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The Internet Hates Me
September 19, 2013 6:24 AM   Subscribe

I Am An Object Of Internet Ridicule, Ask Me Anything.
posted by naju (360 comments total) 63 users marked this as a favorite

 
That was a sweet article. The only question I have is how does he manage to type with that machine on his bare knees like that? It must be mega-uncomfortable.
posted by xingcat at 6:39 AM on September 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


What a traumatic, humiliating experience that must have been, having an unflattering photo hosted on all of those websites with such angry, hateful, un-constructive commenters and framing.

I hope his confessional puff piece nets him enough new twitter followers to buy a lighter typewriter or something.
posted by oceanjesse at 6:41 AM on September 19, 2013 [11 favorites]


That was great, I wish there were more followup stories like this. The original photo completely changes once you hear the context for it.
posted by mathowie at 6:42 AM on September 19, 2013 [38 favorites]


LOOK AT THIS FUCKING HIPST....oh.

I liked this: "For all the hateful words that were lobbed at me, it barely ever bubbled over from the world of online forums and websites."

That's the thing. Online assholes tend to stay online. It actually takes balls to go up to someone on the High Line with a typewriter and make fun of him to his face. I imagine everyone with the big ideas on Reddit would get up in his face and....buy a story and tell him he's cool. Because it's easy to hate someone whose face you're not looking into.
posted by nevercalm at 6:49 AM on September 19, 2013 [26 favorites]


There's a girl in Amsterdam that does the same thing. You give her a topic and she writes a poem for you on a little manual typewriter.
posted by humboldt32 at 6:49 AM on September 19, 2013


What a traumatic, humiliating experience that must have been, having an unflattering photo hosted on all of those websites with such angry, hateful, un-constructive commenters and framing.

I hope his confessional puff piece nets him enough new twitter followers to buy a lighter typewriter or something.


If this was meant sarcastically, and, as is often the problem with irony online, this is not clear, I feel like maybe you might ask yourself what value you're adding to the world by being a dick to a stranger online.

I think a lot of people could stand to ask that question in general.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 6:51 AM on September 19, 2013 [85 favorites]


I remember seeing that photo a while back and being instantly reminded of something that happened in college.

I was living on the first floor of an apartment inhabited mostly by grad students, so it was nice and quiet. New neighbors, students my age, about 21, moved in above me, and before too long there started being a very loud RATTATATATATATATATATATAATAT noise every night starting around 10 or so, and it would last for hours. It sounded like someone was up there with racquetballs, rapidly bouncing them on the floor.

I got his name from the mailbox and looked up his email address in our student directory. I sent him an email being all "hey new neighbor why are you so loud," and he responded that it was due to the typewriter he had, which he used to write all of his college papers, and how it rattled through the antique metal desk he had in his room right through the floor.

After a few more nights with no change, I went to the hardware store and bought felt pads to put under the feet of his desk. I went upstairs to offer them to him so that he could continue doing his thing without bothering me so much. And the guy who opened the door, I shit you not, was holding a brandy snifter and wearing a smoking jacket. He just stood there staring at me, swirling his brandy, making periodic dismissive sniffing noises at me while I spoke.


So, typewriter meme guy, I apologize for seeing that picture of you and immediately imagining you in a stupid fucking smoking jacket.
posted by phunniemee at 6:56 AM on September 19, 2013 [107 favorites]


I think I'm the only person who lives in New York who does not care one fig about the High Line. It was unimpressive. So, this, yeah, meh either way.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:57 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


There's a girl in Amsterdam that does the same thing. You give her a topic and she writes a poem for you on a little manual typewriter.

Also a guy in Boston.
posted by JanetLand at 6:59 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sure it's easy to sound tough about being unimpressed by parks here on the internet, but are you brave enough to go up and say that to the High Line's entrance?

Didn't think so.
posted by griphus at 7:00 AM on September 19, 2013 [40 favorites]


If this was meant sarcastically, and, as is often the problem with irony online, this is not clear, I feel like maybe you might ask yourself what value you're adding to the world by being a dick to a stranger online.

What? The comment you're responding to seems to be sympathizing with the subject of the piece. Or maybe my sarcasm detector is off.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:00 AM on September 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


This goes to show the extent to which the quasi-anonymity and impersonality of the internet can combine to engender assholish behavior that might not otherwise manifest.
posted by slkinsey at 7:02 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's a girl in Amsterdam that does the same thing. You give her a topic and she writes a poem for you on a little manual typewriter.

Also a guy in Boston.


Also some people in Chicago, who are wonderful.
posted by raisindebt at 7:02 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: Internet commenters who make vast, sweeping judgments based on careless observation.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:03 AM on September 19, 2013 [13 favorites]


Heh. He seems like a cool guy, and I'm sorry he's had trouble. Hopefully he gets some positive fame out of it. That said - you have to operate as typewriting busker-writer to get ridiculed in NYC, and then it only seems to get bad once a picture of you doing it has gone viral. Where I live you can get as much vitriol by riding a bicycle down a street: bonus points if you wear a helmet.
posted by randomkeystrike at 7:04 AM on September 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


Why should this h*****r have any fame? What has he done to deserve it? Is this considered hard work? Aside from the laborious task of hauling that typing machine allllll the way from Brooklyn? Who even cares?
posted by ReeMonster at 7:13 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


I can't tell if that is finely tuned satire or not, dude.
posted by elizardbits at 7:16 AM on September 19, 2013 [36 favorites]


There’s hope for those guys on Reddit. I used to be one of those guys. Not on Reddit, but elsewhere on-line. Maybe even here. The sort of person who might see a picture of someone and determine that they should be punched in the nose just because of their shirt or their tattoo or whatever. A combination of exposure to diverse humans in real life and general growing up cured me. I still occasionally fall into that hole but mostly I look at people and think “huh. A person. Cool.” There’s hope. I don’t want to judge the Redditors for a single comment any more than I want to judge this guy for a single picture. There’s hope.

Not for everyone, of course, some people are just general life-long assholes. Fuck those people.

A few years ago I built a workbench in my basement, a big bench that I was proud of. I posted pictures of it to Flickr and added it to a pool for workshops or makers or whatever. Eventually someone reposted a picture to a forum for mechanics. Based on that one picture of my workbench, a picture that didn’t even have me in it or anything about me, some of those folks on the forum described the sort of person I probably was. It wasn’t too flattering. Someone else said they wanted to take a big shit on my workbench. Others said I was full of fail. Because of a picture. Of a workbench.

Being on-line is like being in traffic. You take two people who would enjoy each other’s company, who wouldn’t have a bad thing to say about the other one, and you put them in separate cars (or a car and a bike, or even two bikes) and now each one thinks the other is an idiot who should be killed. That’s what people are like on-line. We should all let each other merge more often.
posted by bondcliff at 7:17 AM on September 19, 2013 [84 favorites]


Why should this h*****r have any fame?

Right? Just look at that fucking hamster.
posted by griphus at 7:20 AM on September 19, 2013 [79 favorites]


I'm going to email this article to everyone who makes a spiteful comment using the word Hipsters from now on.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:21 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Right? Just look at that fucking hamster.

Ohhhhhhhhhhh...that makes SO much more sense now. All this time I thought he was talking about a hamburger and I was like whut hamburgers don't even have arms, hell yes it's fucking impressive that it carried a typewriter! But now I see his disdain. Hamsters clearly have arms.
posted by phunniemee at 7:23 AM on September 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


Based on the amount of true sincerity on this guy's part I think this guy is as far from being a hipster as one can muster.
posted by cellphone at 7:25 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I would be much, much more sympathetic if I had just seen the post on Reddit than read this. The kind of comments that showed up in the thread are absolutely, no-doubt-about-it unacceptable. And there's no justifying that in any way.

But on the other hand, this guy is the exact embodiment of loathsome hipsterdom. There was a thread throughout the article that hinted that his affectations were either his True Identity or the result over external forces over which he had no control.

But they're clearly not. How does he have to wear skinny jeans because he shops at thrift stores? How are those glasses anything other than an "I'm literate and educated" signifier? And how is he able to go to the New School MFA program, while only affording a $10 typewriter?

None of this means that he should face real vitriol, let alone threats. He's free to be who he wants to be, and good on him. But sentences like "I take a second look. What Wampole, and a whirlwind of Internet commenters don't understand is, usually, the hipster label is a compliment, a devotion to a self-evident truth." And just shake my head.
posted by graphnerd at 7:26 AM on September 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


Scorn is a learned behavior that spreads like a disease on the Internet. Sometimes you don't even realize you've caught it. I was in a Goodwill store the other day and saw this dude in tight jeans, heavy glasses and a bowtie perusing the racks. I scoffed (internally) and then caught myself. Where did I learn that people dressed like him deserved derision? Metafilter, to be honest.

The funny part is that I was holding a Starbucks cup, tortoiseshell sunglasses and a pair of yoga pants so he was probably scoffing at my whitegirl mcwhiteyness.
posted by desjardins at 7:26 AM on September 19, 2013 [59 favorites]


people didn't hate me because I was a hipster, they hated me because I looked like I was nakedly desperate for attention, and had gone about that attention-grabbing by glomming on to marginalized trends.

I mean, that's pretty much what a hipster is.

Or, to put it another way, a hipster is someone who's doing the same things we are, but we are (most assuredly) doing them for the right, genuine reasons, and the hipster is just trying to be cool. A hipster is something only someone else can be.

But then you hear what their story is, and even if they still maybe come off a little precious, they're suddenly a person. It turns out that actual people are slightly more complex than ragebait image macros, when you get to know them.

Of course, people really do exist who are not much more than twee artifice, but they're much more rare than people who get accused of being that, and distinguishing between them involves taking each individual as they are and getting to know them case-by-case, and who has the time for that anymore?
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:27 AM on September 19, 2013 [22 favorites]


Why should this h*****r have any fame?

Wow. This thread went Godwin early.
posted by naju at 7:27 AM on September 19, 2013 [85 favorites]


He DOES look like James Deen! I thought that right away! I'm just going to pretend this is actually James Deen, I think.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:28 AM on September 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


Honestly, the typewriter thing is not deserving of ridicule. What SHOULD be targeted for extreme hate and bile slinging is the overall theme of the millenial who gets called names on the internet, his ex-girlfriend does a published piece on his woe, and then writes a cathartic name-check puff-piece on the internet and everyone lives happily ever after.

FEEEEEEELINGS.

Back when I roamed the streets with my printing press it was way worse.
posted by jimmythefish at 7:28 AM on September 19, 2013 [10 favorites]


I think of Brooklyn-based “hipster” brand Mast Brothers Chocolate, which uses an old-fashioned schooner to retrieve their cacao beans, because the energy is cleaner, because they think that’s how it should be done.

sorry but this is just fucking ridiculous
posted by desjardins at 7:29 AM on September 19, 2013 [12 favorites]


How does he have to wear skinny jeans because he shops at thrift stores? How are those glasses anything other than an "I'm literate and educated" signifier? And how is he able to go to the New School MFA program, while only affording a $10 typewriter?

Why are any of these things loathsome?
posted by distorte at 7:30 AM on September 19, 2013 [39 favorites]


I mean, that's pretty much what a hipster is.

Well, in the fantasy world where we have invented a creature we can scorn, yes.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:30 AM on September 19, 2013 [8 favorites]


sorry but this is just fucking ridiculous

Is it better to use non-renewable petroleum than wind?
posted by Greg Nog at 7:33 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


For me, this is key: After I posted, the message board thread’s climate changed immediately.

Reddit and lots of online locations can be pretty good about turning these things around when the person behind the image steps forward.

A very interesting read, thanks for sharing.
posted by slimepuppy at 7:33 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


while only affording a $10 typewriter

He got a good deal! A Royal Safari in good shape is usually gonna cost more than that.
posted by JanetLand at 7:33 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


I wasn't being sarcastic! I followed him on twitter!
posted by oceanjesse at 7:34 AM on September 19, 2013 [13 favorites]


How does he have to wear skinny jeans because he shops at thrift stores?

What the fuck are you on about?

He wants to wear pants.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 7:34 AM on September 19, 2013 [16 favorites]


But also:

How does he have to wear skinny jeans because he shops at thrift stores? How are those glasses anything other than an "I'm literate and educated" signifier? And how is he able to go to the New School MFA program, while only affording a $10 typewriter?

a) He never said he had to wear skinny jeans because he shops at thrift stores. He said he wears skinny jeans, and also shirts he buys from thrift stores
b) It's a new one on me that hipsters are wearing big glasses to show off how educated they are. I think it might be more about retroism than big glasses = big education. I could be wrong
c) There are many reasons why someone might be rich and then become poor. None of them have much to do with how good a deal that typewriter was. Should he have found a more expensive one?
posted by distorte at 7:36 AM on September 19, 2013 [11 favorites]


He wants to wear pants.

Pants? Meh. I'm so over pants.
posted by bondcliff at 7:36 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


I wasn't being sarcastic! I followed him on twitter!

My apologies. It's getting so I can't even tell anymore.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:37 AM on September 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


I wish I had known about the picture/meme at the time (ie: when I actually lived in New York), if only so I could have gotten a story. Seems like such a nice souvenir. I hope lots of people enjoyed theirs.
posted by likeatoaster at 7:38 AM on September 19, 2013


While I hung up my typewriter keys and stationery for the winter (typing inside is fairly loud—how did they focus on anything back in the 60s?)
Alcohol and nicotine. Lots of alcohol and nicotine. And speaking of the '60s, taking a typewriter to the park is very Fluxus/Alan Kaprow. Points just for that.

Just look at that fucking hamster.

Look at this fucking hamster.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:39 AM on September 19, 2013 [16 favorites]


The irony/sincerity dynamic in this thread is hurting my brain.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:41 AM on September 19, 2013 [15 favorites]


At least he doesn't have a beard.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:41 AM on September 19, 2013


How does he have to wear skinny jeans because he shops at thrift stores? How are those glasses anything other than an "I'm literate and educated" signifier?

God forbid this dude put thought into his appearance. Is there literally any combination of pants and glasses that couldn't get made fun of by people on the internet looking for an excuse to make fun of him?

Dockers and wire-frames? Who does he think he is, some Silicon Valley type?
Acid-washed jeans and large round frames? What is this, 1984?
Regular straight-leg jeans and subtly framed glasses? God it's like he's not even TRYING.
posted by griphus at 7:41 AM on September 19, 2013 [49 favorites]


And god forbid he don the forbidden garb of the techninja.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:42 AM on September 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


How are those glasses anything other than an "I'm literate and educated" signifier?

I always took glasses to signify "I have poor eyesight."
posted by entropicamericana at 7:43 AM on September 19, 2013 [66 favorites]


You know what? I don't really care if someone is a 'hipster', 'hippie', "goth" or "prep" looks odd, or not cool, or geeky or dresses sharp or cool or whatthefuckever. I don't care if someone is overweight and wears revealing cloths, or has a "muffin-top", clean shaven or a beard down to your ankles, a woman with unshaven legs or *gasp* armpits or without makeup... people who make fun of other people based on looks or attire are just really fucking shallow and insecure and I really wish it would stop, it says volumes more about the criticizer then any random person being criticized.

When we put the internet on the scale a large portion of the negative side is attitudes like "hipsters are scum* and the ability to randomly inflict massive harm on people at the merest whim, the rule of crowds writ large and cowardly.


The original photo completely changes once you hear the context for it.

I would argue it doesn't. the photo is neutral, It might, however, reveal something ugly in the viewer
posted by edgeways at 7:43 AM on September 19, 2013 [28 favorites]


Who do you think you are, putting on such airs!
posted by griphus at 7:44 AM on September 19, 2013 [20 favorites]


Why should this h*****r have any fame?

Wow. This thread went Godwin early.


"Look At This Fucking Hitler" is possibly the best sockpuppet name ever.
posted by The Bellman at 7:44 AM on September 19, 2013 [19 favorites]


"Look At This Fucking Hitler" is possibly the best sockpuppet name ever.

Personally, I'd go with "Look at this Fucking, Hitler."
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:45 AM on September 19, 2013 [12 favorites]


A few years ago I built a workbench in my basement,

YOUR WORKBENCH IS BAD AND YOU SHOULD FEEL BAD!
posted by Lord_Pall at 7:46 AM on September 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


Look on my fucking, ye Hitler, and despair.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 7:51 AM on September 19, 2013 [17 favorites]


Based on that one picture of my workbench, a picture that didn’t even have me in it or anything about me, some of those folks on the forum described the sort of person I probably was.

