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"America wants its respect."
March 30, 2012 5:55 PM   Subscribe

A self-identified hipster re-presents: the American hipster.
What comes next?
posted by iamkimiam (87 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
I don't care for that man's style of talking.
posted by davebush at 5:59 PM on March 30, 2012 [15 favorites]


I don't care for that man's style of talking.

Eh. That was my style of talking before, you know, it was cool.
posted by 4ster at 6:06 PM on March 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think he underplays the role of the internet and it's crushing together of all subcultures and overplays his own experience as a white upper middle class kid in 99. It's interesting as a story, but I don't think it does much to elucidate the origins or relevance of hipster as a term.

I still maintain that it functions best as a term of derision for some one who's similar to you that you don't like.
posted by khaibit at 6:11 PM on March 30, 2012 [11 favorites]


Where the fuck is Constitution Drive? This is a pretty mediocre presentation. It does feel like there's a lot of honesty, but Beau Lewis puts across such a shallow representation of his fear of breaking out of the status quo. The hipster mindset, to him, is a marketing plan. So, what? Beau Lewis is unmasking the entrepreneur, not the identification he volunteers to give himself.
posted by parmanparman at 6:26 PM on March 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Hipster" doesn't seem to be a meaningful term, really. I mean, if you say "punk" and draw a punk, most people will recognize that as a punk. Or a hippie, or a metalhead, or a hip-hop kid or a goth. Hipsters seem to be a little bit beatnik, a little bit dance clubber, a little bit whatever the fuck you'd call Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York. I mean, really: Look at this fucking hipster. Just fucking look at him. Who the hell does this guy think he is? Nice hat, dick. Anyway. What comes next? You got me. A better question might be: What was that, just now?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:29 PM on March 30, 2012 [12 favorites]


Follow the best followers, is itself a meme, I don't deny it's importance or prevalence.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 6:32 PM on March 30, 2012


Hipster is a meaningless word.
posted by The Whelk at 6:39 PM on March 30, 2012


It would be nice if cynicism and apathy went out of style. The things that make a culture great are built by people who are motivated, concerned, conscientious, and unafraid to push things in a new direction. If it's socially acceptable (or even preferable) to not give a shit, your society is going to deteriorate.
posted by knave at 6:41 PM on March 30, 2012 [12 favorites]


What comes next? I am working on a philosophical essay now looking at the Animateur, defined by the Scottish government as some one who:

1. promotes and organises the participation of local people in activities that help to make positive changes to their community. For example, intermediate labour market schemes, and Community Apprenticeship Schemes;
2. provides a focus for increasing community involvement and input in development programmes in their local area such as regeneration schemes, health programmes, or crime initiatives. It can also be used to increase local skills and provide employment training. Animateurs also work with local voluntary groups to help them develop their work.

This is in itself a very limited definition by a government but it opens up a rich vein of quantitative study about how we act to produce social change as a return on investment. I define hipsters as a group that looks at gentrification as a socio-political construct and will attempt to work around it in order to find an ideal habitus that may not ever rely on immediate social capital in the same way, because their headmanship is often complicated by varying degrees of hostility by those of more exclusive social conventions, particularly religious groups. Hipsters are those who have a shallow degree of intimacy with the world in the sense of wanting to break into exclusive places but not having any resource but money and time to do so. Money and time itself is not a social capital that is sought by those exclusive enough to monitor participation. The irony, if there is one at all in the hipster parlance, is a powerful sense of dread in reaching out the wider world with more than a very soft shake. These people are not animateurs or entrepreneurs, they are social inept creatures who feel their creativity will only rise to the top of the class through their continuous employment in lifelong, low-tech employment.
posted by parmanparman at 6:43 PM on March 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


It would be nice if cynicism and apathy went out of style

If it helps, everyone I know in my age group has the attitude of kinda joking but no not really passionate involvement in Thier Thing, and said thing is usually a political or social matter.

And Dr. who.
posted by The Whelk at 6:45 PM on March 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hipster is a meaningless word.
posted by The Whelk at 6:39 PM on 3/30
[+] [!]


