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The recession hits Williamsburg (Brooklyn) hipsters
June 8, 2009 10:20 AM   Subscribe

Parents can no longer support their hipster children's lifestyle. Oh, the humanity. I realize that schadenfreude is a particularly ignoble emotional response, but how am I expected to control myself after reading:

"...Luis Illades, an owner of the Urban Rustic Market and Cafe on North 12th Street, said he had seen a steady number of applicants, in their late 20s, who had never held paid jobs: They were interns at a modeling agency, for example, or worked at a college radio station. In some cases, applicants have stormed out of the market after hearing the job requirements.

“They say, ‘You want me to work eight hours?’ ...."”


[Yeah, yeah, I know. Schadenfreude is the entire point of the piece.]
posted by mojohand (238 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
The Midwest just got significantly cooler.
posted by LakesideOrion at 10:22 AM on June 8, 2009 [11 favorites]


Well, you know, if you lived without running water your whole life, and always farmed your own food on land that you rented, and you heard that in this economy people in the US had to give up their homes and move into rentals and take menial jobs and wasn't-it-so-horrible, you probably wouldn't have much sympathy, either. It's all relative (until you can't eat.)
posted by davejay at 10:22 AM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


umm. uh.

okay.
posted by jbickers at 10:23 AM on June 8, 2009


BAHAHAHAHAHA

As a college student who is a science major and probably therefore puts in more hours of studying than two of these dipwads combined and has in fact held a paid job, I say 'Too fucking bad, ninnies.'
posted by kldickson at 10:24 AM on June 8, 2009 [5 favorites]


Mr. Weinstein has been advising two brothers in their late 20s who wanted to buy a $700,000 apartment with $250,000 from their parents. But their parents’ investment portfolio has lost so much value that they now can give only $50,000. Since the brothers make about $45,000 a year each, they are now shopping for a $500,000 apartment.

He is giving bad advice.
posted by absalom at 10:26 AM on June 8, 2009 [45 favorites]


I am old and tire of hearing about lazy 20-somethings and their parents with money to burn. My gall bladder to too old to bother working up the bile for it.
posted by GuyZero at 10:26 AM on June 8, 2009 [6 favorites]


I applaud the poster's courage in tackling the contentious but important issue of hipsters-suck-amirite.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:27 AM on June 8, 2009 [42 favorites]


Give into the schadenfreude. It's fun. It's almost like crack.
posted by kldickson at 10:28 AM on June 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


jesus that's a pretty thin frickin article.
posted by spicynuts at 10:28 AM on June 8, 2009


So if they are poorer I guess they'll have to downgrade to a bike with more features.
posted by DU at 10:29 AM on June 8, 2009 [82 favorites]


Also, I am going to go to Brooklyn someday to see what the fuck the big deal is. Is there a there there?
posted by GuyZero at 10:29 AM on June 8, 2009 [5 favorites]


Of course they can't support their hipster children's lifestyle.

Hipsters aren't real.
posted by espire at 10:29 AM on June 8, 2009


I know a lot of kids like this who go to College of the Atlantic. They do lots of cool stuff, but the problem is that they know it and are incredibly elitist. I would try to talk to them and they would just look down their noses because I was one of the unwashed proles.

Interestingly, most of the gutter punks I know are from very wealthy, dysfunctional families. I doubt they're getting $1500 checks from their parents, though.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:29 AM on June 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


I applaud the poster's courage in tackling the contentious but important issue of hipsters-suck-amirite.

Just wait until those hipsters find Jaysus.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:29 AM on June 8, 2009


He is giving bad advice.

Is he ever. Two guys earning a total of 90K a year should be looking at 300 grand, not 500 grand.
posted by JaredSeth at 10:30 AM on June 8, 2009


Sigh. I'm sick of hearing about hipsters and how terrible they are. I like hipsters just fine.

Plenty of people who aren't hipsters are/were getting support from their parents. Hipsters are just an easy target.
posted by josher71 at 10:30 AM on June 8, 2009 [10 favorites]



Unless a "bad" post inspires you to either: 1) thoughtfully detail how it could have been good if done differently, or 2) call them out [which should be done in the grey], you really should just FIAMO. Any negative commentary falling between those two poles will neither improve the thread nor be effective policing.
- Joe Beese
posted by absalom at 10:30 AM on June 8, 2009 [18 favorites]


So if they are poorer I guess they'll have to downgrade to a bike with more features gears.

FTFY.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:30 AM on June 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Schadenfreude. Schadenfreude. I just thought we needed some more, you know, schadenfreude.
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 10:31 AM on June 8, 2009


Why did I know before even clicking the link that it would be an article from the New York Times?
posted by blucevalo at 10:31 AM on June 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


Yeah, the problem here isn't with the particularly-odious-youth-culture-of-the-moment, but with spoiled trust-kids. They're a problem that has haunted humanity since deep antiquity.
posted by absalom at 10:32 AM on June 8, 2009


I am old and tire of hearing about lazy 20-somethings and their parents with money to burn.

Did you just tell the people who are complaining about the kids on their lawn to get off your lawn?

MetaLawn: It's On
posted by DU at 10:33 AM on June 8, 2009 [41 favorites]


Waaaaait a minute. Isn't the Trustafarian more of the faux-hippy following Phish in mom's Lexus SUV type of rich person's useless child? Come on, Times, WHAT THE FUCK.
posted by The Straightener at 10:33 AM on June 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


And the thing is, a lot of people would call me a hipster. My parents make about 32 grand a year together and I can barely afford to keep my car running, much less legal. My last apartment was a place packed with Bulgarians and Romanians, rent $200 a month.

Income doesn't necessarily dictate your education, style, or music tastes.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:33 AM on June 8, 2009 [5 favorites]


>Why did I know before even clicking the link that it would be an article from the New York Times?

Because it was tagged NYT?
posted by mojohand at 10:33 AM on June 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


"He followed his passions, working in satellite radio and playing guitar."

Satellite radio is my passion, man.
posted by box at 10:33 AM on June 8, 2009 [13 favorites]


As a gainfully-employed young man on the L train, it looks like I'm about to move one stop closer to Manhattan! Ho-ho and fiddle-dee-dee!
posted by Greg Nog at 10:34 AM on June 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Parents can no longer support their hipster children's lifestyle

Heh. I think if you slip on the They Live shades that actually reads INITIATE HATE INFERNO.
posted by Artw at 10:34 AM on June 8, 2009 [19 favorites]


Why did I know before even clicking the link that it would be an article from the New York Times?

The status bar on your browser as you moused-over the link? Oh, wait, you're being snide.
posted by dammitjim at 10:35 AM on June 8, 2009


When he called renters who had missed payments, he often heard, “My parents will send you a check.”

I once had a housemate who tried to pull this on us, back when I was just out of college and working my first tech-type job. This kid had a cashier's check at the ready for his first/last, so he was cool for the first month. But when the next rent week came around, we asked for his check to put in the envelope and instead of writing a check, he pulled out a cellphone, hit speed dial, and said "Okay, talk to my dad."

Apparently this was his first away-from-home apartment experience.

He didn't last six months.
posted by Spatch at 10:35 AM on June 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


Mr. Weinstein has been advising two brothers in their late 20s who wanted to buy a $700,000 apartment with $250,000 from their parents. But their parents’ investment portfolio has lost so much value that they now can give only $50,000. Since the brothers make about $45,000 a year each, they are now shopping for a $500,000 apartment.

