Alright, here’s the deal you panywaste: it’s impossible to not be considered a hipster in today’s hyper-meme-centric, Instagram-narcissism world. Because, what’s the first rule of being a hipster? “Thou shalt never admit to being a hipster, in public or in private (check those privacy settings) or IRL.”
So, if the main indicator of hipsterness is denying your hipster-status, the only way to not be considered a true hip-person is to claim you are indeed a hip-ster. This is paradoxical to say the least. And a more hipper person than myself might reference the concept of doublethink illustrated in Orwell’s classic, 1984. But I am not just a literary person, I also have class, and I refuse to make references in such a demeaning fashion.
Let us analyze where the term “hipster” originated (because the second rule of hipsterdom is “Thou shalt always make bizarre and obscure references to anything literary, musically, or artistically based, and be able to out-reference other, lesser hip individuals”). It was first widely used in beat literature (that is the likes of Kerouac, Burroughs, and Ginsberg) to indicate a young, probably rich, white, college intellectual who had adopted the Black Culture of the late 40s, early 50s. This means they called weed “weed,” or “tea,” or “pot,” and jived with the black jazz musicians, all trying their hardest to be like them. (So a more accurate portrayal of such characters in today’s society would be those Eminem wannabees, right?) Drinking too much whiskey and eating too much Benzedrine (the modern equivalent is of course called Benzedrex, and is widely available over the counter in most pharmacies). And of course the African-Americans of the time didn’t have a label, they were just called cool cats or funky jazz slingers… it was the white man that once again stole an image, a musical taste, a way of living and this time turned it into… HIPPIES.
Disgusting, I know.
NEXT: “Thou shalt have done everything before everyone else, the power is before the fad whilst also carrying the fad on into ironic infinitum.” Honestly, I find it offensive that actors and actresses, models and pop-stars, are being adorned with thick-rimmed glasses and 80s videogame paraphernalia. I was born in the 80s [editor’s note: 1989…]. I was wearing tight pants and ties in high school. And trust me, nobody thought I was cool then. But now people accuse me of trying to be cool, because other idiots are now dressing how I did then, when it wasn’t cool. But it now is, so I was cool then, but now I’m trying to be cool, which is of course not cool? How can anyone win in this sick game? TELL ME!
“Thou shalt like the following mainstream products and companies: all things Apple Inc., Pabst Blue Ribbon, RayBan, Urban Outfitters, Goodwill, Vinyl, the bad JCPenney shirt section, excessive belts, organic everything, post-punk music festivals with mythological creatures in the name, mythological creatures, Radiohead, llamas (or alpacas), Wes Anderson, coffee shops with trash instead of wallpaper, etc…” Fuck you.
But I’ve heard the main qualification for being a hipster described this way: “It’s like pornography. You can’t define it to a T, but you know it when you see it.” So, “To be defined as undefinable, thou shalt never define what it is you are defining by breaking the typical definitions of what you define yourself as.”
“Thou shalt always: get tattoo, be drunker (yet more lucid) than everyone else, live in a poor neighborhood, drink in public, have access to exotic drugs (but never take them for fear of breaking your fabulous, one-of-a-kind mind), own an expensive single-gear bicycle, tattoo denim to your lower half (this is the tightest pants you can possibly wear), use excessive typographical elements and odd syntax/punctuation.” What about people with barbed wire tattoos across their creatine-inflated biceps or the “fuck me” tattoo across their g-stringed-lower-back? What about poor people, who actually require plaid flannel shirts to stay warm at their low-paying blue collar jobs? Are alcoholics suddenly hip? Drug dealers are annoying. And I had a mountain bike growing up? Am I hip yet?? And I have skinny legs, so the amount of space in between my flesh and my denim is the same, proportionally, to a larger human being with “normal” pants. David Foster Wallace. Was he a hipster? (Don’t answer that.)
“Thou shalt never: admit to liking any of the following: Coldplay, Linkin Park, FOX News, Stephenie Meyer, Miley Cyrus, or any politician other than Obama, wear tiny headphones, not read or write not in a coffee shop, write sentences that are easy to read or follow (it will give the other person the chance to realize they’re much smarter than you), praise any author above Kurt Vonnegut, praise any musician over Thom Yorke, praise any god besides Buddha, praise anyone but yourself for anything, ever. Fuck.” None of this applies to me, obviously.
Have I made my point yet? We need to stop throwing the label around and over-analyzing it for entertainment purposes. Irony is only funny if it only has one layer to it. This meta-irony bullshit is a waste of time and everyone knows it, including me, the humble and unhipstery author of the column you’ve just read.