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Step 1. Smile. Everyone would agree that a smiling person is far more approachable than a gloomy and surly one. Smile more often. It will make you seem easygoing and happy, which will draw him to you. But don’t overdo the smiling by making it obvious.
Step 2. Sporadic Eye Contact. If you don’t want him to think that you are too attracted to him, relax on the little staring game. Look, but always look away just as he looks at you. By doing that, he will never be sure if you are staring at him, especially because in that corner coffee shop where you both are buying your fair trade pour-overs, he might think you’re looking at another white male donning Warby Parkers and a messenger bag between the age of 25–32 whose name is also Bryan or Brad or Brent or Brock or Chett or Chip, but whose name would never be Cookie. When you use this little trick, a tech bro will start getting more and more curious about you.
Step 3. Flirt With Him. The best way to flirt is by asking questions. It appears more sincere. Perhaps you see his t-shirt that advertises his startup. Ask him what the app does, how it benefits all of humanity. If the words evolve, progress or revolutionary spill from his lips, you’ve got him. If all this fails, ask him about the hazing he had to endure in his fraternity. He’ll dismiss this question at first with “It was just a way to make friends at Stanford,” but really he is still a little embarrassed admitting that most of the workers at his job are Sigma Alpha Epsilons. Just make sure you follow up with your own frat horror story. You don’t have one? Oh, you went to a state school? Well, make one up. But cease inquiry if his lip quivers, because that means he’s not yet comfortable admitting to the after-party bro-jobs where he was “soooo fucked up” to remember.
Step 4. A Little Peek-a-Boo. It’s always strategic to reveal yourself just enough to your tech bro. Wear shorts that cover, yet provide great suggestion of your ass. Brief engagement of visual repetition also goes a long way. We are creatures of myth, acolytes of serendipity. Seeing you at several of the same fifteen-minute 3,500 dollar junior one-bedroom open houses in the Mission adjacent to “bomb-ass burrito joints” and a Google bus stop will get him thinking: kismet. And just before you leave, tell him you can make out the outline of his cock through his beige Chinos.
Step 5. On December 20, 2013, an unnamed dissenter hurled a rock at a Google bus in Oakland during a routine protest, shattered the window. Three of the passengers suffered cuts across their faces. The Chronicle determined this action to be the fever pitch of growing disparity between the rich and poor in the Bay Area. Karl Marx was quoted in the SF Gate, in response to the action: “only with great violence, comes change.” As a result of the action, Google lost approximately 2,400.00 in work-hour productivity. All of the passengers eventually went to work. The bus window was fixed. No one quit their Google job. The protestors, part of the anarchist artist group Counterforce, claimed, “it’s not personal. It’s political.” And, Jonah Wilson, a resident who witnessed the action, claimed, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”
Step 6. Unexpected Touches. This is important if there is already mutual attraction. Lightly grazing his knee or his lexicon is key to sealing the deal. Mention API, GUI, BAP, CDMA, VC, especially because you’re a woman and/or person of color that hasn’t immigrated from East Asia, and he’ll be surprised as much as impressed. Mention that you felt people were too harsh on Justin Keller, who was just voicing what all of us were thinking – I mean, why would any “wealthy working people” living in San Francisco want to see the “pain, struggle and despair of homeless people to and from their way to work every day”? Right?
Step 7. Don’t Throw Yourself At Him. It’s good to keep him guessing just a bit. Just as he tells you how his startup is changing the world, remind him that Dumpster, the app he designs informing when “friends” are taking a shit isn’t really fostering interactivity in instances of need. When he tells you how his colleagues are the world’s 21st century’s artists, tell him that art is the conduit between humanity and the sublime, and that while a certain sublimation is involved in discussions of user experience, the irony does not escape you.
Step 8. I was in love with a boy named Chris Cortina, in high school. He was densely sandy-haired, full-lipped, big-eyed. He listened to REM and Operation Ivy and drew celestial figures across the grids of his Geometry notebook, organic loops betraying rigid lines. His ass filled a pair of shorts like two planets. We hung out in his room all night interpreting Tool’s Psalm 69. He cried about our shared mortality over my lap and a bottle of Mad Dog. But when I leaned in to love him, to really love him with the length of me, he pushed away, denied the kiss and our history, left the circle we had drawn amidst the grid. With the silence came my fury. A week after the refusal, I keyed the body of his Honda and gutted his tires with a steak knife.
