Hipsters
November 12, 2012 11:14 AM   Subscribe

Is it time for another talk about the hipster thing?

Things are getting a bit angsty in the artisanal sriracha thread and I think it's unfortunate.
posted by Egg Shen to MetaFilter-Related at 11:14 AM (180 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

It might be time for a your-favorite-band-sucks-style moratorium.
posted by box at 11:18 AM on November 12, 2012


I'm not sure if we really need a full-blown Metatalk thread, but if people want to discuss it feel free. I left a note in the thread; I haven't noticed any particularly troubling streak of hipsterism-related noise on the site lately but maybe folks just haven't been flagging it?
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:18 AM on November 12, 2012


wha ... don't I get to be ironic too?
posted by jannw at 11:19 AM on November 12, 2012


Metatalk posts about hipsters are so played out.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:19 AM on November 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


What do we talk about when we talk about hipsters?
posted by octobersurprise at 11:24 AM on November 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


No, no it is not. Check your Outlook group schedule, the right day should be on there.
posted by griphus at 11:24 AM on November 12, 2012


What do we talk about when we talk about hipsters?

Haruki Murakami
posted by griphus at 11:25 AM on November 12, 2012 [13 favorites]


I hated liking hating hipsters before hating liking hating hipsters was cool.
posted by Aquaman at 11:28 AM on November 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


I liked hating liking hating hipsters ever before that.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:30 AM on November 12, 2012


Yeah this seems to be the sort of thing where a small in-thread correction/mod note seems to have done the trick entirely. I don't really see people here getting their hipster hate-on that much anymore and I'd like to thank everyone sincerely for whatever part they had in making that happen.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:32 AM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Haruki Murakami

Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?
posted by cog_nate at 11:40 AM on November 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Nobody Said Anything.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:42 AM on November 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Allow me, once again, to give you youngsters a little history: Hipsterism 101. Feel free to memail me if you want to know more.
posted by mareli at 12:00 PM on November 12, 2012


Someone made a comment early in another hipster thread that I wanted to answer, but the post had been going so long that it didn't seem worth it anymore.

The comment in question was something to the effect that hipsters don't like to admit that they are hipsters.... it had something about the girl in question 'not being comfortable with the term'.

And it occurred to me that if someone asked me that question, I would have no earthly idea if I was a hipster or not, because I have no idea what one is. I have never seen anything so vague and ill-defined be such an obsessive focus by people. The scorn is palpable, but it seems to be scorn directed at nothing, no group you can actually point at that has distinguishable characteristics. Wearing weird clothes and drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon seems to be as tight as that definition gets, which would probably cover just about everyone, at one time or another.

I guess what I'm really not getting is this: why the heck would anyone care about this sorta-kinda-not-really group of people? Why on earth is this super-nebulous group worth the obsession? Is it just jealousy that attractive young people are having way more sex than we are?
posted by Malor at 12:21 PM on November 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


What is a hipster?
posted by dfriedman at 12:30 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyone having more fun than you is a hipster.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:31 PM on November 12, 2012 [12 favorites]


My working definition of hipster is someone who cheerfully exemplifies everything you hate about yourself. Most of the time I see someone railing against hipsters I get the idea that they're scared shitless that they themselves might be one.
posted by dfan at 12:33 PM on November 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


I'm too square to be a hipster. I'm like Mitt Romney.
posted by dfriedman at 12:34 PM on November 12, 2012


Evolution of 'The Hipster'

People who are visibly trendier than I am are posers and snobs, creating false images of themselves.

People who are less visibly trendier than I am are uncool and behind-the-times.

In this way, being a 'hipster' is akin to driving on the highway.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:36 PM on November 12, 2012 [16 favorites]


They exist. They are like deer, one or two are kinda cute but when there are hundreds chewing up your plants they get tiresome.

It is like hippies. We all agree there was a certain coherent subculture commonly identified as hippes. What do hippies do? All kinds of shit. Can you identify a hippy? Probably. Let's say you live in Haight Ashbury in the late 60s and you keep seeing hippies, you don't even dislike hippies, one night you call your friend in New York and say "wow there sure are a lot of hippies smoking weed and listening to the Greatfull Dead and burning draft cards in the park" and your friend says "psaw, no such thing". I mean who the fuck are all these people then.

Look at the bar review cartoon post from yesterday. All those bars are less than 5 years old. Who are all these people with waxed mustaches drinking old overholt playing bocce in these bars.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:37 PM on November 12, 2012 [19 favorites]


Hipsters are the people younger than me but older than my daughters.

(Or so I've been told my teenage daughters.)

Seriously though, I have trouble seeing the angst over this.

Many people tinker, make, hot rod, invent, craft (or whatever other term you want for making things yourself) and people have done so for a long time, even with factory made alternatives.

No one's accused me of being artisanal when I make my own bacon, pastrami, and gunpowder. I'm just eccentric (so I've been told my teenage daughters.)

Is it when things are called 'artisanal' that upsets people?

Maybe it's because I don't have a beard...
posted by Argyle at 12:43 PM on November 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm a hipster and I make more money than you.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:45 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


If hipster hate is all played out, who should I start hating? I'd like to be on the cutting edge, for once.
posted by Area Man at 12:48 PM on November 12, 2012


With all this talk of hipsters, I feel a little bad that we consistently ignore the flipsters and finger-poppin' daddies. Maybe knock them some lobes once in awhile?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:50 PM on November 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


You can be a hipster at any age. It isn't like there is an age limit,Thurston Moore is in his 50s for god's sake, he is like the platonic ideal of a hipster.

None of this is bad, or an insult. There are just clearly a whole shitload of people with a shared aesthetic.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:05 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


If hipster hate is all played out, who should I start hating?

The haters.
posted by griphus at 1:05 PM on November 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thurston Moore is in his 50s for god's sake, he is like the platonic ideal of a hipster.

Thurston Moore thinks he's the platonic ideal of a hipster.

If hipster hate is all played out, who should I start hating?

Thurston Moore.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:10 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


If hipster hate is all played out, who should I start hating?

The game.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:14 PM on November 12, 2012 [8 favorites]


One day a couple of months ago, I was standing in line at my local artisanal donut place and ranting to myself at how fucking annoying the hipsters in front of me were being, dithering over what kind of donuts to get. I was also wearing a fedora. (Really.)

Oh fuck, I thought.
posted by rtha at 1:16 PM on November 12, 2012 [57 favorites]


If hipster hate is all played out, who should I start hating?

The new word you're looking for is "makers."
posted by kimberussell at 1:24 PM on November 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've played bocce while drinking Old Overcoat. Never with a mustache, though.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:30 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


The new word you're looking for is "makers."

In the other universe, they all drink a brand of rye called "Hipster's Mark."
posted by gauche at 1:32 PM on November 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Clearly some of us here are hipsters. If only there was a test to figure out who they are.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:35 PM on November 12, 2012


Hello, new Smirnoff Ice!
posted by Burhanistan at 1:35 PM on November 12, 2012


Smirkoff Ice.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:42 PM on November 12, 2012


If only there was a test to figure out who they are.

I imagine it would be like that one scene in The Thing.
posted by mcmile at 1:44 PM on November 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


The hipster hate is stupid, but it helps identify which contributors to ignore. I have more of a problem with the "kill them with fire" bit, but I guess Carpenter's The Thing is more popular than Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc.

More's the pity.

On preview: what are the odds?
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 1:50 PM on November 12, 2012


Are there age limits to hipsterism?
posted by batmonkey at 1:57 PM on November 12, 2012


I don't get the hipster hate. I mean- they're not really aesthetically appealing, and not everyone is into fly casting, but when you're standing for hours in an icy stream, they're really indispensable.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:58 PM on November 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


The hipster hate is stupid, but it helps identify which contributors to ignore. I have more of a problem with the "kill them with fire" bit, but I guess Carpenter's The Thing is more popular than Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc.

More's the pity.


Oh wow. I didn't mean "kill hipsters with fire." I just meant it would be really intense with people staring suspiciously at one another. I don't hate hipsters.

And I have seen The Passion of Joan of Arc.
posted by mcmile at 2:06 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


If hipster hate is all played out, who should I start hating?

Probably people who talk about how much more money than you they make.
posted by adamdschneider at 2:07 PM on November 12, 2012


Prometheus was a movie about a cat. It was made for hipsters.
posted by Mister_A at 2:09 PM on November 12, 2012


If hipster hate is all played out, who should I start hating?

The game.


