2013


Serve risotto out of joyless husks at your next brunch.
posted by griphus at 11:23 AM on January 31, 2013


I'll have you know that these joyless husks are harvested in a very un-sustainable manner.
posted by The Whelk at 11:25 AM on January 31, 2013


I miss the old days when people expressed a fake, better version of themselves by simply driving a car they couldn't afford.
posted by davejay at 11:27 AM on January 31, 2013


This reminds me of the year I spent dead for tax reasons. Very handy!

And if you're mad about people ironically pretending to not enjoy themselves, the best antidote is to do things you like and enjoy the fuck out of them. Everything else is just more complaining, right?
posted by 1adam12 at 11:29 AM on January 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


I do like the way that this points to the "labor" of constructing a social personality - and that it is labor, paid in scrip (becoming "mayor" of a bar? is this the immortality that the poet promised?).


I mean I know Hipster Hate just never gets old, but scorning people for eating free range eggs and / or locally sourced bacon? Jesus Christ, you can have a healthy scepticism of excessive irony without turning into a total joyless husk.

See, this is where a fundamental misunderstanding occurs. This has nothing to do with anyone in particular eating free-range eggs, or with the free-range eggs qua foodstuff. What is being addressed is this sort of hovering cultural figure of The Modern Young Successful Yet Creative Person Who Does Everything Right.

(Does anyone remember that cartoon Sylvia? Every once in a while, there would be a strip about The Woman Who Does Everything More Beautifully Than You, a sort of Martha Stewart before the fact.)

The Modern Young Successful Yet Creative Person isn't a real person; it's a sort of admonitory figure, something that is both ideal and exhausting. I think we get this cultural message that we should be laboring all the time, that we should turn our lives to projects by making sure that we consume properly - we have to devote our spare time not to "hey, I'm really into cooking, but I could care less about shoes" but rather turning our whole lives into this curated "I cook organic eggs in my grandmother's Le Creuset skillet for breakfast before riding my custom city bike to my job in book cover design; after work I go to my DFW discussion meet-up at the bar, where I drink locally sourced microbrews, and then I go out dancing before biking home....and because I am so thrifty, I do all of this on part time wages so I have more time for my art!" The point isn't "feel ashamed that you like organic eggs"; the point is "there is a real cultural pressure to be perpetually on, striving, self-improving....in a very particular, depoliticized, white-bohemian way". And this is tiring to contemplate, and we also (or I also) start to worry at times that my failure to live this kind of life will eventually render me behind the times and unemployable, and so we (or I) start thinking about how we should probably make fake Facebook pages and "check-in" on Foursquare, not because we actually want to but because a combination of economic and cultural pressures make us feel that we must.

That is why the idea of an automated fake "socially correct" profile generator is appealing.
posted by Frowner at 11:32 AM on January 31, 2013 [25 favorites]


This is probably just a spin off from a CIA side project to autopopulate a social media history for their cover identities.
posted by juv3nal at 11:33 AM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hey griphus!

TRY CHECKING INTO DORSIA NOW, YOU STUPID BASTARD!
posted by adamdschneider at 11:35 AM on January 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


I just got murdered in the back alley outside of Crayons on @foursquare!
posted by griphus at 11:37 AM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Frowner, thanks for such a thoughtful response.
Just so long as we understand that if anyone accuses me of cooking slow meats because irony and not because they are freaking delicious, I will be most affronted.
posted by ominous_paws at 11:39 AM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


"and because I am so thrifty, I do all of this on part time wages so I have more time for my art!"

So I should have continued and said that this type of admonitory figure is one that's about thriving under extremely adverse and cruel economic conditions while still Living Beautifully. The figure of the hipster (which has little to do with real, actual people) is someone who does not actually fundamentally challenge capitalism, just critique it a little around the edges (free range eggs, the farmers' market; locally sourced sandwich ingredients). The hipster isn't underemployed and uninsured because neoliberalism has forclosed their opportunities; the hipster is joyously building a freelance creative career, enjoying their "precarity" because it represents freedom. A steady job and benefits would just hold the hipster down. And above all this is an affective/spiritual thing - it's not like, say, the ruthless entrepreneur or the gangster or whatever, who deals with bad capitalism by succeeding through cruelty, confrontation and violence - the hipster is an innocent figure who succeeds through personal growth.

The hipster is not in conflict with society.

The figure of the hipster is a way for the dominant cultural narrative to capture the desirable frisson of creativity and edge while totally purging it of social critique.

Hence the imperative to fill one's days with cooking locally-grown fennel and becoming 'mayor' of your Apple Store - no room for philosophy, no room for critique, just lots and lots of self-construction projects.