I had to chime in on this one too. A $450k mortage with a household income of 90k? Good plan guys! I'm sure their cost of living is really low though...
posted by diogenes at 10:35 AM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


MetaLawn: It's On

hmm... Plants Vs Hipsters could work.
posted by Artw at 10:36 AM on June 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Because it was tagged NYT?

Touché.
posted by blucevalo at 10:36 AM on June 8, 2009


Plenty of people who aren't hipsters are/were getting support from their parents. Hipsters are just an easy target.

This.

A more interesting article might have focused on all (or any of?) the publishing/broadcasting/non-profit interns or young associates who are losing the support from the Bank of Mom and Dad and can no longer swing the $25,000 starting salaries (or unpaid internships) on the island of Manhattan that were de facto the exlusive domain of folks who had an outside source of financial support.
posted by availablelight at 10:36 AM on June 8, 2009 [26 favorites]


JaredSeth: "He is giving bad advice.

Is he ever. Two guys earning a total of 90K a year should be looking at 300 grand, not 500 grand.
"

I've always heard and followed the rule of thumb that a mortgage shouldn't be more than 2.5 times your income which would only come to $225K.
posted by octothorpe at 10:37 AM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


absalom: "
Unless a "bad" post inspires you to either: 1) thoughtfully detail how it could have been good if done differently, or 2) call them out [which should be done in the grey], you really should just FIAMO. Any negative commentary falling between those two poles will neither improve the thread nor be effective policing.
- Joe Beese
"

Ah, what does he know? He's been called out in the grey any number of times.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:39 AM on June 8, 2009 [6 favorites]


Also, I am going to go to Brooklyn someday to see what the fuck the big deal is. Is there a there there?

Parts of it are really nice. Brooklyn Heights is a beautiful place to live. Cobble Hill is pretty good. Williamsburg, however, doesn't have much outside restaurants to recommend it, unless you are specifically interested in the scene.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:39 AM on June 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


He followed his passions, working in satellite radio and playing guitar.

That joker went to my alma mater. Whenever I get the college magazine in the mail, I have to immediately dropkick it into the trash before I'm tempted to read what my classmates are up to.
posted by diogenes at 10:40 AM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think this article can be summed up thusly: "Recession continues to affect housing market. Even in places where insufferable kids sometimes live." It's a puff piece, and certainly the Times is indulging its readers in some schadenfreude. Is there anything to get worked up about?
posted by dammitjim at 10:41 AM on June 8, 2009


I've always heard and followed the rule of thumb that a mortgage shouldn't be more than 2.5 times your income which would only come to $225K.

That rule of thumb went out the window with all the rest of them. Now 3x income is considered conservative.
posted by diogenes at 10:41 AM on June 8, 2009


What, no Schadenfreude tag?
posted by cjorgensen at 10:43 AM on June 8, 2009



A more interesting article might have focused on all (or any of?) the publishing/broadcasting/non-profit interns or young associates who are losing the support from the Bank of Mom and Dad and can no longer swing the $25,000 starting salaries (or unpaid internships) on the island of Manhattan that were de facto the exlusive domain of folks who had an outside source of financial support.


re: interns. it's always enlightening to reflect upon the fact that it really really helps, if you want to a career in mass media or national politics, if your parents can support you for a couple of years while you 'intern' i.e. do scut work for free while you network and build contacts.
posted by geos at 10:43 AM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Two guys earning a total of 90K a year should build a wikiup out of bike chains, Starbucks coffee sleeves, and ironic t-shirts.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:43 AM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the problem here isn't with the particularly-odious-youth-culture-of-the-moment, but with spoiled trust-kids.

These aren't trust fund kids. They're just lazy (they refuse to have real jobs because of their "art" or whatever so they are falling back on their parents' money).

Real trust fund kids have rich parents who are not affected by recession.
posted by Zambrano at 10:44 AM on June 8, 2009 [10 favorites]


I've always heard and followed the rule of thumb that a ticket to see the hit Broadway musical RENT shouldn't be more than 2.5 times your income which would only come to $225K.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:44 AM on June 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


schadenfreude

isn't that a hipster word?
posted by philip-random at 10:44 AM on June 8, 2009


I've always heard and followed the rule of thumb that $500,000. For an apartment. W T F N Y?!
posted by DU at 10:46 AM on June 8, 2009 [8 favorites]


I've always heard and followed the rule of thumb that: See my thumb? *smack!* Gee, you're dumb!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:48 AM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I saw Schadenfreude back when they were still doing basement noise shows.
posted by naju at 10:49 AM on June 8, 2009 [28 favorites]


Did you just tell the people who are complaining about the kids on their lawn to get off your lawn?

MetaLawn: It's On


Once you stop caring, the kids go stand on someone else's lawn. I'm making good on my Bodhisattva vows through pure, unadulterated laziness.

I didn't really take any vows, too much work
posted by GuyZero at 10:50 AM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Real trust fund kids have rich parents who are not affected by recession.

Like everything with hipsters, they're just wanna-bes.
posted by GuyZero at 10:50 AM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


That rule of thumb went out the window with all the rest of them. Now 3x income is considered conservative.

I've owned three house and never gone over 2x of my household income but I'm pretty cheap. The idea of paying payment on a $500K house would give me permanent insomnia.
posted by octothorpe at 10:51 AM on June 8, 2009


That joker went to my alma mater. Whenever I get the college magazine in the mail, I have to immediately dropkick it into the trash before I'm tempted to read what my classmates are up to.
Well, I work with one of your classmates out here is Los Angeles. He is a software architect and one the best people I've ever worked with.

But, he says he got diversity grants because he's Hawaiian (heh, well, at least he has darker skin than most of the people at Colby) and because he was math/comp sci major. He did mentioned that a lot of his fellow students had parents that paid the ~$40k tuition with cash and that they never had jobs in school. So I know what you are talking about.

So, I guess he doesn't fit the stereotype you mentioned. Perhaps he dropkicks his college magazine as well :-)
posted by sideshow at 10:52 AM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Anyone who regularly depends on their parents for financial support* is fairly pathetic regardless of their target market affiliation.

*Education-related expenses excepted.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:52 AM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


This hipster strawman is starting to remind me of the "anti-disco" movement of the 70s.

You can never pin down exactly what it is people hate about the subculture in question. You get a lot of vague non-answers, as if the hatred if so justified the reasons are completely self-evident.

At the end of the day, both movements come down to good-old-fashioned "how dare anyone express themselves in a way that stands out from the norm as I define it," with a little dollop of homophobia on top.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:59 AM on June 8, 2009 [27 favorites]


I'm still trying to figure out if the Times was attempting to draw sympathy from readers or doing more of a large scale point-and-snicker.

This does help me understand why segments this generation are in love with government handouts & control of everything, tho, as they have been living their whole life that way.
posted by hrbrmstr at 11:01 AM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


This does help me understand why segments this generation are in love with government handouts & control of everything, tho, as they have been living their whole life that way.

This thread just got a whooooole lot funnier.
posted by DU at 11:03 AM on June 8, 2009 [10 favorites]


At the end of the day, both movements come down to good-old-fashioned "how dare anyone express themselves in a way that stands out from the norm as I define it," with a little dollop of homophobia on top.

