Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Lunchtime Poll: Do you hate hipsters?

A few days ago Morgan and I were chatting online about how goddamn popular her blog is (it getting national press coverage and such). She had complained about getting negative comments on her posts making fun of the pictures she uploaded. (I went back and checked the post featuring my picture. No comments at all!) She said to me, "Why do people hate hipsters?"

I think there are many different level of hipsters. There are the kind who just wear clothes they find comfortable and attractive and listen to music they enjoy. And then there are the kind featured on Blue States Lose and Team Party Crash (way to go, DC brethren) who do, indeed, suck. These are the people I'm totally not interested in (even though ONCE I went to a Blue State Lose-worthy party in Wicker Park and I am NOT proud and punished myself by looking through many, many gross pictures to find this one, where at least my hair looks good. Also notice that I'm wearing pants in said picture).

Also, there are the kind of hipsters (read: rich white hipsters) who move to poor neighborhoods to escape gentrification, and then bitch five years later when their suddenly rich, white, hip neighborhoods are forcing out the poor minorities. In Chicago, see Wicker Park, Bucktown, Ukranian Village, Pilsen. New York: see Williamsburg.

Also, there's American Apparel.

So, readers, let me know your thoughts. Are you a hipster? Do you hate hipsters? Aren't, like, The Shins totes three years ago? Let me know!

17 comments:

Sara said...

The word "hipster" kind of implies that the image is more important than the music. The fact that certain clothes go hand-in-hand with certain bands reinforces this holier-than-thou attitude I find a lot of hipsters displaying. I listen to whatever the hell I want, and dress however the hell I like, and refuse to buy into the subcultural bullshit (although I could not say the same of myself when I was in high school).

I suppose that means hipsters annoy me.

Sara said...

On the other hand, I could just be annoyed because my lunch sucked. I did meet a homeless guy who gave me poetry, though.

Anonymous said...

I love hipsters. In fact, I would give my right arm to be a hipster. But alas, I can't seem to shake the prep from my waspy upbringing.

Jeffrey Beall said...

I'm way too old to be a hipster, but I like them.

Katie said...

As a whole, yes. On an individual basis, most of the time.

Ben said...

i hate all hipsters who don't hate hipsters.

non-hipster-hating hipsters lack the basic self-awareness to keep the sort of self-deprecating wit that makes hipster-hating hipsters tolerable. i have actually known hipsters who don't realize that The Hipster Handbook is satirical. no shit.

Tyler said...

That's a good point, Ben.

Another idea: does anyone use "hipster" to refer to themself? I sure wouldn't. I feel like "hipster" is a derogratory word intended as an insult.

Meredith said...

yeah, I was going to say that I've always perceived "hipster" as an inherently derogatory term. But lately I've heard people using it to describe themselves or people they like, which has totally confused me.

whatever the case, I would feel really insulted if someone referred to me as a hipster. somehow i get the feeling that it won't be a problem.

Ben said...

i've used the word hipster to refer to myself only when immediately preceded by the word "fucking."

as in, "Look at the jeans I'm wearing.. Shit, I'm such a fucking hipster. (sigh)"

in fact, I don't think I've really referred to a hipster without referring to them as a fucking hipster.

Andrew Largeman said...

I agree that the term "hipster" tends to imply an image-over-music outlook. This is not to say that so-called hipsters do not care about the music they listen to. Rather, their priority is on the image name-dropping a certain band or being seen at their show can give them.

This thought tends to lead directly to the connotation of "hipster" as an insult. This was the case at least initially, however the trend seems to be popularizing the typical musical tastes and clothing styles of hipsters. Thus, the term has now been misappropriated as a "badge of cool".

I suppose then that my answer is yes, I do hate hipsters. At least generally. I'm not too quick to rule out there existing some person who I would regard as a hipster who is also an acceptable human being. The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Two final thoughts: American Apparel is ridiculously comfortable, and The Shins would definitely be "totes three years ago" had Wincing The Night Away not re-established their relevancy.

morgan said...

dude, i kind of hate the term hipster because it DOES have negative connotations, it reeks of 'try too hard' and of purposefully working on an IMAGE. i really REALLY fucking hate it when people refer to themselves as such, like dude, just be fucking 'jason' or mark' or whoever the fuck you are, and if you're wearing white jeans and hightops because you like them then AWESOME. i have them too. if you're wearing them because you saw them on the cobrasnake and you're trying to emulate that, then barf. tyler, you and i BOTH know the poster child of which i speak. she's my own personal 9/11 (what, too soon?).
on the other hand, i basically live for clothes, i love the olsen twins and cory kennedy's wardrobe AND i'm going to close with a caption from 'vice dos and don'ts,' so judge me as you will:
'you realize when you say “i hate hipsters” and “fucking pretty boys” you’re really saying, “these guys are hip and pretty,” right?'

Erica said...

Eh they're okay. I don't hate them, and usually they're witty; so I enjoy their company. But sometimes they are kind of like way too proud of themselves for throwing unique theme parties and wearing vintage. You can't really generalize them though just like any other group. So, eh.

Sara said...

Any of you guys familiar with the song "Rock 'n' Roll Lifestyle" by Cake? That's what my post, and Andrew's, makes me think of.

"How much did you pay for your rock 'n' roll t-shirt, that proves you were there, that you heard of them first?"

mcm said...

My favorite Rock 'n' Roll Lifestyle line epitomizes my feelings on a lot of the 20-somethings I see around Wicker Park:

"How much did you pay for that black leather jacket? Is it you or your parents in that income tax bracket?"

Sara said...

I remember sending that line in a note to some guy in my Spanish class in high school. He was all punky and dirty, but I found out he lived in the richest part of the area.

mavis said...

I'm from Seattle and I'm proud to be a hipster and I love hipsters. I live in Chicago now and everyone here loves to hate hipsters. I think hipsters are people with passion for art, music, fashion, creativity, politics, etc. Maybe you really hate posers?

Leather Coats said...

This thought tends to lead directly to the connotation of "hipster" as an insult.