I hope this isn't too much of a derail but that is one sweet-ass workbench! I think it looks boss as hell!
posted by Greg Nog at 7:51 AM on September 19, 2013 [35 favorites]


I just posted this article on my Facebook, and a guy I know IMMEDIATELY (as in within five minutes, so clearly didn't rtfa) commented "hipsters aren't people."

He spends a lot of time on Reddit.

I was gonna argue with him but I just deleted the comment. Fuck it.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:51 AM on September 19, 2013 [12 favorites]


...which uses an old-fashioned schooner to retrieve their cacao beans....

sorry but this is just fucking ridiculous


INCORRECT THIS IS TOTALLY RAD altho admittedly I find their reasoning a little tedious and smug

ok it's ridicurad
posted by elizardbits at 7:51 AM on September 19, 2013 [14 favorites]


I would attribute this to the proper person but it seems that it was re-tweeted so many times and taken for their own that I don't know where it originated:

I hate hipsters, their vegan diets, smug little faces, soft wood bedding. Oh wait that's hamsters, it's hamsters I hate.

posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:52 AM on September 19, 2013 [41 favorites]


Shorts and a t-shirt, cleanshaven, no ink="hipster"? Man, there's a term that has been evacuated if even the slightest shred of meaning beyond "hey, let's hate on this guy--who's with me?"
posted by yoink at 7:53 AM on September 19, 2013 [12 favorites]


I'm not saying any of those things are intrinsically bad. I'm saying that they are costumes that signify a particular chosen subculture, and lacking any self-awareness about them is what's annoying.

And for the record, I'm saying this as an over-educated, urban hipster liberal who wears very similar glasses and skinny jeans.

Also, 'loathsome hipster' is a phrase I cribbed from Jon Hodgman. I meant it as a group signifier, not literally.
posted by graphnerd at 7:53 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


Greg Nog: "He DOES look like James Deen! I thought that right away! I'm just going to pretend this is actually James Deen, I think."

That would explain how he can balance the typewriter on his lap.
posted by chavenet at 7:54 AM on September 19, 2013 [27 favorites]


This whole thread was worth it for the hamster tumblr.

Anyway. There's so much here! Goofy dude does a fun/silly/interesting thing and gets lambasted on Reddit. Ugh. Ex-girlfriend writes a whole "But what about MEEEEEEEE?" article about her ex-boyfriend getting lambasted on Reddit. Ugh. He writes about the whole thing and does some introspection, and basically decides, eh. It be what it be. Moving on.

So, this guy gets his ass ripped out all over the internet, and writes a pretty interesting post about how much that kind of sucked, it gets posted here - and a bunch of us start the whole "he's obviously a attention-seeking hipster" argument all over again? Not to go all mom on you guys, but jeez. We're better than that, aren't we?

And as for the schooner to get your cacao beans - ehrmahgerd, that is awesome. I'll crew. Ridicurad it may be, but I'm on board. (Totally intentional.)
posted by jennaratrix at 7:55 AM on September 19, 2013 [16 favorites]


Also, this is directly to C. D. Hermelin, because I know he monitors his internet presence, and I know there's some Awl/MeFi crossover and a non-zero chance he's reading this thread:

If you're ever again in a situation where an ex-girlfriend approaches you for permission to write an internet article about how you broke up with her, look me up. I live in Brooklyn and we're roughly the same age and I will take you to your favorite bar and buy you a beer and we can talk. About anything. Books we like, fun bands, the nice weather. Anything at all. And maybe you'll bring up the fact that you're mulling over that offer and you can get some honest feedback from an honest dude who will tell you DANGER WILL ROBINSON but in a way that I can almost assure you won't make you feel like an asshole.

I am 100% completely and totally serious.
posted by griphus at 7:55 AM on September 19, 2013 [38 favorites]


I miss white-out.
posted by Kabanos at 7:58 AM on September 19, 2013


It's hipster ragebait and also the feels, all in one.
posted by colie at 7:58 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


How are those glasses anything other than an "I'm literate and educated" signifier?
I always took glasses to signify "I have poor eyesight."
... "I have poor eyesight and I'm tired of making my kids/partner/pet hunt for my glasses when they fall in that crack between the bed and the night stand because they are practically invisible in silicone-valley wire frames."

I'm not hipster, I'm blind as a bat. And I like purple. And I drop my glasses a lot.
posted by tilde at 7:59 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I actually have big black frames too but it's just because I look handsome as hell in em
posted by Greg Nog at 8:00 AM on September 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


There needs to be an internet crusade against mindless scorn.
posted by aramaic at 8:01 AM on September 19, 2013 [13 favorites]


sorry but this is just fucking ridiculous

I beg to differ. Old-fashioned sailing schooner + fine chocolate = most awesome thing ever.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:02 AM on September 19, 2013


So, this guy gets his ass ripped out all over the internet, and writes a pretty interesting post about how much that kind of sucked, it gets posted here - and a bunch of us start the whole "he's obviously a attention-seeking hipster" argument all over again? Not to go all mom on you guys, but jeez. We're better than that, aren't we?

It's the sort of thread I think about when some people here go holier-than-thou about Reddit (a site which obviously has its issues, but is not the devil incarnate.) (That'd be Buzzfeed.)
posted by inigo2 at 8:02 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


From what I can tell, the only acceptable clothing choice for any occasion on the internet is jeans (because they're COMFORTABLE for fuck's sake the only COMFORTABLE pants in the world despite the fact I have a ton of pants that are made of much softer cloth and feel much nicer than denim) and an ill-fitting t-shirt with something from a video game or something like "No I will not fix your computer" on it.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:03 AM on September 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


There needs to be an internet crusade against mindless scorn.

Oh, yes, absolutely. What a great idea!
posted by entropicamericana at 8:04 AM on September 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


I actually have big black frames too but it's just because I look handsome as hell in em

And you sometimes wear a kilt. What label shall I brand you with so I know what level of pain I should wish upon you? Only on-line though, 'cause I'm kind of a wimp. And you're good people.
posted by bondcliff at 8:05 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm saying that they are costumes that signify a particular chosen subculture, and lacking any self-awareness about them is what's annoying.

Just shut up. Please, stop. Just keep quiet.

These aren't costumes, they are his clothes. All subcultures are chosen.

Whatever. Your comments are annoying. Stop being so judgmental.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:05 AM on September 19, 2013 [28 favorites]


I mean the schooner thing is kind of annoying me now because I don't like fore-and-afters, I like square-riggers.

wait am i a tedious boat anorak oh my god
posted by elizardbits at 8:05 AM on September 19, 2013 [17 favorites]


And you sometimes wear a kilt. What label shall I brand you with

No True Hipster
posted by Greg Nog at 8:06 AM on September 19, 2013 [22 favorites]


You know, when I was younger I saw some photos of my parents in super-thick-rimmed 80s glasses and I laughed and laughed. Even when I had to get glasses of my own, I went for thin metal rims. The idea of plastic frames was completely unthinkable to me.

Now I have a bunch of thick-plastic-rimmed glasses in different colors. My favorites are purple and white, and red and brown. Would 11-year-old me think this was dumb? Yes. Will my future children think it's dumb? Of course. Will I, in ten years, think it's dumb? I dunno, probably. But that's how fashion works. Frankly, it would be MORE of an affectation for me to go out and get wire rimmed frames just to be different from what everyone expects.

I mean seriously. "Look at this dumb hipster bitch! How dare she exist within the cultural context of her time and social group? WHAT A POSER." "Ugh, that flapper with her long pearl necklace- way to be a total trendwhore!" "Where'd you get that powdered wig, Cliches-r-Us?" "Nice animal pelt, ASSHOLE!"
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:07 AM on September 19, 2013 [30 favorites]


I'm saying that they are costumes that signify a particular chosen subculture, and lacking any self-awareness about them is what's annoying.

It's how I dress. How do you dress? Maybe others find that annoying.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:07 AM on September 19, 2013 [8 favorites]


Hipsters don't use typewriters. JanetLand and I slogged all the way to Williamsburg to look at antique/junk shops. We both like typewriters, so we tend to look out for and point them out to one another. Of the units I saw, most were in complete disrepair. One typewriter, in particular, had been painted over in red and gold—particularly the keys, which were indelibly painted over in garish gold—as if part of somebody's lame art project. They were like books by the inch; not tools or appliances, but inert lifestyle accessories, to present an image connoting a lifestyle without the actual effort of cultivating that lifestyle. None of the machines we saw were functional. They were purely surface, entirely for appearances, like the hipsters themselves.
posted by Eideteker at 8:07 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't quite get the schooner thing. Are there really places in Brooklyn where one can use a schooner to aquire cacao beans? Or is a schooner a type of bike?
posted by bondcliff at 8:07 AM on September 19, 2013


I am all about remaining non-judgmental about other people's fashion choices, but can we at least all agree that it's wrong to wear pyjama bottoms to the supermarket? Seriously.
posted by gohabsgo at 8:10 AM on September 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


How are those glasses anything other than an "I'm literate and educated" signifier?

I wear thick plastic glasses because they are much harder to break and also my presciption is thick enough (even in high-index) that I cannot do rimless frames or some wire-rimmed frames, and sometimes the lenses used to pop out of even the thicker wire frames. Also I grew up in the 1980s and I still remember how much better those sweet, sweet, enourmously fisheye-shaped lenses were. (Almost as good as contacts, but I had to stop wearing those for medical reasons.) My frames aren't quite big enough to be Full Hipster but I wish I had the guts to go for it.

Old-fashioned sailing schooner + fine chocolate = most awesome thing ever.

My first thought was FINALLY A GIFT IDEA for someone in my life who likes ships, wind-power, and chocolate. This is a really hard demographic for which to buy gifts.
posted by pie ninja at 8:10 AM on September 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


I was in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago, and there were some guys with typewriters on Frenchmen Street in the Quarter doing "Poems while you wait." I wish I'd bought one.
posted by Lefty68 at 8:10 AM on September 19, 2013


P.S. WILL TYPEWRITE YOU A STORY/LETTER FOR $$. MEFIMAIL.
posted by Eideteker at 8:11 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


The irony/sincerity dynamic in this thread is hurting my brain.

I have been indulging in a lot of deeply ironic sincerity and sincere irony and even though I can feel the tedium oozing from my pores it is very difficult to stop.
posted by elizardbits at 8:11 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't quite get the schooner thing. Are there really places in Brooklyn where one can use a schooner to aquire cacao beans? Or is a schooner a type of bike?

So yeah: there are a few wind-powered sailing ships out there, primarily as educational tools. Remember how that replica of the Bounty sank during Hurricane Sandy? I met a woman recently who, in fact, lives in Brooklyn and works as a tall ship sailor. The ships she works on don't leave NYC, generally speaking, but she has a dream of opening a wind-powered shipping business of her own, because: fuck it, she knows how to sail and there are people who would pay for that.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:11 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm happy about this post because I found out about schooner-delivered chocolate.

Also the article itself was interesting.
posted by curious nu at 8:13 AM on September 19, 2013


It's how I dress. How do you dress? Maybe others find that annoying.

Which is actually what's so ridiculous about this whole thing. The guy is 100% hipster stereotype. He wears pastel short shorts while typing on a manual typewriter on a park bench. It's ridiculous. It's also totally okay. But to pretend like he doesn't present as a nearly-pure expression of a stereotype is silly.

I wear cargo shorts and hawaiian shirts like some kind of neanderthal. I know I look like a doofus to The Kids. That's totally okay. Enough with the angst.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:13 AM on September 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


I don't quite get the schooner thing. Are there really places in Brooklyn where one can use a schooner to aquire cacao beans? Or is a schooner a type of bike?

A place in Brooklyn imported their cacao beans from the Dominican Republic via sailing ship.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:13 AM on September 19, 2013


Irony rusts.
posted by oceanjesse at 8:14 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I actually know a number of people who have sailboats for sailing in the East River! This started with one person, but she quickly befriended a bunch of other sailing-people. So now when I go to her parties, I'll meet like twenty people who are REALLY jazzed to talk about fixing up cheap old sailboats and wax rhapsodic about sitting out on the water with a Cold One on a hot summer day.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:14 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


I am all about remaining non-judgmental about other people's fashion choices, but can we at least all agree that it's wrong to wear pyjama bottoms to the supermarket?

I dunno. Hostess pajamas are pretty badass.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:14 AM on September 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


They were like books by the inch; not tools or appliances, but inert lifestyle accessories, to present an image connoting a lifestyle without the actual effort of cultivating that lifestyle. None of the machines we saw were functional. They were purely surface, entirely for appearances,

Indeed. I belong to a writing group that likes to use typewriters. We meet in this bar that's decorated with old typewriters and is clearly meant to be rather hipster-ish. Then we show up, and people actually USING typewriters seems to stun some of the regulars.
posted by JanetLand at 8:14 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think of Brooklyn-based “hipster” brand Mast Brothers Chocolate, which uses an old-fashioned schooner to retrieve their cacao beans, because the energy is cleaner, because they think that’s how it should be done

Allow me to offer my non-hipster bona fides: I'm old, I'm fat, I'm a dad, I dress like a creep, I'm pretty right-wing (at least as far as Metafilter is concerned), and I like to listen to Meat Loaf while eating Meatloaf.

That said, I so so want my cacao beans to come from a schooner. In burlap sacks slung by stevedores!
posted by codswallop at 8:16 AM on September 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


The thing to keep in mind is the Greater Internet Fuckwad theory, not that this guy is a hipster (or not). The act of anonymously taking a picture of someone or an existing picture, "meme-ing it up" with no other particular goal than to ridicule the subject of the picture in front of a potential audience of millions is hateful and bullying and hurtful.

There is no recourse. No fighting back. If you can, shrug and move on and try not to let it ruin your life, like it did for the "Star Wars kid".

It came as no surprise to me that someone took a picture of my daughter without my permission and turned it into a meme - because there's nothing as funny as making fun of people for no other reason than they have Down syndrome. It really does show who is better: the ones who, through no choice of their own, have cognitive delays or the ones who choose to act retarded. Shrug and move on.
posted by plinth at 8:16 AM on September 19, 2013 [16 favorites]


There needs to be an internet crusade against mindless scorn.

Throw a campaign against the narcissism of small differences into the mix and I'll join in.

People, seriously, you don't feel a little stupid arbitrarily second-guessing a subset of people's fashion choices (who, BTW, will look no more ridiculous in 20 years time than anyone else because all of us unknowingly look like ridiculous idiots in any time period, as anyone who lived through the 70s, 80s and 90s and at some point in subsequent decades re-watched a movie or TV show filmed in that era; our tastes are completely arbitrary).

Don't tell me only hipsters choose eyeglass frames for reasons that could be ridiculed. Everyone chooses fashion for reasons that could be ridiculed.

In the rear view, we all dress like idiots, regardless of the era, so why single out one subset of idiots over any other when they're not doing anything wrong?
posted by saulgoodman at 8:18 AM on September 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


So yeah: there are a few wind-powered sailing ships out there, primarily as educational tools.

I'm on the East coast. I am aware that there still exist sailing ships of all shapes and sizes. I've even been on a couple. I just didn't quite get how one would use a sailboat to get cacao from Brooklyn.

A place in Brooklyn imported their cacao beans from the Dominican Republic via sailing ship.

Ok, thanks for clearing that up. Much more ambitious than I thought. I assumed they were getting their beans from Costco or something. Didn't see why or how they would use a sailboat for that. I'm a suburban stereotype who deserves to be punched in the nose.
posted by bondcliff at 8:19 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wear cargo shorts and hawaiian shirts like some kind of neanderthal.

Ooh, the shirt of choice for discerning hipsters. Welcome to the world of Internet mockery.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:19 AM on September 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


It's a strange thing about the internet: it provides certainty in its whirlpool of shifting strands. Three weeks ago this photo was most definitely a hipster being irritating, most upvoted comment proves it, now the other side is heard and the balance changes.

I don't mean some kind of hand-wringing relativism, just that the internet really is a machine to manufacture temporary certainties.
posted by litleozy at 8:19 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is there a more descriptive and useful definition for hipster than what google gives:

hip·ster1
ˈhipstər
nouninformal
noun: hipster; plural noun: hipsters
1.
a person who follows the latest trends and fashions.

or Merriam Webster:

a person who is unusually aware of and interested in new and unconventional patterns (as in jazz or fashion)

And please don't say person who is hip.

