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August 14, 2011 1:22 PM   Subscribe

Did "The Adventures of Pete & Pete" Invent the Hipster? This blog says so*. The AV Club loves it unironically. But so do the professional comedians at Splitsider and the sci-fi geeks at Tor.com. And the show definitely seems to have some influence on some young folk**. (Recently discussed as part of Rhaomi's epic Nickelodeon post)
* BIG disclaimer: the blog is on MTV's site, same corporate parent who is currently rerunning the show on TeenNick's '90s block, so there is some Pepsi Blue involved - or Krebsi Blue
** Yes, it's real, it shows up in later pictures on her tumblr.

posted by oneswellfoop (55 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
Hey smilin' strange,
You're lookin' happily deranged.
Cannashebbadehshoobeh?
Or have you picked your target yet?
Hey Sandy...
posted by phunniemee at 1:30 PM on August 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


No.

That's what stuff was actually like in those days, kids. It's just art imitating life.

Might as well say "My So-Called Life" invented ennui.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:31 PM on August 14, 2011 [8 favorites]


I always assumed James Murphy invented the hipster when he recorded "Losing My Edge"
posted by hellojed at 1:34 PM on August 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's not what my life was like in those days, lemme tell you.
posted by kenko at 1:36 PM on August 14, 2011


No, There were hipsters in the late 80s and early 90s. They would come to New York for CMJ and drag you to bars in the east village. After graduating they would move from Portland to New York, they would get apartments in Brooklyn that were like 20 blocks from the nearest train station. They would hang out at Lansky Lounge and The Knitting Factory when it was still on Houston. They sometimes wore those wierd hats that old italian men wore. The did stuff like host an electronica night at Brownies and were always broke.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:42 PM on August 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


Someone doesn't know history. Every generation has 'hipsters', for example the beatniks, hippies (guess where the name came from?), etc. What follows the current ones will seem just as strange. Do need to point out Lavers Law again. ;)
posted by usagizero at 1:49 PM on August 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Eerie Indiana was better, and it told the truth.
posted by philip-random at 1:49 PM on August 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Eerie Indiana was better, and it told the truth.

Eerie, Indiana was excellent yes, but it wasn't better. It was equally good when it first aired. Then Fox Kids reinvented it with new episodes, and while I only saw a little of one episode, what little I saw helped to wreck the show's memory.
posted by JHarris at 1:52 PM on August 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


This post is relevant to my interests.
posted by Rangeboy at 1:55 PM on August 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


The original hip icon for kids was Top Cat. Everybody afterwards is mere pretenders.
posted by jonmc at 1:57 PM on August 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Every generation has 'hipsters', for example the beatniks, hippies (guess where the name came from?), etc.

As they say, "Life in Bohemia never changes." But you know them, they'll say anything.

Anyway, The Adventures of Pete & Pete is awesome, so don't be talking shit about it, 'k?
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:58 PM on August 14, 2011


As someone who is not a hipster now and who unironically loves (loved) Pete & Pete to the point where I mod the ancient, pretty much archived for posterity Pete and Pete LJ community, I kind of resent this article. But at the same time I'm pleased because it just means, you know, people remember it and want to give it the respect it deserves, in their own strange ways.

I just hope this means that we'll finally, FINALLY be getting legally purchasable dvds of the 3rd season.
posted by Mizu at 1:59 PM on August 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


As someone who is not a hipster now and who unironically loves (

isn't this what all the hipsters are into these days? Not being hipsters and unironically loving things. shit is so tired.
posted by philip-random at 2:03 PM on August 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait! but I unironically love loving things unironically! I... wait, where was I?

Look man I'm just a big nerd okay
posted by Mizu at 2:04 PM on August 14, 2011


No.

I would venture that show was heavily influenced by the Gen X people, the older siblings of Gen Y and the current Hipsters, and what I'm saying is that people who were offbeat quirky underground musical teens in the 80s in varying suburbs around the country, who dressed out of second-hand clothes shops, Salvation Army and Army Navy stores, invented hipsterism.