Anti-hipster scorn correlates with homophobia? I have no idea where that would come from. Are hipsters any gayer than the rest of their age group, controlling for geographic location?
posted by gurple at 11:04 AM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


"how dare anyone express themselves in a way that stands out from the norm as I define it," with a little dollop of homophobia on top

I don't hate hipsters so much as I find their collective behaviors silly and childish. If there's a little dollop of homophobia on top, color this queen surprised.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:04 AM on June 8, 2009 [5 favorites]


I think a lot of the hate can be summed up thusly: "WTF, why am I not in my early 20s/late 20s/30s anymore? THIS FUCKING SUCKS"
posted by Artw at 11:04 AM on June 8, 2009 [17 favorites]


Woo my rent's comin' down.
posted by grobstein at 11:04 AM on June 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


with a little dollop of homophobia on top.

You're doing it wrong!
posted by diogenes at 11:05 AM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Anyone who regularly depends on their parents for financial support* is fairly pathetic regardless of their target market affiliation.

*Except for whatever I mooched off of them
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:07 AM on June 8, 2009 [7 favorites]


I recently got into a minor argument with my parents because they want to support me when I'm in law school, and I feel guilty about it. In the end, the fact that my student loans (if I get the max I can) will give me about $2000 after tuition means that I have very few choices that don't involve their help (or credit card fraud). And after much argument, I got them to agree that every penny I receive from them will be paid back starting a few months after graduation.

And I STILL feel like a heel, because I know that they're retiring soon, and moving, and I dread the thought of not being able to make it by myself. What the fuck is wrong with these people that they can accept their parents' money without a second thought?

You're out of undergrad? Grow the hell up.
posted by Lemurrhea at 11:07 AM on June 8, 2009 [6 favorites]


Anyone who regularly depends on their parents for financial support* is fairly pathetic regardless of their target market affiliation.

I don't know about that. Multiple branches of my family got through the Great Depression by leveraging the extended family as an economic network. First and second cousins shared housing when industrial jobs picked up at the start of WWII. Of course the flip side of the coin was that extended family was the primary pension program until the New Deal.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:12 AM on June 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


A more interesting article might have focused on all (or any of?) the publishing/broadcasting/non-profit interns or young associates who are losing the support from the Bank of Mom and Dad and can no longer swing the $25,000 starting salaries (or unpaid internships) on the island of Manhattan that were de facto the exlusive domain of folks who had an outside source of financial support.

One of the better comments on the article in the NYT made a similar observation. A far more interesting article would have focused on the dependence of the NYC culture industry on parents who are willing to subsidize their children's unpaid or marginally paid internships at the New Yorker, Vogue, etc. and that while these prestigious positions-- which offer unmatched social capital if little formal compensation -- are competitive, they are hardly meritocratic.

I'll condense the comment I left on the NYT site by saying that the paper seems to be focusing an inordinate amount of its coverage of the recession's human cost on privileged groups whose experiences are convenient targets for outrage, envy (and correspondingly, schadenfreude) but who are totally unrepresentative of how the bust is actually playing out in people's lives. It's a shoddy variation on the manufactured trend pieces I'm used to seeing in the paper's Style section. Aside from being shoddy reporting -- as noted above, even a piece on trustafarians could go much deeper -- it doesn't really help us understand how the recession is affecting American consumption practices, lifestyles, and social mores, and serves largely as an opportunity to vent misdirected spleen.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 11:13 AM on June 8, 2009 [25 favorites]


I'm confused at the hate. How many people here have parents who could (have) afford(ed) to pay their rent, but refused their parents' offer anyway? It's a consensual agreement - obviously the parents don't HAVE to fund their childrens' lifestyles since they are now pulling back. And how many early20somethings would refuse the offer? I don't understand hatred towards a group based on their parent's income. Fuck, I don't want to work 8 hours a day either, but I do it because I'm responsible for my living expenses. If someone handed me money out of the sky, I would take it. Haters, please explain why you wouldn't.
posted by desjardins at 11:14 AM on June 8, 2009 [11 favorites]


I know very clearly why I hate hipsters. They can afford the apartments that I can not afford, and even the ones I can afford, they get before me because as a recent immigrant I have no credit history. I hate them because I had to save to get my bike (a singlespeed, like the all the bikes I had when I was growing up), and my bottom bracket is creaking and my rear hub sounds like cat scratching a blackboard and I can not afford to replace them now, and these kids put like 10 miles a week on their bikes with $200 Phil Wood hubs and bottom brackets that cost more than my whole bike. I hate them because they have the time and means to do creative shit, and the last time I had free time and was not too tired to draw or paint or build something cool was like a hundred years ago. I hate them because the girls are attractive and the guys are thin, and I am not. I hate them because they have a lot more fun than I remember having at their age, and they seem to have built some kind of community where they live. I don't even know the names of my neighbors across the hall.

Basically, I hate them because they are younger, fitter and richer than I am.

If I had children and a shitload of money, and one of them claimed to want to be an artist, I'd give them the money, wouldn't you? No one complains when parents give money to their kids for a PhD in science or similar. What is the big difference?
posted by dirty lies at 11:14 AM on June 8, 2009 [36 favorites]


Luis Illades, an owner of the Urban Rustic Market and Cafe on North 12th Street, said he had seen a steady number of applicants, in their late 20s, who had never held paid jobs

I can't remember, is this article a series of syllogisms or just broad generalizations?
posted by KokuRyu at 11:14 AM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


>Anyone who regularly depends on their parents for financial support* is fairly pathetic regardless of their target market affiliation.
*Education-related expenses excepted.

>>*Except for whatever I mooched off of them


Do you really consider a post-secondary student receiving financial help from their parents to be the same as mooching? While I've never accepted my parents' offers - frankly, I can't hack the additional pressure of being an investment, even if that pressure is only coming from myself - I don't see any reason to begrudge people for getting assistance for something as practical as an education.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:16 AM on June 8, 2009


with a little dollop of homophobia on top.

I agree. I would not say that homophobia is a common root of all hipster-hatred. I would say that I have, more than once, heard so-called hipsters called fucking fags, and with serious malevolence.
posted by philip-random at 11:17 AM on June 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Haters, please explain why you wouldn't.

Oh, I'd take it.
posted by diogenes at 11:20 AM on June 8, 2009


Cry me a fucking river already. These kinds of articles evoke zero response from me except "So?".

I will do what I can for my child. She will also have to bust her ass, the same way I've busted mine, to get what she wants out of life. And it won't be a luxury condo, or at least, not on my dime.
posted by PuppyCat at 11:20 AM on June 8, 2009


If someone handed me money out of the sky, I would take it. Haters, please explain why you wouldn't.

I didn't earn it, and it would be embarrassing for me to accept assistance from my parents once it was no longer legally mandated.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:20 AM on June 8, 2009 [6 favorites]


I didn't earn it, and it would be embarrassing for me to accept assistance from my parents once it was no longer legally mandated.

Sounds kind of homophobic.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:21 AM on June 8, 2009 [9 favorites]


Get a job hipster.
posted by caddis at 11:22 AM on June 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


dirty lies tells the truth.
posted by snofoam at 11:22 AM on June 8, 2009


Sounds kind of homophobic.

Hey, some of my best friends go on man dates.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:23 AM on June 8, 2009


I mean, have man dates! Have!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:24 AM on June 8, 2009


Also, I am going to go to Brooklyn someday to see what the fuck the big deal is. Is there a there there?

There are two and a half million people in Brooklyn. That puts it ahead of a lot of entire states. Yes, there are dozens and dozens of theres there.