Step 9. Sympathize With Him. It must be so hard to be a tech bro, where everyone demonizes your existence. You’re blamed for gentrification, for sterilizing formerly dynamic city-centers into consumer-driven cultural wastelands, for displacing blue-collar workers and artists. But this is a free market economy, right? Just because tech bros were clever enough to get themselves an education, work hard, and land a six-figure job doesn’t mean they are required to buy art, or go to the theatre, or attend readings. This is Neoliberal America. Why blame them just because they prefer to spend their hard-earned money where they like – at bars with mint-flavored ice-cubes and restaurants with repurposed communal wood tables, and Cross-Fit classes? They have the right to spend their money wherever they want, right? The free-market economy is a virtue, like obeying your parents or neutering your pets. It’s not tech-bros’ fault that artists aren’t clever enough to get people to buy their stuff. Maybe they should launch a Kickstarter. If they would just evolve or plug in to progress, then artists might not have such a bad go if it. Innovate or evaporate, dude. That’s what Daniel Pink says. You know Daniel Pink? A real thinker, that Daniel Pink.
Step 10. Imagine the frustration of that protestor, the one who was so incensed by the rent hikes, by the displacement of the poor, by the white supremacy, by Atlas Shrugging all over Market Street, by the injustice, that upon sight of the rock’s crude heft, the vulnerability of the thin glass, felt compelled to pick up and throw it, to exact harm somewhere. But where exactly? Anywhere more specific than merely beyond themself?
Step 11. Ignore Him Just Enough To Want You More. Allow for desire to bellow as you deflate the balloon of his own self-importance. Make him check and re-check his IM, fidgeting at the ergonomic desk in his favorite co-working space, called Würk, or Spæce. And when he asks why you haven’t FaceTimed him before lunch, remind him that this is a free-market economy. Right? You can choose who to buy, and when.
Step 12. Convince Him To Move To Wichita. Or Providence. Why not? Why the fuck not? I mean, who needs place when we are all progressing towards an interconnected reality? Aren’t we all the pages of The Whole Earth Catalogue?
Step 13. Think about Charlottesville. One group feels they have been disenfranchised by the self-righteous. The other group feels they need to quell the rise of a destructive force. Who is who? Well, perhaps that question illustrates a problem larger than either group attempts to resolve.
This list is obviously banking on you being angry, dear reader. Maybe you’re nodding to some of these jabs at the tech bro. Maybe you’re laughing out loud, thinking snap!. Maybe you’re even seething. Have you figured out why, yet?
Think about what lists do: how they whittle complexities to taglines, to Buzzfeed articles, to Twitter handles; how they whittle our integrity, how they carve us into singularity. How they take away our multitude. How they are born of refusal.
It’s so much easier to exact fury on an individual than a complex, on a group than a system. Artists will tell you that our eyes require a focal point to locate within the entire field of vision. Activists are trained to know this. They could tell us this. The point? We want our shared mortality to be felt. That rock on the Google bus windshield insisted, “you will die too. Don’t think you won’t.” But, to no one who could hear, not at that moment, anyway. The cracking of glass, the violence, was all that anybody heard.
Step 14. I know. The magazine you’re reading promised thirteen, but there is always another and another, if we are walking nowhere. These steps are not dedicated travel. Progress is never a formula, and only fulfills itself when it’s aware of what it affects. Where is the awareness in this? Say this to your tech bro. Say the word formula. Watch to see if his lip quivers.
Step 14 could also be: Don’t throw rocks at Google buses. Or it could be: Listen to one another. Listen.
And that’s the only step, really, to secure a tech bro, to secure a prom queen, to secure Peter in Finance, to secure the grumbling poet, the fixie rider, the hairdryer, the hordes of looking lovers; to secure anything akin to justice. Listen. You’ll be surprised what that level of willingness and generosity reveals to you about us all.
And smile. Make it as obvious as you can.