FYI he dropped the 'The' and just goes by Game now.
posted by Copronymus at 2:18 PM on November 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Hipsters are like electrons: you can only approximate their location. But there are algorithms for doing so! As one of MetaFilter's youngest and hippest denizens, perhaps it is inappropriate that I share some of these secrets with you, but it's that very inappropriateness that makes me such hot stuff.

The simplest questions: Are they different from me? Are they younger than me? Difference is a key hip variable – no matter whether the difference is "cool" or "loserly" or "square", if it's something you're not, then you've become an outsider, and something hip might be going on here. As for youth, well, the undeveloped worldviews and skewed perspectives of the young will necessarily lead to fixations on things which might provoke your irritation.

Do I disapprove of what they're doing on some level? Do I like what they're doing on another? Obviously you can't hate a hipster if you're worshipping at their freshly-pedicured feet. You need to have a reason to dislike a hipster or else they're not a hipster. But hipsters are not merely hipsters because you disapprove of them. They also have to be doing something which, in a certain way, or perhaps in a more innocent time, you'd have liked to do yourself. The two forces in opposition serve to emphasize the hipster's difference from you: there is an ideological gap which you feel you simply must reject – even if the hipster is doing something which you can almost find yourself approving of! Especially if it's something you approve of!

Are they enjoying themselves? This is crucial. Somebody who seems self-loathing or anxious or what-have-you is not threateningly hip: they are merely astray. Sympathize with them. Wish them good luck. (Not too much good luck, of course, or else they will become the dreaded hipster incarnate!) It's the enjoyment that's key: somebody who enjoys themselves without existing on your wavelength is either an idiot... or a threat. Pray for the former. Fear for the latter.

Are they aware that I am judging them? And if they notice, do they care? If they're oblivious to your near-allergic reaction to their ways, then of course something nasty is afoot, but it can perhaps be forgiven: they're simply too foolish to notice your opinion! Far worse would be if they know exactly how you feel, and simply don't care. It's like when you found out your middle school crush knew how much you liked him/her all over again: "You knew? But why didn't you say something? Why didn't you help?" "Because," they say, tossing their at-once-silly-and-beautiful hair back and forth, "I was hoping you'd grow out of it if I left you alone. And it's not really my job to worry about you. You should figure this out for yourself."

There it is: the heart of the hipster menace. No matter how much you care about them, they don't care one whit for you. If they do care, can they really be that hip? Somebody trying to persuade you to their cause is an idealist, perhaps, or else they're just an asshole. What fools they'd be to think you cared about their opinions, their tastes, their actions! How irritating that they insist on "helping" you; why on earth would they think they could help you?

But they don't care, and that places the burden squarely back upon you. Do you care about these silly different people and their silly different ways? Do you, say, like them, despite the obvious okayness of your own life? Do you mind that they like themselves and don't concern themselves with hating you, despising you, envying? Does it matter to you that these different people exist and are happy?

There is a paradox here, which is perhaps at the heart of all hip things: one can both want them and reject them. One can both envy that which is cooler than they are and scorn it for being unnecessary. One can both care and wish they didn't care. That which is silly can also be mysterious that which is pathetic can also be amazing. Finding a way to resolve it is up to you.

The solution, of course, would be to make peace between yourself and the rest of the world; find a way to enjoy your own comfortable life while seeking excitement and newness from others. Accept that which is new and unfamiliar; accept that not all of it will be for you; accept that the parts which are not yours don't need to be outright rejected. Open yourself to others and find them open in turn to you. That would be a solution. But it comes with a cost.

A cost? Indeed, dear MeFite, indeed. For once you open yourself up to these happy different people, you'll find yourself in a world more interesting, more vital, than you ever before imagined. You'll find yourself trying new things and searching for new ways to refreshen that which feels dull or stale. It will be hard to ever go back – indeed, you'll wonder why you'd ever want to go back. Why reject such an eager and joyful worldview? Why confine yourself in ways you don't feel like being confined?

Then your casual acquaintances will look upon you and see somebody doing strange, unfamiliar things. Things which sometimes might appeal to them, but which just as often they can't see the point of, or else which actively repulse. They'll wonder what sort of person might enjoy these strange things, might spend their hours pursuing such diverse and eclectic tasks. They'll find themselves irritated at this idiosyncrasy, annoyed that you may notice their irritation, even angry that your awareness doesn't give you even a moment's pause. They'll struggle with these conflicted emotions, and, as they struggle, a sentence will arise, as if an easy resolution, from their lips.

"Look," they will say, "at that fucking hipster."
posted by Rory Marinich at 2:18 PM on November 12, 2012 [59 favorites]


Play someone a song. Ask them their opinion of it. If they won't tell you, without knowing what band it is by, they may be a hipster.
posted by thelonius at 2:19 PM on November 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


I endorse Rory Marinich for David Brooks in 2012.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:24 PM on November 12, 2012 [13 favorites]


Working definition of hipster. They:

-get queasy at the sight of blood
-believe in the power of love
-want those people to pay for what they did
-become drained by too much social interaction
-think Chris Brown is a good person deep down inside, just very confused
-found Lost to be tiresome and meandering, yet a guilty pleasure
-cry at the sight of a sunset
-have played Chrono Trigger at least three times in the past decade
-hate you and judge you
-are afraid of coming to terms with the permanence of death and futility of existence
posted by naju at 2:28 PM on November 12, 2012 [8 favorites]


One day a couple of months ago, I was standing in line at my local artisanal donut place and ranting to myself at how fucking annoying the hipsters in front of me were being, dithering over what kind of donuts to get. I was also wearing a fedora. (Really.)

Oh fuck, I thought.
posted by rtha


This is the best comment that has ever been posted on Metafilter.
posted by Aizkolari at 2:29 PM on November 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


I think what we have all learned here is that if you look around the room and can't figure out who the hipster is, the hipster is you.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:31 PM on November 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


All my friends sneer at hipsters. They all wear chunky glasses, listen to alternative pop or 80s new wave, they all own and wear vintage clothes, they all have funny hairstyles. In their minds, that makes them nerds. They see each other across bars and sneer at each other, one group of nerds convinced the other group of nerds are hipsters and despicable. I sometimes wonder if they don't accidentally catch sight of their own reflection and, before they realize their error, give themselves a solid sneering.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 2:38 PM on November 12, 2012 [44 favorites]


So this wouldn't be the place to post a gift of my sriracha moustache?
posted by arcticseal at 2:51 PM on November 12, 2012


So this wouldn't be the place to post a gift of my sriracha moustache?

That is a gift I do not want to receive.
posted by Forktine at 2:54 PM on November 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


I wrote a column about local music in the early 2000s, thus was a moderate partisan in the Hipster Wars.

While much of that time has been lost to the ravages of the Wayback Machine, what I'd say sums up resentment of hipsters for me is a feeling of classism: Poor people, especially poor creative types (starving artists/musicians/what-have-you), make the best out of their poverty, shopping at thrift stores, enjoying cheap beer, doing DIY crafts because they can't afford more elaborate setups. The obnoxious "hipsters" were people doing the same things without the necessity of them; they could afford designer clothes, but affected the poverty chic. That leads to a couple things: Gentrification, where previous luxuries for the poor (once upon a time, craft beer was cheaper than imports, at least in Michigan, and the hipster influx sent PBR to $5 per bottle heights, something it totally doesn't deserve) become more expensive to capture more of the disposable income coming in, and to a lack of camaraderie and solidarity, as there's no real feeling that the "hipsters" are in this with you, also drinking shitty beer and shopping at thrift stores because they have to.

By now, hipster's pretty much just the new yuppie, and it's been, like, 20 years of sustained Hipster aesthetic amongst the cool, so it's lost a lot of the salience, at least to me.
posted by klangklangston at 2:56 PM on November 12, 2012 [29 favorites]


As an afficionado of punk rock music 30+ years ago, I didn't like the "fuckin' hippies" sentiments of the day and the subculture. Then as someone not fond of the prevailing culture of the mid 80s, I didn't like the "fuckin' yuppies" sentiments any better. Then as a non-fan of (most) rap music in the 90s, I didn't like it much when people talked about "fuckin' wiggers". Et cetera.

I don't care for all the "fuckin' hipsters" talk these days.

The kids in question are just kids, trying to establish some kind of tribal identity, one that may not align very well with whatever your tribal identity is. Sure, a lot of them are just fashion victims -- that's the way this kind of thing works. Sure, most of them will grow out of it, because that's the way it works too. This latest thing, these 'hipster' kids, are just the latest manifestation, rooted in the growth of 90s irony and a cute-but-not-entirely-coherent fetishizing of some consumer products meant (as I understand it) to express disdain or disregard for mainstream fetishizing of other consumer products.