How do we know that this guy is a hipster?
posted by TheLittlePrince at 8:21 AM on September 19, 2013


By the way, lest we forget, now that he's coming up for air and making comedy specials and stuff: Joe Mande is still an asshole for starting this whole Point And Laugh Snidely At People Who Look Just A Little Bit Different From Me garbage.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:21 AM on September 19, 2013


Bunny Ultramod: "I dunno. Hostess pajamas are pretty badass."

I stand corrected.
posted by gohabsgo at 8:21 AM on September 19, 2013


'I always took glasses to signify "I have poor eyesight."'

"These aren't costumes, they are his clothes. All subcultures are chosen."

Yes and no. A choice in eyeglasses means you can afford to choose (or afford to have eyeglasses in the first place). As someone who's always had to get the cheap frames, I'm well aware of the implication when people have chosen a particular appearance. Same goes for subcultures (my subculture is "Target/department store clearance rack" or just "poor," I guess).
posted by Eideteker at 8:21 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


God, this thread.

People, especially old cantankerous people: "hipsters" is nothing more than shorthand for "young person trying something". Are they succeeding? Is it something you care about? All that is utterly beside the point: the people you call "hipsters" are young, perhaps wearing clothing you wouldn't, and perhaps trying something you don't think is important.

Not only is there nothing, absolutely zero, that's actually wrong with that, but complaining about the way young people are trying new things says nothing at all about them, and everything about how cantankerous, ossified and boring you've let your life become.

So there are kids on your lawn. I get that, you've worked hard on that lawn, and I'm sure it's very nice and you're proud of it. But, god dammit, let the kids play on it. Let them sit there and talk to each other about music you don't care about and celebrities you don't know. There's a word for the sort of folks who hate young people just for being young. They were assholes when you were a teenager, and they're assholes now.

And you might well resent the fact that you've grown up to become exactly what you hated, but that's not on them. That's on you, and it always has been.

So that thing you're doing when you see something new and hate it, like Pavlov's pet hounds? Stop it. Stop being part of the problem. Go outside. The world is amazing. There's something in there, something obscure and nichey, for you to love more than anyone else has. Go find it. It will be more rewarding than any internet comment you will ever write, I promise.
posted by mhoye at 8:22 AM on September 19, 2013 [23 favorites]


Ooh, the shirt of choice for discerning hipsters

Man, I wish I had shirts as nice as the one pictured.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:22 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


A choice in eyeglasses means you can afford to choose (or afford to have eyeglasses in the first place).

Zenni Optical, yo
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:22 AM on September 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


Kabanos: I miss white-out.

You and Mike Nesmith's mother.
posted by Naberius at 8:23 AM on September 19, 2013


I am all about remaining non-judgmental about other people's fashion choices, but can we at least all agree that it's wrong to wear pyjama bottoms to the supermarket? Seriously.


I sing for the Seattle Symphony, and I have yet to do a single concert there where an audience member didn't show up wearing pajama bottoms. Although I try to live a kind and judgment-free life, there is a part of me that experiences a pang every time I see this.
posted by KathrynT at 8:23 AM on September 19, 2013 [18 favorites]


It's how I dress. How do you dress? Maybe others find that annoying.

Very similarly to the author, actually. But I don't pretend it's not a costume/cultural signifier. And I wouldn't ever pretend that I'm not a walking stereotype. Or (and this is my point) that I'm somehow truly authentic, and that others are joylessly hating on real sincerity and authenticity.
posted by graphnerd at 8:23 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


IDK about walking around all day in pajamas but I go to sbux in the morning in pajamas and I really don't care if I'm being judged because I am comfy and I just got out of bed with arthritis and putting new pants on is hard.
posted by elizardbits at 8:23 AM on September 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


A choice in eyeglasses means you can afford to choose (or afford to have eyeglasses in the first place).

My chunky hipster glasses came from an online store where they cost me $20.

How do we know that this guy is a hipster?

Listens to a lot of Lester Young, I presume.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:23 AM on September 19, 2013


"hipsters" is nothing more than shorthand for "young person trying something"

YOUTHS!
posted by elizardbits at 8:24 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


But I don't pretend it's not a costume/cultural signifier.

All fashion is cosplay.
posted by mhoye at 8:24 AM on September 19, 2013 [11 favorites]


So there are kids on your lawn

Oh, man, there were actually kids on my lawn last week, for kind of a long time, and kind of being suspicious. After about 45 minutes, my wife went out to see what they were up to. Turns out they had seen a sweet spider go into a hole and were trying to lure it out with a fly. It was pretty great.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:25 AM on September 19, 2013 [33 favorites]


I wear thick plastic frames because I like having trendy glasses. There, I said it. I like having trendy glasses. I even switched from square ones to round ones because the square/fifties ones were getting played out. (I mean, I switched when I needed a new prescription.)

I like having trendy glasses because I like following fashion, sort of. I read fashion tumblrs, and I mean the ones where people are all "I'm wearing this nineties floral silk shirt and neon loafers and vaguely 1930s glasses and I have cut my hair into a neo-fade".

Why? I dunno. I just do.

Does it hurt anyone? I don't think so? I mean, I'd be buying glasses anyway.

Is is more or less moral than other life choices? Well, honestly, I think it's less moral than buying the shirts I got at the Gap this summer, but I bought those because it's really hard to find work-appropriate lightweight button-fronts that fit me, and the Gap had some. But still, shitty sweatshop producers, right? And I ran my mouth in a class about race and science fiction and I think that mouth-running ended up being really counterproductive and I feel kind of shitty about it. And I have not been in touch with a friend who has been going through some really tough times because I've been busy and tired. Honestly, all that stuff seems much worse, morally, than buying trendy glasses when I'd be buying glasses anyway.
posted by Frowner at 8:25 AM on September 19, 2013 [16 favorites]


Something that, to me, is evident in every similar judgement-based vitriol I have had is:

I cannot blindly hate anyone for what they are, but only for what I'm not.

I can get just as angry as the next person over the perceived "hipsterdom" of this individual, or stupid Facebook causes, or whatever. But, I cannot deny the evidence that this anger says more about me than it does about the subject, whether it be person or topic, at hand.
posted by Debaser626 at 8:25 AM on September 19, 2013


Ooh, the shirt of choice for discerning hipsters. Welcome to the world of Internet mockery.

OK INTERNET I NEED YOUR HELP

I saw a dude wearing a shirt cut like a Hawaiian shirt, but slim and form-fitting. It was totally black and had spread-out (like 6-8" apart) palm trees on it in full color. There were no designs or patterns between the individual trees.

I want this shirt so bad.
posted by griphus at 8:26 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


they are practically invisible in silicone-valley wire frames.

“Silicone Valley” would be San Fernando, right?
posted by acb at 8:27 AM on September 19, 2013 [8 favorites]


IDK about walking around all day in pajamas but I go to sbux in the morning in pajamas and I really don't care if I'm being judged because I am comfy and I just got out of bed with arthritis and putting new pants on is hard.

Do they make pajama holsters?
posted by kmz at 8:27 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just to clarify: do you want us to find this man so you can lure him into a murder basement and steal his shirt? Or do you want us to find this shirt available for purchase?
posted by elizardbits at 8:28 AM on September 19, 2013 [17 favorites]


Yes and no. A choice in eyeglasses means you can afford to choose (or afford to have eyeglasses in the first place). As someone who's always had to get the cheap frames, I'm well aware of the implication when people have chosen a particular appearance. Same goes for subcultures (my subculture is "Target/department store clearance rack" or just "poor," I guess).

FFS, you can get glasses at the dollar store.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:28 AM on September 19, 2013


Interesting read. Dude comes across as really naive:
As a member of the first generation to freely and gladly share my pictures, videos and thoughts online, I’d always—until now, anyway—adopted a “What’s the worst that could happen?” [...] I did worry, when I started typewriting, that my stories would make it online somehow, and they would be ripped to shreds by literary, high-minded commenters.
But whether or not you can legitly tag him as a hipster kind of ignores the interesting thread throughout, that he gets three different experiences of strangers snap-judging him: in person, online by himself, and online as The Ex.

In person it doesn't seem to matter at all - anyone who wants to crap on him probably just does it mentally and walks on. Online, the frame in which he gets presented is semi-permanent and will reliably reoccur.

And if only he'd been a girl in a zelda tee we could be talking about nerd cred instead of skinny jeans.
posted by postcommunism at 8:28 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just to clarify: do you want us to find this man so you can lure him into a murder basement and steal his shirt? Or do you want us to find this shirt available for purchase?

Well, I don't want to incriminate myself so
posted by griphus at 8:29 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


But on the other hand, this guy is the exact embodiment of loathsome hipsterdom. There was a thread throughout the article that hinted that his affectations were either his True Identity or the result over external forces over which he had no control.

Whatever it is you imagine his crime is, what you're doing here is 100x worse.
posted by straight at 8:29 AM on September 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


God forbid this dude put thought into his appearance. Is there literally any combination of pants and glasses that couldn't get made fun of by people on the internet looking for an excuse to make fun of him?

It's all homophobia, isn't it, and consequently misogyny? A man shouldn't be slender, shouldn't be fashionable, shouldn't put thought into his appearance, shouldn't do things that are slightly twee but would be seen as charmingly quirky in a woman like write on a manual typewriter in a park because if he does, he's probably a fag. I mean, you can just hear the word "fag" behind a lot of these threats (and other, older slurs, like "pansy"). That's what men are doing when they say "hipster" here, when they prove their own manhood in the most traditionally masculine way they can--by threatening violence, saying they want to punch this guy. They want to prove their own hardness, their own toughness. They are not like him, that hipster pansy fag who maybe cares what he looks like. They are men, real men, and watch them enforce masculinity.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:31 AM on September 19, 2013 [82 favorites]


you can get glasses at the dollar store.

Wait, what? Where?
posted by kmz at 8:33 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is this what passes for hipster now anyway? Guy looks like every single person I have ever bought a comic book from. Were I to guess at his signifiers, I would guess "guy who spends too much time at the library" or "refugee from a yeshiva."
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:33 AM on September 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


"Zenni Optical, yo"

"My chunky hipster glasses came from an online store where they cost me $20."

"FFS, you can get glasses at the dollar store."


Right, I forget that poor people have tons of time to shop around for the best deal on stuff.

Man, nothing i love more than people who think a specific exception/possibility negates an entire class of lifestyle. Christ, what an epic exercise in missing the point/lacking empathy.
posted by Eideteker at 8:33 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


What if, instead of the word "hipster," we just used the word "pretentious"? Would that make it better?
posted by overeducated_alligator at 8:34 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


"hipsters" is nothing more than shorthand for "young person trying something"

YOUTHS!


I believe you mean:

YEWTS!

/mycousinvinny
posted by Debaser626 at 8:34 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love this bit from the comments:

Here's a fun thought exercise: try imagining someone who lives in New York but is definitely NOT a hipster. What do they look like? What do they wear? What kind of music do they listen to? What do they do with their day?

OK, did you do it? Maybe you imagined an immigrant taxi driver or a black single mother in the Bronx or a Staten Island garbage man.

Now: imagine that person complaining about "hipsters" on an Internet forum.

posted by straight at 8:34 AM on September 19, 2013 [18 favorites]


Right, I forget that poor people have tons of time to shop around for the best deal on stuff.

Good lord, dude. I've been out of work for a year and a half, making ends meet with a huge assortments of little odd jobs that drain all of my time and barely contribute to my bills. I just got a job this week.

Get it under control. You have no idea how insulting you're being.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:36 AM on September 19, 2013 [21 favorites]


I have a friend who achieved unexpected internet notoriety a year or so ago due to a sweet, but ill-advised personal piece that was released out into the wilds.

The response was horrifying. Everyone who saw this piece assumed the person was "nakedly desperate for attention" in a "look at how fabulous my life is!" kind of way - and honestly, I was no exception.

Not only did I feel really gross after reading the comments that piece inspired (the schadenfreude buzz wore off quickly) but I also felt really gross about myself for judging in the first place.

The internet - and world - is a big place and it pisses me off that people can't just do their thing and be happy without getting ridiculed for it. Haters need to get a life.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 8:37 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


All fashion is cosplay.

And yet no cosplay is fashionable. One of the great paradoxes. Paradoxi? Paradoxum? I give up.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:37 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


All that proves is that you can still be a hipster and poor. It doesn't, however, mean that there aren't huge swaths of people for whom that level of effort in customizing their appearance isn't unthinkable. Your individual experience does not negate the experience of the single mother working multiple jobs to make ends meet. To her, your choice in glasses means nothing other than isn't it nice for you to have the time for that sort of thing. Good going, you. Make sure you save some time to pat yourself on the back.

If pointing that out is insulting, then so be it.
posted by Eideteker at 8:39 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh god, I'm so late to this conversation but I really just need to confess to also being a complete judgmental asshole.

But the problem is that judgmental assholeness doesn't appear ex machina, it's due to all the little bubbling insecurities that have festered for years, and so I hated on people for everything...from spending too much on a suit, to too little...for listening to band x, not listening to band y... not realizing it was because I had never faced my own insecurities head-on, and so hated on the people and things that reminded me of my own worst insecurities and nightmares.

And suddenly, I woke up at year 27, only after a dear friend who's been there for me for the last two years (thanks g), basically told me point blank, dude you're a complete asshole (but in much nicer terms). And I'm not completely 100% great, but I'm realizing more and more how much of an utter judgmental prick I am, and how that translated to treating people poorly and without respect. And the best part? My attitude was basically subconsciously "Man, I am so much cooler than these people...it must suck to be so uncool" and judging them from on high.

Okay /end personal confession.
posted by kurosawa's pal at 8:40 AM on September 19, 2013 [12 favorites]


People wear clothing, glasses, etc., as social signifiers. There are plenty of glasses I would never wear, mostly because I don't want to look like a middle-aged woman trying too hard to be fun and cool. I love Hawaiian shirts; the fabric is often awesome, especially vintage ones. I wear them sparingly, see above, don't want to look like a middle-aged woman trying too hard to be fun and cool. People wear the clothes that are fashionable at any given time. So, let's judge people on their clothing, their hat, their face hair.

That's the men. They have it easier. couple pairs of skinny jeans, some ironic or arty tees, maybe a jacket or fedora. Women have a whole minefield of fashion, clothes that don't fit unless you're very thin and tall, clothes that are made poorly, have no pockets, and often inhibit comfort and movement. Oh, noes, I must go home and remove this awwwful tie. Try wearing heels, especially now that it's not cool to wear nylons. They cripple you, literally. I could go on, but my blood pressure will go up.
posted by theora55 at 8:40 AM on September 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


Good going, you. Make sure you save some time to pat yourself on the back.

All right. Have fun with your bad self. I'm sure the single mothers of the world are glad you're looking out for them.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:41 AM on September 19, 2013 [10 favorites]


I attended Small Press Expo this past weekend, an event for indie comics creators that draws basically every hipster in the greater Washington DC area. I wore a vintage dress and saddle shoes, and carried a tote bag with ASK ME ABOUT ZINES written on it in Sharpie. (The tote bag was full of zines.) I spent the day talking about comics, swapping my zines for other people's art and comics, and finding out that a surprising number of people were interested in contributing to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer zine I'm planning to make.

I had a great fucking time. Everyone was incredibly nice, super enthusiastic and sincere about comics and art and fandom, and I saw some awesome outfits and tattoos and hairstyles.

Fuck the haters, is what I'm saying.
posted by nonasuch at 8:41 AM on September 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


(Maybe thicker frames would help y'all see your privilege?)
posted by Eideteker at 8:42 AM on September 19, 2013


People seem to be able to hate on strangers so fast and so easy. I do it, too, but just in my head; I try not to hate on private individuals. Then the stranger joins the thread, and it's harder to hate because the person's a little closer. Go meet the guy in person and hate on him? no, that would be personal.

I have been thinking about this a lot. Really rich people are so separated from poor people. It's so easy for that CEO to spend time with board members, O-levels, VPs, investors, and the occasional admin and useful staff member. So easy for them to show contempt for people who didn't go to B school, don't come from the middle- or higher class, maybe had crappy parenting from parents with alcoholism, no education, mental illness, drug abuse, stupidity, bad luck. At one company, Ii saw the board repeatedly reward the CEO and O-level management team with gobs of $$$ rewards as the company was tanking, and it was clearly due to crappy management. But he's a great guy, I golfed with him at the annual meeting, and our kids are in the same after-school art group.

