alt for one and one for alt

June 8, 2011

Wrote this as a parody Nicholson Baker satire piece for a non-fiction course I took last semester. I had sort of become obsessed with Hipster Runoff, the aesthetics of Tumblr and–of course–the story of Bebe Zeva. Most of her teen years is true, as told to Thought Catalog last year. If you catch yourself up properly, then what follows should be hilarious.


1993: Bebe Zeva is born Bebe Zehava (8 lbs. 7 oz.) to rich Jewish parents living in Las Vegas, Nevada. Within minutes, they file for divorce. The perfect “alt icon for Generation Z” is born.

1995: Zeva’s first manicure. She decided on metallic blue to go with her favorite diaper brand. Mom tips Vietnamese worker $2.

1996: Begins homeschooling by neurotic Jewish mother in suburban Las Vegas.

1997: Sister, Rachel, is born [via other father].

1998: Zeva’s life is inundated with consumeristic ideology. She learns to respond positively to ads targeted to her age group and demands brand-name baby clothes which her mom purchases for her from the Shops at the Venetian.

1999-2004: Normal suburban Vegas upbringing ensues including casual encounters with showgirls, blackjack dealers and Subway’s meatball marinara sandwiches.

2005: Zeva announces to mother that she wants to be a writer so she can force people to read her opinions. Begins wearing neon.

2006: Eats more El Pollo Loco than Subway for the first time in her life.

2007: Discovers The Velvet Underground through the band’s unofficial Myspace page. Makes mom buy copy of The Hipster Handbook. Within months, Zeva has started saying “deck,” shopping at Urban Outfitters and is finally fulfilling a long desire to become a “hipster.” Discovers relevant blog, Hipster Runoff—written by a figure named Carles. She makes HRO her #1 friend on Myspace.

2008: Finally understands Hipster Runoff. Aspires to be “a Myspacer worth blogging about.” Has un-researched non-fiction essay pieces published on various relevant blogs. Realizes that Carles might be an outspoken alter ego of the hipster-obsessed Vietnamese-American author Tao Lin.

2009: Pre-orders Tao Lin’s book Shoplifting from American Apparel on mom’s credit card. Creates accounts on Blogger, Twitter, Formspring, Lookbook and Tumblr. Begins modeling for the “I Am Carles” brand. Claims to be a drug-and-alcohol-free virgin.

2010: Tao Lin films the Bebe Zeva documentary by following her around Vegas for one night with his Macbook Pro. It’s mostly Lin feeding spoonfuls of ice cream to Zeva in a hotel room in exchange for “postmodern comments.” Zeva changes the title of her blog from “Bebe Zeva” to “Fated to be Hated.”

2011: Zeva celebrates her 18th birthday. Bounty on nude photos tops half a million dollars. 3452 Twitter followers.

2012: After years of a long-distance relationship made in nu-hipster heaven, Zeva briefly marries Travis MacFarlane. Tao Lin liveblogs the ceremony. The newlyweds move into a hotel room at the Luxor and begin to argue over the merits of Fuji film and which sister from Puro Instinct they want to be their “one freebee.” The marriage quickly dissolves.

2014: Moves to the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn so she “be alt that she can be.” Pays rent with mom’s alimony checks. Starts new blog, “Bete Noir in the Big Apple.”

2015: Starts changing clothes between every activity and uploads an unprecedented 30 new outfit-photos to her Lookbook within one week.

2016: Marries Tao Lin in Los Angeles a warehouse-party (Jewish) ceremony sponsored by FYF Fest. Some tickets are auctioned off on eBay. Others are hidden in certain limited-edition Animal Collective color vinyls around the world, launching a Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory-worthy hunt for the last “golden ticket” (a Chinese teenager eventually finds it, but is subsequently killed by the government after being shown on the news possessing unapproved music). Daedelus and Flying Lotus co-DJ the wedding reception. The photos are an instant meme.

2017: Zeva liveblogs while giving birth to Jew-Asian twin boys in a bathtub birth at their meatpacking-district loft. Names them “#Bryan” and “@THE_REAL_SHAQ.” American Apparel sponsors the babies’ childhoods through Kindergarten. The blogosphere aggress that the kids are “keut.”

2018: Un-ironically tweets “Who is Arcade Fire?” and immediately loses authenticity. Exposed as a “lamestreamer,” Zeva is the target of hateful Formspring questions and meme-inspired forumspeak jpgs.

2019: Lin Divorces Zeva amid rapidly dropping scene points. She is no longer relevant. The judge awards Lin custody of the still-partially blogworthy twins. Lin tweets “I gotz Bebe’s bbs.” Zeva spirals into post-postpartum depression [via Jenny McCarthy].

2020: Varicose vein surgery. 876 Twitter followers.

2021: Wins Pulitzer Prize for investigative piece about the meaning of her post-relevant existence and rise to alt-fame published in the New Yorker. Uses money to fund a total face transplant. New face partially made from cryogenically-frozen fragments of Mary-Kate Olsen’s face (who died years earlier in a botched Botox injection).

2022: Mayans forgot to carry the one and everyone dies on December 22, 2022.


One Response to “alt for one and one for alt”

  1. Michael Juliani said

    “Pays rent with mom’s alimony checks.”

    So our-generation, Sarah. I like this.

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