But here's the the thing: lazily using shorthand phrases to dismiss and belittle great swaths of people who buy in to what is mostly just a youth trend, well, that makes you sound like an ass.

I actually spotted a few western 'hipster' kids here in Korea for the first time a few months ago, because I was taking an international group of trainees out to a bar -- my first time in a bar in years -- after wrapping up a weeklong session of workshops. They looked ridiculous to me, sure, and their 'costumes' were outlandish and attention-seeking, but they weren't bothering anyone, and their bandanna-wearing dog was friendly. Since I am now an old fart in a tie, they weren't interested in talking to me, which was probably for the best.

This too shall pass, of course, but even more tiresome than the silly kids and their fashion and entertainment choices are the people who insist on labelling them (and everyone else who might possibly have some connection to the trend) in order, one assumes, to clarify their own tribal affiliations.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:07 PM on November 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


Hank: So what super-cool adventure are we goin' on today? Should I get my hipster gear?
Brock: We're not goin' anywhere. Your father's workin' on this...thing.
Hank: Hipster. Hipster. Hipster Hipster Hipster Hipster Hipster. Say hipster.
Brock: Hipster.
Hank: Hipster. It sounds funny. Hipster.
Brock: Hipster. Yeah it does.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:09 PM on November 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


I want to know when we're going to talk about knuts, mashers, flappers, and pinks of the ton---why should they get a free pass?
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:12 PM on November 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think the term "hipster" is a signifier you don't really know what you're talking about and you're just generally mad at people who like something you don't. I've used it before and regret it.

I don't know how many conventional hipsters are even left. I'm talking the skinny jeans, cynical, ironically racist set. I think that may have fallen out of fashion. Again, I'm getting old enough I have no goddamn idea about these things.

What really bothers me is the newest "look at me" personality: People who seem to get more enjoyment out of telling people about what they're doing than they do from the actual activity. Also, being enthusiastic to the point of hysteria about every project they undertake. A whole lot of awesome-sauce-amazeballs-fucktacular things happening all the time, apparently.

It's all wrapped up in the artisanal movement, which is certainly not a net bad thing. Hell, I drink beer that is a direct product of this kind of enterprise. I think the fact that people love this stuff is great, and I'm very happy they've found something that makes them happy. However, it is grating when people have to tell you what they're doing and how awesome it is all the time.

Example:

Me: "Have a nice weekend."

O: "You too! I gotta hurry. I have two charity walks this weekend and I'm working on a handmade cabinet for all my knitting projects."

M: "Okay, well have fun."

O: "I will! But first I have to work on all my heirloom tomatoes and start baking the dog some treats. It's tough work!"

M: ".... goodbye."

Do what you enjoy..... and then shut the fuck up about it.
posted by lattiboy at 3:44 PM on November 12, 2012 [15 favorites]


Shorter version : don't make your life into a BoingBoing post.
posted by lattiboy at 3:50 PM on November 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


I use "hipster" as shorthand for "self-consciously 'alternative'" in a lot of contexts. I don't do it so much here, because it seems to bug lots of people here.

But I do notice people being self-consciously 'alternative' (and often smug about it) in the world fairly often (perhaps unsurprisingly because I tend to be in Cambridge most of the time, and Brooklyn or greater San Francisco most of the time I'm away from home). Sometimes I have thoughts about that. It does not make me a terrible human to notice other people's fads and foibles.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:07 PM on November 12, 2012 [12 favorites]


Honestly I can't understand the point in being bothered by how total strangers live their lives.
posted by shakespeherian at 4:10 PM on November 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Shorter version : don't make your life into a BoingBoing post.

That's exactly what happened to the artisanal sriracha lady. Which she didn't have any say over. But which has certainly dumped a good deal of money in her lap. So she may have mixed feelings about it.
posted by Egg Shen at 4:11 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I tried to order some but it was sold out. Now I gotta get some, it is the most exclusive premium sriratcha in the world. One I get it I'm going to out it on both my flickr and my twitter.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:15 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am taking it to a new level - I'm not a hipster, I'm a "hipster". I am not sincerely ironic, my irony is a comment on the nature of irony itself! I make macaroni art and sell it in galleries! My sincerity is expressed via meta-irony! I like Iron Maiden!
posted by Mister_A at 4:19 PM on November 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Honestly I can't understand the point in being bothered by how total strangers live their lives.

I find your lack of judgment disturbing.
posted by elizardbits at 4:19 PM on November 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


Related.
posted by brundlefly at 4:21 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm the coolest kid in my garage.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:23 PM on November 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sidhedevil: "I use "hipster" as shorthand for "self-consciously 'alternative'" in a lot of contexts."

Doesn't this judgement assessment require you to have privileged information about the internal mental state of a complete stranger?

Thank you for not doing that here, btw, I appreciate it.
posted by danny the boy at 4:25 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do what you enjoy..... and then shut the fuck up about it.

Why?

I mean, seriously, why?

People ask me what I'm up to, and I tell them. I'm putting Roubaix tires on my steel Colnago, because the roads here are all fucked up, and I need a durable tire. I'm also learning how to build wheels, so I can put together some classic box-section tubulars (maybe Ambrosio rims) that will really compliment the frame. I might mention it on facebook, because that is now a normal channel for socialization. If people are going to put up pictures of their babies on facebook, I'm going to put up pictures of my bikes. A friend of mine recently posted about pickling heirloom beets. I found it really interesting, because I hadn't seen the varieties she was using before, and because I really like pickled things. I'm glad people are getting more into old-style methods of food preparation and preservation. She also posts a lot about her work in fiber arts- that's because she is extremely talented up-and-coming artist, and she works very hard at it.

If you don't want to hear about these things, the ownness is on you.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:42 PM on November 12, 2012 [10 favorites]


Metafilter: would probably cover just about everyone, at one time or another.
posted by herbplarfegan at 4:44 PM on November 12, 2012


Me: "Have a nice weekend."

O: "You too! I gotta hurry. I have two charity walks this weekend and I'm working on a handmade cabinet for all my knitting projects."

M: "Okay, well have fun."

O: "I will! But first I have to work on all my heirloom tomatoes and start baking the dog some treats. It's tough work!"

M: ".... goodbye."


I have never had a conversation that went along these lines and I'm pretty deeply embedded in the milieu. I also know plenty of people who do these sorts of things, many of them MeFites, and they are some of the most interesting and fun people I know. They also tend to actually be doing stuff rather than reading their to-do lists to people who didn't ask. So either you hang around some really weird braggarts with weirder priorities, or you need to seriously work on your strawmen. If you need a hand, I can get you some small-batch, artisanal strawmen, made from locally-grown sustainable straw. Let me know.
posted by griphus at 4:45 PM on November 12, 2012 [15 favorites]


dude, your last askme was about making your own dog treats. RECOGNIZE.
posted by elizardbits at 4:51 PM on November 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


If my earlier post was a overly harsh, I apologize. Again, I'm not against any of those things, have at them! Not my bag, but power to you.

griphus: Of course the dialog was not verbatim, but I would imagine you are familiar with somebody using any pretense of conversation to tell you about their newest obsession? This is not limited to any particular set, but is much more prevalent among the group in question. Again, my experience in my social circles in my city. Results may vary.

Also, your remark about "doing stuff" vs. "to do lists" touch on another thing: self-importance. You're making homemade marshmallows, not saving goddamn western civilization. Again, the hyperbole.....
posted by lattiboy at 5:01 PM on November 12, 2012


Hand to god, the only people who have imposed their projects on me unprompted are party promoters and political activists. Most of the blatant self-promotion from everyone else happens on social media, and that is basically what social media is for. The rest of the time it's "what have you been doing?" "oh this art thing, you?" "oh brewing beer" "cool." Maybe I should just stop talking shit on the internet and just feel lucky my friends and acquaintances are fun and not whatever it is you are describing.
posted by griphus at 5:07 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Man you know who bugs the shit out of me? My friends, every time I see them.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:11 PM on November 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


I learned long ago not to do anything, I can't take the judging.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:14 PM on November 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


dude, your last askme was about making your own dog treats. RECOGNIZE.

To be fair, griphus opted to buy some cheap dog treats; it was I who sent him a multi-paragraph e-mail about how I thought he could make his own, then broke the raw material cost down into price per treat. But that's mainly 'cause I like cool dogs and ridiculous projects.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:23 PM on November 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


you are clearly part of the problem here greg.
posted by elizardbits at 5:27 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


No, I think I can assess other people's level of "self-consciousness" in the sense I meant it above pretty well by observing their words and actions. Erving Goffman's work is rich in insights about this stuff.