When the bank president lived in your town, he (pretty much always he) made great money, but not 1,000 times the bank teller - maybe 100 times. If it got out of scale, the board was local, they were subject to social pressure. People would move accounts if greed was obvious. Now, the bank president is so far removed from the teller that there's no compassion, no social pressure.
posted by theora55 at 8:42 AM on September 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


This FPP had a pretty definitive metafilter conversation about hipsters.

Oh, man, there were actually kids on my lawn last week

Oh man, there were kids on my lawn just an hour ago. I'm temporarily caretaking a large urban church, and this morning at about 7:30 I woke up to what looked like ravers (bright hair, lots of neon) dancing to EDM and Borgore with Hoolihoops in the alleyway right outside my basement window. It was surprisingly pleasant, especially echoed against the stone.
posted by tychotesla at 8:42 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's a girl in Amsterdam that does the same thing. You give her a topic and she writes a poem for you on a little manual typewriter.

Also a guy in Boston.

Also some people in Chicago, who are wonderful.


The other week in Somerville there was a woman with a little table on the sidewalk, a typewriter, and a sign reading SMUT WHILE YOU WAIT.
posted by heyforfour at 8:42 AM on September 19, 2013 [18 favorites]


All that proves is that you can still be a hipster and poor. It doesn't, however, mean that there aren't huge swaths of people for whom that level of effort in customizing their appearance isn't unthinkable. Your individual experience does not negate the experience of the single mother working multiple jobs to make ends meet. To her, your choice in glasses means nothing other than isn't it nice for you to have the time for that sort of thing. Good going, you. Make sure you save some time to pat yourself on the back.

Why are you angry that fashion exists though

Also, implying that poor people can't possibly care about how they look is pretty insulting to poor people tbh
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:43 AM on September 19, 2013 [14 favorites]


And yet no cosplay is fashionable.

Just wait til you see my Esther Quek cosplay, you will gnash your teeth and rend your garments in despair at your epic wrongness.
posted by elizardbits at 8:43 AM on September 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


And yet no cosplay is fashionable. One of the great paradoxes. Paradoxi? Paradoxum? I give up.

It's like how Kurt Vonnegut and Margaret Atwood get exemptions from being sci-fi. If you're doing fashion "right" you get a Get Out Of Cosplay Free card, even though it's totally the same thing.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 8:44 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


I guess I'm in the hate crowd, but he reads exactly like the original meme picture would have portended him to. The whole anonymity-fuckwad theory being confirmed again aside, enh, do whatever floats your boat, man..
But the vain part of me wanted to make sure the entire world knew that I wasn’t asking for attention because of some base urge to be noticed and photographed.

(heads explodes)
posted by cavalier at 8:44 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


There's a girl in Amsterdam that does the same thing. You give her a topic and she writes a poem for you on a little manual typewriter.

Also a guy in Boston.

Also some people in Chicago, who are wonderful.


And Peoria, Illinois. It's not exactly a novel idea. (see what i did there?)
posted by entropicamericana at 8:45 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh man, elizardbits, Esther Quek makes me want to own trousers again, and if you knew how many dresses I have you'd know that meant something.
posted by nonasuch at 8:45 AM on September 19, 2013


"Why are you angry that fashion exists though"

I'm not, I'm explaining how "having [certain] glasses" turns into a judgement.

But no, I don't trust people who put too much effort into their appearance. "Those people are a reflecting kind of people, Miss Rollings. They wear too much metal."

"Fashion is the art of brainwashing the proud."

"Also, implying that poor people can't possibly care about how they look is pretty insulting to poor people tbh"

"Can't" and "can't afford to" are two different things. You need thicker frames!
posted by Eideteker at 8:46 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


People are being mean to other people in this thread. What the fuck is that about?
posted by bondcliff at 8:47 AM on September 19, 2013 [12 favorites]


I find that it's easier to go through life with the understanding that hipsters don't exist. "Hipster" is a label that some people put on things that they don't like. It's a straw argument personified.

And I'm from Portland and I have hung out with bicyclists who sometimes ride fixies and drink PBR and wear trucker hats. I still find the word "hipster," to be incredibly useless.
posted by Skwirl at 8:47 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


I live in Brooklyn. Recently, an older friend was staying with me, and she wanted to see "the hipsters," so I took her around for basically a typical weekend for me: we went to thrift stores and got brunch and went to bars.

At the end of the weekend, she said to me "I'm glad you're not like those people."

Now, I wear skinny jeans & Warby Parkers, have cheesy tattoos, work for a design studio, etc. So I'm not sure how I'm exempt from judgement here.

"Oh, you're authentic. Those people are phonies."

This -- this mind reading -- is at the center of "hipster hate." The idea that you and the people you know are introspective and authentic, but that everyone else, even those apparently similar to you, are mindless sheeple. And I think this solipsism drives a lot of parallel internet rage -- I'm a real nerd, you're a Fake Geek Girl; my love of anachronistic mid-century modern/art deco mashup is in no way comparable to your steampunk aesthetic.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go buy some 8-tracks.
posted by modernserf at 8:47 AM on September 19, 2013 [50 favorites]


For many people, the internet fills the void where the town pillory used to be.
posted by worbel at 8:48 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


(Also: all clothing is costume. All of it. Especially for women. Virtually nothing anyone wears is completely neutral; everything sends a message, and everything is a choice. That message might be "I don't care about fashion, and I judge you because you do," but it's still a message. Looking down on people who choose to be more deliberate in the messages they send, who use fashion to play with their identity or make a statement, is kind of shitty.)
posted by nonasuch at 8:48 AM on September 19, 2013 [14 favorites]


But the vain part of me wanted to make sure the entire world knew that I wasn’t asking for attention because of some base urge to be noticed and photographed.

Cavalier, how is that making your head explode? I feel exactly the same way. I wouldn't want people to think of me as an attention whore, and it's somewhat vain of me to care what people think.
posted by straight at 8:49 AM on September 19, 2013


Relatedly, I've been enjoying the hell out of Princess Jellyfish, and one of the reasons is that it plays a lot with the similarities between mainstream fashion and decidedly uncool fannishness.

There's an excellent scene where all the otakus are given Emergency High Fashion Makeovers — except for the one whose hobby is collecting and wearing vintage handmade kimonos, because (the one doing the makeover explains) when she's surrounded by women in stylish modern clothes, those old kimonos stop being stereotypical sexless weirdo nerd costumes and start signifying "elegant, wealthy, attractive, but conservative."
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 8:50 AM on September 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


Your individual experience does not negate the experience of the single mother working multiple jobs to make ends meet. To her, your choice in glasses means nothing other than isn't it nice for you to have the time for that sort of thing.

I am sad that my mother -- who came up in the art scene, put a lot of thought into her appearance, and taught me the importance of it and encouraged my own fashion choices, and was single and worked ~70-hr weeks -- is deceased and can't come into this thread and ask you what the hell you are on about.
posted by griphus at 8:50 AM on September 19, 2013 [28 favorites]


I'll confess to being jealous of fucking hipsters. Mostly because of the fucking part.
posted by srboisvert at 8:50 AM on September 19, 2013 [10 favorites]


Also, I could probably hate on street poets, because I've had wayyyy too much bad poetry lobbed my way, but I'd probably just say no thanks, with a smile I consider condescending, but probably just makes me look dim.

Writing stories for people? Sure. Easier to avoid than bad street music. Typewriters are beautiful technology, and you don't need a printer. That works. He's getting great writing practice, and the thing that makes somebody a writer is - writing. So carry on, not that you need my permission. I feel bad for his gf. Dude, breaking up by phone? Better than by text, but you need to do better than that.
posted by theora55 at 8:51 AM on September 19, 2013


(And! The show manages to do all that without implying that mainstream fashion is for shallow assholes! Because the comparison goes both ways, and part of the lesson is "Those fashionably dressed people are basically just nerds with an all-consuming hobby. Really the important thing is just to find something to be enthusiastic about.")
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 8:51 AM on September 19, 2013


I think all of this judging people who are judging people is pretty judgmental.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:51 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


These are thirteen dollars (plus shipping/handling) with lenses, btw. In case any single moms are looking for black plastic framed glasses in this thread, check out that link! Keywords cheap hip glasses black cool sexy fashion
posted by Greg Nog at 8:52 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


I judge you for thinking that.
posted by elizardbits at 8:52 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Whatever it is you imagine his crime is, what you're doing here is 100x worse.

I'm not accusing the writer of any crime, am I? I've said that I'm entirely sympathetic to the concerns around the Internet nastisness, but I found the article to make that harder.

It's all good, he's free to be what he wants. But the conclusion read to me as saying that his culture is truer, or more authentic than others. That people like him are "radically sincere" and all that.

Which, to me sounds like a claim of superiority. And I don't think anyone is calling him a hipster because of his sincerity. He's being called that because he (as he begrudgingly admits), he acts and dresses the part.
posted by graphnerd at 8:52 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


The wanting attention to prove he was not wanting attention part.
posted by cavalier at 8:52 AM on September 19, 2013


Did I not just get done saying a specific example doesn't work as a negation? Also: Your mom CAME UP IN THE ART SCENE. So yeah, maybe it came a little easier to her?
posted by Eideteker at 8:53 AM on September 19, 2013


If only this guy had also been wearing an AR-57 I think we could finally break this website's comment/minute record.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:53 AM on September 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


Exactly!
posted by cavalier at 8:53 AM on September 19, 2013


But no, I don't trust people who put too much effort into their appearance.

Pray tell, what is the maximum amount of effort one can put into their appearance and still remain trustworthy? I wear a good bra and lipstick some days; suspect?
posted by KathrynT at 8:53 AM on September 19, 2013 [21 favorites]


I saw a dude wearing a shirt cut like a Hawaiian shirt, but slim and form-fitting. It was totally black and had spread-out (like 6-8" apart) palm trees on it in full color.

I have this shirt but the palm trees are white. I like it.
posted by dobbs at 8:54 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Fucking SOVIETS and their fucking SEXY ART SCENES
posted by Greg Nog at 8:54 AM on September 19, 2013 [13 favorites]


In case any single moms are looking for tortoise shell plastic framed glasses in this thread, hello there.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:54 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


My parents, the insufferable hipsters.
posted by griphus at 8:54 AM on September 19, 2013 [15 favorites]


Man, nothing i love more than people who think a specific exception/possibility negates an entire class of lifestyle. Christ, what an epic exercise in missing the point/lacking empathy.

I think the issue is that we're talking about a bunch of different things:

1. Aesthetic morality - like, is it immoral to wear showy or trendy things, regardless of how you got them? Some people have expensive trendy things for a variety of reasons; some people have cheap or free trendy things. Is the mere fact of choosing trendiness immoral?

2. How-you-get-your-money immorality, which itself breaks down two ways: personal money morality and social money morality. Is it immoral to have trendy things because you work in a gross, immoral job and oppress your subordinates or support an oppressive supply chain? Is it immoral to have trendy things because you work in a job that is unionized and therefore have some discretionary money and health insurance that covers some of the cost of glasses? What is the moral way to respond to being born to privilege, if you're from a family which has a lot of money and you as a result have been to a fancy school and thus were able to become a [high-paying and fun field] person? Social morality: is a society moral if there's such huge income inequality that some people can buy expensive glasses for fun out of pocket and some people can't even get Zenni optical glasses? (Which is totally true - leaving aside the actual money, you need a credit card for Zenni, and I have glasses-wearing friends who are too broke for credit cards due to medical bills and other crises.)

3. What is to be done? Is there a point where if you have discretionary income you shouldn't spend it on yourself/your goals but should give it away? What is that point? Is it "anything besides room, board and minimum phone/clothes/etc" and therefore you should get the cheapest glasses possible in order to give the money you save to someone poorer? If it's not that, what is the cut-off?

4. Indirect costs: If I buy more expensive glasses from a local shop rather than cheap glasses from Zenni, I'm keeping jobs here in town and I'm paying the wages of someone who works in a better factory (Shuron, made in the US since the 1930s and actually only ~$90/pair of frames). Is that better or worse than buying from Zenni and giving the money to someone else?

5. Impressions we make and how they affect us and the work we do. If you wear fancy clothes and they alienate people you work with/care about/live among, that's not so great. But maybe you wear particular clothes for other reasons - I dress as I do in order to get better treatment at work (by looking more middle class) and in order to keep people from bothering me on the street (by looking less approachable). Dressing in a more "moral" way would have an impact on me at work (as I've seen in terms of how others are treated). Dressing in a less intimidatingly arty way would encourage people to hassle me, as I've seen from lived experience. What is the legit way to square that particular circle? Right now, for me, it's the selfish way.

A lot of these questions stray pretty far from whether it's okay to wear trendy clothes. They're real questions, and I think it's important not to mix them up with "how can I make sure that I am inferring someone's exact class status and personal morality from their accessories", which is what this conversation tends to turn into.
posted by Frowner at 8:54 AM on September 19, 2013 [23 favorites]


Here's what I've learned in 42 years on this planet: most of humanity is miserable. When you understand that, it makes all the derision and hate easier to ignore. A large number of people work shitty jobs, get paid shitty salaries, eat shitty food and generally live a shitty existence so it only makes sense that they act shitty towards one another. Most of humanity is selfish and lives in fear. There's not much you can do for them so just ignore them because they will move on in search of someone else to take their miserable lives out on.
posted by photoslob at 8:54 AM on September 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


I wonder if 15th century printing forums had epic flamewars between illuminated manuscript enthusiasts and movable type hipsters.
posted by elizardbits at 8:54 AM on September 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


Which, to me sounds like a claim of superiority.

Well, since he didn't explicitly make that claim, is it at all possible that you read something into it?
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:55 AM on September 19, 2013


"Hey Epstein, up your nose with a rubber hose!"

"Oh yeah, Babarino? Well Your mom CAME UP IN THE ART SCENE."
posted by bondcliff at 8:55 AM on September 19, 2013 [10 favorites]


What if, instead of the word "hipster," we just used the word "pretentious"? Would that make it better?

I think this is what people are really reacting to when they say they "hate hipsters." The person-who-looks-like-a-hipster is perceived to be sending out signals that say "I am cooler and more fashionable than you (nerd in a Star Trek t-shirt)." This is probably not true in many cases, but I had the same reaction in junior high to kids who wore designer jeans. They never specifically said "I am better than you because my parents can afford better clothes" but I was self-conscious nonetheless and I still have that reaction sometimes.

Also, a lot of people referred to as "hipsters" are Doing Stuff and Making Tangible Things rather than sitting around alone reading reddit and making memes, and I think that provokes feelings of self-consciousness and jealousy in some people.
posted by desjardins at 8:55 AM on September 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


yoink: Man, there's a term that has been evacuated of even the slightest shred of meaning beyond "hey, let's hate on this guy--who's with me?"

TheLittlePrince: How do we know that this guy is a hipster?

Top Ten Ways To Test Whether A Guy Is A Hipster:
  1. Make a rye cake with urine from the guy's victims. When a dog eats the cake, the hipster will scream in pain.
  2. Have you seen the guy doing the Devil's bidding in dreams or visions? The Devil cannot inhabit a non-hipster.
  3. Look for direct evidence of hipsterism: have you witnessed the guy practicing black magic?
  4. Prick a mole or unusual blemish on the guy's skin with a needle. If the guy does not bleed, he is a hipster.
  5. Search the guy's home for suspicious hipster artifacts, including poppets, cauldrons, and arcane books.
  6. Require the guy to recite the Lord's Prayer. If he makes a mistake, he is a hipster.
  7. Have the guy place his hands on one of his victims. If the victim suddenly becomes calm, the guy is a hipster and the source of the victim's afflictions (which will now be transferred back into the hipster).
  8. Dunk the guy in water until he confesses to being a hipster.
  9. Press the guy under heavy stones until he confesses to being a hipster (look particularly for ironic facial expressions, as he will be unable to speak).
  10. Bind the guy at the hands and feet with heavy stones and throw him into a pond. If he floats, he is a hipster.
Source.
posted by jhc at 8:56 AM on September 19, 2013 [18 favorites]


My parents, the insufferable hipsters.

Wow look at that ironic hipster beard, you can tell he's not a real beard person because of a thing reason
posted by elizardbits at 8:57 AM on September 19, 2013 [13 favorites]


Did I not just get done saying a specific example doesn't work as a negation? Also: Your mom CAME UP IN THE ART SCENE. So yeah, maybe it came a little easier to her?

Is there some specific person you're enraged on behalf of, here?

