Thursday, April 18, 2013

Hipster nonesense

Much like I had predicted, I joined pinterest and now spend approximately twelve hours too many on it everyday.  What can I say?  I am aesthetically inclined in the worst way.  Some might even call it...superficial?

But pinterest is making me confront something that I have been avoiding for a while: that I might be a hipster or, at the very least, a hipster sympathizer.

I read an article recently that claimed "hipster" has become meaningless term--that it has become the default insult that we as a culture use to characterize anyone that we don't like.  I suppose I agree to some extent; I did call our broken shower a hipster the other day and our resident manager for not giving us a new clicker to our garage door until t-minus two weeks after the garage door system was replaced.  But I prefer the good old Potter Stewart definition: I know a hipster when I see one.


This is a hipster.  Note the loud vintagey looking glasses with accompanying (and ironic?) eyeglass croakies, the beat-up t-shirt for a punk band that no one has ever heard of and that I, consequently, had to research to determine actually was a band (and that this shirt wasn't just some homage to the swan animal), also note the lime green suspenders, the Charles Manson beard and matching greasy hairdo (is this just a picture of a young Charles Manson?  Who can tell), the layered jewelry, and the air of je ne sais quoi.  Except that I do know what it is: it's a mix of apathy and douchiness.  (No offense random stranger whose picture I found by googling "hipster.")

So why do I secretly worry that I am a hipster?  Well.  Let's examine the facts, shall we?:

-A liking of vintage clothing and vintage inspired clothing: check
-Big tortoiseshell glasses frames: check

-But no lenses required in said frames: minus--I'm blind

-A penchant for mixing prints, wearing moccasins, knee socks, and bold lipstick shades: check, check, check, and, unfortunately for people who have to look at me, check

-Occasionally does things ironically: check. Guilty.  I once carried around a Hello Kitty Bank
of America debit card in jest.  No one got it of course.  I mostly just got complemented on it by trendy looking Starbucks employees with asymmetrical hair cuts and blonde Forever 21 cashiers.

-Socialist yet consumer whore: well, we all know the answer to this one...

-Politically active yet generally ignorant about most things: what is fracking again?

-Claims to read the paper but never actually does: ...

-Enjoys things more--authors, musicians, restaurants--when they are lesser known: okay, check but in my defense, other people ruin liking things for me. Nothing's worse than co-existing in the world of fandom and sharing your adoration with someone who speaks jag fluently.

-General air of apathy: oh my, yes.

But, and I think this is the important distinction: that's just me.  Sure hipsters may do and wear some of the same things as me, but I'm not doing or saying those things to impress anyone or to be part of anything.  I subscribe to the Groucho Marx philosophy about groups: I would never want to be part of any club that would want me as a member.  I'm also not nearly cool enough to be a hipster; I'm pretty candid about my neuroses, insecurities, and general flawedness.  I doubt that hipsters run around worrying about whether or not they are good people, or if their quiet and unintentionally curt demeanor has sent other people running for the hills.  (Do you like my slightly incorrect use of outdated idioms?  I thought so.)  I am pretty earnest about who I am and what I like and though I apologize constantly, it's never for that.

So hipster overlap, yes but actual hipster tendencies, don't think so.  Glad we cleared that up, conscience.  Now we can rest easy.

And just in case you had any lingering questions about what a hipster is and whether or not I or someone else you know qualify, I find this video quite helpful.

And hilarious.  Happy hump day everyone!  No, wait.  It's Thursday.  Never mind.

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