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C'mon People Now, Shine on Your Hipster
October 31, 2003 2:00 PM   Subscribe

C'mon People Now, Shine on Your Hipster • "A new and disturbing trend has sprung up as of late in our great city (NYC): beating up hipsters for sport. Sucker punching Williamsburg trendsters is the new Whack-A-Mole. It's cow-tipping for urbanites. It's blowing up mailboxes, but with less angst and more anger." (more inside)
posted by dhoyt (44 comments total)

 
Note: the author does not, in fact, advocate real violence. Like many people, she feels some schadenfreude that the Williamsburg-Brooklyn backlash has kicked into high gear. More comments on the subject over at Craigslist, here, here, here and here.
posted by dhoyt at 2:04 PM on October 31, 2003


Any chance of illuminating for those of us outside the NYC area just exactly what a hipster is, the relevance of Williamsburg, and its proximity to Brooklyn?
posted by mischief at 2:09 PM on October 31, 2003


Moreover, why we should care?
posted by keswick at 2:09 PM on October 31, 2003


mischief: Here you go.

keswick: Move along, if you don't care. Do you stand in a bookstore and yell at every book you don't want to read?
posted by jon_kill at 2:11 PM on October 31, 2003


^Thank you for both comments, jon_kill ;)
posted by dhoyt at 2:13 PM on October 31, 2003


this is funny (but messed up). so many people really were displaced and priced out of the neighborhood they grew up in, so i'm surprised this didn't happen sooner....it differs from previous gentrification here because unlike industrial/manufacturing areas like soho and dumbo, williamsburg had people in most of it already, except in certain areas. People who move to gentrifying neighborhoods need to realize that they're not theme parks (unlike the new times sq.), and learn how to protect themselves (duh!).

mischief, williamsburg is in brooklyn, and was working class/lower middle/hispanic/hasidic/polish/etc before becoming the place people priced out of the east village started moving to in the early-mid 90s and continuing today. (it might be comparable to what happened in mission in sf, but not soma)
posted by amberglow at 2:20 PM on October 31, 2003


Do you stand in a bookstore and yell at every book you don't want to read?

Sounds like you just shined a metahipster there jon_kill. Now I am off to Chapters to yell at books...
posted by srboisvert at 2:22 PM on October 31, 2003


Well now those emo kids might actually have something to sob about...
posted by sinical at 2:23 PM on October 31, 2003


Real hipsters can fight, and would never wear pumas.
posted by the fire you left me at 2:24 PM on October 31, 2003


Apparently plenty wear Pumas.
posted by dhoyt at 2:28 PM on October 31, 2003


I get the feeling this has little to do with "hipsters" or gentrification, it's about people who never evolved past highschool.

"Hey! I don't like that guy's hat! Get him!"

I also have to comment on the way this is framed: It is now hip to beat up hip people. Ah, the hipster in me wants to call that irony, but irony is sooo 1999.
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:32 PM on October 31, 2003


yeah, old news. that lame anti-hipster site has been around for a year.

it ruffled my feathers a bit, but then i realized that it's just more of the hate speech that's all over the Web. the anti-hipsters will get bored beating up people outside of urban outfitters and eventually and go back to their TV.

on preview: what tfylm said. i'm not sure how "hipster" evolved into "trendy pop-culture consumer junkies." when i think hipster, i think bohemian intellectual.

hipster bingo is lame too, unless everyone from the '70s was a hipster. i don't think so.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:34 PM on October 31, 2003


btw, the Tenderloin is definitely *not* the "worst" area of San Francisco. there are a lot of SRO hotels, but it's also a great conglomeration of people of different color and backgrounds. it's also a great place to get vietnamese food.

it's mostly poor, yes, but i've never felt *really* threatened (shaken down a few times). Bayview (parts of it, especially at night) is a different story.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:39 PM on October 31, 2003


Perhaps there is something to the philosophy of bopping somebody in the nose over cumulative anger at their utter, complete materialism and plastic-ness. Something on the order of "...and this one is for", but for things like:

men who use styling gel.
people who pay $250 for $10 sunglasses
and wear them at night.
wear leopardskin and anything neon pastel.
pine for the return of disco.
posted by kablam at 2:43 PM on October 31, 2003


kablam, how else are you supposed to keep track of the visions in your eyes?
posted by the aloha at 2:50 PM on October 31, 2003


Over the last few years Williamsburg hipster chic has run to blue collar and white trash clothing styles (trucker caps, camouflage jackets etc.) This may be especially annoying, and certainly doesn't make your average pale designer look any tougher to your average drunk jarhead. [/stereotyping]
posted by liam at 2:55 PM on October 31, 2003


Thanks for the links and info. So basically, hipsters are white non-natives of NYC?
posted by mischief at 3:28 PM on October 31, 2003


Hipsters are basically yuppies who carefully conspicuously consume as to appear that they are part of some sort of counterculture. We have them in Los Angeles, too. And yes, they are largely white.