Listen, I shop at thrift stores because I grew up doing it, because my parents were poor and couldn't usually buy me new clothes. I still took a little time to choose clothes I actually liked from said thrift stores. So, like, I guess... fuck me?
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:57 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


But does he weigh the same as a duck?
posted by gohabsgo at 8:57 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


...man, I really need to stop wading into every let's-hate-on-the-hipsters thread, because I know it's completely pointless and will change no one's mind (and probably make people think I'm a horrible hipster myself). But I DO NOT GET and will never get why it's such a goddamn crime to LIKE THINGS. Why is it automatically suspect? Why does it get you accused of being a phony? Why is it so hard to believe that people who act sincerely, who claim sincerity, are ACTUALLY SINCERE? For that matter, half the time people are STILL guilty of being awful even if their claims of sincerity are (grudgingly) accepted.

But I really don't understand it.
posted by nonasuch at 8:57 AM on September 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


"Pray tell, what is the maximum amount of effort one can put into their appearance and still remain trustworthy?"

I was thinking about this on the subway to work this morning. I think it's a case of "show, don't tell." Which is somewhat funny/ironic, because I'm talking about appearance, but it's not that type of show. Demonstrate your personality to me through actions (show), don't try to tell me who you are through your appearance. And really, it's not you I distrust so much as your appearance. If I see someone just casually wearing a lab coat in a social situation, I am not going to trust that they are a scientist without something else ("oh, yes, I just ran here from the lab and didn't have time to change, and hey, I actually know what I'm talking about wrt some kind of research.").

Does that help clarify?
posted by Eideteker at 8:58 AM on September 19, 2013


But no, I don't trust people who put too much effort into their appearance.

What an astonishing statement. I'm trying to imagine other people someone who thinks like this might not trust:

"But no, I don't trust people who put too much effort into their cars."
"But no, I don't trust people who put too much effort into their lawns."
"But no, I don't trust people who put too much effort into their homes"
"But no, I don't trust people who put too much effort into their personal hygiene."

So in order to be trusted, you have to carefully look like you've put just the right amount of effort into your appearance; too little and you look homeless and shabby, too much and you're an obvious hipster.

I think I'm just gonna get dressed, and y'all can think whatever you want.
posted by jennaratrix at 8:58 AM on September 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


Also, a lot of people referred to as "hipsters" are Doing Stuff and Making Tangible Things

Conspicuous consumption is "doing stuff" now? Man, I miss the 90s.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:58 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


because of a thing reason

We're breaking new linguistic ground here keep going go go gogogogo
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:59 AM on September 19, 2013 [11 favorites]


There's actually a video of the Mast Brothers unloading the schooner. So yes, it appears that it is a real thing.

Also - I shit you not - it is a hand-built schooner, built by the captain in his yard.
posted by nTeleKy at 8:59 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Conspicuous consumption is "doing stuff" now?

In the case of this story, the guy was writing little stories.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:00 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Schooners gonna schoon.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:00 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Conspicuous consumption is "doing stuff" now? Man, I miss the 90s.

entropicamericana, did you see my comment about the Small Press Expo? Wall-to-wall hipsters, and every person there either made something cool or was there to admire all the cool things people made. All the "hipsters" I know make things-- music, art, small businesses, clothes, jewelry, SOMETHING.
posted by nonasuch at 9:00 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Does that help clarify?

yes, but not what I think you wanted it to.
posted by KathrynT at 9:01 AM on September 19, 2013 [18 favorites]


I don't trust people who put too much effort into their appearance.

Eideteker practices Sprezzatura.
posted by modernserf at 9:01 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


And possibly I should just link y'all the Avengers fanfiction I wrote last year that sums up my feelings on hipsters, and bow out, because I'm getting cranky.
posted by nonasuch at 9:02 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


HURRY FIX THE LINK BEFORE MY STAFF MEETING
posted by elizardbits at 9:03 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


yessss
posted by elizardbits at 9:03 AM on September 19, 2013


"So, like, I guess... fuck me?"

Why are you so defensive? Because I might look at you and think, "hipster"? So what?

You chose those glasses for a reason. You chose that outfit for a reason. Was that reason anything other than "this is the only option/class of options I can afford"? For much of my youth, that was it. We bought what we could afford, which was basically "cheap t-shirt and jeans, and the free frames that came with our shitty insurance." I, personally, am not that poor anymore, but that doesn't mean there aren't still kids like me growing up all over.
posted by Eideteker at 9:03 AM on September 19, 2013


I think maybe it's time I re-link to my brother's definition of a hipster.
posted by KathrynT at 9:04 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dude, it is crazy condescending and obviously wrong to anyone who's ever interacted with, y'know, actual poor people in the flesh to suggest that personal style is only the domain of the wealthy.
posted by kelseyq at 9:04 AM on September 19, 2013 [26 favorites]


elizardbits: I wonder if 15th century printing forums had epic flamewars between illuminated manuscript enthusiasts and movable type hipsters.

All I could find was from the 18th century; the rest was lost during upgrades and due to poor backups.
Chapter 3: Keimer's printing-house, I found, consisted of an old shatter'd press, and one small, worn-out font of English which he was then using himself, composing an Elegy on Aquila Rose, before mentioned, an ingenious young man, of excellent character, much respected in the town, clerk of the Assembly, and a pretty poet. Keimer made verses too, but very indifferently. He could not be said to write them, for his manner was to compose them in the types directly out of his head. So there being no copy, but one pair of cases, and the Elegy likely to require all the letter, no one could help him. I endeavor'd to put his press (which he had not yet us'd, and of which he understood nothing) into order fit to be work'd with; and, promising to come and print off his Elegy as soon as he should have got it ready, I return'd to Bradford's, who gave me a little job to do for the present, and there I lodged and dieted, A few days after, Keimer sent for me to print off the Elegy. And now he had got another pair of cases, and a pamphlet to reprint, on which he set me to work.

These two printers I found poorly qualified for their business. Bradford had not been bred to it, and was very illiterate; and Keimer, tho' something of a scholar, was a mere compositor, knowing nothing of presswork. He had been one of the French prophets, and could act their enthusiastic agitations. At this time he did not profess any particular religion, but something of all on occasion; was very ignorant of the world, and had, as I afterward found, a good deal of the knave in his composition.
posted by tilde at 9:05 AM on September 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


Conspicuous consumption is "doing stuff" now? Man, I miss the 90s.

The guy in the article is actually writing stories on his typewriter. That counts as "doing stuff," just as much as pasting and photocopying zine articles does.

Demonstrate your personality to me through actions (show), don't try to tell me who you are through your appearance.

You say this as if it's an unmarked neutral, but it's not. It is, in fact, a really blue collar model of masculinity--men shouldn't care what they look like, they should wear jeans from K-mart that their moms and/or partners buy them or whatever because they don't have time for fashion and fashion is pretty Bad and Evil, anyway. Again, this is all meant to distinguish someone from upper class men and women of all classes who care and, in fact, often have to care about fashion and appearances to be employable. But it's a false dichotomy, and it's actually okay to care about these things and the disdain you have for men and women who do is still pretty shitty. There are plenty of poor people who work hard and still want the glasses they wear to not suck in terms of modern fashion. That's okay. It doesn't make them hollow shells of human beings.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:05 AM on September 19, 2013 [30 favorites]


I wonder if 15th century printing forums had epic flamewars between illuminated manuscript enthusiasts and movable type hipsters.

The great thing is that for a half century or so after the invention of movable type, certain hipsters would hire scriveners to produce manuscript books for them in YE OLDE STYLE. I can only imagine the obloquy that must have been heaped upon them.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:05 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


I actually have big black frames too but it's just because I look handsome as hell in em

I do not do cool things. They are cool because it's me doing them.
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:05 AM on September 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


I mean, there are class-based critiques to be made about the hipster stereotype, but that sure as shit ain't it.
posted by kelseyq at 9:05 AM on September 19, 2013


Does complaining about the redesign of the New Yorker make me more or less hip?

I must know.
posted by griphus at 9:06 AM on September 19, 2013


Demonstrate your personality to me through actions (show), don't try to tell me who you are through your appearance.

Maybe is has nothing to do with you? And how you interpret other people's dress choices is your issue, and maybe your problem?
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:07 AM on September 19, 2013 [10 favorites]


"Eideteker practices Sprezzatura."

Hah! That's actually kind of the exact opposite. The thought of putting in effort, then putting in additional effort to conceal that effort sounds ridiculously inefficient to me. Really, I'm just a fan of "form following function." I make my decisions, to the best of my ability, on function first. And I try not to put a disproportionate amount of time into each decision. As long as I'm not naked (for the sake of others) and cold (for my own sake), who cares? (Assholes, that's who!)
posted by Eideteker at 9:07 AM on September 19, 2013


[Maybe we can move away from the debate over Eideteker's personal ethos regarding glasses styles?]
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:08 AM on September 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


gain, this is all meant to distinguish someone from upper class men and women of all classes who care and, in fact, often have to care about fashion and appearances to be employable. But it's a false dichotomy, and it's actually okay to care about these things and the disdain you have for men and women who do is still pretty shitty.

Actually, weirdly, men in standard-issue suits or Business Casual seem to be exempt from the vitriol, even if they've clearly spent a lot of money on getting the stuff well-tailored. Not sure this changes anything, but I do think it's a funny contrast.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 9:09 AM on September 19, 2013


You chose those glasses for a reason. You chose that outfit for a reason. Was that reason anything other than "this is the only option/class of options I can afford"? For much of my youth, that was it. We bought what we could afford, which was basically "cheap t-shirt and jeans, and the free frames that came with our shitty insurance." I, personally, am not that poor anymore, but that doesn't mean there aren't still kids like me growing up all over.

And I think that's mostly an important point.

But at the same time, it seems sort of backwards. If we met, you'd look at me and think "look at that person, wearing a scarf made out of blatantly high-quality materials and a nice canvas and leather bag and unobtrusively stretched ears and glasses that clearly did not come from Zenni and dressed all arty-middle-class, that must mean that they are politically untrustworthy and have bad values" when all it means is I am lucky enough to have a union secretary gig, don't have kids, am good at buying stuff secondhand on eBay and stretched my ears literally ten years ago when I was much younger and it was a punk rock thing. I mean, it's okay not to have a shitty job. I am lucky to make okay money and have good insurance. That's what everyone should have. I am concerned by the US tendency to say "you lousy person, you're not in a shitty job like I am, you should give up all the things [vacation, insurance, discretionary income] that make your job not shitty, so that we can all share in misery and exploitation". I have what I have because of the last gasp of the union movement. I don't have what I have because I am an undeserving exploiter.

I think it's totally legit to look at someone and say "this person clearly has enough money that they don't know my struggles, I'm not going to share a lot with them unless/until we establish some real trust based on experience". That's common sense self-protection.
posted by Frowner at 9:10 AM on September 19, 2013 [13 favorites]


Actually, weirdly, men in standard-issue suits or Business Casual seem to be exempt from the vitriol, even if they've clearly spent a lot of money on getting the stuff well-tailored. Not sure this changes anything, but I do think it's a funny contrast.

Marked Women, Unmarked Men.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:12 AM on September 19, 2013 [14 favorites]


Every time this guy is discussed in social media he's fated to be the target of endless scorn and derision. It's like he's trapped in some Internet groundhog day loop.
posted by codacorolla at 9:12 AM on September 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


"Maybe is has nothing to do with you? And how you interpret other people's dress choices is your issue, and maybe your problem?"

I was responding to a comment about what a certain kind of glasses connote. I hardly think that constitutes a problem. This article is about a guy who is reacting to people reacting to his appearance. He doesn't see how his choices have a certain connotation. So, here's a little light on why. I don't know why that is "insulting."

Though yes, the stuff about me judging people (which is my own individual judgement, divorced from this person's experience, because I did not see him or comment about him) is my own stuff, and my own baggage. But, like I said above, I doubt I would've hated him or felt he was a hipster (poseur/pretentious), because he was actually using his typewriter.

The people I saw in Williamsburg (and I didn't believe they still existed; I thought that was so 10 years ago) were, from the conversations I overheard, concerned about buying a certain lifestyle (or the appearance thereof). That's really the thing that I (personally, not speaking of a larger reaction or connotation) revile.
posted by Eideteker at 9:13 AM on September 19, 2013


was very ignorant of the world, and had, as I afterward found, a good deal of the knave in his composition.

This is excellent and I shall use it often.
posted by elizardbits at 9:13 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think now's the time to get back to the important bit of the article: Reddit jerks are willing to forgive the author for being a hipster once he shows up in the thread, but xoJane jerks aren't willing to forgive the author for breaking up with a woman while being a hipster. Conclusion: lol.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:13 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I disagree with your conclusion, Potomac Avenue. I label it: funny.
posted by Mister_A at 9:17 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


"that must mean that they are politically untrustworthy and have bad values"

Not what I said. I distrust the narrative your appearance presents, and reserve further judgement (as much as it may be warranted; if I'll never see you or interact with you again, who cares?) for actual conversation/interaction.

"I think it's totally legit to look at someone and say "this person clearly has enough money that they don't know my struggles, I'm not going to share a lot with them unless/until we establish some real trust based on experience". That's common sense self-protection."

Much closer to what I meant, although I wouldn't say the part about sharing with them. I'm just saying that if you don't see how having/making a choice in glasses conveys a connotation beyond "poor eyesight," then yes, you probably don't understand what I've been through.
posted by Eideteker at 9:18 AM on September 19, 2013


Just wait until someone posts a scan of the story they bought. Then the whole thing will start all over again with the self-appointed literary critics.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:19 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I own a typewriter (I can send you a photograph of myself if you'd like to put it up on reddit or whatever) because it produces legible pages that I have no chance to immediately get sucked into a black hole editing. I write a sentence and then it is written and I can't futz and tinker with it until I have spent all of my writing time crafting a perfect little sentence that is completely without context because I neglected to write the one after it. And my handwriting BLOWS, like legit blows, like I have a lot of trouble reading it myself. So typewriters! Which are (relatively) cheap and are usable in direct sunlight and also kind of pretty and some like mine are even built into a carrying case with a handle and are light enough to carry around if I want to for instance take it out on a lovely day to get some writing done. I'm vacillating wildly between bewilderment at why anybody would give a shit even if he had just decided to take his perfectly functional writing tool into a park and an equal parts rage/sadness mix that people went out of their way to make him feel badly about doing so. I've never taken my typewriter outside but now I want to and I'll sit next to a sign that says I AM A WRITER USING A TOOL THAT PRODUCES WRITING - NOW LOOK AROUND AT HOW BEAUTIFUL THE WORLD IS. Good grief.
posted by davidjmcgee at 9:20 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Personally I shop at Goodwill due to oppressive midwestern irish catholic guilt over spending money.
posted by desjardins at 9:20 AM on September 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


Look, people who use the passive voice are just being disgusting.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:21 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I find debates on the internet about someone else seeking (or not) attention pretty hilarious.

We really are not that far removed from
posted by edgeways at 9:23 AM on September 19, 2013


All you people piling on in this guy's defense...I was pointing out the hypocrisy of complaining about hipsters years ago.
posted by straight at 9:23 AM on September 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


"Actually, weirdly, men in standard-issue suits or Business Casual seem to be exempt from the vitriol, even if they've clearly spent a lot of money on getting the stuff well-tailored."

I don't know about you, but I don't trust men in (nice) suits. That's the type of disguise chosen by the most vile (and before you say I said something about ALL men in suits, I didn't. It's the disguise they choose to blend in with the bland and inocuous and "respectable").
posted by Eideteker at 9:23 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe you just don't trust anyone?
posted by octobersurprise at 9:25 AM on September 19, 2013 [8 favorites]


"I own a typewriter (I can send you a photograph of myself if you'd like to put it up on reddit or whatever) because it produces legible pages that I have no chance to immediately get sucked into a black hole editing. I write a sentence and then it is written and I can't futz and tinker with it until I have spent all of my writing time crafting a perfect little sentence that is completely without context because I neglected to write the one after it."

Beautiful re-rail, really gets at the heart of why I use a typewriter, too. Thank you.
posted by Eideteker at 9:25 AM on September 19, 2013


I wish I'd gotten here sooner. I hereby invoke gauche's Rule For Talking About Hipsters:
If your comment or joke contains or alludes to the word "hipster" it is automatically 50% less insightful or clever or funny than it otherwise would be.
together with its corollary:
One should therefore endeavor to make damn sure, before speaking, that one's comment is that much extra insightful or clever or funny.
Proceed accordingly.
posted by gauche at 9:25 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


desjardins: "Personally I shop at Goodwill due to oppressive midwestern irish catholic guilt over spending money."