The whole Williamsburg Hipster thing isn't representative of the whole borough or even of the whole neighborhood — they're a few tiny fish in a very big pond who happen to be good at scoring publicity.
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:25 AM on June 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Soon, Obama will force his hipster mandates on all of us!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:26 AM on June 8, 2009


"WTF, why am I not in my early 20s/late 20s/30s anymore? THIS FUCKING SUCKS"

More like why the fuck did I work so hard at suck shit jobs in my 20's when I could have slacked off and done shit-all? I hate the cool kids now as I hated the cool kids back then. With a simmering resentment that's too lazy to boil over.

On the flip side when the gravy train pulled into my station as I neared 40 I was glad I had spent so much time out there getin' my ticket punched. (so to speak)
posted by GuyZero at 11:27 AM on June 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Anyone who regularly depends on their parents for financial support* is fairly pathetic regardless of their target market affiliation.

I wouldn't go that far. I got help from my parents and sisters on occasion both when I was in school and when I was going through a divorce. But now I've been able to help out my mom now that she's in a managed care facility. And I'm helping out my son while he's in college. I won't support him until he's thirty and he's working two jobs this summer but I don't have any problem helping him with housing and transportation while he's starting out his life.
posted by octothorpe at 11:28 AM on June 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


This is the ugly, sleazy side of the modelling industry

As opposed to…
posted by paisley henosis at 11:32 AM on June 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Totally can't relate to these folks. Dad bailed when I was 5, mom died when I was 12. Ah well, adversity breeds strength, the strongest swords are forged in the hottest fires, yada yada.
posted by jamstigator at 11:32 AM on June 8, 2009


Good point, octothorpe - I should have put another a daggered note in there acknowledging that sometimes bad shit just happens.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:35 AM on June 8, 2009


I'm an atheist and pretty darn liberal. I am pro-gay-rights, pro-choice, anti-drug-war, anti-racist, anti-sexist, obviously pro-science, rational, progressive, you name it. I still hate hipsters.

Why? Because I find them tedious, illogical, and rather presumptuous - some of them are all 'LOL FREE TIBET' and crap (for the record, I do support a free Tibet, but I think the way Free Tibet is going about it is all sorts of stupid), but I'd bet if you got up and debated with one of the little fuckers you could eviscerate them.

Also, science and even some humanities make far more of a contribution to societal progress than a piece of shit canvas.

I don't hate them because of any sort of envy. No. I hate them because they're stupid.
posted by kldickson at 11:37 AM on June 8, 2009 [9 favorites]


Also, I am going to go to Brooklyn someday to see what the fuck the big deal is. Is there a there there?

Brooklyn, Williamsburg, was really only 1990. A little bit of 1991 and some of 1989, but the heart of it, the real meat of it, was 1990. The rest of it's just merchandising.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:38 AM on June 8, 2009


I have a friend that is ungodly wealthy. Giant house paid for with the trust fund and everything. Trophy wife. Three kids. He claims to work as a project manager for his father's vanity company (Dad made nearly a billion many moons ago; now he dabbles in customized software for high-end rich guy toys). He's smart, witty, healthy (triathlons), has plenty of time to coach youth sports and generally fuck around.

Other than that, I don't think he's ever lifted anything heavier than money. He doesn't give a penny to charity.

He's thinking about getting a divorce now. Claims his life is empty and his wife is cold. What my friend really wants to do is travel and write and "be creative" and bang 19-year-olds.

I think William Gibson wrote that the very wealthy are not fully human, in that they no longer have shared experiences with the rest of us. I wonder what island-hopping in the Aegean is like. My friend has done that, and really, he can do that whenever he wants. You and I have fears that he just doesn't grok. He looks human. He really isn't.

I read articles like this and think the same thing. Some of these people just aren't human beings.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:39 AM on June 8, 2009 [46 favorites]


I'm responsible for my living expenses. If someone handed me money out of the sky, I would take it. Haters, please explain why you wouldn't.

Not a hater, but until I was in my mid-20s my parents, while they did not pay any of my regular living expenses, did do all my auto repair and maintenance, and had bought all my cars for me. To be fair, my dad was auto-savvy and he would find a low-mileage used car and then do all the bodywork and whatnot it needed to become fabulous for me, and he would change my oil and rotate my tires when I visited, but still. My parents also helped out with other things, like buying me a really nice set of cookware when I got my own apartment, and so on.

I stopped taking money help from my parents because they were not very good at giving no-strings-attached gifts; there was always this subtext of "we're doing this for you because you can't take care of yourself," which I internalized. When I think back to how freaked out I was at the prospect of having to either change my own oil or pay $14.99 to have it done, it's kind of funny. But I needed, for my own sake, to cut off the money train so I could be--and feel like--a grownup.

Now, twenty years later, I have a good relationship with my parents. This past year when my partner and I incurred some extraordinary expenses ($45,000 in legal fees associated with a custody dispute with our daughter's birthfather) my parents were very generous in their financial help, and I was able to accept it, and it felt very loving on both sides. But we needed some stretch of time for me to develop self-respect, and for them to develop respect for me as an adult.
posted by not that girl at 11:40 AM on June 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


“The real difference between the Rich and the Others is not just that ‘they have money,’ as Hemmingway noted, but that money is not a governing factor in their lives, as it is with people who work for a living. The truly rich are born free, like dolphins; they will never feel hungry, and their credit will never be questioned. Their daughters will be debutantes and their sons will go to prep schools, and if their cousins are junkies and lesbians, so what? The breeding of humans is still an imperfect art, even with all the advantages.” - Hunter S. Thompson, “Love on the Palm Beach Express: The Pulitzer Divorce Trial”
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:43 AM on June 8, 2009 [15 favorites]


paisley henosis: This is the ugly, sleazy side of the modelling industry

As opposed to…


Wrong thread!
posted by paisley henosis at 11:43 AM on June 8, 2009


If someone handed me money out of the sky, I would take it. Haters, please explain why you wouldn't.

The thing is, it's not random money falling from the sky that I wouldn't take, as I said above. Random money, sure, why not? But mooching off of my parents, in a situation where I could support myself (aka not in school, not injured and home, not temporarily laid off in the depression..), would have a direct relation to my own measure of self-worth - in that if I'm able and not willing to fend for myself, then I am less of a responsible human being than I could me.

Now, I admit that I have somewhat of British Empire-era notions of responsibility and personal respect, but that's the point. Being indebted to people that I respect greatly for no good reason is not something I'm comfortable with.

And beyond that, the greater question of random money: I'm aware that I, like most other people, would rather not work if I could avoid it. Obviously I'd rather be sitting on the porch, playing accordion, and going out drinking. But there's the difference between what I would rather be doing (which is constantly an "at the moment" type of decision, and what I would rather have done, which is more akin to 'what I have achieved'. And that second one is what makes random money, or trust funds, or my parents paying my way, unappealing to me. Because I don't want to run the risk of choosing to screw around rather than accomplish something, I'd honestly prefer not to have the choice. So I don't want money on a silver platter.

I say all of this with at least some awareness of the the blessings I've received growing up as I did and not needing to worry about paying for my schooling, or food, or etc. Still.
posted by Lemurrhea at 11:44 AM on June 8, 2009 [5 favorites]


I don't hate hipsters and I am not jealous of them. Am I doing something wrong?!
posted by milarepa at 11:44 AM on June 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


My name is languagehat...

...and I endorse this Schadenfreude.
posted by languagehat at 11:45 AM on June 8, 2009 [6 favorites]


Where's the LOLDeathOfOldMedia tag?
posted by Mister_A at 11:45 AM on June 8, 2009


espire: "Hipsters aren't real."