I know one when I see one, so it's not meaningless.
posted by jayder at 6:46 PM on March 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hipsters don't exist
posted by The Whelk at 6:50 PM on March 30, 2012


I never want to hear that word again!
posted by The Whelk at 6:51 PM on March 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Costume shop


Note the time stamp.
posted by The Whelk at 6:53 PM on March 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hipster = young, pretentious, trendy asshole. Now the term is no longer meaningless.
posted by jonmc at 6:57 PM on March 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


I really think that the internet is to blame. Used to be, you could make fun of other subcultures. Goths didn't like the Ravers. Punks didn't like the Goths, etc. But, the internet took away any useful subcultural markers. It now took a weekend to learn enough of the language and dress to be able to play the part. And so it got remixed into a sort of generic not-mainstream. But the internal tensions never went away. Nothing marks a cultural group like making fun of other similar groups. So, you end up with a generic that person is a hipster as a catch-all.
posted by khaibit at 6:59 PM on March 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was a hipster in Berkeley in 1983 hanging out with my friends listening to the Violent Femmes and solving the rebuses on the inside of Lucky Lager caps. My son is a hipster in Boulder in 2012 hanging out with his friends drinking Keystone Light and listening to Steve Aoki. The superiority and apathy part probably hit home. I grew out of it, I expect he will as well.
posted by Edward L at 6:59 PM on March 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think it's important to note that just declaring a thing over because you personally are over it doesn't always work. I declared zombies over in like 2007. That was on LiveJournal. Do you remember LiveJournal? It was a thing, in like 2007.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:00 PM on March 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


I wrote a long blog post about the last non hipster, and how scientists tried to save him to find a cure, but a random journalist accidentally infected him via Neon Indian and ended up on the run. James Murphy was patient zero.
posted by hellojed at 7:08 PM on March 30, 2012


Who else had never heard of pedophile glasses before? Nor have I heard of Steve Aoki before. Does this mean I can say I'm not a hipster?
posted by Xurando at 7:13 PM on March 30, 2012


Everyone's a hipster, Xurando. That woman listening to kenny chesney and drinking miller lite. The man on a pocket bike with a twinkle in his eye. The lad on a 2x tall bicycle, puffing a Parliament and trying to keep balance.
posted by hellojed at 7:15 PM on March 30, 2012


You mean a guy from Vermont who just ate at a kosher Indian vegetarian restaurant in Manhattan is a hipster? Ooooooh yuk. Does mean I'm in denial?
posted by Xurando at 7:27 PM on March 30, 2012


What's that, aging folks? You say young people today are apathetic, and listen to crap music, and should be more involved in healthy activities that uplift all people in their community? This is groundbreaking stuff!
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 7:29 PM on March 30, 2012 [34 favorites]


The notion that hipsters spontaneously arose in Brooklyn in 1999 is charming. It should come as no surprise that young people have been dressing crazy and having exclusive tastes for quite some time now. I recall my older brother crafting garish thrift store ensembles in the late 80s, and this was in Texas.
posted by gngstrMNKY at 7:30 PM on March 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm not a hipster occupies the same place that I'm not into the scene does in gay dating ads. Meaningless othering placeholder.
posted by The Whelk at 7:31 PM on March 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also the word is like four years out of date anyway.
posted by The Whelk at 7:31 PM on March 30, 2012


the definition of hipster is the same as the definition of obscenity
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 7:41 PM on March 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


the definition of hipster is the same as the definition of obscenity
I always thought the term hipster was coined because the correct moniker was problematic.
posted by fullerine at 7:54 PM on March 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was just watching Blowup today and I couldn't stop thinking, "look at these fucking hipsters." Yeah, 1999, not so much. Also, the lecturer is not a fucking hipster, purely out of the fact that he self-identified as one.
posted by mroben at 8:12 PM on March 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


hipster is a class thing

fuck the bougies
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 8:23 PM on March 30, 2012


What comes next?

I'd vote for hopsters.
posted by carter at 8:31 PM on March 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


This guy is neither a rapper nor a hipster, he's a douchebag who's never been told he's got no talent.
posted by OHenryPacey at 8:39 PM on March 30, 2012


His mouth moves in bigger ways than the sounds he is making warrants. It is creepy.
posted by neroli at 8:45 PM on March 30, 2012 [9 favorites]


mroben, that's a great comment on Blowup. The tennis really is a Swinging London version of the Idiotarod.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 10:15 PM on March 30, 2012


Having defined himself as both a rapper and a hipster, I'd have to say that Mr. Beau Lewis is probably a caterwauling nincompoop.
Harrumph.
posted by islander at 10:52 PM on March 30, 2012


Also the word is like four years out of date anyway.

