Researchers at the University of Central Lancashire have published the results of a long-term study into the effects of wearing unnecessary glasses and the habitual overuse of irony. The study was funded by the NHS because of a widespread syndrome, termed Chronic Hipster Affective Disorder (CHAD).
Beards and hats
The problem has been observed in both sexes up to the age of 72, but most commonly affects males between the ages of 17 and 30. Symptoms include heavy beard growth (mostly males), a propensity for using archaic language forms and a strong inclination to wear hats. The report details how researchers recognised a strong correlation between reading late 19th-century German poetry and listening to Finnish harpsichord music and the early onset of CHAD. Initially, volunteers were persuaded to take part in the study as it was the first of its kind; however, as the study moved into its second year, only those volunteers prepared to take part in an ironic way remained and after two years, scientists were forced to carry out their observations in the sufferers’ natural environment.
The hipster environment
According to the chief researcher, Dr. Elizabeth Barker, the main problem with this new approach was the difficulty of tracking sufferers, as one of the predominant effects of CHAD is to blind the individual to their own condition. However, the team used an ingenious approach; they set up a number of locations likely to attract suitable candidates, such as an old cinema in which they only showed films made in Sweden between 1928 and 1953, an organic vegan café and a pop-up shop selling broken pre-war typewriters, photography equipment and bicycle parts.
Although the study was able to confirm a strong connection between CHAD and an obscure taste in entertainment and wardrobe, Dr. Barker stressed that the team had been unable to ascertain whether CHAD caused these issues or whether the issues led to CHAD. One of the UCLan team volunteered to sample some German poetry, embark on a macrobiotic diet and wear hand-distressed skinny jeans for a 6-month period, but by the time it was confirmed that he was a CHAD sufferer, he was claiming that he’d liked these things before he’d begun the trial and, in fact, before anybody else liked them. This claim skewed the evidence, making it unsuitable for inclusion in the report.
A cure for CHAD?
While not in the remit of the study, UCLan believes it could pave the way for finding a way to control, or even cure, the syndrome, which claims millions of work hours each year, due to ennui and corduroy shortages. In an unexpected twist, one of the subjects appeared to make a sudden recovery when he accidentally observed footage of himself explaining why he only ever buys music on vinyl. According to Dr. Barker, the subject was heard to exclaim “What a tosser!”, before buying larger trousers and a smaller coat. The report is available as a download from the university website and has also been published in The British Journal of Psychology. In the hope that it may reach those in need of help, UCLan have also allowed the findings to be included in ‘Cucumber’, an arts magazine sold only in upcycling centres throughout the UK.