Trendy campfire horror stories
posted by JHarris at 11:49 AM on June 8, 2009 [5 favorites]


foxy_hedgehog: I'll condense the comment I left on the NYT site by saying that the paper seems to be focusing an inordinate amount of its coverage of the recession's human cost on privileged groups whose experiences are convenient targets for outrage, envy (and correspondingly, schadenfreude) but who are totally unrepresentative of how the bust is actually playing out in people's lives. It's a shoddy variation on the manufactured trend pieces I'm used to seeing in the paper's Style section.

I agree that this article is (and perhaps its trust-funded subjects are,) a waste of space.

However, the Times' online has an entire section on the Recession. It's an index to articles, audio interviews and slideshows from the Times and other sources, which show how various economic levels are being affected. They're covering yacht builders. But they've also published articles on concessions which labor unions are making in tough times, and showing how the recession is affecting some middle class families. There are articles on upscale boutiques. But others cover local and national businesses that cater to the majority, like Target.

Aside from being shoddy reporting -- as noted above, even a piece on trustafarians could go much deeper -- it doesn't really help us understand how the recession is affecting American consumption practices, lifestyles, and social mores, and serves largely as an opportunity to vent misdirected spleen.

I agree that this particular article isn't terribly constructive, and can name a few more like it. Like you, I'd like to see more overall economic trend pieces from them. But taken as a whole, I think their coverage has been decent. Certainly they're making a better effort than any of the other papers in this city, including the WSJ.
posted by zarq at 11:51 AM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


What dirty lies said, especially the part about being too tired from working hard to have time to be creative.

Also: I didn't earn it, and it would be embarrassing for me to accept assistance from my parents once it was no longer legally mandated.

My in-laws have bought us diapers weekly since my son was born. Is this assistance? Or a gift? Should I be embarrassed? It never occurred to me that I should be.

Where does the line between 'a generous gift' and 'assistance' fall?
posted by anastasiav at 11:52 AM on June 8, 2009


Worse is the impact of the recession on hipsters in Williamsburg, Virginia. Maintaining fashionably disheveled perukes and cutting-edge hoop skirts while living in expensive manor homes is impossible for the youths who work only as buskers and watercolor portraitists. Should their fathers' investments fail, what will become of them?
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 11:53 AM on June 8, 2009 [6 favorites]


Must be an East Coast thing. I always got the impression that Seattle hipsters mostly work for a living.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:56 AM on June 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


schadenfreude

isn't that a hipster word?
posted by philip-random


German, I think. But the two are easily confused.
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:58 AM on June 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


But taken as a whole, I think their coverage has been decent. Certainly they're making a better effort than any of the other papers in this city

Hey zarq, point well taken. I've read and enjoyed and learned from some of this coverage. I should have qualified my generalization a little bit more. The trouble is that articles like this one -- or that silly excerpted memoir by NYT reporter Edmund Andrews -- get an inordinate amount of attention, distorting readers' notions of what's actually happening and what the human cost of the recession actually looks like (I'm thinking of all the comments on the Andrews article along the lines of "HURF DURF why am I paying for his bailout !!1@111!!!).
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 12:00 PM on June 8, 2009


the "anti-disco" movement of the 70s ... came down to good-old-fashioned "how dare anyone express themselves in a way that stands out from the norm as I define it," with a little dollop of homophobia on top.

I know this is the conventional wisdom today, but I don't think it's right, as someone who was there. Hatred of the disco scene was focused on its conformity, preference for cocaine over "cooler" psychedelics and weed, ostentation, synthetic clothing (polyester was the fabric of choice), the (arguable) dumbing down of what had been vital funk (JB, Fundadelic) into thudding repetitive 4/4, and believe it or not the promiscuity of the scene.

The average rocker had never heard of Sylvester and had no idea that disco had roots in gay clubs. It exploded onto the scene with Saturday Night Fever -- decidely hetero -- and instantly took over every bowling alley and nightclub in the US. Besides, that rocker probably was into Queen, Bowie, Elton John and various glam bands who dominated rock then (and later, the Smiths). This one was, anyway.
posted by msalt at 12:01 PM on June 8, 2009 [5 favorites]


That dollup? I don't think it was homophobia.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:04 PM on June 8, 2009


That dollup? I don't think it was homophobia.

It just hit me. What you meant, I mean.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:06 PM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


What dirty lies said, especially the part about being too tired from working hard to have time to be creative.

I've found an inverse correlation between working hard and (non-work-related) creativity. And creativity hasn't won.
posted by acb at 12:07 PM on June 8, 2009


Do you really consider a post-secondary student receiving financial help from their parents to be the same as mooching?

Yes, unless the post-secondary student is under 18. Adults should have no need to take a single penny from other adults. That's part of what being an adult is.
posted by coolguymichael at 12:08 PM on June 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't hate hipsters and I am not jealous of them. Am I doing something wrong?!

Nobody look, but I think we've got a hipster in our midst!
posted by diogenes at 12:08 PM on June 8, 2009


Schadenfreude
posted by hippybear at 12:12 PM on June 8, 2009


Since the brothers make about $45,000 a year each, they are now shopping for a $500,000 apartment.

Man, what a financial catastrophe. My wife and I each make loads more than that and bought a real house for much less, in a market that has a lower daily cost of living. These people need to stop being justification for Limbaugh-esque sentiments.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:16 PM on June 8, 2009


The problem is their baby-boomer parents.

*waits for mass die-off*
posted by Sys Rq at 12:18 PM on June 8, 2009


Yes, unless the post-secondary student is under 18. Adults should have no need to take a single penny from other adults. That's part of what being an adult is.

So, then, approximately no one should go to expensive private colleges or get advanced degrees until they're several decades into a first career in something that doesn't require education beyond high school?

Doesn't sound particularly efficient to me.
posted by gurple at 12:18 PM on June 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


msalt: I know this is the conventional wisdom today, but I don't think it's right, as someone who was there. Hatred of the disco scene was focused on its conformity, preference for cocaine over "cooler" psychedelics and weed, ostentation, synthetic clothing (polyester was the fabric of choice), the (arguable) dumbing down of what had been vital funk (JB, Fundadelic) into thudding repetitive 4/4, and believe it or not the promiscuity of the scene.

Not only that, but then suddenly EVERYONE started taking on the trappings of disco. Rock and roll groups started putting that disco backbeat into their songs. How bad was it? Look at the cover to the Grateful Dead's 1980 Album Go To Heaven.

THIS was a huge factor why disco was hated. Rockers feared the "creep" it was enacting upon other music forms.
posted by hippybear at 12:24 PM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Adults should have no need to take a single penny from other adults. That's part of what being an adult is.

Sorry, but that rather smacks of Randian thinking. People can do well with assistance and second chances and end up returning much more to society at large because they were given help at crucial moments. That attitude of "screw 'em, let them fend for themselves" is something I've found to be a bit on the atavistic side of things.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:26 PM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I understand the schadenfreude. I really do.

But to pile on hate on these people you don't know - to call them not human and stupid?
How many of us can honestly say, given the exact same upbringing, culture, thoughts and attitudes, that we will turn out any different?

A few select of us probably will. You are wired differently.
You're blessed with a particular genetic code and thought process.

So?

The point is: we are all humans. We have come so far to start regressing to grouping people and laughing at their "inferiorities".