I guess it must be nice for those of you who never encounter other people you find annoying or ridiculous.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:27 PM on November 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I don't know, maybe that's like the whole stereotype. "Fuckin' HIPSTERS, with their suggestions to BOIL BIRD CARCASSES and use the FLESH to feed their PUGGLES who have FOOD ALLERGIES"
posted by Greg Nog at 5:28 PM on November 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I think that's it. But part of the whole statement is the "annoys someone else" aspect. Like if a hipster was just sitting in the library and no one was watching them crochet little skull finger puppets, are they really a hipster?

I mean, I don't know any of this for certain, I moved to Vermont and got off that train but we have other problems.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:31 PM on November 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Like if a hipster was just sitting in the library and no one was watching them crochet little skull finger puppets, are they really a hipster?


posted by griphus at 5:37 PM on November 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


I figure hipsters are basically the chick in "Common People".
posted by maryr at 5:45 PM on November 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


...I may be confusing hipsters with Rich Kids of Instagram.
posted by maryr at 5:47 PM on November 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


You probably are. Most hipsters I know are broke.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:56 PM on November 12, 2012


then broke the raw material cost down into price per treat

the best part was how you knew the current price of a whole duck off the top of your head.
posted by elizardbits at 6:19 PM on November 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


it must be nice for those of you who never encounter other people you find annoying or ridiculous.

I encounter annoying and ridiculous people EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE. But to be serious about a topic that I'm really reluctant to be serious about, only a small minority of those people who most annoy me everyday fit some common description of "hipster." (Offhand, the panhandling crusties I encounter are the only kinds of "hipsterish" people who really annoy me and that tends to be a mild annoyance tinged with a kind of delight.) I'm much more annoyed by the likes of a guy I overheard at a "hipsterish" bar recently telling a woman which Kubrick films she must see and how she must go to Vegas.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:29 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


And Thurston Moore, of course. That little fucker annoys the shit out of me.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:31 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm much more annoyed by the likes of a guy I overheard at a "hipsterish" bar recently telling a woman which Kubrick films she must see and how she must go to Vegas.

Look at these fuckin' hipsters.
posted by griphus at 6:49 PM on November 12, 2012


Hipsters are in to Vegas now? Have any of them ever been out there?
posted by Aizkolari at 6:57 PM on November 12, 2012


She sat at the kitchen table and smoked a cigarette. The neck of her robe open down below her throat.

"Is it the–" I started the question unfinished. My drink had melted. She sighed as if to say something.

I went to the counter to freshen my glass. The bottle of Teachers was nearly empty. Outside the window a child played in the mud with a stick.

These moments were the most difficult. We no longer knew each other. I tried not to look at the outline of her figure against the silk of her robe.

"Hipsters," she said. She crushed her butt in the ashtray.

This, I knew, was how the matter was decided.
posted by slogger at 6:57 PM on November 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


Hipsters are in to Vegas now?

They like to dress like Dan Tanna and eat the buffets ironically now.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:03 PM on November 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't know much about hipsters. Back in the early 00's, when I hadn't read a lot of invective on the subject yet, I used to think that maybe I was a hipster, because like, I don't know, I was into both Pat Metheney and Radiohead at the same time and enjoyed the films of Akira Kurosawa. Or something. I think this tentative concept of myself was largely informed by NPR.

Then something happened. I guess I got older. The disdain set in, like a bad head cold. I began to notice skinny jeans, fixies, beards (full disclosure: I have a sad, scraggly beard). I began to believe that hipsters were a Bad Thing, a thing to be feared, some Other that must be eradicated. Or at least derided at every opportunity.

After some time and reflection I realized that I had absolutely no idea about what a hipster actually is. My mom once asked: "so what is a hipster anyway?" and I thought, and I thought, but all I could say was "A cool person that you resent for some hard-to-define reason".

"Like hippies?" she said.

"Yeah, I guess so." It wasn't a very satisfying answer.

Not so long after that I found myself taking a second job at a local Apple retailer to help pay for the impending medical costs of our first child. Suddenly I was thrust into the midst of young college-age kids, fitter, cooler and beardier than I in every possible way. They wore expensive jackets that looked like military surplus. They drank PBRs and talked about going to Coachella. They were better than me at Halo and they'd all jailbroken their iPhones to play Legend of Zelda sound effects. Maybe these are hipsters, I thought. Except I liked them. It didn't make a lot of sense.

And then.

And then I finally the one person I felt could safely call a hipster, the one man who fit the ideal in a way that triggered that heady admixture of adoration, fear and loathing. Or so I thought: The Platonic Hipster. He worked at the Apple retailer, but "only for the discount". It was clear he came from money. He ran his own indie music blog. He only listened to music that came on vinyl, even all the songs on his iPhone were lossless ALAC files ripped at 24-bit 96Hz using Apogee converters from a vintage turntable. He only ate at local restaurants. He quoted Noam Chomsky out of context. He once said "I stopped listening to Belle & Sebastian because I realized I was just into them for the nostalgia".

Readers, his beard was PERFECT.

This was the closest I would ever get to a real hipster. As far as I know, he may be the only one. And you know what? He wasn't so bad either, a pretty nice guy overall. So I don't care about hipsters anymore. Folks is just folks, most of the time.
posted by Doleful Creature at 8:18 PM on November 12, 2012 [28 favorites]


I spent an hour at a family reunion a few years ago listening to my nephew, an 18-year-old singer/songwriter for an indie band in Portland who was wearing chucks, skinny jeans, a white belt, and a vintage t-shirt with a faded flannel shirt over it-- and who was finishing up an internship at a small business that made hand crafted wooden glasses frames -- tell me about how much he hated hipsters.

Later in the week, I told my brother about this story. My brother is a singer/songwriter for an indie band in Seattle who brews his own beer and keeps chickens. He was wearing vintage corduroys tucked into argyle socks, with a shirt from his own band under a faded hunting jacket. As I told the story, he spocked an eyebrow very very slowly. "Are you kidding me?!" he said. "Caleb is the biggest hipster I've ever seen in my life!"

"What the hell, Patrick!" I said. "Do you not look in a fucking mirror?!"

He drew himself up proudly, his jacket tightening around him to reveal the outline of the vintage cigarette case he picked up from the Dearborn Goodwill in the pocket. "Oh, no, I'm not a hipster," he said.

"How can you say that in good conscience?"

"Hipsters are thin."
posted by KathrynT at 8:20 PM on November 12, 2012 [77 favorites]


The most beautiful thing about these threads is the recursion. The people who hated hipsters before they were hipsters. The people who hate hipsters but who are themselves undeniably hipsters. The people that were first to recognize that hipsters are just people and everyone else is bitter. The people who smugly comment on the recursion of people discussing hipsters. It's a fractal of meta-masturbatory-differentiation. It tastes like the future.
posted by dephlogisticated at 8:38 PM on November 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


Man, I was into hating people complaining about people who obsess about stuff and claim to have liked it before it was cool before it was cool to hate people complaining about people who obsess about stuff and claim to have liked it before it was cool. Now hating people complaining about people who obsess about stuff and claim to have liked it before it was cool is all played out, unless, you know, you're doing it ironically. I'm totally down with ironically hating people complaining about people who obsess about stuff and claim to have liked it before it was cool.

Also: Yo dawg, etc.
posted by erniepan at 8:41 PM on November 12, 2012


eyeballkid and I hate you all.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:47 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hated hipsters back when they were emo kids.
posted by maryr at 9:01 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I seriously don't even know what a hipster is anymore. Shamefully I used to engage in the hipster-hatin', but then I had a notion of hipsters as people who hated lots of things for no reason (well, because they were too mainstream, which is the same thing as no reason). Now most of the people I hear accused of being a hipster are labeled so because they love lots of stuff earnestly and passionately and don't feel a need to hide it. So I don't know. Or care, really.

BUT! It was hilarious to see my partner's first encounter with hipsters. We'd just moved back to the SF Bay Area and were at a small club to see some 80s artist (Howard Johnson, maybe?), and he was utterly fascinated by the other people there. "Why are there so many rednecks here?" he asked me. "It feels like we're back home in North Carolina!" and I looked around and saw all the people in flannel shirts and trucker caps drinking PBR and completely understood, and for a brief moment felt kind of at home.
posted by rhiannonstone at 9:34 PM on November 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


How about this:

I'll keep my Forbes-magazine-certified "No. 1 Hipster Neighborhood in America." I'll keep the good music and good food and art galleries and cool, artistic, interesting, diverse people who do interesting stuff and mix effortlessly with people of all social classes and races and orientations without making a big deal of it.