Oppressive midwestern irish catholic guilt can turn one into a hipster too. Or so it seems from where I'm standing with my glasses and my turntables and my childhood.

The word 'hipster' -- not to beat a dead horse -- is so interesting to me because if not for discussions like this, I would never think of it as a perjorative. Nine times out of ten, if my internal monologue says "Look at that hipster guy", it also probably means deep down "look at that guy with whom I would like to have the sex." A few weeks ago, I tweeted that walking from the bus stop to a concert was, based on the crowd, like "marching in the Hipster Pride Parade" and only afterwards did I think to consider that others might not get the joke -- I was marching with my people.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:26 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Maybe you just don't trust anyone?"

Child of the 90s =D
posted by Eideteker at 9:27 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Personally I shop at Goodwill due to oppressive midwestern irish catholic guilt over spending money.

It feels good to hear someone else say that. I still get anxious when I hear I have to spend over twenty dollars for shoes. It's seriously not healthy for my health or (in the end) my bank account.
posted by tychotesla at 9:28 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


> I hereby invoke gauche's Rule For Talking About Hipsters

That's barely half the rule you think it is.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:29 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think the only new information I learned from this tired rehash of a dumb argument is that we all want to take dumps on bondcliff's workbench. Is that right?
posted by Think_Long at 9:33 AM on September 19, 2013


Given how clean that workbench is compared to my bathroom I'd say it'd be an honor doing my business in that environment.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:35 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


On the other hand the toilet makes a pretty lousy base for a drill press.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 9:38 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well now we haven't actually seen a picture of his toilet, so let's not judge too soon. What else is he hiding??
posted by Think_Long at 9:43 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Damn Brooklyn, that's what you are trying to pass off as a hipster nowadays? No red capri pants, no mustache of any kind, no nautical inspired tattoos. I gotta say that if that is the weakshit you are trying to pass off then Manhattan probably has the best hipsters out right now. You gotta up your hipster game Brooklyn.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:48 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Here, I guess, is my problem with teh Internet's craze for hating on hipsters:

Let's assume for the moment, for the sake of argument, that the guy with the typewriter, the guy who wrote the article we're discussing, is objectively a hipster, that he exactly embodies the stereotype signified by that term. Let's further assume for the sake of argument that nobody here, meaning nobody participating in this thread here on metafilter, is a hipster at all, that we all somehow have managed to avoid having any characteristics or combinations of characteristics that would ever, ever bring that term to the mind of an observer seeing us for the first time.

What I'm imagining here, in short, is the theoretical maximally safe conditions for deployment of the stereotype. Complete unambiguous and accurate labelling are objectively possible in this hypothetical. Here's my question:

Why does it matter? What's interesting about the observation? What can I usefully know about the guy with the typewriter, now that he's been accurately tagged as a fucking hipster, that I might possibly fail to discern otherwise?

I generally think stereotypes are bad, but people who rely on them to make judgments about the personalities of others, as I think we probably all do from time to time, are generally doing it for the utility value. "Hmm," they (meaing me) think to themselves (myself). "That guy's wearing a Confedrate flag baseball cap and holding an 'Obama=muslim' sign. Probably not somebody I want to have lunch with."

But what can I conclude about the canonical hipster? What does it tell me about the person that makes them either someone to avoid, or alternatively, to seek out? If I know for an absolute certainty that somebody is a hipster, how am I supposed to let that affect my expectations? What follows from it that is of concern to me? Is a hipster going to steal my flatware? Ask for money? Fart indiscriminately? What exactly is the problem?

Do I just not know enough hipsters? Is there a risk I'm not seeing?
posted by Ipsifendus at 9:48 AM on September 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


Do I just not know enough hipsters?

The only thing to know is that using the word at all makes you look hopelessly out of touch.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:53 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


oceanjesse: "What a traumatic, humiliating experience that must have been, having an unflattering photo hosted on all of those websites with such angry, hateful, un-constructive commenters and framing.

I hope his confessional puff piece nets him enough new twitter followers to buy a lighter typewriter or something.
"

Honestly, you know what? It's kind of inspiring to see somebody do something out of the margins of accepted ways of doing things.

1) My friend says I am a good writer... I've also heard "mehs" from people who are REALLY into like books and writing and shit, so... who knows.

2) I will probably ever ever get any sort of contract for a book.

3) But here is a way, even if I can't get a job as a writer, that I can get paid for something, and to get paid on my terms. I don't have to write shitty technical manuals, I don't have to slave away writing things that I don't want to do for someone who will be making money on top of me.

4) It won't pay the bills. But it's a way I could use my talents.

5) I've thought about doing something like this with my digital art... Have a camera, have someone pose (or if they have a pic on their phone or something they're carrying load that in and work on that) and make some unique art for them.

6) It never occurred to me to try writing like this. I like it.

7) It's kind of like Busking only with other forms of creativity. The only other thing I've seen in similar manners are those painters who do the space paintings, which while kinda cool are a bit overdone hippie shit at this point. I suppose if this ever takes off, you can say the same thing.

8) But with words, you can paint anything you want, not just space. Even with a digital art project instead of writing, you could do a variety of things - portraits to just abstract shit based upon objects the person gives you and you google for...

There's a lot of interesting ideas.

I especially find it funny that... this comment I'm replying to is... well... un-constructive.
posted by symbioid at 9:54 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm waiting to see some Redditor stand out on the high line with a sign saying "Critique of what you think your look says about you $10"
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:57 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't see how that article would change anyone's initial impression.
posted by jpe at 9:59 AM on September 19, 2013


jhc: "Top Ten Ways To Test Whether A Guy Is A Hipster:"

hmmmm ... why not just see if he weighs the same as a duck.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 10:02 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


(Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates: "If this was meant sarcastically, and, as is often the problem with irony online, this is not clear, I feel like maybe you might ask yourself what value you're adding to the world by being a dick to a stranger online.

What? The comment you're responding to seems to be sympathizing with the subject of the piece. Or maybe my sarcasm detector is off.
"

Yeah, see I read it more like sarcasm... If you're right, then it's clearly the inverse of this classic Mr. Show sketch.
posted by symbioid at 10:02 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm waiting to see some Redditor stand out on the high line with a sign saying "Critique of what you think your look says about you $10"

SEMIOTICS CRITIQUED: $10
or will swap for an impromptu performance of an original song
posted by KathrynT at 10:05 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


desjardins: "The funny part is that I was holding a Starbucks cup, tortoiseshell sunglasses and a pair of yoga pants so he was probably scoffing at my whitegirl mcwhiteyness."

Nothing we hipsters love more than hating on other hipsters.
posted by symbioid at 10:10 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


How many damn times can one site have the same stale argument?
posted by codacorolla at 10:14 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Actually, weirdly, men in standard-issue suits or Business Casual seem to be exempt from the vitriol, even if they've clearly spent a lot of money on getting the stuff well-tailored."

You've clearly never seen the vitriol when khaki pants come up because ooh man, does it make the hipster hate seem like a big, warm hug. There are grown-assed men who will get into a red-faced spittle-flecked rage if they're asked to wear khaki pants because NO FUCK YOU DAD.

...man, I really need to stop wading into every let's-hate-on-the-hipsters thread, because I know it's completely pointless and will change no one's mind (and probably make people think I'm a horrible hipster myself). But I DO NOT GET and will never get why it's such a goddamn crime to LIKE THINGS. Why is it automatically suspect? Why does it get you accused of being a phony? Why is it so hard to believe that people who act sincerely, who claim sincerity, are ACTUALLY SINCERE? For that matter, half the time people are STILL guilty of being awful even if their claims of sincerity are (grudgingly) accepted.

So one of the things I've been doing this year is being a lot more open about things I like and being a lot more positive about them and I have gotten a really astonishing amount of angry negativity in response. So yes, if you are positive and open about things you like, people will just attack you and those things and try to drag you down, and this goes for pretty much anything. The key is finding people not mired in the Swamp of Negativity but that's obviously a bit of a challenge on the internet.

People hide so often behind their shields of irony and snark that putting themselves out there is basically putting your soft fleshy underbelly out there instead of your shell and that makes you vulnerable. And given that in our consumerist society, we've decided that the things you consume are identifiers of you as a person--this is especially true in geek-leaning circles--then to put your choices in media/art/fashion out there is making yourself vulnerable, because someone saying "That thing you bought and enjoy sucks" is saying "You, personally, suck." And god, do we hate vulnerability as a culture.

Anyway this thread is running parallel to another conversation I'm having about fashion and how clothes are a signifier. Early in my career, I was a writer for a not-particularly-important site and had to hustle at trade shows and the way I did it was dressing a step above everyone else, because people see a collared shirt and a nice business card and go WHOA THIS GUY MUST BE A BIG PRO and the PR people would hustle me in past guys from established publications rocking t-shirts and jeans, because I knew how to play the game and presenting as a professional means, for a not insignificant number of people, you ARE a professional. That's the whole point of Catch Me If You Can, among other things.

And one of my friends gave me the "Oh I prefer to be comfortable, t-shirts and jeans for life bro", and I was on the verge of pointing out denim kinda sucks for comfort compared to some of the really nice pants I own. Like I've got pairs of (oh god) khakis I got from a thrift shop that are softer than my pajama pants and all nice and broken in and my dress shirts are nice fabric and I'm usually wearing a really nice undershirt anyway, so basically when I'm dressed to the nines, I'm floating in a sea of comfort.

But it occurred to me that "comfort" as it applies to clothes isn't something strictly limited to things like fabric and fit, it's also "comfort" with the role we're putting on, so people would rather wear jeans and call it "comfort" when really what it is is "I'm not putting on airs, I am comfortable with the role I'm playing." Because the simple truth is you can SAY you're opting out of the presentation game and you're just going to wear t-shirts and jeans and get angry if someone asks you to wear khakis, but opting out of the game doesn't matter, you're still playing it.

So like I said above, your choice in clothes is maybe the most visible symbol of your consumerist status and, thus, who you are as a person, and that's why people get so judgy about it, because it's pretty much a NASCAR suit of the brands and things you care about as a person, so far as society knows anyway.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:15 AM on September 19, 2013 [16 favorites]


99 times out of 100, whenever I'm tempted to get all het up about some bullshit on the internet I follow this advice. It rarely steers me wrong.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:15 AM on September 19, 2013


> Is a hipster going to steal my flatware? Ask for money? Fart indiscriminately? What exactly is the problem?

The inauthenticity of their consumer choices imperils the authenticity of your consumer choices where the objects of consumption (current or aspirational) do or could overlap.

(there's also a weird pro-consumption bulwarking involved when people get tagged as hipsters for making things, as mentioned a bunch upthread re: zines, plus other stuff about gender or class norms - like PhoBWan says - and ways in which a person's self presentation can be least charitably read in the context of identity stories told via consumer marketing.)
posted by postcommunism at 10:16 AM on September 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


symbioid: "Nothing we hipsters love more than hating on other hipsters."

I was a hipster before everyone started becoming hipster ...
posted by TheLittlePrince at 10:16 AM on September 19, 2013


So in order to be trusted, you have to carefully look like you've put just the right amount of effort into your appearance; too little and you look homeless and shabby, too much and you're an obvious hipster.

I think you mean to paint this view as ridiculous, but it's as old as Aristotle. Maybe it's wrong, but the idea that for most values of X there's such a thing as doing X too little and such a thing as doing X too much has been popular with a lot of people for a long, long time.
posted by escabeche at 10:21 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


whenever I'm tempted to get all het up about some bullshit on the internet I follow this advice yt .


I'll see you that and raise you
posted by edgeways at 10:22 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


This article filled me with CAPSLOCK RAGE and I had to step away from my computer to figure out why because I don't have a problem with hipsters. I like men who wear glasses, artisanal honey, typewriters, letterpress, and record players. I'm not such a fan of facial hair, but I do approve of living in an endless 1895.

He knows his stories aren't that great, yet he is not only asking people to read them, he's asking for money. How do you get that kind of confidence? I can't imagine ever showing someone a true rough draft, but he's there typing away. If I were in his program, I would probably hate him and have a crush on him at the same time.
posted by betweenthebars at 10:34 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


You've clearly never seen the vitriol when khaki pants come up because ooh man, does it make the hipster hate seem like a big, warm hug. There are grown-assed men who will get into a red-faced spittle-flecked rage if they're asked to wear khaki pants because NO FUCK YOU DAD.

Khakis are fucking awesome. Who doesn't like khakis?!
posted by kmz at 10:39 AM on September 19, 2013


Khakis are fucking awesome. Who doesn't like khakis?!

I don't. It's the weird fake fleshtoney-ness.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:41 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Khakis are fucking awesome. Who doesn't like khakis?!

People who are worried about being seen as middle class/corporate, mostly.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:42 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


Khakis are unflattering. Chinos, however, are de rigueur.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:42 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Reading this article and the comments in this thread, I feel like I'm experiencing that common sitcom/cartoon trope where you have a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other.

Because my initial gut reaction to "I brought an old-fashioned typewriter to the park to write and sell short stories", even before he got to the part about becoming a victim of Internet scorn was, "That is such a classically hipsterish thing to do as to almost read as satire". And while I found the meat of his article very interesting, a lot of it still read to me as the kind of "Actually *I* was wearing fedoras long before they became a hipster affectation and my wearing of one is totally incidental to the fact they happen to be very popular among people of my exact age group at the moment" -type of statement that I usually find kind of laughable (I know, I know, "That says more about you than it does about him, blah, blah, blah...").

On the other hand, reading some of the harsh, accusatory comments in this thread towards the author of the, "How DARE he wear THOSE pants and THOSE glasses and THAT shirt and yet claim to not be a total hipster stereotype" variety come off as unnecessarily nasty and make me better understand the viewpoint that you simply can't win regardless of what you do, since there will always be someone who will read far more intent in your choices than is really there. I'm reminded of a great line from a NY Times review of "The Bonfire of the Vanities": "Mr. Wolfe seems unable to imagine a character who gets dressed simply to avoid being naked."
posted by The Gooch at 10:44 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Khakis are only weird when you tuck your tshirt in; unless you are a drill instructor this looks awkward.
posted by elizardbits at 10:45 AM on September 19, 2013


I would never think of it as a perjorative. Nine times out of ten, if my internal monologue says "Look at that hipster guy", it also probably means deep down "look at that guy with whom I would like to have the sex."

For a certain strain of resentful Internet denizen, these two statements are in fact identical in meaning. "I want to have sex with that person but am not currently doing so I HATE PEOPLE WHO MAKE ME WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH THEM DIE IN THE FIRES."

It's just that usually we see the dovetail of attraction and vitriol directed at women, so it's hard to recognize it as same when directed at men.
posted by like_a_friend at 10:56 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


You know what I want hipsters to bring back. That barbershop quartet look. With the straw boaters, vests, and sleeve garters. Everyone already has a handlebar mustache so this is perfect.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:56 AM on September 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


Haha, or on preview:

If I were in his program, I would probably hate him and have a crush on him at the same time.
posted by like_a_friend at 10:57 AM on September 19, 2013


> How many damn times can one site have the same stale argument?

It's an interesting argument. Take the guy in the OP: I see his picture, and I know that I'm supposed to disdain him. If it's somewhere online with a comments section, I know immediately what the comments will look like, assuming it's a comment section frequented by (generally) white middle class people.

But how do I know that, and why am I supposed to disdain him? Gender policing aside, apparently it's because he affecting something. He's acting in a way other than he would "normally." He's pretending at something. But wtf is he pretending at? Being a writer? Dude is typing up stories and selling them - it may be a hobby, but it's still writing.

Where did that reaction come from, and why do people immediately jump in to defend its legitimacy? Why is the (often violent) disdain always evidenced part of a social display, like a bunch of teen metalheads getting het up over Katy Perry?

And that's without even addressing the money concerns. Inevitably, the "hipster" gets accused, directly or indirectly, of misrepresenting their social status as it reflects their earning power. Either they can afford to present as someone with more money, and are therefore slumming and insulting folks socially below them, or they're presenting with more social capital than should be granted someone at their income level and are therefore no better than they aught to be. (There are not enough trust funds in the world to cover every PBR-drinker accused of having one.)

And then there's that other big white mainstream American self presentation (that doesn't directly involve one's role in an employment context), the Nerd. Lotta anxiety about the sincerity of consumer engagement there too.
posted by postcommunism at 10:57 AM on September 19, 2013 [10 favorites]


BTW, I've been rewatching the Cosby Show lately and this was so wonderfully, unintentionally hilarious. And relevant, I think.