It really meant something to be so eccentric and driven by some passion of some sort back then.

Now, it's just like hedonism and fashion and MEH-ism.


Even if LCD Soundsystem is admittedly great. But that's because James Murphy is a true acolyte of weird edgy 80s underground culture.
posted by Skygazer at 2:06 PM on August 14, 2011


Look man I'm just a big nerd okay

Well, if you ironically love things unironically, you are hypocrite, so I think you are better off where you are....
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:07 PM on August 14, 2011


But Hipsterism died the day hipsters began to think Phil Collins and Lional Richie are cool.

It's dead...dead..dead...corrupt...dead...

It's like in some sort of warp driven decadence asteroid belt. It frightens me a bit, to be honest.
posted by Skygazer at 2:08 PM on August 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ad Hominum: After graduating they would move from Portland to New York...


You're pretty almost dead on, but many of my friends moved from New York to Portland instead.

Of course, part of Brooklyn (you know who you are) are now becoming Portland-esque.

And they're losing their edge.

*Ducks*

posted by Skygazer at 2:13 PM on August 14, 2011


Please tick the appropriate boxes...

STATEMENT OF OWN CRED
( ) Link to 'hipster cat' meme.
( ) I'm not a hipster, but I do like ______ without irony.
( ) I remember a time before hipsters, when ______ were the only cool people.
( ) I have lived in _____ since _____, but everyone who arrived after me is a hipster.
( ) [Post ironic 'hipster comment template' comment to showcase own superiority]
( ) Say "Williamsburg", "Bushwick", "Capitol Hill", "Silver Lake", "the Mission", "Portland", or "Austin".

CONDEMNATION OF HIPSTERS
( ) Hipster irony is ruining everything.
( ) I hate that all the hipsters started liking ______, which I've always liked!
( ) Back before I arrived the scene, people had strongly held beliefs about things, but now they're all insincere hipsters.
( ) As a native of ______, I just want to say that my neighborhood was great before all these hipsters showed up.
( ) Cliche PBR joke.
( ) Cliche fixie joke.
( ) Cliche "X before it was cool" joke.

IRONIC AFTERTHOUGHT
( ) At least I'm not some sort of judgemental culture snob. Not like those damn hipsters.
( ) I do appreciate ______ (single aspect of hipster music/geography/film/whatever).
posted by zvs at 2:19 PM on August 14, 2011 [10 favorites]


No. Pete and Pete were not fake, like hipsters are.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:19 PM on August 14, 2011


I like that Little Pete Petunia tattoo.

Anybody got a good high-res image of the ship on his back?
posted by box at 2:28 PM on August 14, 2011


What about Freaks and Geeks?

And Gus Van Sant films like Drugstore Cowboy?

I need to check out this Pete and Pete show. Also, my name is Peter. Non-ironically, like, maaan.
posted by Skygazer at 2:28 PM on August 14, 2011


I've actually never seen Pete & Pete. We didn't have cable in my Bohemian garret.
posted by zvs at 2:31 PM on August 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was gonna join the haters, but the linked article is so obviously simply paying homage to one of Nick's finest programs ever, so I just can't hate on it. I mean, that was a show we could watch with our kids & 'splain some of the inside stuff to them just like our parents--well, my dad anyway--did with Rocky & Bullwinkle for us. A show kids could watch & enjoy & parents could watch & not want to blow their own brains out (side note--I am SOOOOOO glad my kids aged out of the kids programming cycle before Barney & Blues Clues era. I would've shot my TV).

First TV Hipster: Maynard G. Krebs. Undisputed.
posted by beelzbubba at 2:43 PM on August 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


I like Lionel Richie, maybe it is just ironically though, how can I tell?
posted by Ad hominem at 2:44 PM on August 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


What about Freaks and Geeks?