You guys keep dropping in on the weekend, walk around with a judgmental look on your face for a few hours, then head home and write a howlingly insecure Yelp review about how the perfectly nice barista had an "attitude." Sound good? Cool.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:49 PM on November 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


I seriously don't even know what a hipster is anymore.

I don't think anyone ever really did. As far as I can determine, it is an undefined term. At best, it's the 'you know it when you see it' pornography rule, but every viewer seems to have a different definition.

As a first rule, I'd suggest that anyone who denies being a hipster, especially if they're offended by or uncomfortable with the idea, isn't a hipster. It's not something you should be imposing on people from outside. Whatever this nebulous thing is that everyone hates but no one can define, it's not something that should be forced as a label onto anyone.

If they don't accept it themselves, then you're the one in the wrong if you try to other them in that way.
posted by Malor at 12:09 AM on November 13, 2012


dephlogisticated: It's a fractal of meta-masturbatory-differentiation. It tastes like the future.

And you get to be the most meta of all! You win! You are the very best person in the whole thread, because you've managed to criticize everyone else simultaneously, while remaining ironic and detached.

So, um, yay?
posted by Malor at 12:11 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I thought that the three or four episodes of Portlandia that I managed to see were sort of hilarious at skewering a particular kind of attitude, but I'm pretty sure I like hipsters quite well (it's not like I have to wade through them here in Greece, it's more an internet thing for me). The only group I mostly disliked were yuppies, because that super materialistic "Type-A" lifestyle is poison to me. I liked hippies, punks, goths, slackers, nerds... any individual representative of which could obviously be terminally annoying – or fabulous, but as loose cultural "tribes" are always interesting, and it's fascinating to me to wonder about what such collective identities mean about any era's zeitgeist. I thought Jolene Collins from the post video was great; she reminds me a lot of a very close friend of mine, who is probably too old to be a hipster and was an early nerd before nerd was a "thing," so I just think of her as a nerdster. I thought Collins was genuine, fun and interesting and I'd like to try her sauce. And if this is hipster, I'm kind of happy that this is what our zeitgeist is producing now. You guys are all are invited to get on my yard.
posted by taz (staff) at 1:11 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I thought yards were just things we told people to get off of.
posted by Deoridhe at 1:20 AM on November 13, 2012


"Hipsters are thin."

Oh.




I mean, fine.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:36 AM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Calling someone a hipster is the aesthetic equivalent of Fox News labelling everyone they disagree with a "socialist".

It doesn't tell you anything about the subject, only about the labeller, who is using a convenient shorthand rather than telling you about their actual disagreement.

I mean, if someone tells me "I can't stand that guy, he likes bicycles/beer/universal healthcare", I might say "hey, i like that thing too" and then there wouldn't be another participant for the Two Minutes Hate.
posted by dubold at 3:54 AM on November 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


And it occurred to me that if someone asked me that question, I would have no earthly idea if I was a hipster or not, because I have no idea what one is. I have never seen anything so vague and ill-defined be such an obsessive focus by people.

Hipsters are the new posers. Exactly the same thing - undefined others that are somehow inauthentic and despicable for it.
posted by Dysk at 4:12 AM on November 13, 2012


(That being said, I will admit to some resentment toward some rich kids I know affecting a ragged aesthetic when I'm basically walking around in rags because I can't afford new clothes and the acquaintance who started a bombastic and pseudo-authoritative cooking blog when I know from personal experience that I am a far better cook, and I don't think I'm in any way good enough to be lecturing others. I do try to resent them personally, though.)
posted by Dysk at 4:34 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does some of this go back to childhood? If you get the idea in high school that the alternative or trendy kids don't like you, maybe it sticks with you and you find yourself disliking punks, hipsters, etc. If so, get over it everyone. We are grownups now.
posted by Area Man at 5:10 AM on November 13, 2012


We are grownups now.

"Life is high school with more money." - Frank Zappa
posted by Egg Shen at 5:15 AM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I thought "hipster" was just what we call people who live in Brooklyn...

TheWhiteSkull: "If you don't want to hear about these things, the ownness is on you."

Is that the hipster version of "onus"?
posted by Grither at 6:29 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


What is a hipster?

Twenty bucks, same as in Williamsburg.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:45 AM on November 13, 2012


-found Lost to be tiresome and meandering, yet a guilty pleasure

I've been watching a lot of 90s sitcoms recently, and it's interesting how many references just don't make sense anymore - I can, despite not being American, get the ones in Murphy Brown because I know about the politics, but pop culture ones date so quickly. It's been a running joke between me and my SO that half of Family Guy is incomprehensible to those who aren't avid students of US pop culture - cue a cutaway to a jug jumping through a wall or 80s sitcom star Hank McHankhank - but an early episode sometimes has me having to think for a minute about what it is they're referring to. (This probably works both ways - for your comedy references to Kaycee Dugard, see our Jimmy Saville jokes.)

I've been thinking about this recently as I had my 17yr old nephew to stay a while ago and he was completely unaware of most of the stuff that was a meme when we were his age. I think to the hipsters of now, Lost probably falls into this category, just ahead of the dancing baby on Ally McBeal and just behind Chico Time.
posted by mippy at 7:34 AM on November 13, 2012


Honestly, I only use the word "hipster" in person theses days, mostly as lazy conversational shorthand when describing someone I met or an event I participated in, or trends in young artsy people moving into various Brooklyn neighborhoods. I feel kind of like an ass, but it's nice sometimes to just be able to say, "I was on the L train and it was full of tiny hipsters and it made me really self-conscious about my big ass and unfashionable boots!"

Although, as I'm writing this, it occurs to me that "I was on the L train" and a small grimace would get the same idea across just fine.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 7:34 AM on November 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


The thing I don't like about hipsters is that they and boxer briefs and boxer shorts are now the only underpants I can find offered for sale in my local clothing shops, and none of those are anywhere near as comfortable as my old navy blue Y-fronts, in most of which the elastic is starting to go.
posted by flabdablet at 7:55 AM on November 13, 2012


I have been wondering for a while what the heck exactly a hipster was.

Now after a whole thread about it, I am only marginally more enlightened, insofar as I now know that they are somewhat like electrons.
posted by philipy at 8:37 AM on November 13, 2012


Is that the hipster version of "onus"?

If by 'hipster' you mean 'drunk, ADD, and never that good at spelling anyway,' then yes.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:40 AM on November 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Is it time for another talk about the hipster thing?

No.
posted by ambient2 at 9:01 AM on November 13, 2012


I hate hipsters, but only because they only look good on girls with no fucking hips.
posted by drlith at 9:04 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I had to look up "Chrono Trigger." I guess that puts me, my chickens, my sauerkraut, and my record collection in the clear! Whew.
posted by OmieWise at 9:20 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


This thread is too one-sided; where is Juliet Banana to give the hipster-eye-view?
posted by greenish at 9:46 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am trying to own being a hipster (since I have big plastic glasses and have dubious facial hair and sometimes wear tight jeans and bike and live in fucking Williamsburg for fuck's sake) but am pretty sure that admitting to being one actually makes me not a hipster, except that now that I've voiced that it probably makes me a hipster again; however ow my head
posted by en forme de poire at 9:58 AM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am trying to own a hipster.

(They're the new backyard chickens, I hear.)
posted by neroli at 10:11 AM on November 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thanks to a Google, I ended up on the main UK student forum's fashion section, where I learned that the cool students of today are keeping their 3D glasses from the cinema, popping the lenses out of them, and wearing them as accessories.

When I become Queen of the Universe, I will ban all glasses wearing unless you can prove, by way of an optical examination, that you indeed can't see what your alarm clock says from the other side of the room. Only then will the coolness of glasses be bestowed, as a compensation for the hard burden of myopia.,
posted by mippy at 10:14 AM on November 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


NB I wear a pair of 1950s cateye frames. With PRESCRIPTION LENSES thankyouverymuch.
posted by mippy at 10:15 AM on November 13, 2012


I seriously don't even know what a hipster is anymore.

The single most giggle-worthy part of Hipster Culture is to watch them try to define it as simultaneously themselves and not themselves.

In any event, here's my list of uncharitable definitions of Hipster:

- 30-something who thinks they're still part of youth culture.

- Wants to be interesting, but not as interesting as a steampunk, rivethead or crunchy

- Someone who has credible alt-deniability

- Someone who revisits preschool arts and crafts and thinks, "Hey, I could go pro!"

- Has a six-figure day job, but needs to borrow money from retired parents to live in Williamsburg.

- Thinks well-traveled means crashing on couches in Austin and Eugene.

- A girl who dresses like Elvis Costello without meaning to.

- A guy who dresses like Patsy Kline without meaning to.

- Anyone with a neck tattoo who thinks juggalo makeup is silly.