Maybe it's time for the return of hipster pride.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:00 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Do hipsters get friendzoned? Please discuss.
posted by grajohnt at 11:03 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes, but they do it intentionally.
posted by postcommunism at 11:06 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


But how do I know that, and why am I supposed to disdain him?

The weirdest part -- although one that the original photo misses -- is that he's busking. Like the man is literally making money by getting peoples attention and entertaining them in whatever way. Maybe he dresses identically all the time, maybe he's primping it up for his time on the High Line, but "his clothing grabs my attention" is probably the single least-valid complaint you can lodge at the guy. If you saw him doing his thing, he's already halfway to getting your money.

Like, I wonder if there's a reddit (or whatever) thread where everyone is all LOOK AT THAT GUY AND HIS SPRAYPAINTED SILVER SUIT AND TOP HAT AND BODY PAINT. DOES HE ACTUALLY THINK HE'S A STATUE ROBOT? HOW PRETENTIOUS!
posted by griphus at 11:06 AM on September 19, 2013 [18 favorites]


You know what I want hipsters to bring back. That barbershop quartet look. With the straw boaters, vests, and sleeve garters. Everyone already has a handlebar mustache so this is perfect.

Why hello there.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:08 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


One of the great paradoxes. Paradoxi? Paradoxum? I give up.

Paradoxen-- two orthodoxen pulling in opposite directions.
posted by jamjam at 11:10 AM on September 19, 2013 [8 favorites]


"I have poor eyesight and I'm tired of making my kids/partner/pet hunt for my glasses when they fall in that crack between the bed and the night stand because they are practically invisible in silicone-valley wire frames."

Only a hipster would take their glasses off at night. Clearly you don't really need them if you can do without when you sleep.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:11 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


> Like the man is literally making money by getting peoples attention and entertaining them in whatever way.

If he had ditched the typewriter and dashed things off longhand in bard cosplay Reddit would have eaten it up. The xoJane commenters, I don't know.
posted by postcommunism at 11:14 AM on September 19, 2013


Only a hipster would take their glasses off at night.

No no no you take off your regular glasses and then wear your sunglasses at night.
posted by griphus at 11:17 AM on September 19, 2013


This reminds me of a question I ask people at least 10 times a week during conversations:

"Why do you care so much about what other people do?"
posted by Annika Cicada at 11:18 AM on September 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


I have to say...I will trot this thread out the next time a "fedora hat" or "grown men who wear shorts" thread pops up on Metafilter. The defense of this persons sartorial choices is commendable...please remember your positions next time a thread pops up where a grown man wants to wear shorts and a hoodie and still be considered an adult. There is a double-standard at play here.

Sartorialists are quite often judgemental stealth-bullies.
posted by jnnla at 11:20 AM on September 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


Annika Cicada: ""Why do you care so much about what other people do?""

How else will we gossip then?

life would be full of boredom and metafilter would be lot less full of comments.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 11:21 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, metafilter also hates it when people leave stickers on their hats.

People just like to talk shit. Us too. It isn't like we weren't all over those band photos last week.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:23 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


I enjoyed them photos and I think joking about em is different because they are bands posing, presenting a particular image in professionally set-up settings, not just some goofy guy in the park. But I could be a hypocrite. I'm just a regular sinner, like you. Shit this Pope interview is long.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:26 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't know where this association between hipsters and fedoras is coming from. That particular sartorial choice has become much more emblematic of people who use the terms friendzone and misandry; for as diverse as our definitions of hipsters are, we can at least all agree that they're getting laid.
posted by modernserf at 11:26 AM on September 19, 2013


modernserf: "we can at least all agree that they're getting laid."

See thats the reason why the internet hates them. :)
posted by TheLittlePrince at 11:29 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


(And yes, I see a difference between mocking someone for their dress and hobbies vs. mocking them for their repellent beliefs and using their signature item as a metonym.)
posted by modernserf at 11:30 AM on September 19, 2013


These are thirteen dollars (plus shipping/handling) with lenses, btw. In case any single moms are looking for black plastic framed glasses in this thread, check out that link! Keywords cheap hip glasses black cool sexy fashion
posted by Greg Nog


I'm wearing those exact pair of glasses right now!
posted by lurkElongtime at 11:34 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't know where this association between hipsters and fedoras is coming from.

I think people are associating hipsters with trilbies (which have been worn by, like, everyone in the last few summers) and confusing them with fedoras.
posted by griphus at 11:36 AM on September 19, 2013


When the brim 'bove your eye
Has it quite a long line,
It's Fedora,

When your brim's short and true
And you wear it in blue
It's a Trilby

And I do confess, I get over-vexed, when a Trilby's mistook for Fedora!

Get it straight, scratch your nape, and go forth and mistake them no-mora!
posted by tilde at 11:39 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


(And yes, I see a difference between mocking someone for their dress and hobbies vs. mocking them for their repellent beliefs and using their signature item as a metonym.)

Everybody who mocks hipster fashion choices will justify it for reasons too, but the bottom line is what ends up happening online is people are mocking pictures of people with beards and glasses without any idea if the person actually fits any of the reasons. People judge books by covers.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:39 AM on September 19, 2013


Now there are two. There are two _______.: "Look on my fucking, ye Hitler, and despair."

At least be more politically correct. I Fucked Hitler And He Didn't Like It
posted by Samizdata at 11:40 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Some months back I had a break-up and for some inexplicable reason I've been taking that break-up energy and using it to troll reddit. And by "troll reddit," I mean, "sincerely call out dbag misogynists, racists and bigots on their assholery and see how many downvotes I can get and how long I can keep them replying and rationalizing their crap."

One thing I have seen over and over again is that many redditors sincerely believe that their biases and stereotypes are "evidence based," even if that's evidence based on what they see through the window of a moving vehicle. One dude linked to an absurdly race-bating pseudo-study but was self-conscious enough to crop out the data from the source and post it to imgur.

To them, I say, spend some time outside the confines of your mother's basement, ya fricking neckbeards*, and you might realize that you are not immune to confirmation bias and that you don't know as much about the human condition as you think you do.

* (I can say this because I once lived with my mother as an unemployed adult and sometimes have poor grooming habits.)
posted by Skwirl at 11:41 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


(And generally I find fedora wearing to communicate only: "I desperately wish arbitrary men's fashion trends would finally swing back to approving of anything other than baseball caps".)
posted by Drinky Die at 11:42 AM on September 19, 2013


People just like to talk shit. Us too. It isn't like we weren't all over those band photos last week.

...Which was funny to me because, far from featuring only exceptionally "bad" band photos (though there were some real groaners in the mix), those photos seemed to pretty much cover the entire gamut of what it's even possible to do in a band photo.

Too polished and artfully photographed? Jeez who do they think they are! Bad lighting or focus? What an amateur hour! Too serious looking? Jeez get over your Goth selves already. Too silly looking? God what twee nitwits. Wearing silly clothes? Attention-seekers. Wearing ordinary clothes? Jeez, dress it up a little! etc.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:43 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


tilde: "
How are those glasses anything other than an "I'm literate and educated" signifier?
I always took glasses to signify "I have poor eyesight."
... "I have poor eyesight and I'm tired of making my kids/partner/pet hunt for my glasses when they fall in that crack between the bed and the night stand because they are practically invisible in silicone-valley wire frames."

I'm not hipster, I'm blind as a bat. And I like purple. And I drop my glasses a lot.
"

I suppose my current frames could be considered possibly hipsterish. OTOH, I am desperately and have a giant bison head so my current/larger frames are a godsend for me.
posted by Samizdata at 11:44 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I had to finally admit to myself that I can't wear big thick nerd glasses despite loving them because I broke my nose on a softball when I was a kid and the bridge of my nose gets all pained after awhile.

Nose pads FTW!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:47 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, a manual typewriter is just a really nifty and satisfying machine. Anyone who thinks someone would only use one to look pretentious and quirky has probably never tried using one. They aren't practical compared to a laptop, and definitely frustrating if you're trying to get something done correctly in a hurry, but for this kind of thing, I think it would be a whole lot more fun than using a computer or writing longhand.
posted by straight at 11:58 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


This reminds me of a question I ask people at least 10 times a week during conversations:

"Why do you care so much about what other people do?"


There are some threads where this sentence needs to be the note below the comment field even more than the one that's there now.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:04 PM on September 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


They aren't practical compared to a laptop, and definitely frustrating if you're trying to get something done correctly in a hurry, but for this kind of thing, I think it would be a whole lot more fun than using a computer or writing longhand.

I just glue a Model M to an iPad and use an PS/2 to Bluetooth adapter.
posted by kmz at 12:23 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I want this shirt so bad.

Best I could find (for no-murder options) is this or maybe this? I have to admit I kind of like the one in the first link myself, though the adorable nonsense Engrish may be a factor. I mean, not only is it THE Hawaiian shirt of the calm atmosphere, but it is door free of charge! Truly the shirt of the neanderthal-kings of old.

Oh on the topic of the thread: this guy seems like a decent enough I guy, and I don't especially hate hipsters and the more I read or hear about hipsters the more I am convinced that there is in fact No True Hipster and perhaps there never was.
posted by mstokes650 at 12:24 PM on September 19, 2013


The greatest trick hipsters ever played on the world was convincing us they existed.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:27 PM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


"who, BTW, will look no more ridiculous in 20 years time than anyone else because all of us unknowingly look like ridiculous idiots in any time period, as anyone who lived through the 70s, 80s and 90s and at some point in subsequent decades re-watched a movie or TV show filmed in that era; our tastes are completely arbitrary"

MY BEARD IS TIMELESS MOTHERFUCKER
posted by klangklangston at 12:35 PM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, man, like, haven't we been complaining about hipsters for, like, ten years now at least? My friend has a daughter who's 16 now, and cooler than any of us olds ever were at her age, and she says that people don't even care about hipsters anymore; people want to be "scene."
posted by klangklangston at 12:36 PM on September 19, 2013


Perhaps "A hipster" is a generic label used to describe someone who is better at everything you are too afraid to admit you suck at? kind of like Litost without the love part?
posted by Annika Cicada at 12:40 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


klangklangston: My friend has a daughter who's 16 now, and cooler than any of us olds ever were at her age, and she says that people don't even care about hipsters anymore; people want to be "scene."

Oh yeah, that's what we called it when I was in high school. A long time ago.

I felt empathy for the guy who wrote the article because back in 1999, I pitched to some friends to join the writing staff for their new website. I thought it would be fun, and it was in many ways, but the site got huuuge and I ended up as the focus for a lot of internets hate and derision. Not as much as some of the other writers, but I got my share. We used handles (screen names) and didn't post our pictures, so it the haterade was based on what I wrote mostly, but it was still an upsetting experience.

Second, I never hate on hipsters, even though I am now an olds. And I don't because I would be a huge hypocrite to do so. In high school, I was "in the scene." I loved thrift shopping and Echo and the Bunnymen and Nick Cave and wore boots with skull buckles and had big old '80s hair.

In college, the scene was college rock, and then indie/alternative, and eventually garage rock. So yeah, with the pegged jeans and thrifted vintage dresses and red lipstick and leopard print. Didn't ever sport a Bettie Page haircut, but close enough.

Whatevs. I had my fun and I don't mind if kids today are having some too.
posted by Squeak Attack at 12:56 PM on September 19, 2013


Your friend's daughter is a dorkface then cause scene is like 5 years ago
posted by elizardbits at 12:56 PM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


this is what my life has become, i am proxy taunting youths on the internets
posted by elizardbits at 12:57 PM on September 19, 2013 [11 favorites]


No wai. Totes 80s.
posted by Squeak Attack at 12:57 PM on September 19, 2013


Huh. Kind of similar thing happened to me years ago, when Gothamist posted an out-of-context photo of me and my friends at what was essentially a costume-party type of event so that the gaping maw could get it's hipster hate on.

I'm usually super sensitive about that kind of shit but that time I just thought it was funny, for whatever reason.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:04 PM on September 19, 2013



For all the hateful words that were lobbed at me, it barely ever bubbled over from the world of online forums and websites.

I'll admit, I find this guy pretty annoying! It is not because he is a hipster, but because he comes off to me as working hard and faux-earnestly at "memeing" and "leveraging" his sorta interesting experience with this relatively insight-free article -- de rigeur bait-y title -- into an internet persona and he is pretending that is not what he is doing.

If he were just out there hunting and pecking away, ten minutes per story, ignoring the haters, hanging with those little kids, I would love him. But trying to get internet famous off it, ew.
posted by thinkpiece at 1:07 PM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Perhaps "A hipster" is a generic label used to describe someone who is better at everything you are too afraid to admit you suck at? kind of like Litost without the love part?"

Nope, it's people that enjoy the same things you do, but look good doing it.
posted by klangklangston at 1:15 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just glue a Model M to an iPad and use an PS/2 to Bluetooth adapter.

You're missing the drama of the metal arm whipping up toward the platen and the ribbon lifting up to interpose itself between the paper and the typebar a fraction of a second before it goes "whack!" and stamps a letter onto the page. Five times a second.
posted by straight at 1:23 PM on September 19, 2013


klangklangston: My friend has a daughter who's 16 now, and cooler than any of us olds ever were at her age, and she says that people don't even care about hipsters anymore; people want to be "scene."

Oh man, are scenesters/scene kids making a comeback? Will the makeout club return?
posted by Eideteker at 1:24 PM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Perhaps "A hipster" is a generic label used to describe someone who is better at everything you are too afraid to admit you suck at? kind of like Litost without the love part?"

Nope, it's people that enjoy the same things you do, but look good doing it.


I understand it to mean "person who is enjoying and/or doing something in a way that I find annoying."
posted by gauche at 1:25 PM on September 19, 2013


You're missing the drama of the metal arm whipping up toward the platen and the ribbon lifting up to interpose itself between the paper and the typebar a fraction of a second before it goes "whack!" and stamps a letter onto the page.

We apparently have an app for that.
posted by tilde at 1:28 PM on September 19, 2013


Huh, I thought a hipster was someone who was chasing trends and very self-conscious about appearing to not care about trends. I mean, I have two serious hipster daughters (who would be horrified to self-identify as such) and that's what they're like! Right down to their Warby Parkers and their big idea about world domination through sriracha ketchup.
posted by thinkpiece at 1:30 PM on September 19, 2013


You know what I want hipsters to bring back. That barbershop quartet look. With the straw boaters, vests, and sleeve garters.
Clearly you missed my Ask MeFi question earlier this summer! As it happened, someone came along and took my photograph while I was wearing my boater and striped t-shirt at the beach. I have received no internet vitriol so far.
posted by usonian at 1:32 PM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Huh, I thought a hipster was someone who was chasing trends and very self-conscious about appearing to not care about trends.

Then how come we can see all those traits in a person's character just from looking at photos of them?
posted by saulgoodman at 1:39 PM on September 19, 2013


I didn't! As I said upthread, I found him annoying for other reasons!
posted by thinkpiece at 1:41 PM on September 19, 2013


I mean seriously. "Look at this dumb hipster bitch! How dare she exist within the cultural context of her time and social group? WHAT A POSER." "Ugh, that flapper with her long pearl necklace- way to be a total trendwhore!" "Where'd you get that powdered wig, Cliches-r-Us?" "Nice animal pelt, ASSHOLE!"
LOOK AT THESE FUCKING DANDIES
posted by usonian at 1:56 PM on September 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: It's getting so I can't even tell anymore.
posted by randomkeystrike at 1:58 PM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm 37. I sit in a cubicle most days. I have two little kids. I live in suburbia.

I've come around to be less deriding of the "hipsters." The source of scorn that a lot of dudes like me feel is that they just seem to be trying *so* hard to be *so* different. We don't get to be different. No red capri pants. No skinny shirts. No glasses with no lenses. No popped collars on our Polos. No leather jackets full of safety pins. No parachute pants. None of these are allowed in corporate office culture, nor I imagine have been ever when they were in vogue.

So you people go ahead and wear whatever you want. I'm going to sit here in my khakis, and dream of the days when I could wear something just to stand out. Enjoy yourselves. Seriously. Some day you might get stuck in this cubicle just like mine. And your hypercolor shirt will sit in a box in the garage from then on and not in an actual drawer.
posted by Big_B at 2:02 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


What makes you think 'hipsters' dont work in cubicles?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 2:15 PM on September 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


I am arguably a hipster and I am working in a cubicle right now
posted by en forme de poire at 2:29 PM on September 19, 2013


Well now I'm totally confused.
posted by Big_B at 2:33 PM on September 19, 2013


> I'll confess to being jealous of fucking hipsters. Mostly because of the fucking part.