To quote Marcus Aurelius:
"Art thou angry with him whose armpits stink? art thou angry with him
whose mouth smells foul? What good will this anger do thee? He has such
a mouth, he has such armpits: it is necessary that such an emanation
must come from such things: but the man has reason, it will be said, and
he is able, if he takes pains, to discover wherein he offends; I wish
thee well of thy discovery. Well then, and thou hast reason: by thy
rational faculty stir up his rational faculty; show him his error,
admonish him. For if he listens, thou wilt cure him, and there is no
need of anger."
posted by 7life at 12:28 PM on June 8, 2009 [7 favorites]


Trying to care about these rich kid's problems.....

.....Trying....

Failed.

Sorry, I just can't care.

I lied, I didn't actually try to care.
posted by Malice at 12:29 PM on June 8, 2009


Adults should have no need to take a single penny from other adults. That's part of what being an adult is.

I know, right? That's exactly what I was telling this guy today. "I don't care if you have no legs," I told him, "because you probably sold them to pay for crack or something. I am not going to give you a quarter."
posted by Mister_A at 12:30 PM on June 8, 2009 [7 favorites]


Adults should have no need to take a single penny from other adults. That's part of what being an adult is.

This is pretty conservative stuff.
posted by Bookhouse at 12:33 PM on June 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


To be fair, by 1980 the Dead were sucking just fine without any help. If it wasn't disco it woulda been some other damn thing.
posted by nebulawindphone at 12:33 PM on June 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


7life, I see you are missing the point.
posted by kldickson at 12:34 PM on June 8, 2009


I met a boy called Frank Mills
On September twelfth right here
In front of the Waverly
But unfortunately
I lost his address

He was last seen with his friend,
A drummer, he resembles George Harrison of the Beatles
But he wears his hair
Tied in a small bow at the back

I love him but it embarrasses me
To walk down the street with him
He lives in Brooklyn somewhere
And wears this white crash helmet

He has gold chains on his leather jacket
And on the back is written the names
Mary
And Mom
And Hell's Angels

I would gratefully
Appreciate it if you see him tell him
I'm in the park with my girlfriend
And please

Tell him Angela and I
Don't want the two dollars back,
Just him!

posted by hermitosis at 12:36 PM on June 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


7life, I see you are missing the point.
posted by kldickson


That's nice. Just saying that doesn't mean anything though. Do you have a refutation or just more naked blather?
posted by Burhanistan at 12:36 PM on June 8, 2009


So, then, approximately no one should go to expensive private colleges or get advanced degrees until they're several decades into a first career in something that doesn't require education beyond high school?

Doesn't sound particularly efficient to me.


What you describe with horror... I smile about.
posted by symbollocks at 12:37 PM on June 8, 2009


My NYC hipster hatred comes from standing around in clubs watching them listen to my husband play, and not really digging or not digging it (either way, fine), but watching other kids to see if they were digging it...if it was ok to like it. Because they were such pitiful little sheep, overall. Just like non-hipsters. Except they thought they weren't sheep, because of the facial hair and the cool neighborhood and the edgy and the blahblah. I would have respected them more if they just hated what they were hearing and yelled obscenities.

And also because the rich-intern syndrome meant I could not get a decent-paying editorial job in NYC in publishing, unless I wanted to live with 10 roomies in a 2-bedroom for the next decade or so. So yeah, tasty tasty schadenfreude.

/bitter
posted by emjaybee at 12:37 PM on June 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


kldickson, with all due respect pray tell what I'm missing in this point:

No. I hate them because they're stupid.
posted by 7life at 12:37 PM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Adults should have no need to take a single penny from other adults.

Huh. So, uh, how do paychecks work, again?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:38 PM on June 8, 2009 [6 favorites]


Yeah, the hipster hate is pretty ridiculous. I find it funny, until I remember a few years ago when "emo" kids were being assaulted in Mexico, and I wonder what it would take to spark that kind of violence here.
posted by brevator at 12:40 PM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, you don't get paid in pennies*, silly Sys Rq. You are totally missing the point.



*Unless you are a hipster intern in the publising biz.
posted by Mister_A at 12:40 PM on June 8, 2009


I know, right? That's exactly what I was telling this guy today. "I don't care if you have no legs," I told him, "because you probably sold them to pay for crack or something. I am not going to give you a quarter."

I was sad because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet. I took his money because, hey! - He couldn't really run after me: He had no feet! So then I wasn't sad, anymore. I ran to the bus stop, but they wouldn't let me on because I was a quarter short. Then that no-foot SOB rolled up in a sweet electric wheelchair and shot me in the nuts with a tazer. Then I was sad again.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:41 PM on June 8, 2009 [6 favorites]


Okay, this is what i know now from reading this thread:

1. I would very much like Greg Nog to send me a message where he signs off "Hi Ho and Fiddle Dee Dee". Because that shit's funny.

2. Blazecock Pileon is a queen, or self-identifies as a queen, or is comfortable with queenly nomenclature. (mmmmm - nomenclature.)

3. It's not that I hate hipsters, at least not all of them. I don't know all of them. Maybe some I hate for the reasons stated in this piece, but you know what I really totally absolutely hate that is vaguely hipster-esque?

When someone who's kind of hipster-y uses that totally disaffected tone of voice, you know the one where they k-iiii-nd of s---ound like this, like Ira Glass only worse? Like nothing life-threatening or morally dubious or even vaguely squishy has ever happened to them?

I totally fucking hate that shit.

naptime...


posted by Lipstick Thespian at 12:44 PM on June 8, 2009 [5 favorites]


What you describe with horror... I smile about.

No, really, I don't get that... where do we get doctors and scientists and judges and whatnot, if everyone has to spend 20 years slinging hash in order to afford higher education?

The financially-dependent stage of the modern first-world professional human lasts into his or her 20s. That's just the way it is -- Doogie Howser was made up. The choices are massive debt and parental assistance. And massive debt is getting harder to come by.

A more egalitarian alternative is state-funded higher education, which makes a lot of sense and for which there are viable real-world models.
posted by gurple at 12:47 PM on June 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


Adults should have no need to take a single penny from other adults.

Um, what families do to help each other out for whatever reason is none of your fucking business. Kin is kin.
posted by brevator at 12:50 PM on June 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


No one complains when parents give money to their kids for a PhD in science or similar.

Lines like this pop up from time to time on Metafilter and I always do what I can to dispell misinformation. I have been in grad school in science for 7 years now--3 at a land grant school and 4 at a private school. I know people funded by NSF, NIH, EPA, DOE, and DOD, as well as additional money from state agencies, local governments, and private foundations. I have never once met anybody who's parents paid for them.
posted by hydropsyche at 12:52 PM on June 8, 2009 [5 favorites]


I realize that schadenfreude is a particularly ignoble emotional response, but how am I expected to control myself after reading: [more inside]

This must be the MeFi equivalent of the much-maligned "As always, theres [more inside]" from AskMe.

Can we please do away with this shit from now into eternity and erase this from our minds permanently? I really didn't need this today.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:53 PM on June 8, 2009


Randoms - Let's Get Rid Of New York
posted by wcfields at 12:54 PM on June 8, 2009


I wonder what it would take to spark that kind of violence here.

I'm not sure that pushing trust fund kids towards gainable employment is an act of violence.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:56 PM on June 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


"Hipsters are just our decade's version of satanic child abuse rituals - pop culture needs them so it invents them."