- a yuppie on a non-professional, non-corporate career track.

- Any subculture where the vocabulary changes faster than the fashion.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:22 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Has a six-figure day job, but needs to borrow money from retired parents to live in Williamsburg.

oh snap


Anyone with a neck tattoo who thinks juggalo makeup is silly.

HEY WAIT
posted by elizardbits at 10:25 AM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


When I become Queen of the Universe, I will ban all glasses wearing unless you can prove, by way of an optical examination, that you indeed can't see what your alarm clock says from the other side of the room.

Dude, I can't see what my alarm clock says from the same side of the room. When other people try on my glasses it's like a hit of DMT, fucking machine elves everywhere and shit. </myopmanship>
posted by en forme de poire at 10:29 AM on November 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


I have been thinking about this post off and on all morning, and my main thought is "What the hell kind of bullshit word is artisanal? Who seriously needs a special word for handmade?" You want to know what a hipster is - anybody who uses "artisanal".
posted by nooneyouknow at 10:36 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


um yes hello EXCUSE YOU but i am sure you are not knocking David Rees's artisanal pencil sharpening
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 10:40 AM on November 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think it's kinda fitting. Art is anal.
posted by Grither at 10:43 AM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I'll keep my Forbes-magazine-certified "No. 1 Hipster Neighborhood in America." I'll keep the good music and good food and art galleries and cool, artistic, interesting, diverse people who do interesting stuff and mix effortlessly with people of all social classes and races and orientations without making a big deal of it.

You guys keep dropping in on the weekend, walk around with a judgmental look on your face for a few hours, then head home and write a howlingly insecure Yelp review about how the perfectly nice barista had an "attitude." Sound good? Cool.
"

Dude, I live in the same neighborhood as you! And yeah, the folks at Intelly are sometimes snots! (I don't yelp, though.)

Onto the broader hipster archetype: I have a buddy who's what I think of as the Platonic Hipster, though he's a really sweet guy, actually.

He's one of the organizers for Fuck Yeah Fest, manages a couple of neo-psych and neo-new wave bands, and is always into things before you, and out of them too. When I met him, he was living in his car — but it was a Prius, and he parked it on the beach (which meant that LACMA couldn't send him his membership card). He had a personal dietician that recommended that for breakfast and lunch, he only drink smoothies from Cactus. When other hipsters were just getting into the Asian girlfriend thing, his girlfriend was from some Danish cultural board and was paid in the states to learn about what could be adapted to Denmark from the U.S. indie rock scene. He has a side gig converting tour busses to run on bio-diesel, and has worked for an alt-publication that's mostly posters of bands like Pocohaunted. He's gotten me into private parties at Shephard Fairey's loft/studio downtown (though now Fairey has moved to Echo Park), where Wooden Shjips played. PBR and Rolling Rock have both run advertisements featuring him.

I don't hate the guy — I love him. He's awesome. He's doing something really cool and having fun doing it, and he's got an infectious enthusiasm even for stuff that I think is kinda dumb (I'm still not sure why he loved the Sunset Rubdown album so much). But he is comically, parodicly hip in an unselfconscious way that can be totally goofy. He hates the term "hipster," mostly because he thinks it's lazy and because it gets flung at him pretty regularly, but he's who I think of when I hear the word.
posted by klangklangston at 11:22 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hipsters are in to Vegas now? Have any of them ever been out there?

They go to Vegas. And then they tell everyone what they did in Vegas!
posted by Kabanos at 11:54 AM on November 13, 2012


- A guy who dresses like Patsy Kline without meaning to.

I. Well. Uh. What about Loretta Lynn ca. 1962?
posted by griphus at 11:58 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm being generous on the myopia front. I'm at the point now where if I take off my glasses, the world looks like a poorly-constructed kaleidoscope.

a
posted by mippy at 12:10 PM on November 13, 2012


Slap*Happy: "a yuppie on a non-professional, non-corporate career track."

Isn't "professional" part of the definition of "yuppie"?
posted by brundlefly at 12:19 PM on November 13, 2012


They have a McMansion and an Audi but work at a place that's totally iconoclastic?
posted by Burhanistan at 12:30 PM on November 13, 2012


Audi is better than Skoda.
posted by Mister_A at 12:52 PM on November 13, 2012


I was driving Audis back when I was driving your mom.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:13 PM on November 13, 2012


See how I twisted it?
posted by Burhanistan at 1:14 PM on November 13, 2012


....the acquaintance who started a bombastic and pseudo-authoritative cooking blog when I know from personal experience that I am a far better cook, and I don't think I'm in any way good enough to be lecturing others.

See, there's actually something you could do about this, though. I had a similar resentment against a playwright who was god-awful, and I seethed every time she sent out an announcement about a reading she got or a staging she got or a festival she was part of. And every time she sent those out I would seethe about how I could write a much better play than they could.

Until the day I realized that "yeah, but you aren't doing that and she is." You may be a better cook than your friend, but your friend is the one starting the blog.

You gotta buy the ticket if you want to take the ride. That's what I learned.

(As it turns out I'm thinking of starting my own food blog instead of playwriting - that's the other part of my issue is that I'd rather write something else anyway.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:47 PM on November 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


eyeballkid and I hate you all.
I hated you all before eyeballkid made it cool.
posted by dg at 1:50 PM on November 13, 2012


Everything you ever needed to know about hipsters and why everybody else hates them can of course be seen in Nathan Barley.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:04 PM on November 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Until the day I realized that "yeah, but you aren't doing that and she is." You may be a better cook than your friend, but your friend is the one starting the blog.

Friend? Acquaintance. I have no interest in running a blog, nor would I have any objection to anyone starting a "my adventures in cooking!" style blog, but if you're going to start an authoritative "how to cook [x] perfectly" where [x] is almost invariably something you're doing for the first time ever, well. You'd better at least know your shit to a greater extant than said acquaintance.

Beyond that, I suppose I just find the sort of self-promotion that often (but not always) goes with a blog distasteful in the extreme. Fair enough you shout it from the rooftops when you start a project like that (or better yet, when it's already underway), but every single time you make a new post? That annoys me sufficiently to make me start seething after a while even if I like the content.


(Sorry, don't mind me just having a rant at someone who used to be in my social circle...)
posted by Dysk at 2:16 PM on November 13, 2012


I guess I just don't know what a hipster is.

But I do hate that Journey song. You know the one. I hated it way back when it was new and I was already old enough to know better. There was nothing true about it. Anybody with a half a soul could tell. Just another radio-friendly unit-shifter, except it had the gall to pretend to be about something important (like never giving up on your dreams yadda-yadda-yadda). It wasn't.

And now, decades later, it feels even more part of the culture, impossible to get rid of, like a shit stain on old rug. I hate it far more now. Because every time it gets played, it means there's something genuinely worthy that isn't getting played. Over the decades, I'm sure that amounts to millions of worthy songs, unplayed.

I hate that.
posted by philip-random at 2:34 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fair enough you shout it from the rooftops when you start a project like that (or better yet, when it's already underway), but every single time you make a new post?

You know what's funny? I started a tumblr recently (fairly specific content, not just random stuff) and I syndicate every post -- usually about 3 a day, although closer to 5 at the start -- to Facebook and Twitter. I know the Twitter people don't mind, but I posted to Facebook after about a week asking "hey, is this reposting of my tumblr content bugging anyone?"

Now, generally, when I post something to Facebook, especially a question, there's feedback. A few wisecracks at the very least. The only response to that status update was one of my friends Like-ing it. What that meant I to this day do not know.
posted by griphus at 2:46 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I suppose I just find the sort of self-promotion that often (but not always) goes with a blog distasteful in the extreme. Fair enough you shout it from the rooftops when you start a project like that (or better yet, when it's already underway), but every single time you make a new post? That annoys me sufficiently to make me start seething after a while even if I like the content.

When you're just starting out, that's kind of what you're encouraged to do, though. Maybe you just plain don't like this guy.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:26 PM on November 13, 2012


"Hipsters are thin."

Oh, they went on diets?
posted by morganw at 4:27 PM on November 13, 2012


Beyond that, I suppose I just find the sort of self-promotion that often (but not always) goes with a blog distasteful in the extreme. Fair enough you shout it from the rooftops when you start a project like that (or better yet, when it's already underway), but every single time you make a new post? That annoys me sufficiently to make me start seething after a while even if I like the content.

Making people look at creative projects is hard, hard work. YOU might want to release it to the world, but how does THE WORLD feel about that? Simply whispering about That Thing You Did to the wind and praying has about a zero in anything chance of working, plus or minus a nothing.