You're aware that that show wasn't on until the year 2000, right?
posted by Sys Rq at 2:46 PM on August 14, 2011


First TV Hipster: Maynard G. Krebs. Undisputed.

*cough* Kookie Byrnes *cough*
posted by jonmc at 2:50 PM on August 14, 2011


SHUT UP EVERYONE
posted by nathancaswell at 2:53 PM on August 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


Every generation has 'hipsters'

So you're saying hipsters existed before they were cool?

This presents a conundrum.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:00 PM on August 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


"Did 'The Adventures of Pete & Pete' Invent the Hipster?"

Has the writer even heard of the Beat Generation?
posted by JHarris at 3:30 PM on August 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


I love Pete and Pete.

But this article is massively missing the fact that this was just what the 90s were like. I mean, Moms in flowery dresses? Plaid? Credible music? None of these things were hipsterish in the 90s. They were totally mainstream.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:31 PM on August 14, 2011 [11 favorites]


(Though maybe the point is that the 90s are totally hipstery now? After all, the dream of the 90s is still alive in Portland, etc. etc.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:35 PM on August 14, 2011


hey guys let's invent better stereotypes and then argue about what we just stereotyped
posted by LogicalDash at 3:38 PM on August 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Total rot, well, except for perhaps that bit about the lumberjack hats.
posted by caddis at 4:10 PM on August 14, 2011


Upsets me that the film "Snow Day" was supposed to be the Pete & Pete movie. Would have been a million times better that way.
posted by inturnaround at 4:13 PM on August 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Toby Huss is completely fantastic. If loving him is hipsterism you can call me whatever you like, squares.

Nobody beats him.
posted by mintcake! at 4:41 PM on August 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


What about Freaks and Geeks?

Freaks and Geeks was already sort of a nostalgia show, or should I say anti-nostalgia show, when it aired as it was set in 1980-81. After all, the show was so heavily based on Feig and Apatow's own high school experiences. I think it was far more about mocking and rejecting the notion of hipsterdom rather than inventing it. This is really one of the things that made the show so unique and interesting: it was both nostalgic for simpler times and repulsed by the hell that is high school. Or, as The Onion AV Club puts it: "The show had a style of its own, based on smearing together nostalgia and discomfort." What Freaks and Geeks did so well was to explore that divide: the show featured these incredibly dark existentialistic moments (one of the pilot's pivotal scenes involved Lindsay discussing how there was no bright light as her grandmother died) and interspersed them with often phyric victories as the freaks and the geeks tried to make the best of their lot. For more, see Alan Sepinwall's Freaks and Geeks commentary a few years ago.

I'll grant you: there is a similarity to Pete and Pete in there, but I think that Pete and Pete choose the path of surrealism and fantasy to escape the boring life of suburbia, while Freaks and Geeks strove to find the occasional enlightened moments of non-suckitude amid an atmosphere of utter gloom and pointlessness. It's as if both shows started in the same place, but Pete and Pete smoked a lot of pot, while Freaks and Geeks got really wasted. Pete and Pete's escape was to say, "fuck it, let's get high," and so we got Artie and all the wild adventures; meanwhile, Freaks and Geeks took a look at the miserable world of high school around them, said "fuck it, let's get wasted" and tried to dull the pain through some occasional hijinks. Same problem, different approaches.

The Secret World of Alex Mack, on the other hand, started from the same place, but said "fuck it, let's get drenched in some crazy experimental chemical that somehow gave me crazy magical powers." That's a different story altogether though...

All this is making me want to go watch the dance scene at the end of the Freaks and Geeks pilot again, so I'm going to do that now. You can too.
posted by zachlipton at 4:47 PM on August 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


The important piece missing from this conversation is that Mr. Mecklenberg wanted to dance with his daughter Nona at her first school dance. He had been looking forward to it for so long, and Nona just ignored him.

Poor Mr. Mecklenberg was so heartbroken about it until she did dance with him.