(thank you mojohand, I've been waiting for days to post that link and I knew that soon someone would post a hipster-bashing link on Mefi!)
posted by kanewai at 1:00 PM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Who really likes a group of people that pretty much self define themselves by how much they impress themselves? However, hate, well that seems a bit of a strong reaction, and group hate even more so. For those members of the group who are lazy shiftless gadabouts who suck off the parental teat rather than spoil their free time with anything so tedious as a job? Now you are getting closer to hate.
posted by caddis at 1:05 PM on June 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Blazecock "Queenly Nomenclature" Pileon - it might be for the people already working where they end up.

SCENE: Office interior, row of cubes.

A huge sigh is heard off-screen. Camera pans to follow the sound, now repeating every few seconds....

Camera stops on POV shot of a cube seen from top-down. The SIGH focuses the camera on:

HIPSTER: "Wait, no really, wait - we work in here?"

LIFER in CUBE ADJACENT: "No, precious. You do until you finish quarantine."

HIPSTER: "How long do I get to do that? When's it due?"

LIFER: "Oh (pause), you're supposed to fill out a Weekly Quarantine Report for the PM every evening before you sign out for the day."

HIPSTER: "How do I do that?"

LIFER: "Here, I'll show you (types in manager's e-mail address). Now, send the manager your Quarantine Status every day at 4:45pm. Be sure to check with me about that prior to sending."

HIPSTER: "Okay, dude -whatevs."
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 1:05 PM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


If someone handed me money out of the sky, I would take it. Haters, please explain why you wouldn't.

I'll bite: because taking money out of the sky makes it easy to live a lifestyle that cannot be maintained on your own, and when the money runs out you feel like a failure and have to reduce the quality of your lifestyle. A smart person would recognize this, and would elect to accept/refuse the money based on their short-term plans, ie "will this enable me to complete schooling that will in turn enable a greater salary and better lifestyle than this money represents in the short term?" or "will this enable me to get out from behind an eight-ball of my own making (or not) and get my life back on track?" -- that sort of thing. Of course, if the money doesn't fit that kind of criteria, you could still accept it and sock it away to earn money with it, rather than spending it. That's what a smart person does.

Not-as-smart people do this: they accept the money, they live as if that money was something they earned and are capable of continuing to earn, and eventually the bottom falls out. It's essentially setting yourself up to fail. You can be smart and do this as well, of course, if your optimism about your future earnings is somewhat irrational.

I say this as someone who's received much funding from my spouse's relatives, and who wanted to turn it down or sock it away and not spend it. Instead, we accepted it and lived a non-sustainable lifestyle for a while, and now that I'm trying to get our spending under control before it's all gone, there's much stress because neither of us wants to give up the best things that the money provided for us in the short term. We set ourselves up to fail, and now we're suffering for it. Had we merely put it away to earn cash in CDs or whatnot, we'd have been much better off.
posted by davejay at 1:05 PM on June 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm only midway through this thread, so please forgive me if someone has already said this, but there's nothing more entertaining that reading people extol the benefits of hard work.

Before 5pm.

On a Monday.

On the Internet.
posted by bonecrusher at 1:07 PM on June 8, 2009 [46 favorites]


No, really, I don't get that... where do we get doctors and scientists and judges and whatnot, if everyone has to spend 20 years slinging hash in order to afford higher education?

Well, first off, you deal with less of those kinds of people. Lawyers? Make law accesible and you eliminate a need for this particularly loathsome breed of career (or at least decrease the need).

Second, you make education cheaper. Because higher education right now is ridiculously expensive. When I'm 18 I shouldn't have to make (basically) a 10 year financial obligation.

Third, you use different models of education (besides schooling) like apprenticeships (why have these disappeared?).

Fourth, you have people going to college at a later age. Because kids aren't ready for it right out of high school. Kids shouldn't be shuffled off to college like it's a perfectly natural thing. It's not. They should have a choice. We (as a society) need to affirm that choice.

Fifth, we need to make it clear that not everyone needs to or wants to go to college and that's perfectly ok. Education does not have a monopoly on "things you can do to improve yourself".

Sixth, we make a distinction between education and school and encourage to take seriously learning that goes on outside the classroom.

And Seventh, what you said about state funded higher education.

And this isn't a complete list by any stretch of the mind.
posted by symbollocks at 1:08 PM on June 8, 2009 [5 favorites]


Oh yeah, and...

Eighth, we need to teach people how to frickin' live (from the ground up, without an education). Not just abstract subjects. That's important as shit.
posted by symbollocks at 1:11 PM on June 8, 2009


If I had children and a shitload of money, and one of them claimed to want to be an artist, I'd give them the money, wouldn't you? No one complains when parents give money to their kids for a PhD in science or similar. What is the big difference?

Kids in school are working hard, or at least working. These kids are hardly working. I know a lot of trust fund kids and most of them didn't just sit around on their butts. They put themselves and their money to work. Some did just ski.
posted by caddis at 1:12 PM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


We need a taxpayer-funded stimulus package for hipsters who can't afford their lifestyle.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:13 PM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


(and JHarris beat me in the end. damn)
posted by kanewai at 1:13 PM on June 8, 2009


Instead of Williamsburg hipsters, why don't they have Colonial Williamsburg hipsters? You know, the kind who wear powdered wigs, tricorne hats, and knee breeches along with their ironic T-shirts.
posted by jonp72 at 1:14 PM on June 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


I think the NY Times writes articles like this because they wish they lived in Williamsburg or to justify all the meals they eat at trendy Williamsburg eateries. This hipster thing is just so totally urban.... I'd like us to consider helping our hipster brethren and sistren and maybe we can all adopt hipster nannies [for ourselves, of coure] who can get us dressed and make delicious espresso for us and improve our musical tastes and read Gawker blogs to us from the office while we make candles and smudge sticks.

I mean yeah it's annoying that some people get a lot of money from their folks and this seems to keep them from understanding the value of money or how it applies to the lives of other people without some sort of finaincial cushion, but really anyone in the US who grew up with access to medical and dental care and food on the table [and I'm well aware that this doesn't mean "every MeFite"] has a sort of privilege that is hard won in other cultures and this just seems to be the more readable form of wretched excess that doesn't result in NYTimes hate mail.

Full disclosure: my folks paid for college. It was awesome and I am lucky. I could go to grad school and live out my rural librarian dream (well until MeFi came along...) without having to work in a truck stop to pay my rent and student loans. Hate away if you must, but most peoples' stories are complicated and I'm sure these people are no different if the media weren't so intent on spinning them one particular way.
posted by jessamyn at 1:17 PM on June 8, 2009 [9 favorites]


I wonder what island-hopping in the Aegean is like.

It's like Eurailing, but with ferries instead of trains.

Does it annoy me living in DC that the subsidized rents and trust funds of capitol hill interns makes it tough for me to afford an apartment? Darn right it does. I had to move out of downtown DC in order to pad my savings while keeping up with expenses, and other people should do the same.

But look, I don't want to defend people who get a blank check from their families to sit around and do nothing while they "pursue their art." I don't even look to kindly on these unpaid full-time internships, since by their nature they depend on attracting those who are getting subsidized by their families. But families are not a collection of individuals: they are a cohesive unit. If parents want to spend money helping their kids pursue a project, I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with that. There are 1000 ways you can mess that up and mess up the kid in the process (as with many things), but having your parents cover some post-graduate educational expenses or giving you something to get you on your feet isn't an inherently bad thing.

Needless to say though: this story is hilarious and pushes all of my schadenfreude buttons in a big way.

I know people funded by NSF, NIH, EPA, DOE, and DOD, as well as additional money from state agencies, local governments, and private foundations. I have never once met anybody who's parents paid for them.

