Thursday, October 13, 2011

A deeply serious question

OK, I've had this question running about my head for a while now, and the time has at last come for me to ask it. So, gentle readers, if any of you can finally clear this matter up for me, I would be eternally grateful. Here's the question:


Thank you all in advance.


SK Waller said...

I used to know, but with the passage of time, the definition has changed. Wish I knew!

Jason said...

I think it's kind of like that famous line about pornography and obscenity... you can't really say what it is, but you know it when you see it.

For me, the term evokes someone youngish, mid-20s to mid-30s, with a cooler-than-thou attitude, a tendency to do everything "ironically" (e.g., I'm not wearing a t-shirt with the Trix cereal logo because I actually like Trix, but because I'm making some sort of statement about our consumer culture, even as I'm tacitly advertising for the consumer product I think I'm making fun of..."), and, often, lots of tattoos and piercings. Those guys in the black "skinny" jeans and the cheap jersey cardigans? Hipsters. But that's just my interpretation...

Aaron Johnson said...

The beatniks were the original hipsters. Hipsters have represented the counter-culture. Unfortunately the current iteration is completely bankrupt. And, I am not talking about their finances.

The current day hipster claims to stand for individuality, as long as it fits within what the hipster community defines as cool. They will quickly reject their favorite band if said band sees any measure of success outside of the hipster community. You must ride a fixed gear bike. You must wear girl jeans that are too small. Your clothes should look like you shopped at the Goodwill, but hopefully you paid too much to get that look shopping at American Apparel. You must drink PBR, and smoke cheap cigars. You should have a beard, but the beard must be "ironic." If you are on the cutting edge of hipsterdom, you will now have a cane wherever you go, even when riding your fixie.

I think there has always been a large portion of the hipsters that are total poseurs, beatniks that listened to Bird, and read Ginsberg to fit in, but the latest crop is about nothing except being a hipster.

Roger Owen Green said...

someone intimately involved in the star-making machinery

Kerry said...

Wait, wait, I've got this one! I live in the epicenter of all that is hipstery -- Portland, Ore.

Oh, crap, the other guys covered it above.

* Ironic t-shirt
* Fixy bike
* Skinny jeans
* Ironic facial hair

Points on for:

* A dumb hat -- trucker, porkpie, etc.
* A self-professed talent for stand-up comedy
* A vinyl collection (yet no record player)
* A pair of Converse that appears to have been fished from the Willamette River
* Keys hanging from a rock-climbing belay (but NEVER a chain)
* Gluten-free, vegan, lactose-intolerance but preferably all of the above
* A general pastiness of skin and demeanor
* More than 2 'zines on a beat-up coffee table made from beat-up skate- or surfboards
* A beat-up skateboard (that is carried, never ridden)

Laura said...

in my world a hipster is someone who looks a lot like two of my children, their significant others and their closest friends...and I love them all so much because although they are much maligned and misunderstood they are pretty freakin' awesome people because I raised them.
FTR, they not only have pretty awesome vinyl collections, some culled from my own, but they have a record player.

Michael May said...

I'm reminded of the King Missile song that goes, "I want to be different just like all the other different people."

Hipsters are people who are concerned about the latest trend and/or what their peers think about the latest trend.