Then please do stop going on and on and on and fucking on about it.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 11:00 PM on March 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


It would be nice if cynicism and apathy went out of style. The things that make a culture great are built by people who are motivated, concerned, conscientious, and unafraid to push things in a new direction. If it's socially acceptable (or even preferable) to not give a shit, your society is going to deteriorate.

I've always found this the weirdest "hipster" stereotype. I mean, sarcasm and irony are fairly important humor devices to gen Y, I 'll acknowledge that, but it's a reflection of the culture we were raised in, so you can probably thank earlier generations for it.

But as an over-riding ethos? I live in Portland, Oregon, and most people I know who would make perfect Instagram photos for LATFH aren't at all cynical or apathetic about the things they do at all. Yeah, many of them are passionate about art, or craft coffee, or selling stuff on Etsy, or bicycles, or open source software, and not, say, merchant banking and real estate, but it's the older folks who constantly complain "Hipsters are ruining this city" that sound cynical and apathetic to me. Sure, I know kids who drift around with no ambition or interest in anything much, but 20-something slackers are hardly unique to my generation.
posted by retrograde at 11:29 PM on March 30, 2012 [8 favorites]


What's that font? Me like.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:30 PM on March 30, 2012


Weary above it all cynicism is such an old person thing.
posted by The Whelk at 11:33 PM on March 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


He oversimplifies a lot, I think, but it's not totally without interest.
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:37 PM on March 30, 2012


Does the X in TedX stand for "Cross Fade" or something because the editing is so fucking annoying with the constant fading or whatever you call that shit.
posted by orme at 12:13 AM on March 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


I admit my comment comes off as antagonistic, but really it's just disappointment in my generation (gen X might have the best claim to the "slacker" title of anyone) and the next (so far). It would be nice to have a sense that the generations that will replace the boomers will bring some much needed changes, but I don't really see it yet. (I consider open source a great example, and I'm hardly advocating investment banking as a really useful way to spend your life. I don't have a narrowly defined set of things you should do with your life, but constructive things that benefit society would be nice...)
posted by knave at 12:13 AM on March 31, 2012


I used to comment on hipsters.... (drum roll please) ... before it as cool.
posted by gideonswann at 12:20 AM on March 31, 2012


Hipster is a pejorative that gets confused for a subculture. Hipsters are other people.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:23 AM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I do feel like my generation (Y) has been raised very much with the attitude that the most important thing in life is to be happy and fulfilled. Which is good, but yeah, people tend to find more happiness and fulfillment in making artisan pickles than in changing the world.

If it helps, I suspect the children of the recession will have more ambition and drive to get things done. They will probably look more scornfully on X and Y than anyone else.
posted by retrograde at 12:27 AM on March 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


The most emblematic thing about my generation is the Facebook "like" button. But before that, it was the "bands I like" section of the MySpace profile. To people (around) my age, liking things is a discrete act; not merely a descriptive characteristic.

Actually, I think "like culture" has been around for a really long time, it just used to be the property of the well-off, the "snob" or the "dandy". Now it's been democratized.

I think this is a largely neutral phenomenon. Yes, we're a generation of shameless consumers, but compared to what? All the people in the 60s and 70s who Really Gave a Fuck? Well, those people who Really Gave a Fuck invented hip capitalism, which, so far as I can tell, evolved right along with the Give a Fuck movement. Woodstock was a concert; it cost money to get in.

And then there was punk, and they tell us punk was supposed to mean something, but so far as I can tell it was mostly about being loud and rude and drunk and on drugs and not knowing how to play your instruments and just generally having a good time. Nothing wrong with that.

And then there was "gen X", a movement created out of whole cloth by Reality Bites and a few other movies that were the first to make the soundtrack as much a product as the movie itself. And "gen x" gave a fuck about ... not giving a fuck? Hell, if you ask me, that's like 50 times more pretentious than today's "hipsters".

Anyway, I don't care if we never have another mass cultural movement. I'm disappointed that so much of the culture I see around me in the Bay Area is so centered around dance clubs and club music, which I see as being a mostly douchebag culture. But really, I think that just represents American culture melting into the larger world cultural morass. Hell, half of Europe probably wouldn't recognize a guitar if they were hit with one.