Now, there're creative strategies that are very effective at drawing in audiences, strategies which personally I'm quite fond of – but they're just that, strategies. Not every creative person wants to treat their endeavor like a fucking business, you know? So I'm inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to my annoying friends who post things I don't want to read, even though it's not my thing, because you know what? Annoyingly not giving a fuck about tactfulness is generally better than the opposite in a person.

I hate it far more now. Because every time it gets played, it means there's something genuinely worthy that isn't getting played. Over the decades, I'm sure that amounts to millions of worthy songs, unplayed.

You have those other songs, don't you? If somebody else doesn't, then share with them. As a Journey-loving idiot my path towards more interesting music was helped along by plenty of wise people who knew better things for me to listen to. Including some people here!
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:40 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


-have played Chrono Trigger at least three times in the past decade

Is this a thing? Cause that was a game so awesome it made me ignore FFVII (but it is not good enough to make me ignore Skyrim, Minecraft, Rockband, Fallout 3, Saints Row 2, etc, etc.).
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:15 PM on November 13, 2012


Who are all these people with waxed mustaches drinking old overholt playing bocce in these bars.

Yuppies.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:14 PM on November 13, 2012


I never do anything cool, so I never hate any subculture (though I will question their fashion sense) because that's just wasted energy I could spend on daydreaming or something.

I guess it's also because I never really fit into any subculture either. I mean, being a loner and all I never really bothered trying.
posted by patheral at 6:22 PM on November 13, 2012


"I've learned to beware of movements."

an old friend of mine who grew up in Britain through the late 70s, early 80s. Lots of movements to contend with in those days, lots of bullshitters changing their hairstyles and jeans but never their hearts, and conversely lots of beautiful babies getting tossed out with bathwater.
posted by philip-random at 6:37 PM on November 13, 2012


While much of that time has been lost to the ravages of the Wayback Machine, what I'd say sums up resentment of hipsters for me is a feeling of classism: Poor people, especially poor creative types (starving artists/musicians/what-have-you), make the best out of their poverty, shopping at thrift stores, enjoying cheap beer, doing DIY crafts because they can't afford more elaborate setups. The obnoxious "hipsters" were people doing the same things without the necessity of them; they could afford designer clothes, but affected the poverty chic. That leads to a couple things: Gentrification, where previous luxuries for the poor (once upon a time, craft beer was cheaper than imports, at least in Michigan, and the hipster influx sent PBR to $5 per bottle heights, something it totally doesn't deserve) become more expensive to capture more of the disposable income coming in, and to a lack of camaraderie and solidarity, as there's no real feeling that the "hipsters" are in this with you, also drinking shitty beer and shopping at thrift stores because they have to.

Eh. It's not so bad. Rich conforming to the poor is better than poor conforming to the rich, if only because it's possible. Oh, but it's not authentic. Those hipsters, so unhip! Why, they didn't even like craft and/or shitty beers back when they were cool, like you did.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:37 PM on November 13, 2012


I hate that.
posted by philip-random


I've tried & tried to hate that song, but dude, Ross Valory. The bass track is actually really incredible.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:38 PM on November 13, 2012


"Eh. It's not so bad. Rich conforming to the poor is better than poor conforming to the rich, if only because it's possible. Oh, but it's not authentic. Those hipsters, so unhip! Why, they didn't even like craft and/or shitty beers back when they were cool, like you did."

Authenticity's a canard you introduced. And I know that you decided to stretch my comment all across some tired skein of being into X before X was cool, but in doing so you missed the points.

For example, liking shitty beers — especially liking shitty beers ironically — comes from recognizing that the beer isn't great or maybe even good, but it's the best you can afford. It's making the most out of the shitty situation of poverty. If you can afford to drink something better than PBR, don't stand on ceremony, man, buy that. What's weird is when people can do better, but make a thing out of conspicuously drinking PBR.

But given all that, I'm not sure why you quoted that big chunk of my comment when it doesn't seem like you actually read it.
posted by klangklangston at 10:24 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


klangklangston: The obnoxious "hipsters" were people doing the same things without the necessity of them; they could afford designer clothes, but affected the poverty chic.

Oh my god, that's an actual definition of hipster. I now actually sort of know what one even is. Congratulations, sir. In all seriousness, in all the talking about hipsters, that is the very first time I've seen an explanation of what a hipster might be.
posted by Malor at 11:28 PM on November 13, 2012


What really bothers me, not sure if it's a hipster thing or a trendy thing, is people wearing glasses who don't need glasses or who'd wear contacts if glasses were out of style again. You haven't earned them, so stop wearing them.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:00 AM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Making people look at creative projects is hard, hard work. YOU might want to release it to the world, but how does THE WORLD feel about that? Simply whispering about That Thing You Did to the wind and praying has about a zero in anything chance of working, plus or minus a nothing.

I know this. I'm in or have been in several bands, and done some writing back in the day. It's hard, but you know what? If you're shouting at all your friends and they still don't care, the solution is not to shout louder, or learn to do circular breathing so you don't have to give anyone any respite from the shouting. There's self-promotion ('hey, here's a link to my blog about [x], been working on it a few weeks, there's articles about [a] [b] and [c] up !' rather than 'I'm starting a blog! it's awesome!' then 'I wrote the first article (about [x] for my blog! you should all read it, you'll learn something I promise!' then 'you should all read my blog, please' and then 'you should all read about [x] on my blog!' maybe followed by 'yay, some people are reading my blog!' all within the space of like maybe two hours, and then not letting up at all for at least the next two weeks until I could be bothered to block their digital communication.

By comparison, if I'm playing a gig, I'll mention it on Facebook once a couple of weeks in advance, with as little self-aggrandizing hyperbole as possible.

I want to be able to use things like Facebook to follow what people are up to. So when people are starting a blog, great, let me know that you started a blog a few weeks ago, and here's a link. Then shut the hell up about it - there's plenty of other stuff going on out there, don't make it your life goal to get eyeballs by crowding everyone else out. If every person on there decided to crow about it several times any time they did anything creative, it would be utterly useless in that regard.
posted by Dysk at 12:30 AM on November 14, 2012


Authenticity's a canard you introduced.

"The obnoxious "hipsters" were people doing the same things without the necessity of them; they could afford designer clothes, but affected the poverty chic."

They are not really poor, but they do things poor people do, therefore they are obnoxious hipsters. How is that not about authenticity? You're essentially calling them poseurs without street cred. The only other way it can be read is that you have something against people doing things that are both fun and inexpensive when they can afford to do more expensive things, like everyone who doesn't spend every penny they have at all times is a big fat phony. That is a ridiculous thing to think.

If you can afford to drink something better than PBR, don't stand on ceremony, man, buy that.

Huh. So that actually is what you're saying. Yikes.

Oh my god, that's an actual definition of hipster. I now actually sort of know what one even is. Congratulations, sir. In all seriousness, in all the talking about hipsters, that is the very first time I've seen an explanation of what a hipster might be.

That definition is complete bullshit. It ain't 1992 anymore.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:15 AM on November 14, 2012


"They are not really poor, but they do things poor people do, therefore they are obnoxious hipsters. How is that not about authenticity? You're essentially calling them poseurs without street cred. The only other way it can be read is that you have something against people doing things that are both fun and inexpensive when they can afford to do more expensive things, like everyone who doesn't spend every penny they have at all times is a big fat phony. That is a ridiculous thing to think. "

Maybe if you concentrated more on what I'm writing and less on some weird straw man, you'd do better.

Again, it's not about authenticity, it's about class. That doesn't mean that rich(er) people can't enjoy cheap entertainment or that they have to spend every penny they have, and those are kind of idiotic conclusions to draw from what I wrote.

But I suppose you don't recognize complaints about gentrification — do you think those are about authenticity too? It's a pretty bankrupt concept, maybe your fixation there is why you're trying to force everything into a weak model.

"Huh. So that actually is what you're saying. Yikes. "

Again, you say you're understanding, but I don't think you are, and I'm not sure if you're being obnoxious because you can't help it or because you're thick.

Let's back this out even further — PBR, in the pantheon of beers, is pretty crummy. It used to be, essentially, the best of the dollar beers, up against longnecks of Old Style, Schlitz, Blatz, etc. It's pretty much the best of that bunch, so people bought it and it became popular. Along the way, it picked up a fetishized status where people identified it with some platonic hipster. Because of that, bars started increasing the price, which is fine. But now, it's not the best option among cheap, shitty beers at bars — at most of the bars around here, or even now back in Michigan, it costs the same as mid-level domestics and low-level imports. If you're paying the same amount of money for a PBR as you are for, say, a Newcastle, don't stand on ceremony, get the better beer for the same money. Even more, don't make a show out of ordering PBR — people will regard that show as obnoxious. Or I will, at least. Because then you're not making the best out of a bad situation, you're making the worst out of a good situation.