As liam said, they have unfortunately adopted a fetish for "white trash" style, wearing trucker caps and drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. Given that hipsters almost always come from upper-middle class backgrounds, this becomes a sort of lifestyle slumming. Everytime I see one, that "Common People" song by Blur sparks up in my mind.
posted by 4easypayments at 3:53 PM on October 31, 2003


kerouac wore khakis

BAR.
posted by Satapher at 3:54 PM on October 31, 2003


Real hipsters can fight, and would never wear pumas.

I'm not sure, but I think the fire you left me is refering to an older meaning of the word, which was a lot further from "fashionable brat" than today's NYC meaning. It's an old term, hearkening at least as far back as the Beats, and they probably stole it from some downtrodden minority group themselves.
posted by scarabic at 4:10 PM on October 31, 2003


"Common People" is by Pulp. Just thought I'd say. Link may have pop-ups, I wouldn't know, I use Opera.
posted by Jimbob at 4:17 PM on October 31, 2003


that "Common People" song by Blur sparks up in my mind...

Clearly, 4easypayments is not that hip him/herself... otherwise, good call!
posted by dash_slot- at 4:18 PM on October 31, 2003


Jinx!!
posted by dash_slot- at 4:18 PM on October 31, 2003


So basically, hipsters are white non-natives of NYC?
pretty much, but there are tons of non-natives here anyway. (us natives have pretty much found our tribes by the time we move into our own apts.)
posted by amberglow at 4:29 PM on October 31, 2003


I know that in the 1920s-1930s 'hipster' was a word describing Black club-goers who got dressed up and went to jazz and swing clubs. Somehow the word itself stuck around, but the concept evolved(?) into what it represents now--the personification of insecurity, brattiness and bizarre sense of entitlement.
posted by dhoyt at 4:50 PM on October 31, 2003


"Common People" is by Pulp

*hangs head, surrenders hipster badge*
posted by 4easypayments at 4:58 PM on October 31, 2003


My friends in college took on all of the raiments of the NYC "hipster," but that was almost 5 years ago and I always thought they were merely leftovers from "grunge." Oh well.

And that hipstersareannoying.com Web site says going to grad school is bad? How can I take anything she says seriously?
posted by rschram at 5:56 PM on October 31, 2003


hipsters are so *core*, man. So fucking *core.*
posted by n9 at 5:56 PM on October 31, 2003


Another randon thought. I read an article in the NYT about an scrawny, bedraggled, aspiring rock star from Florida, who was according to the author, a "master of the $2 expenditure" (meaning $2 beer, thirft store t-shirt, pasta with egg on top, etc.) That got a big laugh out of me. So my question is reading the New York Times a hipster trait?
posted by rschram at 6:01 PM on October 31, 2003


to any trust fund hipster poseur in Williamsburg who thinks he or she has street cred - get over yourselves... Take it from a white boy who spent a year in the Tenderloin of San Francisco - you have *no* idea what a "bad" neighborhood is... I got out of the 'Loin...

Loser.
posted by eddydamascene at 6:21 PM on October 31, 2003


So basically, hipsters are white non-natives of NYC?

Is anyone a native of NYC? Maybe that guido who was standing behind me at the parade tonight, shouting "Nerds!" at the people dressed like Star Wars characters. I thought they were all raised in Jersey....

Hipsters are basically yuppies who carefully conspicuously consume as to appear that they are part of some sort of counterculture.

I don't see hipsters as yuppies -- that is, not young urban professionals, like attorneys or bankers. Rather, from my experience, they tend to be artistic types -- students, and the chronically underemployed scenesters. Anyway, I'd rather hang out with some slacker in a trucker hat who likes new bands than dipshit attorneys who tend to know next to nothing about pop culture. (Disclaimer: I am a dipshit attorney.)
posted by subgenius at 8:10 PM on October 31, 2003


I wonder if this article would have received the same cheerful responses if the author exhibited schadenfreude vis-a-vis violence against another group that make alternative lifestyle choices - openly gay people, for example.
posted by spazzm at 8:18 PM on October 31, 2003


The hipsters in the Hollywood electroclash clubs are funny. Maybe because I'm old. Or something.
posted by starscream at 8:21 PM on October 31, 2003


what the fuck do you expect to happen, when you take a poor working class neighborhood, force all the poor people out with insane rent increases

You mean like what happened on the entire island of Manhattan? You mean like what happened in Boston? You mean like what happened in... you get the idea. Gentrification is an old word; it's been going on long before Williamsburg. At least W'burg still has a sizeable Hasidic community south of S. 5th st., and a large Polish community north of 7th. As for the 'Loin -- head a few blocks east of W'burg to Bed Stuy, and tell me if you think you're still a tough guy.