And then there's most of America that listens to rap and a good part of the world that listens to things that sound like rap, and all of the covert prestige posturing that goes along with it, at least here in the US.

So yeah, I dunno. My only contribution here is to say "fuck what your parents thought was cool". Every generation thinks they were the first to invent everything, and every generation's shining cultural moment was the only one that mattered. Kurt Cobain shot himself and left his daughter fatherless. Nothing heroic or groundbreaking there.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:38 AM on March 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


Perhaps hipsters would be happier with where they are right now if they weren't trying to be cool. Adults acting like middle school girls obsessed with image, not a recipe for success.
posted by karmiolz at 12:56 AM on March 31, 2012


He doesn't even look like a hipster. And whats with assuming that Hipster-ism is some kind of USA culture thing. - I just don't believe that.
posted by mary8nne at 1:20 AM on March 31, 2012


mary8anne American culture has pretty impressive brands of apathy and superficiality though. Two hallmarks of hipsters.
posted by karmiolz at 1:21 AM on March 31, 2012


A good time as any to bring up the hipster theory of relativity.
posted by windbox at 1:33 AM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


The bizarre thing to me is that the assumption that hipsters are a product of the USA or Lower East Side thing. You could equally suggest 'they' are a product of Stockholm, East London, East Berlin or a thousand other places outside the US.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 1:49 AM on March 31, 2012


It is really difficult to explain what a hipster is to someone outside of America.* "Ok, so there's this crap beer...wait, nevermind, so...trucker hats are like this symbol of...maybe that's not the best place to begin, ok...bicycles...oh, let's not...have you heard of The Decemberists?...no, okay...you know how young, urban Americans act all superior yet apathetic about everything..."

*without sounding like a complete hipster asshole.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:08 AM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thats just complete rubbish iamkimian. explaining what a hipster is has nothing to do with America. And I think the Pabst thing is a total red herring. Hipsters outside the USA don't drink Pabst.

East London I would argue is even more hipster central than Brooklyn.
posted by mary8nne at 2:19 AM on March 31, 2012


It was more of a joke about American beer, really.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:29 AM on March 31, 2012


i will stop thinking hipsters are real when people stop denying their existence so vehemently
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:44 AM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hipster = young, pretentious, trendy asshole posted by LogicalDash at 2:52 AM on March 31, 2012


The bizarre thing to me is that the assumption that hipsters are a product of the USA or Lower East Side thing. You could equally suggest 'they' are a product of Stockholm, East London, East Berlin or a thousand other places outside the US.

Exactly. This nebulous "hipster" identity is a global phenomenon, and its emergence says a lot more about globalization and the internet than it does about any one country. Oslo, Berlin, Barcelona, Tokyo, Sidney, London, Tel Aviv, Buenos Aires, Johannesburg. Trends pop up and take hold all over the (relatively prosperous and free) world extremely quickly. Sure, American Apparel and Vice magazine have had a huge role in carving out a fairly homogenous "youth culture" of the 2000s (note that both are founded by Montrealers), but they are also transmitting styles and ideas that often originate elsewhere, and they are far from the only high-impact brands/magazines.
posted by molecicco at 3:20 AM on March 31, 2012


Hipster = young, pretentious, trendy asshole

There are lots of young, pretentious, and trendy people who take their fashion cues from Vogue Magazine, but they're not meta-contrarian enough to be considered hipsters. Hipsters are non-hippie bohemians.

Yoink and Frowner make some good points about why people whinge about hipsters.
The whole point about the people one calls "hipsters" is that they are just a few degrees different from you. They are like an exaggerated version or a caricature of everything you see as potentially cool about yourself--but somehow rendered false and inauthentic. Consequently, they represent a perpetual threat to your own self-identity (hence all the anger about their superciliousness: "I was into that before it was popular etc."); they threaten to expose your own "coolness" as mere posturing.

It's impossible to divorce the anger from the 'hipster' label because the when you name someone a "hipster" you're identifying a threat to your own sense of identity.
...
I don't think "hipster is about appropriation" is sufficient - while there are certainly people wearing "Indian" costumes to house parties while drinking Pabst, there are plenty of culturally-appropriating groups (New Age folks with dreamcatchers, frat bros appropriating what they think is "black" culture, etc etc).