(Like in The Phantom Tollbooth, where Milo meets the demon who asks him to help sharpen all the pencils.)
posted by Frowner at 11:43 AM on January 31, 2013 [23 favorites]


But the point is that no one is really a hipster. The hipster is a symbol.
posted by Frowner at 11:44 AM on January 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm on the verge of tears by the time I check in at Espace, since I'm positive I won't get the mayoralty. But I do, and relief washes over me in an awesome wave. plz RT
posted by adamdschneider at 11:45 AM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Who is the BEE or Douglas Coupland for "hipsters"?
posted by Ad hominem at 11:50 AM on January 31, 2013


Tao Lin and whoever it is Cory Doctorow wishes he was.
posted by griphus at 11:51 AM on January 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


This strikes me as having some combination of Tom Haverford and Stefon as my digital PR agent, and it makes me uncomfortable.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:51 AM on January 31, 2013


Cory Doctorow

Yow. Low blow.
posted by ominous_paws at 11:53 AM on January 31, 2013


re: foursquare and the like - I am uncertain as to the benefits of allowing people to see your physical location in real time. I don't like it when people know where I live, ffs, and I can control who goes in and out.

I freely acknowledge that I am batty about this in an unironic sort of way, though.


This thing is hilarious, though.
posted by elizardbits at 11:54 AM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


So my understanding is that hipster hate is based on seeing people who have managed to find ways to make their lives interesting, and somehow interpreting that as a personal insult?
posted by shakespeherian at 12:00 PM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Live? Our servants can do that for us." - Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, Axel.
posted by larrybob at 12:01 PM on January 31, 2013


So my understanding is that hipster hate is based on seeing people who have managed to find ways to make their lives interesting, and somehow interpreting that as a personal insult?

yes, precisely, and i hope you are inspired to new and glorious heights of performance art by this.
posted by elizardbits at 12:03 PM on January 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


I gave up treating foursquare as a game because I noticed too many people were cheating--that just got frustrating. Now I use an IFTT recipe to push my checkins to Google Calendar and Evernote, as a kind of private journal of places I've been. I also like their "explore" recommendations.
posted by muckster at 12:06 PM on January 31, 2013


And now the hipsters seem to be the sad earnest ones and the nonhipsters are the ironic snarky ones and and can't cop*brain melts*
posted by ominous_paws at 12:06 PM on January 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am absolutely heartsick that this is not available in the UK.

Then again my couch genuinely is the most happening venue near me. You probably haven't heard of it.
posted by tel3path at 12:11 PM on January 31, 2013


Then again my couch genuinely is the most happening venue near me. You probably haven't heard of it.

There do seem to be people who do this. I just noticed that a guy I know is Four Square mayor of a bar we go to, and one of his friend is four square mayor of three or four places but they all have names like "Name's Boudoir." I'm not that impressed that you're the person who checks in at your own bedroom the most.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:44 PM on January 31, 2013


People still use FourSquare? I stopped after Facebook stole all it's features, since it's easier to use Facebook Check-In to find people.

This FPP sounds like a description of my life.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 1:44 PM on January 31, 2013


If I did this my friends would assume someone had killed me and assumed my identity.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:22 PM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah same. "CiS has gone a day without Instagramming graffiti or broken computers left out on the streets, and he's tweeting about Mumford & Sons, one of the most popular bands in the country, instead of some random punk band that sounds like Springsteen crossed with Black Flag'.

Seriously, I just looked at their site. Mumford & Sons are indie now? Really?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:30 PM on January 31, 2013


Mumford & Sons are indie now? Really?

I don't understand it either.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:06 PM on January 31, 2013


As Frowner said, Sylvia's The Woman Who Does Everything More Beautifully Than You is a useful cultural archetype to have in your toolbox. She has reared her perfectly-coiffed head in my house ever since I was in larval stage at a prep school and friends with a beautiful girl whose SATs were perfect and who not only did ballet and played the flute better than anyone else but also wrote an opera at the age of 8.
posted by gusandrews at 5:48 PM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


As Frowner said, Sylvia's The Woman Who Does Everything More Beautifully Than You is a useful cultural archetype to have in your toolbox. She has reared her perfectly-coiffed head in my house ever since I was in larval stage at a prep school and friends with a beautiful girl whose SATs were perfect and who not only did ballet and played the flute better than anyone else but also wrote an opera at the age of 8.

I'll write her up for Unknown Armies, next to The Woman Everyone Can Have But You.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:58 PM on January 31, 2013


will it also place the gun in your mouth and pull the trigger?
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 7:10 PM on January 31, 2013


will it also place the gun in your mouth and pull the trigger?

No, but it will tweet lyrics from A Certain Trigger, the album launched the first night of Sydney's longest running indie-disco.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:12 PM on January 31, 2013


Well, you have to keep it all in perspective. It probably wasn't a very good opera.
posted by tel3path at 3:28 AM on February 1, 2013


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