Oh no! Here they come, everyone hide! Shhhh, they’ll hear you. You REALLY don’t want that group to know we’re here. Oh, which group am I talking about? I’m talking about that tragically hip subset of the urban middle class adult ironically named “the hipster”. The hipster is one of those people best read about and not experienced. Why? Imagine the beat poet, the punk, the grunge kiddie, and the intelligentsia all wrapped up into one skinny-jean-clad, ironic package. That is the hipster. But are all hipsters created equal? Not necessarily.
The hipster kind of evolved as a generation (not that they are a generation in and of themselves) that seemed to have no place. They were stuck between generations clearly defined. Right between the “me” generation and the “meh” generation, the hipsters seemed to not have a genre, a style, a purpose. What they had was a melange of styles they could cobble together. The hipsters drew upon the cultural stores of every unmeshed ethnicity they could find to create a new style all together. And that is, ultimately, what being a hipster is all about. Style. But not just style as any other member of society would define; the hipster consumes everything in their wake and calls it fashion.
- Skinny jeans: Check.
- Tight shirts and tops: Check.
- Gigantic sunglasses: Check.
- Scarves: Check.
- Irony. Really?
- Mopeds: Check.
- Literature: Check.
- New Yorker Magazine: Check.
- Kitschy Furnishings: Check.
- Poetry: Check.
- Coffee: Check.
- Cigarettes: Check.
- Veganism: Check.
- Music (More on this later): Check.
- Art: Check.
- Diners: Check please.
- The perfect messy coif: Check.
- Atari: Check.
- Smartphone and/or digital camera.
And what’s great about them — they aren’t age appropriate. Anyone can be a hipster. In fact, the older the better. But you must be careful. If, at an older age, you become too hip, you will become iconic to the movement and therefore become an accessory.
Birth of a hip nation
The hipster was actually born in the 1940s. The term meant anyone who liked hot jazz. And that’s befitting, as you will often see the hipster in the wild carrying their portable turntables spinning Jazz. Okay, they don’t actually carry around portable turntables — but they do likes ’em some jazz (the smokier the better). And once they do find a way to carry around those turntables…they will.
But now, the hipster is not so much about liking a style of music as it about snubbing you for liking YOUR style of music. That is what the hipster does best — snub. Why? Because they are sooooo much cooler, smarter, fashionable, and worldly than you.
As I mentioned near the close of the last record… (Please tell me you get that reference) … hipsters like jazz. But they also like ’60s and ’70s rock like the Stones. But more important, the hipster likes all the music you’ve never heard of. That is key to being a hipster — being one step ahead of everyone else. If a hipster declares a band cool, the second that band becomes cool (outside of the Hipster Nation), that band is no longer cool.
It’s confusing, I know.
So as much as I’d like to list out a bunch of hipster bands, I can’t. In the act of listing them, they’d no longer be hipster bands.
Hipsters seem to be drawn to movies about other eras. Say Anything, Wet Hot American Summer, Reality Bites, Coffee and Cigarettes, and of course, The Big Lebowsky. But know this, the hipster does NOT abide. Basically, if it’s out of “cool” by the general public, and the hipster can reclaim it as cool, consider it hipstered. The Big Lebowsky may be the exception to that rule as it is still cool among multiple sets of society.
Nope. Get your mind out of the gutter there Mildred. The hipster has one, big, drooling fetish — the authentic. The hipster doesn’t want replicas or tributes, or fakes. The hipster values one thing above all — authenticity. In other words, you will often see the hipster valuing nearly anything that can be found by thrifting or yard’ing. If it smells like must and moth balls, chances are it’s hipster-worthy.
The big question
In all truth, the big question is whether or not we like the hipsters. Oh sure, we like to make fun of the hipster, but can we actually befriend someone who is more likely to insult your taste in just about everything than they are to compliment you or be kind to you.
If we channel our inner Shero, the answer would be “yes”. Why? Because the hipster adds flavor to society and we all know diversity is truly a gift. So, in honor of everyone’s favorite transgender superhero, let’s all raise our flasks to the hipster! May you always be cooler than everyone around you and may no one know it. Now let’s give an ironic Huzzah!