And there's plenty of snobbism and misogyny in non-hipster subcultures too - bike assholes, for instance, are a cultural universal from hipster bike repair place to mainstream frat row one.

Honestly, I think the allure of calling people hipsters is this:

1. The rhetoric of misery - in the US, we're all supposed to be nose-grindstone-shoulder-wheel, I'm-going-to-need-you-to-work-this-Saturday, pensions-are-for-the-overpaid, etc etc. And if we see folks who aren't working, or seem to do fun work, we assume that this is because they have trust funds or because their work is stupid. This is true in the activist scene - people who are frugal or work seasonally or whose work is harder than it looks get slagged off a lot and rumors get started about how their parents must be supporting them.

2. Prurience. There's a whole creepy genre of "pictures of so-called hipsters in revealing clothing" that people cluck over with barely-disguised prurient interest. Hipster girls ZOMG wear leggings instead of pants!! Hipster guys sometimes wear effeminate clothes to parties!!! How whorish!

3. Unease about gender. If you go to "look at this fucking hipster", which I can't link because I'm at work, you'll find a kind of funny ear-worm of a song about how terrible hipsters are. And several lines and slides are basically "hipsters are terrible because sometimes you can't tell their gender or sexual preference from their clothes!"

4. Hatred of art and non-conformity; ressentiment; fear that you're missing something. You know what? A lot of hipster stuff is kind of cool. And even more of it is kind of cool to at least a few people. Fancy vegan cooking? Silk-screened patches? Fun haircuts? Bikes? What the hell is so bad about that? Americans are miserable and unfree, and we're terrified that someone somewhere is having a good time that doesn't necessarily involve being rich or having a fancy job....because what that means is that maybe we could be happier too if we took a few minor social risks, loosened up a little and stopped accepting the normal narrative about American life.

5. Hatred of youth. I'm no longer young, so I can say this - Americans hate, envy and fear youth in a way that is truly fucked up. Youth sexuality, youth subcultures, just the mere fact that young people have young bodies - that really flips everyone the fuck out. So naturally, any young people who seem to be having fun being young and irresponsible must be terrible human beings, and young people should be rushed into stodgy middle aged consumer patterns as soon as possible.

6. Belief that everything fun costs lots of money. So obviously, hipsters must be spending tons of cash (ill-gotten, undeserved) on their pursuits, and regular Americans can't afford to be happy because they don't have that kind of (ill-gotten, undeserved) money.

Now, that's not to say that there aren't young artist types who are big ol' jerks. But I would hate for Patti Smith, Sarah Schulman, Jello Biafra and Shane McGowan to have skipped youthful artistic rebellion for a civil service job and a mortgage.
posted by Human Flesh at 4:10 AM on March 31, 2012 [16 favorites]


First time I've ever found a Tedtalk too boring to complete. Don't know if it was the speaker's droning voice or the subject matter, but I started tuning him out a couple of minutes in.
posted by theplotchickens at 4:18 AM on March 31, 2012


Really wish I'd led with the other link, but semantically it didn't make sense. I liked what some of the people had to say. This bit really struck a chord with me:
I think seeing hipster as a narrative, rather than a distinct group of people, is a great way to understand how urban middle class identities are constructed and how postmodern class distinctions are established. The mythology of hipster is an extremely fragmented, occasionally contradictory, frequently derogatory narrative about a subculture that may or may not exist. But it doesn’t matter, because regardless, we are using this narrative to make sense (and express) our identities. By frequently othering hipsters as superficial trend-seekers that seem to do things “for the wrong reasons,” we are also authenticating our own acts that might actually mirror those of this group. Thus, a seemingly autoimmune reaction to our own consumption acts serves us to mark the boundaries of our more authentic identities from the other groups that we deem as more consumerist, superficial and inauthentic.
fwiw, I sincerely do run across many people here in Northern England who do not have a clue what the word 'hipster' means. And it is extremely hard to explain. Which is of course, ironic. And they think I'm just being meta as usual (I tend to abstract things, oh, just a wee bit at times).
posted by iamkimiam at 4:39 AM on March 31, 2012


I, too, also found his speaking style almost unbearable. Which is personally irritating to me ... I really want to be objective and descriptive about such things. But between his over-annunciated Seattle dialect and the extremely aware self-presentation, I was a bit more than distracted. There were some good points though and thought them worth sharing in the context of the other link.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:43 AM on March 31, 2012


Human Flesh: yes, the reason people hate hipsters is because we're jealous of how terrific they are. Grow up.
posted by jonmc at 5:18 AM on March 31, 2012


Instead of reading this article or thread I am going to listen to the new Delicate Steve track again. You all should do the same.
posted by nathancaswell at 5:45 AM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not everyone hates hipsters! In São Paulo we love them.