*pours one out for wasted youth, and not the fun wasted*
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:34 PM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


you have been living a lie!
posted by elizardbits at 2:35 PM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


Also if I could favorite PhoB's comment about gender policing above a hundred times I would.

Re: cubicle, to be fair, I also work in a sort of para-academic institution where there is a pretty relaxed dress code, and not like, Merck. (One of my friends from Merck does look like a total baller in a pant suit, though. I wish I looked that good when I was trying to pull off semiformalwear. Cue Greg Nog saying "maybe you should try a skirt suit")
posted by en forme de poire at 2:43 PM on September 19, 2013


I thought this comment from the article was delightful:
I tried to explain hipsters to my frat-boy friend from U Miss and he seemed confused for a bit, then said "Oh yeah! We just call them T-Shirt People!"
posted by invitapriore at 3:08 PM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


graphnerd: "I'm saying that they are costumes that signify a particular chosen subculture, and lacking any self-awareness about them is what's annoying. "

"You think this is a fuckin' costume? This is a way of life." - Suicide, Return of the Living Dead
posted by brundlefly at 3:11 PM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


maybe you should try a skirt suit
posted by Greg Nog at 3:15 PM on September 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


I know I'm late to the party but

Look at THIS 'fucking Hitler' (nsfw)
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 3:23 PM on September 19, 2013


why oh why do kilt tailors refuse to cut you a matching blazer from the same tartan
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:41 PM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


You know, I'd probably walk right past this guy on the High Line and not think anything of him. Of course he wanted attention. It's how he got paid by people for his stories. Nothing's wrong with wanting attention. Everyone has a choice as to where they focus that attention, so I'm wondering at all the people angry with this guy in particular. He's not really impinging on anyone's personal freedom, you know? It does say more about his haters, I think. It takes a lot to gobsmack me these days, though, since artsy folk of his ilk are like tap water in New York, and I just don't have time for every single person on the streets being artsy. Good luck and godspeed to 'em, it's tough out here to be a pimp.

When people I know IRL spout off about hipsters, it's usually in person by young people, and usually about gentrification, and that the things hipsters make and do aren't, yeah, macho enough, or that they're not for the benefit of all of society but for themselves and their "precious" friends, or how they treat cultures "not their own" like exhibits at a museum. I have proudly working-class teen and young adult relatives here in NYC who live in very working-class parts of Queens and Brooklyn, and I'm paraphrasing, but I've heard things like, "Why can't those fuckers buy Log Cabin syrup and Kraft cheese like everybody else? Oohh, I'm trying to stay away from chemicals! Like they silly asses ain't gonna die, anyway!" "Why they gotta try and act like they're better than other people? Man, fuck them and their Trader Joe's! Pretentious fuckers!" "Hahaha, I'd like to see them try to stick a Whole Paycheck up in HERE!" "They better not try to move out here!" "I hate it when I see some n&^#% on the L with a blow-out (Afro) and some high-waters trying to hang in Williamsburg. Bet you they call him n^%@# behind his back!" "Straight up, son!" and so on. So there's a lot to unpack, even off the internet.

They joke about me being a hipster, but I'm older, female and not pretentious about what I do and don't like, and I don't put them down for their tastes or force mine on them, so they're cool with me. I have no guilty pleasures. I am at the point in my life where I can't waste a lot of time being concerned about how people fulfill themselves. I'm not sure how I feel about gentrification, but that's another huge kettle of fish.

And, oh, yeah, "Fuck the bank." That's what hit me as I read down this thread. "Fuck the bank, man, fuck the bank!" It was ever thus.
posted by droplet at 3:46 PM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Great example of how badly the human race is messed up.
posted by freakazoid at 4:09 PM on September 19, 2013


I'd like to see a tumblr of people wearing things ironically which you'd swear there was no ironic way to wear. Like an Abercrombie and Fitch sweatshirt. Or for women, a tight tank with "bebe" spelled out on the chest in spangles.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:16 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


To me, the only thing that's really hipster now is making fun of "hipsters."
It's so far beyond meaningless.

I hope stories like this keep surfacing.
posted by cake vandal at 5:07 PM on September 19, 2013


Hey, good for this guy, I guess. Whatever. He makes a couple of bucks out of doing something he enjoys and is good at, it's a novel experience for the people who take part in it, it's an interesting thing in and of itself (what's so special about busking that it can only be musicians doing it?), and on top of that it's probably useful for his work in and of itself. I mean, this would make a great novel: dude sets his typewriter up in the park, charges for stories, and over time there are a few familiar faces and he falls in love with one, another reminds him of some guy who gave him a hard time, another is a lonely old lady, etc, and so as his stories reflect what he predicts their desires to be, his own desires begin to infect them, and the stories become reality or whatever. Good story. I'd read it. I would call it: THE TYPEWRITERIST ON THE GREEN BENCH and it would win the Man Booker, and in the interviews I'd be all like, yeah, art can change the world - YOUR WORLD.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:17 PM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Now I'm starting to wonder whether this guy was just some poor freelance mixmaster, selling his freshly-mixed beats for rent money on the mean streets of Brooklyn.
posted by dephlogisticated at 6:52 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


As it happened, someone came along and took my photograph while I was wearing my boater and striped t-shirt at the beach. I have received no internet vitriol so far.
posted by usonian


Good god, usonian! Are you so desperate for internet vitriol that you selfishly post your picture here interrupting our discussion? Well, we can give you all the attention and vitriol you want, just wait.


Or maybe we'll give you attention and invite you for a beer, and we'll all think you're totes adorb.

Except for the fact that you don't, you know, have any glasses.
posted by BlueHorse at 6:56 PM on September 19, 2013


From the other side of the 'gender policing' issue, I think I just found one of the reasons why I find the 'hipster' style a bit cringey -- I'm a transmasculine genderqueer sort of person and got a lot of gender policing and other boundary violations related to personal appearance when I was a kid (that continue in diminished form to the present day, but whatever). So when I see a guy in what looks to my eye like ill-fitting women's fashion from the early '90s or so, the associations for me are a bit less "fun and retro" and a bit more "oh god those scoop neck t-shirts that my mother fell in love with and forced me to wear".

But I also FOR SOME REASON have probably a stronger cringey sort of reaction to catty and judgmental commentary on how other people should be wearing things that I like instead of things that they like.
posted by sparktinker at 7:15 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I do not give a shit about hipster stuff. But what's disturbing about this piece is the level of hate this dude got. Honestly, is he hurting anyone? So he looks nerdy and uses old tech to write. This deserved Reddit hate and a bitchrant from his ex (and really, dude should have known better and objected to a piece at xojane)? For fuck's sake, there are worse things you could do.

You know what this is all about? It's that humans are fucking evil. Bondcliff posted a picture OF A WORKBENCH and got hate for it. If you're on the Internet and more than one person finds out you exist, here come the haters. For ANYTHING. Hell, even if you're posting nothing but cute cats or hamsters. The whole thing boils down to, "How DARE you exist. How fucking dare you. I know you exist now and I want you to burn in hell for it." Or as another thread from a few days ago pointed out, "why don't you just kill yourself?"

Humans suck and we deserve an apocalypse to destroy us all if we all act like this about anything and everybody. Good god, people.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:35 PM on September 19, 2013 [8 favorites]



I'm 37. I sit in a cubicle most days. I have two little kids. I live in suburbia.

I've come around to be less deriding of the "hipsters." The source of scorn that a lot of dudes like me feel is that they just seem to be trying *so* hard to be *so* different. We don't get to be different. No red capri pants. No skinny shirts. No glasses with no lenses. No popped collars on our Polos. No leather jackets full of safety pins. No parachute pants. None of these are allowed in corporate office culture, nor I imagine have been ever when they were in vogue.

So you people go ahead and wear whatever you want. I'm going to sit here in my khakis, and dream of the days when I could wear something just to stand out. Enjoy yourselves. Seriously. Some day you might get stuck in this cubicle just like mine. And your hypercolor shirt will sit in a box in the garage from then on and not in an actual drawer.


I'm 35 and reading that I feel a million billion years younger than you. And I (really) don't even mean that as snark, it's just that "I'm X age" doesn't mean people live a certain way or need to. Especially your 30s are all over the place, I've found.
posted by sweetkid at 8:07 PM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Humans suck and we deserve an apocalypse to destroy us all

i'm so excited for the apocalypse you have no idea
posted by elizardbits at 8:10 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Personally, I'm just worried about reduced access to pizza in the event.
posted by invitapriore at 8:20 PM on September 19, 2013


Personally, I'm just worried about reduced access to medication that I require in the event.

(I do love post-apocalyptic aesthetics. It's a bit of an uncomfortable love sometimes.)

But really, I think it's more that people are suffering than that people are evil, sometimes. I mean, what does it say, when we say about a person something akin to "ooo, look at the big shot who gets to wear pants AND gets to pick what sort of pants he wears, thinks he's too good to hold a paper bag in front of his junk like the rest of us, does he?" It tells me, at least, that there are a lot of people out there without pants, and I think that the desire to have pants of one's choosing is simple and reasonable enough that most people should be able to have it.
posted by sparktinker at 8:28 PM on September 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


Uther Bentrazor: "I know I'm late to the party but

Look at THIS 'fucking Hitler' Hitler fucking (nsfw)
"

FTFY.
posted by Samizdata at 9:06 PM on September 19, 2013


turbid dahlia: "Hey, good for this guy, I guess. Whatever. He makes a couple of bucks out of doing something he enjoys and is good at, it's a novel experience for the people who take part in it, it's an interesting thing in and of itself (what's so special about busking that it can only be musicians doing it?), and on top of that it's probably useful for his work in and of itself. I mean, this would make a great novel: dude sets his typewriter up in the park, charges for stories, and over time there are a few familiar faces and he falls in love with one, another reminds him of some guy who gave him a hard time, another is a lonely old lady, etc, and so as his stories reflect what he predicts their desires to be, his own desires begin to infect them, and the stories become reality or whatever. Good story. I'd read it. I would call it: THE TYPEWRITERIST ON THE GREEN BENCH and it would win the Man Booker, and in the interviews I'd be all like, yeah, art can change the world - YOUR WORLD."

Nice pun. I got no dog in this race, other than I might be a guy to bring him a cold drink on a hot day or something.

Amd I would get a free autographed copy right?
posted by Samizdata at 9:09 PM on September 19, 2013


I like men who wear glasses, artisanal honey, typewriters, letterpress, and record players.

Wow, that's quite a look, though probably quite cumbersome. Presumably they use the honey to stick the other items on.
posted by Grangousier at 11:34 PM on September 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


I have a hand-typed poem-while-you-wait stuck on my fridge. A poet in Eureka typed it up for me while I waited. It was about fresh peas and springtime and marriage, because I was eating fresh peas in springtime and I was in town because my friends were getting married. It was nice. I remember that day whenever I look at it, that brown little stub of register-receipt paper with its uneven typescript.

I have two typewriters. I took one to a nightclub once, bungee-corded on to the back of my motorcycle, and typed up improvised one-page short stories for anyone who asked what I was doing. It was fun. Maybe that makes me a hipster. I don't care. I've been a goth, a raver, a burner, a nerd, I can be a hipster too. Fuck 'em if they can't take it. Life is here to be enjoyed.

Also, all clothing is costume. The goths know this.
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:59 PM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, a manual typewriter is just a really nifty and satisfying machine. Anyone who thinks someone would only use one to look pretentious and quirky has probably never tried using one. They aren't practical compared to a laptop, and definitely frustrating if you're trying to get something done correctly in a hurry, but for this kind of thing, I think it would be a whole lot more fun than using a computer or writing longhand.

So they're like the cassette tape of writing instruments?
posted by acb at 3:03 AM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


More like the reel to reel of writing instruments.
posted by tilde at 5:08 AM on September 20, 2013


Writing on a typewriter is different than writing on a computer. It's also different than writing by hand, or than scratching cuneiform into soft clay. All of these are forms of mediation which change and affect the creative process, just like how painting is different than drawing is different than zen calligraphy.

I own a mechanical typewriter, and sometimes write on it because it's a different discipline than writing on my laptop -- more of the work has to happen prior to striking keys. Writing has immediate consequences and cannot easily be changed.

Are there people who use one because they like the image? I'm sure there are -- just like there are people who use a MacBook because they like the image, and people who use one because it's the right tool for the job, and people that use one because the software they need is Mac-only.

He could bring a portable supercomputer (i.e., a laptop) to the park, and a printer (and a car battery + power inverter to run the printer). Or he could bring a typewriter. Seems like the right tool for the job, in his case.
posted by gauche at 6:25 AM on September 20, 2013


why oh why do kilt tailors refuse to cut you a matching blazer from the same tartan
These guys (or any competent/well-connected kilt maker, really) will hook you up. Over the top? You bet. But damn, in a weathered colorway Alan Cumming makes it look gooooood.
posted by usonian at 12:29 PM on September 20, 2013


So shit, I'm 30 seconds into my troll the innnerwebs idea: Miley Cyrus+twerking=hipster.

She's got everything that marks hipsters as worth complaining about: A shallow, appropriative relationship to the underlying culture whose signifiers she's adopted; a blinding amount of privilege, primarily economic; a dumb haircut. What she doesn't have, not really, is the idea of being counter-culture. Miley Cyrus is mainstream culture, she's our apotheosis of pop.

But hipsters are the dominant media representation of "cool" anymore. Like, there are probably more bros in khakis, but they're not having NYT style pieces written about them; their TV show is King of Queens, etc.

This could be a fun way to get to the bottom of complaints about hipsters by looking at someone who's not really, but who many of the same criticisms apply to.
posted by klangklangston at 12:36 PM on September 20, 2013


klang, I don't understand that comment at all. Miley isn't a hipster, bros aren't hipsters, and hipsters never were the dominant media representation of cool.

I'm not saying that's what you're saying, I'm saying I can't understand what you're saying.
posted by sweetkid at 12:41 PM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've always felt like the tension arises because hipsters aren't artists. At their best, they can be artisans or craftsmen. But real artists are never hipsters, as artists create whereas hipsters seem best at consuming. Consuming can certainly be creative, like a form of personal curation, but the hipster presents his consumption as an art form, which it is not, and thus become annoying rather than interesting. While the artist may be surrounded by hipsters, the artist is not a hipster regardless of his clothing choices or musical tastes because ultimately the artists intention is to create and not consume.
posted by cell divide at 1:09 PM on September 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


No, Miley isn't a hipster. However, I do think that hipsters are the dominant fashion now for "cool." The difference between Miley and hipster can help give edges to what's otherwise a vague, overbroad description.

Bros also aren't hipsters; there are many more bros than hipsters, yet hipsters are cooler than bros.
posted by klangklangston at 1:10 PM on September 20, 2013


It's like you're writing one of those LSAT logic games puzzles. But who ate the pizza for lunch, and who sat next to Sally?
posted by sweetkid at 1:49 PM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't know, shouldn't good cultural analysis involve logical thinking? That we can interrogate a definition by mapping out which parts of it are essential seems pretty reasonable to me.
posted by invitapriore at 4:55 PM on September 20, 2013


I was just teasing yes logical thinking is fine.
posted by sweetkid at 6:48 PM on September 20, 2013


Sorry this thread has my earnesty meter fluctuating like those machines on Ghost Hunters.
posted by invitapriore at 7:02 PM on September 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Miley Cyrus + twerking = maniac succubus nightmare girl
posted by jamjam at 7:57 PM on September 20, 2013


I'm embarassed to say that now I kinda want a street writer to do a flash piece about me as a heroine of an adventure. I think his busking idea is totally awesome.

I never got hipsters as a concept and rarely saw any before I started having to do with the young advertising creatives scene. I saw men accept awards wearing lumberjack shirts and furry hats. One was wearing what looked like my grandma's fur jacket, with a bare chest underneath.
All had odd glasses and haircuts.

I still don't know what to think of it except that it's clearly fashion of some kind, which, by nature, is kind of silly. But really, who cares.

And yeah, they did seem to be churning out empty, cocky phrases but I attribute that more to advertising than anything else.
posted by Omnomnom at 1:54 PM on September 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


codswallop: "I like to listen to Meat Loaf while eating Meatloaf."

Holy crap. That right there is living the dream.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:21 AM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


I prefer to eat a cheeseburger and drink a beer while listening to vegan straightedge hardcore.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:49 PM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


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