Let me say my piece on the Hipster Dilemma, which I’m defining as the apparent lack of a uniform definition of this concept. I’m only capitalizing that phrase because you people are all out of your minds about it and we’re going put a name to this brand of discourse. First, let’s discuss things that do not make people hipsters ( I write, sidestepping the “people are people” shit for today).
Your mother’s purchase of your husky pants in middle school did not make you fat, your Abercrombie clothes in high school did not make you Californian, and your clothes from Urban Outfitters do not, I repeat, do not make you a hipster. Actually, I repeat again, your Urban Outfitters clothes do not make you a hipster. I’m sorry if you were aiming for such a thing and I just shat all over your parade. These clothes are just as trendy as any other thing ever was and you know that. The only reason you forgot for a minute is because we don’t really have any idea what we’re doing until we suddenly look at pictures twenty years from now and think “Wow. What?” So, don’t beat yourself up.
The only reason anyone is wearing shorts with high waists, jorts, docs, cuffed khakis, beanies, flannels, fingerless gloves, prints, etc. is because they receive approval from their peers for wearing those things. Nobody is buying neoprene sweaters because they’re breezy and don’t cause fucking heat rash, no. They’re wearing that so you think that they’re edgy. I’m not defining edgy though, I’m defining Hipster.
Next thing to tackle is music. Mumford to Nicki, they’re all wearing clothing that you people would call “Hipster” if you saw it in Williamsburg, aren’t they? You’d be like “Oh my god, look at that hipster with the green hair and cheetah print leggings” just as quickly as you’d say “Oh my god, look at that hipster with the suspenders and pompadour” and so on, and so forth. Alright, now to actually tackle music. Music, much like clothing, begins on the outside of society, slowly infiltrating popular culture. This has been true from the days of Brass to the days of Ass. Your cool friends that listen to the weirdest music ever? Well, that weird music will either become your favorite music or will fall off the planet like Ska did. Why? Because it’s fucking fashionable, and edgy, to like those things.
It doesn’t have to do with your job, your diet, your brunch. It has nothing to do with this shit. Here’s an idea, when you’re taking a photo of your farm-to-table brunch on a Sunday, consider this: Things have been farm-to-table for fucking millenia. People have transported themselves on wheels without motors for centuries, rendering biking an illegitimate definition for “hipster” as well.
Let me tell you where this all started:
In Williamsburg in the Bush era, there was an influx of underemployed or unemployed poor young people. They didn’t come to New York to invent apps for mobile phones or start a small graphic design firm. They didn’t come here to smoke hash oil in a fucking cottage in Montauk. They came here to live in New York City, explore nightlife, get fucked up all the time and spend money.
Do you remember your Philosophy 101 class? Let’s remember Nihilism: essentially, a lack of meaning in life. Now, let’s all turn our textbooks to Hedonism: the idea that pleasure is the only good thing in life. That’s what Hipster is. That’s why you can’t find one.
All those life-is-meaningless-let’s-get-as-fucked-up-as-possible people died doing heroin or they are in prison for it. This shit started almost 15 years ago. They left us loving oriental rugs and tapestries much the same way Cobain made us love flannel and Lennon made us love love. The originators died.
The people you’re calling hipsters are not hipsters, they are fashionable.
All the hipsters are dead.