It's funny how these cultural signifiers change when they cross borders. Around here, there are lots of hipsters but not as much hispter hate. The pretentiousness and cynicism are dialed way down and it seems to be more about fun. At Rua Augusta (SP's hipster mecca) there are even flyers advertising HIPSTER NIGHT!
posted by Tom-B at 5:50 AM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


To be fair, jon, doesn't hating hipsters seem a little...extreme? I mean, if this is a question of "authentic" vs. "inauthentic" (I'm not even going to broach the possibility that it could be a matter of young vs. old; let us presume that this is purely an aesthetic judgment based on matters of taste that are removed completely from wider cultural resentments and prejudices), how is that really that different from hating someone because they like a rival football team or something? Doesn't basing actual hatred on stuff like what you listen to and what clothes you wear elevate to epic proportions stuff that's basically sort of trivial?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:51 AM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


So.. the guy in the video is not a hipster because he claims to be one, and the Whelk is a hipster because he disdains and rejects the moniker?
posted by sammyo at 5:59 AM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Iamkimiam, English people generally don't use the term hipster, just like Americans generally don't use the term Shorditch twat. Also, the cultural chasm that exists between art students and the people who wear North Face jackets seems wider and more sparsely populated in the US when compared to England.
posted by Human Flesh at 6:39 AM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ok, first of all, anyone who says there is no such thing as a hipster should come have brunch in my neighborhood sometime. Second, yoink's definition, as quoted by Human Flesh above, "an exaggerated version or a caricature of everything you see as potentially cool about yourself--but somehow rendered false and inauthentic. Consequently, they represent a perpetual threat to your own self-identity" rings very true to me. I would modify it a little, in the sense that certain elements (eg the giant ugly glasses) also seem like a mocking exaggeration of personal anxieties about image and 'coolness'.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 7:00 AM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Whoa! There's a North Face here?
[puts down brushes, dons Jackie-O shades, grabs bike]
posted by iamkimiam at 7:01 AM on March 31, 2012


North Face jackets? Who the hell are you, Mr. Blackwell? THIS is why people hate hipsters.
posted by jonmc at 7:34 AM on March 31, 2012


I can't wait until the Internet is through with this hipster-bashing phase. It's like in elementary school when everybody was impersonating Jim Carry's Ace Ventura. That "Allllll righty then!" shit was old the second time I heard it, but it took years for people to finally get it out of their systems.
posted by Kevtaro at 7:44 AM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


The kids are alright.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 7:45 AM on March 31, 2012


the kids wouldn't get off my lawn so i buried them in it
posted by pyramid termite at 7:46 AM on March 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


No. Mommy's alright. Daddy's alright.
posted by jonmc at 7:55 AM on March 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think it's funny how a large portion of people who've commented here are completely shitting on this guy's speech and then pronouncing how this is nothing more than some old and overused complaint against young folks. In one ear and out the other, I suppose.

I thought his speech was interesting.
posted by Evernix at 8:14 AM on March 31, 2012


I'm going to go receive some first aid training along with my friends so I can help if and when the police get violent during the next planned march. I know, so hipster lol.
posted by The Whelk at 8:23 AM on March 31, 2012


His mouth moves in bigger ways than the sounds he is making warrants. It is creepy.

I imagine that kissing him would be akin to getting eaten by a python.
posted by bpm140 at 8:58 AM on March 31, 2012


Regarding the TED talk, what is he saying? What's his point? Also, that dude doesn't dress well enough by almost anyone's interpretation of cool to be considered a hipster. At least hipsters look cool to other hipsters (sartorialist, Gabriel Hounds, Vice Magainze etc.)

The second question is good though. I'll set myself up and say that I was asking this question back in 2002 when it was topical. But seriously, what comes next?