And by Mr. Mecklenberg, I mean Iggy Pop.

Who wouldn't want to dance with Iggy Pop?
posted by zizzle at 5:40 PM on August 14, 2011


Who wouldn't want to dance with Iggy Pop?

His daughter. It's a generational thing.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:46 PM on August 14, 2011


I want Iggy and Lemmy to do a duet.
posted by jonmc at 5:54 PM on August 14, 2011


He went to prom shirtless, and wearing a big tulle skirt. I think we know who to blame.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 5:59 PM on August 14, 2011


JonMC5: I want Iggy and Lemmy to do a duet.

I want them to conceive a child together.
posted by Skygazer at 6:08 PM on August 14, 2011


WTF is "credible music"? The opposite of INcredible music? Or inauthentic? Music is music.

People who rail endlessly against hipsters are 100x worse than hipsters. Hipsters themselves are pretty bad though. My lawn is getting trampled.
posted by DU at 6:09 PM on August 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Stranger still is the fact that Patti Hearst guest-starred in an episode of Pete and Pete as Mrs. Krechmar, the nicest housewife in the world.
posted by zachlipton at 7:05 PM on August 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Pete and pete never ruined anything.
posted by daisystomper at 8:21 PM on August 14, 2011


@zachlipton, I remember when Patty Hearst was on Veronica Mars. The general feeling was..."uh, what am I looking at..."
posted by sweetkid at 10:10 PM on August 14, 2011


I have never heard of this but I just watched an episode and it was pretty damn great. Can't wait to share with my 11-year-old son.
posted by LarryC at 11:28 PM on August 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Big Pete was dreamy. So how come Little Pete had a whole career on Nickelodeon post-P&P, while Big Pete languished in obscurity?
posted by Gordafarin at 4:57 AM on August 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


*cough* Kookie Byrnes *cough*

You got me there, jonmc. Kookie: 1958-1964; Maynard: 1959-1963.

I was going to say Ernie Kovacs, but his clips haven't aged well. He, Louis Nye, Steve Allen, et al. were all safe renditions of the beat spirit. Allen's travels into the jazz world gave him the musical cred & he appropriated the language, but they were still all Rinso White.
posted by beelzbubba at 5:09 AM on August 15, 2011


Freaks & Geeks was so note-perfect, I still have to remind myself that it wasn't actually done in the early 80s.

(My favorite Pete & Pete guest star: Syd Straw as the math teacher.)
posted by whuppy at 8:42 AM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


He, Louis Nye, Steve Allen, et al. were all safe renditions of the beat spirit. Allen's travels into the jazz world gave him the musical cred & he appropriated the language, but they were still all Rinso White.

Jack Kerouac on the Steve Allen Show
posted by philip-random at 9:04 AM on August 15, 2011


Harry the Hipster Gibson, that is all.
posted by mareli at 11:37 AM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whuppy: Freaks & Geeks was so note-perfect, I still have to remind myself that it wasn't actually done in the early 80s.

YES. So true, so true. I totally forget it was made so much time after that. There are moments in that show, I'm like picking at imagery pimples and getting anxious about JV football practice.

Which I had no business whatsoever being part of, but somehow didn't get cut from, probably because I'd been cut from the Freshman team the year before and because I was a "super hard worker" with a "lot of heart." Little did I know, that was code for "punching bag and live dummy for the first string offense."

Oh the misery...the misery....if that team had been bootcamp, I would've been Private Pyle, easy.....

posted by Skygazer at 11:42 AM on August 15, 2011


phillip-random, I see your Jack Kerouac on the Steve Allen Show and raise you: Lord Buckley on Groucho's You Bet Your Life. (and previously)
posted by beelzbubba at 12:18 PM on August 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Lord Buckley on Groucho's You Bet Your Life

belly laugh at the 3 minute point.
posted by philip-random at 1:38 PM on August 17, 2011


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