Like, is the problem that I don't think that hipsters are inherently obnoxious, but tend to get noticed most at their most obnoxious? Or is it just that you're feeling like an asshole today and decided that my comment was the one that needed your attention?
posted by klangklangston at 8:46 AM on November 14, 2012


klang/SysRq maybe make an effort to engage each other without the sneery insults?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:57 AM on November 14, 2012


For what it's worth, though I may have started out a proto version of Klang's slumming-it hipster, a few decades of commitment to the culture the wars (ie: being an artist type) have assured that there's nothing inauthentic about my poverty anymore.

But I still won't drink crap beer.
posted by philip-random at 9:04 AM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


But I suppose you don't recognize complaints about gentrification — do you think those are about authenticity too? It's a pretty bankrupt concept, maybe your fixation there is why you're trying to force everything into a weak model.

I didn't address those because gentrification is a natural economic process. An area gets less profitable than it has the potential to be, and PROPERTY OWNERS AND DEVELOPERS seize the opportunity to make a buck. It has nothing at all to do with hipsters slumming it.

Like, is the problem that I don't think that hipsters are inherently obnoxious, but tend to get noticed most at their most obnoxious?

The problem is that you seem to be obsessed with other people's beer choices for some weird reason. Get help.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:07 AM on November 14, 2012


I'm trying to figure out if there is some kind of consensus definition of hipster.

The only kind of consensus I've detected in this thread is that whatever people mean by it, the term is not ever used in a neutral and descriptive way, but only with disdain. Am I right in even that much?
posted by philipy at 9:29 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pretty much, yep. It's shorthand for "those young people I don't like."
posted by Sys Rq at 9:31 AM on November 14, 2012


"I didn't address those because gentrification is a natural economic process. An area gets less profitable than it has the potential to be, and PROPERTY OWNERS AND DEVELOPERS seize the opportunity to make a buck. It has nothing at all to do with hipsters slumming it."

And yet, gentrification is often resented… for the exact same reasons that hipsters get resented. And gentrification doesn't happen purely from property owners and developers — someone has to move in.

"The problem is that you seem to be obsessed with other people's beer choices for some weird reason. Get help."

Man, sure am glad that I assumed that maybe I wasn't explaining things clearly enough for you. Yes, I am obsessed with other people's beer choices. That is exactly what I said and not an all an idiotic conclusion to draw from an attempt at clarification.
posted by klangklangston at 9:34 AM on November 14, 2012


"The only kind of consensus I've detected in this thread is that whatever people mean by it, the term is not ever used in a neutral and descriptive way, but only with disdain."

I've used it a couple of times for people I like and tried to differentiate between things about hipsters that draw opprobrium. I think it's a little narrower than "people who are hip" but not necessarily by all that much.
posted by klangklangston at 9:38 AM on November 14, 2012


I don't know, hipster fashion doesn't seem to me like it's about money/class as much as it is about revisiting and updating elements of subcultures from the past... teddy-boys, 80s ravers, Warhol Factory, etc. The "vintage working-class Americana" thing is one thread among many.
posted by en forme de poire at 9:44 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


And yet, gentrification is often resented… for the exact same reasons that hipsters get resented.

People drink milk, people drink vodka, therefore vodka causes milk?

And gentrification doesn't happen purely from property owners and developers — someone has to move in.

Yes. Young professionals moving up in the world, not down.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:06 AM on November 14, 2012


People drink milk, people drink vodka, therefore vodka causes milk?

The circle of life.
posted by griphus at 10:09 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


"People drink milk, people drink vodka, therefore vodka causes milk?"

People drink milk, people drink vodka, and people drink milk with vodka (and usually a little kahlua). People drinking milk and vodka is related to white russians, and many of the reasons why people like white russians are related to why they like drinking milk and drinking vodka.

Or maybe your broken analogy was too cute for its own good?

"Yes. Young professionals moving up in the world, not down."

Yes, and it raises the rents for everyone already there, and can lead to things like historic venues being shut down. In fact, hipsters/yuppies are often a major force for gentrification. Are you confused by my saying that they're similar because you think that means "exactly the same"?

Again, I'm kinda baffled by what your problem is here, and your one-line snark isn't making me think that you've got any sort of cogent thought behind it.
posted by klangklangston at 10:41 AM on November 14, 2012


Okay, klang: White flight. Good thing?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:49 AM on November 14, 2012


Seriously, you two need to stop responding to each other in here period at this point. Carry on vie mefimail if that's the sort of thing you guys enjoy but cut it out otherwise. You've been around the block, we should not have to explain this to either of you.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:05 AM on November 14, 2012


I totally get what klangklangston is saying. Having been impoverished for most of my life I've seen the effects of gentrification on several neighborhoods I've lived in. Rents go up to where people who live there have to move on so the developers can either refurbish the apartments or raze them and create housing developments. I remember one hotel I lived in got torn down just two weeks after I moved and nice, new apartments were put in not even three months later. It was amazing.

And that great cafe down the street where one could get a great breakfast for $4.00 is suddenly charging twice as much for the same breakfast because it's now the hip place to be. Strip malls sprout up like weeds, and all kinds of little stores move in with a whole bunch of interesting stuff I could never afford, buying out the laundromats and convenience stores that used to be there.

The "wrong kind" of people get pushed further and further down the road because they're "cleaning up the neighborhood" so young, upcoming couples can move in with their kidlets and feel safe from the riff-raff like me. My only crime has ever been that I couldn't make enough money to pay the ever increasing rent to stay in the suddenly stylish apartments.

Do I resent those young and upcoming people for invading my turf and pushing me out? Nah. Things change and that's the way of the world. But I'm a nomad by heart. However, I have talked with the people who've lived in those neighborhoods for decades, sometimes generations, and yes, they are resentful, even hateful when the (usually) young people come in and change their world. Today it's hipsters, before it was yuppies, and before that it was whomever, but it's just the way things are, and some people will always resent change and the people who cause it. Always.
posted by patheral at 11:06 AM on November 14, 2012


I didn't address those because gentrification is a natural economic process. An area gets less profitable than it has the potential to be, and PROPERTY OWNERS AND DEVELOPERS seize the opportunity to make a buck. It has nothing at all to do with hipsters slumming it.

That is not an accurate description of how gentrification works. Artists and students and people like that (ie, "hipsters") moving into a neighborhood is an integral part of the process. Savvy developers and city planners have learned to not only spot the signs of the process, but to actively guide and nurture it. Hell, entire rustbelt cities are trying to market themselves to those kind of people in the hopes of wide-scale gentrification.

My guess is that the young people we're having fun labeling as "hipsters" are just the first demographic bubble in a while, after the shrinkages of gen x and just after; it takes a bubble like that -- a much clearer example would be the baby boomer hippies -- to produce not just clear fashion trends but also trends in consumption and status markers.
posted by Forktine at 12:16 PM on November 14, 2012


MartinWisse: What really bothers me, not sure if it's a hipster thing or a trendy thing, is people wearing glasses who don't need glasses or who'd wear contacts if glasses were out of style again. You haven't earned them, so stop wearing them.

Why? This is really just like imposing a temperature-based restriction on growing beards.

If you don't care about it, don't feel the need to answer, but it sounds like you might, and I'm interested to know why.
posted by herbplarfegan at 2:42 PM on November 14, 2012


Sidhedevil: "I guess it must be nice for those of you who never encounter other people you find annoying or ridiculous."

Yes, it's nice not to be irritated by people around me who are just going about their lives. I recommend it. No hamburger.
posted by danny the boy at 4:28 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


My only pet peeve about the whole "gentrification" thing is that purely because of the color of my skin, people think I'm a hipster moving into a neighborhood because it's so trendy and interesting. But I'm moving into a neighborhood for the same reason that the longtime residents live there - I'm broke and the rent is cheap, and I'm one of the people that gets booted out when the place goes hip just like everyone else.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:04 PM on November 14, 2012


Woo, hipster thread!
posted by sammyo at 4:01 AM on November 15, 2012


I don't drink beer often, because of a diet I'm on, but when I do, I prefer PBR. One of my housemates picked up a six-pack once (I think because he heard about the hipster thing and he was curious) and by that happy accident I discovered that, for reasons I doubt I will ever understand, the stuff gives me more of an alcohol buzz than hard liquor does.

I don't drink it for the price, but I certainly don't drink it to be seen drinking it.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 2:23 PM on November 16, 2012


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