Naomi Klein was writing about this in No Logo back in 1999. Keep in mind, we already had Pop Up Videos and I love the XXs was just around the corner. When everything is self referential and retro, what do you riff off of next?

I thought the the speaker was a bit naive in observing that kids were referencing the 1970s back in 2007 and are now just cannibalizing the 90s. We've gone through that cycle a few times now. Hell, we'd already chewed through the 60s and the 70s by the end of the 90s. We were certainly done with the 80s by the time VH1 made "I love the 80s in 2002." That was 10 years ago.

When American Apparel first came along, I remember thinking that was the end game. Remember when they just sold simple, solid-colored basic jersey sportsware? I thought we'd run out of ridiculous ways to express ourselves. Maybe everyone would just go around in solid colors that self consciously didn't reference or recontextualize anything. That was back in 2006 for me. Obviously American Apparel went in a different direction, but it wasn't really specifically pulling from anyone decade.

It's overly simplistic to reduce hipster culture as a curation of previous decades. It's been past that for at least 7-8 years now. Instead it's an odd, anachronistic homage to the platonic ideals of certain eras. (Sorry for even writing that sentence.) Hell, kids are referencing early hipster culture from a few years ago and then playing with that.

Let's just admit that we're getting too old and tired to keep of with this, and every generation will eventually push out the hipsters from the previous generation.

I don't really have a point either, but then I didn't think my bone headed theory warranted a TED talk. (And the article is better than the video.)
posted by Telf at 9:11 AM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just wanted to reiterate that the article is much much better than the TED talk. (My apologies to the speaker.) Almost every one of those opinions has something worth quoting. Obviously this is the seminal work on hipsters and now that we have this article, nobody will ever need to talk about hipsters again. We can just cut and paste from that article, as it reflects any and all ideas that could ever possibly be articulated on the subject of hipsterism.
posted by Telf at 9:24 AM on March 31, 2012


I've noticed that a significant portion of cyclists in the US wear spandex clothes and have other serious cycling accoutrements. Whereas in Europe, a bicycle can be a mode of transportation without being a lifestyle or a loud cultural semaphore. For example, it's not especially strange to see cyclists in Amsterdam wearing business suits.

It seems that middle class nuclear families in Europe have less open contempt for middle class countercultures. The English middle classes might be somewhat more tolerant of eccentricity and homosexuality than their American counterparts.
posted by Human Flesh at 10:11 AM on March 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Road bikes of the sort you use with cycling gear aren't exactly designed for use with suits, unless you're into getting chain lube on your suit pants.
posted by raysmj at 1:38 PM on March 31, 2012


I didn't find this to be very interesting. The speaker really doesn't know much about culture in general and his overall theme lacked either the cohesion or insight needed to be a worthwhile speech.
posted by cell divide at 2:47 PM on March 31, 2012


I used to comment on hipsters.... (drum roll please) ... before it as cool.
posted by gideonswann


Meta-anti-hipster hipster comment fail.
posted by Saxon Kane at 2:52 PM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I didn't find this to be very interesting. The speaker really doesn't know much about culture in general and his overall theme lacked either the cohesion or insight needed to be a worthwhile speech.
posted by cell divide at 2:47 PM on 3/31


TED is really dumbing itself down with all these spin offs.

I kept wondering why dude needed to wear outerwear while he was giving the talk.
posted by jayder at 3:37 PM on March 31, 2012


Dear Beau Lewis - you're boring and vapid and I'd like to beat you with your upbringing until you're frightened of the wind and anything harder than a saltine.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 5:36 PM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Huh, I had an altogether different response to this than most of the people here (python-mouth notwithstanding, I guess). It articulated a lot of things about "that crowd" I couldn't put my finger on. Maybe I wanted to understand the reason I lower my voice when ordering the $1 PBR on special, or maybe I just don't grasp the obvious about countercultural phenomena. I dunno.

But either way, I don't care LOLZ
posted by Rykey at 6:04 AM on April 1, 2012


Human Flesh the cultural chasm that exists between art students and the people who wear North Face jackets seems wider and more sparsely populated in the US when compared to England.

Ha yes! this is it. I've never really understood my disdain of North Face jackets quite so eloquently. That High-Performance-Sports-Wear as Everday-Wear it is almost the polar opposite of the "hipster-aesthetic".
posted by mary8nne at 2:37 AM on April 5, 2012


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