The Case for Hipsters

by: Christopher Rockwell

A guest contributor returns to make another bold, unique, and humorous stance.  This time in defense of “hipsters”…..

It’s getting old.  It’s tiresome and uniformed. And I’ve simply had enough.

I am getting so fucking sick of the hipster hate.

 

Culturally we are bottoming out.  I have no doubt about this.  We see signs of it everyday.  The YouTube look-at-me look-at-me (or look at my fucking cat, or baby, or whatever) society in which we live in has about as much substance as it does tact.  So much time is wasted on what doesn’t matter1 and not enough concern about the practicality of living. Seriously, how are we – as a people – going to survive together on a planet rapidly devoid of resources with a population that is swelling out of control?  Who cares I guess – you have to see this video of a sneezing panda, you just have to!

Sure, there are many who strive for the betterment of society, who see the bigger picture, and fight for what is right.  But their story isn’t always the one we hear about.  This isn’t front page news.  The dirty rags gravitate towards what’s filthy, and those who actually do things, make things, who actually create – so often get the shaft.  Those, I dare say, like the “hipsters” we hear about so often, and always in a negative light.

It’s not just wrong, but truly ignorant, that we as a society feel the need to label others.  And it certainly seems a bit demode to categorize every artisan, craftsman, musician, every dreamer or non-contrarian, as something – whether it is a freak, a geek, or now as a hipster.  Maybe it’s about time we point our finger right back at at the bigger problem- those that label others – and not those that do not fit into your tiny little box of normality.

What I find most unnerving about all the jokes and knocks about these so called hipsters is that almost everyone I have heard label someone as a hipster, or use the word as an insult, could easily be placed into that characterization as well.  Either it takes one to know one, or everyone in their 20s and 30s isn’t as good at prejudging as the generations before us.

Fuck a label in full anyways.  When does that sort of thing stop?  Why is it so necessary to put each and every person, each and every thing, into an easily described class system?  So that it is easier for us to understand someone?  It isn’t that easy, it will never be that easy. We live in a complex world and people are not that simple, even those Pabst drinking hipsters.

 

In the film The Last Days of Disco two men are discussing yuppies.  One of them2 asks: “Do yuppies even exist? No one says, ‘I am a yuppie’, it’s always the other guy who’s a yuppie. I think for a group to exist, somebody has to admit to be part of it.”  Well, if you were to take out the word yuppie you could easily substitute in the word hipster – as you can look far and fucking wide and you will not find someone who will admit to being a member of this oft ridiculed bunch.

I know, I know……quoting The Last Days of Disco is a very hipster thing to do. But if you think about this conversation it has pertinence.  The “young, upwardly, mobile, professional” they were speaking of, these yuppies – if you take that definition at its most literal – well, that also sounds to me like many of the creative young men and woman that so many are quick to label a hipster.  A yuppie is by definition a good thing, and I am here to argue that maybe the word hipster may in fact be as well.

Look, I hate the word fixie too.  It makes my fucking skin crawl.  But, go ahead and own one and ride it all fucking day for all I care – just please stop talking about it so much.  That is all I ask.  Look, from my understanding of the mechanics of the vehicle you have to peddle down hill.  Now this seems to me something to complain about rather than brag about – but do neither.  Just do you.  If you like it, great – ride it and leave me be about it, and I will in turn leave you be.

And sure, Portlandia is funny.  But you know what, Portland is a pretty amazing place to eat –and statistically speaking it is one of the best places in the country to live, one of the happiest cities in the country.  If more people in the middle of our country thought it was important to “put a bird on it” I bet the United States would be a much safer place to live.

The deal is: I love good cheeses.  I love quality chocolate and craft beer. What is not to love? I appreciate a good cup of joe, and I can’t believe some restaurants owned and operated by these severely chastised businessmen and women keep their own beehives so that they have their own honey to cook with.  This is both audacious and brilliant!  I have drenched sandwiches with heaps of small-batch mayonnaise and it was a near religious experience.  I understand the word ‘mixologist’ is as pretentious a name for a bartender ever imagined, and why do you all have to wear vests, but DAMN I have never tasted anything like that before!, or ever dreamed of putting egg yolks into my Rye drink – but sure, go ahead – taste remarkable when you do it.

We live in a world where choice and options seem to become limited by the day.  Monopolies are deeper rooted than most people realize as many so-called competing brands are housed under the same roof of a much larger conglomerate.  We need choice! We need options! Why the fuck do I have to decide solely between Miracle Whip or Hellman’s – Hunt’s or Heinz – Claussen or Vlasic??  Considering the incompetent state of the mainstream food industry as a whole we should be thanking the people who are offering us choices – instead of lambasting them as outsiders.

These purported hipsters are, in fact, offering solutions to big business and big government by acting, by doing things.  They aren’t all crammed into their miniscule Bushwick apartment, with their matching costumes of tight jeans and Chucks, listening to a classic Belle and Sebastian record on vinyl.  No.  Many are making the world a better place and presenting a better way to do things.  These are not a group of lazy trust-fund spoiled rotten brats, but rather creative entrepreneurs finding a niche in a competitive city and world economy – and doing it the right way.

I cannot begin to fathom how the detachment from a fucked up mainstream culture and outdated way of doing things, which has thrived on greed and malpractice, can be looked at as a bad thing.  We should be thanking these hipsters instead of clowning them.  And we should begin to call the lazy, stinky, unproductive bunch of bad apples that have degraded and given a bad name to this pretty impressive group of young entrepreneurs and free thinkers exactly what they are – a bunch of dickheads – and leave the rest of them alone to make the world a better place to eat, drink, and to live in!

  1. I’m supposed to be up in arms that Beyonce lip-synched the National Anthem? Or what pedophile takes the helm of an outdated organization after sharing the news through smoke signals? []
  2. Chris Eigeman as Des McGrath []
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