If you've got beef with the high rents, start targeting the landlords who price out their poorer occupants for an extra hundred a month. Those motherfuckers are the ones who need the shit kicked out of them. Of course, in W'burg, most of the property owners are from the Hasidic community. Funny that they don't seem to mind much.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:35 PM on October 31, 2003


wait... does this mean it's square to be hip?
posted by sfenders at 8:53 PM on October 31, 2003


I think of "hipster" as a derogatory term for kinda rich kid poseurs who are maybe mildly doing something artistic or intellectual but only because they don't have to work, and they're bored, and hey why not. They don't take out massive loans or work part time to get through grad school, or to complete their novel, or whatever; instead they float along on their trust funds, copping the styles of underclasses, making ironic remarks, yadda yadda. But that's just my interpretation of the word - it never seems to have positive connotations.

The people who are really passionate about or somehow inherently committed to being artists or intellectuals I still think of as "bohemians" or just "artists or intellectuals" or "students" or maybe "downtowners" or something. But I wouldn't call them hipsters. That implies a kind of superficiality in my experience, greater concern for fashions, latest trends, hottest new clubs/restaurants, and general derision for those not up on the scene.
posted by mdn at 6:58 AM on November 1, 2003


It's not really a native vs. non-native thing. It's kind of aProbably, the most annoying thing about these dolts is that when the imitate styles they always do it wrong. But I still don't advocate violence. Unless it's people in Von Dutch trucker hats. Go ahead and shoot them. I mean if you're gonna pose, at least do it right.
posted by jonmc at 8:45 AM on November 1, 2003


the hipster scene in NYC is annoying and totally out of control. go walk around in b-berg and see how much you lose your hope in humanity. it really is a scene full of 20-25 year olds who don't work and talk shit about being artists. the hipster explosion happened in Washington DC when I was in college there and this is just more of the same. A bunch of dress-alike poseurs slumming it and looking down their noses at people who work for a living.

I was actually told that I could never make it as a "captial-A 'Artist' because I had bought in to the 'cosumer society'" because I have an office job by some hipster punk who was getting all his money from home. This is typical, not atypical. Thus the anger. It does make me angry to think about how I've been grinding away at 60-80 hour week programming gigs for the last 10 years to support my wife (in film school) and my daughter in New York City and to have the new self proclaimed owners of the NYC underground art scene tell me that kind of shit.

I'd punch that particular kid in the stomach as I walked by him any day of the week.
posted by n9 at 11:09 AM on November 1, 2003


I was actually told that I could never make it as a "captial-A 'Artist' because I had bought in to the 'cosumer society'" because I have an office job by some hipster punk who was getting all his money from home.

I remember this kid who worked part-time in the bookstore I used to work full-time in to pay for my shitty apartment. He was big into "underground" music and considered himself something of a radical. He once casually said that I had 'sold out' because I took a supervisory position. I told him that when he moved out of mommy's house, i'd take him seriously. He shut up, but he was always was more naive than just plain stupid.

My uncles grew up in Williamsburg/Greenpoint back in the 50's and 60's when it was still a fairly rough but pleasant and vibrant area. I lived breifly in one of their apartments on Havemeyer back in 1990. The neighborhood was still quiet and the 'hippest' place was a White Castle*. When I moved back to NYC, I went down for a visit and saw what these kids had done to the place. *shuddder* . One irony is that the rats and roaches don't realize that the rents have gone up and they've only gotten bigger. I'm glad I'm in Queens instead of Brooklyn, it's terminally unpretentious here.

The 'consumer society' part of that guys comment is a hoot, too. His hostility to people ultimately stems from the fact that he dosen't consider other peoples tastes in consumption to be equal to his own, but to admit that would shatter him.

* which is of course eternally hip as we all know
posted by jonmc at 11:33 AM on November 1, 2003


I'd punch that particular kid in the stomach as I walked by him any day of the week.

Then you'll be an Artist with a capital A! Huzzah!
posted by eddydamascene at 6:08 PM on November 1, 2003


Trucker caps? Cheap beer? Stupid t-shirts? Modest Mouse?
Sounds like a third of Athens, Georgia!
Two thirds if you include the guys.
;-P
posted by mischief at 9:08 PM on November 1, 2003


Distinction:

Taste is essentially the distaste of the taste of others. The hipsters thumbing their collective noses at the "mass" is the same as MeFi's thumbing its collective nose at the hipsters.
posted by Quartermass at 6:54 AM on November 2, 2003


just a correction, bushwick (my neighborhood) is east of b-burg, bed sty is east of park slope...
posted by goneill at 1:14 PM on November 2, 2003


>go walk around in b-berg and see how much you lose your hope in humanity.

It's funny, my mother and I went to b'berg last week for breakfast and she didn't even notice.
Do you think the irony of the post-ironic is lost on her, or does she just have a healther attitude about individualism?

Try it yourself, ask your parents (or older relatives) if they care about whether someone's trucker's hat is 'authentic'
or not and you are likely to get a blank stare, which is IMHO the right answer.
posted by milovoo at 11:48 AM on November 9, 2003


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