Pay their tuition? No, of course not-- tuition is covered by RAs and TAs. I can name some people who've received some kind of financial help from their parents for non-tuition-related things, though. Like in this situation:
Me: How's your husband?

Grad student Friend: Actually, I just filed for divorce.

Me: Ouch. Where are you living these days?

Friend: I moved out and got a studio in [town].

Me: Wow. Is that expensive?

Friend: Well, my father's helping me out a bit during this big mess.

Me: Ah. That's what graduate school is all about: humiliation!
posted by deanc at 1:18 PM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


What is really pathetic is-I haven't got the slightest idea what a hipster is. They must not have them in the South or something.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:19 PM on June 8, 2009


I stopped taking money help from my parents because they were not very good at giving no-strings-attached gifts; there was always this subtext of "we're doing this for you because you can't take care of yourself," which I internalized. When I think back to how freaked out I was at the prospect of having to either change my own oil or pay $14.99 to have it done, it's kind of funny. But I needed, for my own sake, to cut off the money train so I could be--and feel like--a grownup.

This resonates. My father has three children, and at various times we've had back and forth about money; either "borrowing" money from him or fighting with him over costs or something else. In my 23rd year, I was sleeping on the couch while visiting (my room had long since been turned into something else) when I was woken by him screaming at me -- over a $15 phone charge from the previous month that I'd visited. I mean really screaming. I packed up, went to my apartment (that I was paying for) and didn't talk for a year and change. We re-connected as adults after that.

When any of the kids borrows from dad, he considers himself to have purchased the right to nose right into your financials, find where you're being wasteful, not doing taxes right, spending poorly, using credit poorly - and he fixes shit. He's a financial genius and get stuff done right, but you feel like you're 3 years old and walking around with your pants around your ankles while he fixes you up - so we borrow almost never.

The part in this thread where someone told other people how parents and children should interact can take a flying fucking leap.
posted by jscott at 1:23 PM on June 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think William Gibson wrote that the very wealthy are not fully human, in that they no longer have shared experiences with the rest of us.

People in sub-saharan Africa may say that we Americans are "not fully human" because we don't know what it's like to have children die from (curable!) diahhrea, walk for miles to get clean water, watch 6 out of every 100 of our neighbors die from AIDS, go hungry for days at a time, or die in a pointless civil war.

The sad fact is that where you're born and who you're born is completely random. There is no solace to be found in (relative) poverty, there are no comforting rationalizations to make.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:27 PM on June 8, 2009 [6 favorites]


If you're sitting at a table and you can't tell who the hipster is... its you.
posted by LakesideOrion at 1:32 PM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Adults should have no need to take a single penny from other adults.

I am an adult and sometimes I have to hit up other adults for bread to make it through the week. Sometimes these adults are my parents or relatives. Likewise, other adults will hit me up for some dough when they are broke and I happen to be flush. These transactions could be considered short term loans but sometimes they end up being outright gifts. Sometimes it's not money, it's services and goods we exchange. It can be awkward to depend on others occasionally to survive, but after a few decades you get over it. As my contemporaries and peers are all in the same boat, we certainly try to not bust each others ass over it. I believe this is called being poor.
posted by bonefish at 1:34 PM on June 8, 2009 [20 favorites]


Schadenfreude is Envy's green-eyed daughter.
posted by Cranberry at 1:35 PM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Where I live (Iowa City), all the hipsters have crappy jobs. There's kind of a cult of the crappy job. And living in a crappy house cum commune. Don't forget the crappy house cum commune. Then again, the crappy job pays for the crappy house cum commune, so who am I to judge?
posted by MarshallPoe at 1:39 PM on June 8, 2009


Do you really consider a post-secondary student receiving financial help from their parents to be the same as mooching?
-------------------------

Yes, unless the post-secondary student is under 18. Adults should have no need to take a single penny from other adults. That's part of what being an adult is.
-------------------------

Way to insult East Asian (among others) cultural attitudes toward family and education.

My parents supported me when I was starting out, so I would be able to support them when they're winding down. I will live with my parents a decade or so down the road, to take care of them when they need me. I will gladly live in the basement so they can enjoy the nicest room in the house I pay for, because my mother went fifteen years without buying a single piece of new clothing for herself to put my brothers and I through school.

I don't care what you arrange with your parents. I respect your view of adulthood as independence; kindly take it with you as you stay far, far away from me.
posted by fatehunter at 1:45 PM on June 8, 2009 [17 favorites]


People in sub-saharan Africa may say that we Americans are "not fully human" because...

And I'd actually agree with you there...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:50 PM on June 8, 2009


Why do I hate those who had these kinds of economic advantages?

When I was a kid, I, like everyone else in school with me, was told that if I worked hard, you will eventually succeed in your career. I was told that if I saved up my money, eventually I would someday be able to afford the things I wanted -- a house, good furniture, trips to see the world.

And I believed that. I especially believed it as someone who was planning on going into the arts -- I collected stories of stars who had slaved away in tiny roles for years, living on hot dogs, until their big break. They drove taxis, they waited tables, they did grunt work to pay the bills until the day their ship finally came in. They went tired and hungry, but they worked hard, and their hard work is what let them make it.

And I graduated college with that mindset, and started going to work, looking for grunt work. It was what I was told, after all -- work hard and pay your dues, and then you get the reward.

However, finding the kind of work I wanted to do wasn't easy. A lot of the "jobs" in fields I wanted to go into were just internships and didn't pay anything. I couldn't do them and do the job that paid. So I had to settle for getting the job that paid the bills first and then fitting my art around that. But, hey, that's what Marilyn Monroe did, after all, I'd been told. I went tired, I went hungry, but I was paying my dues like I was supposed to. those were the rules.

Except alongside me were other people who could take those internships I'd wanted, because they were having their rent covered by their families. I was better than some of them - but they were there, so they got the internship and the opportunity instead of me. And the longer I stayed out of the game, slaving away in the showcase theater gigs while someone who had their rent paid by the trust fund got to go to auditions and got to take the lower-paying ASM gigs that got them introduced to people. They only did serviceably well, but they were there, so they got the job while I was stuck temping and couldn't be there.

And they also got to kick back and go see Europe, while I was stuck spending weekends just across the state line because I didn't have a car and couldn't afford a plane. I tried to travel, sure, but I had to scale from seeing Florence down to seeing Philadelphia. It was what I could afford. But someone else went to Florence and Phukhet and all over the world because they asked for money, rather than saving up like I did.

And so after 20 years, I'm still poor and struggling and still paying my dues, while someone who had their rent and expenses subsidized is living the life I wanted, living the life I'm trying to work towards, without having had to do any of that work towards it.

So -- why do I hate these people?

Because they cheated.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:52 PM on June 8, 2009 [31 favorites]


I have an iPhone now! I'm like some crazy robot from the future!
posted by Artw at 1:55 PM on June 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


i was a hipster. i received money from my middle class parents to get a creative degree. i played in bands that puzzled the audience. i wore clothes because i thought they was so ugly they had to be beautiful. i danced in public the way i danced at home in front of the mirror. i went to a lot of parties and sold my cd's for beer. i stole merchandise rabidly from my retail part-time job employer. i had a beat-up old car i inherited from my grandfather and i crashed it three times. i slept around. i said the most offensive things i could think of to my friends and we all laughed and laughed.

but i believed in true love
and babies
and happiness
and equality
and i worked hard to make art and to popularize it and support it and bring it to people who i thought needed it
and i was loyal to my friends and generous with my enemies
and i died for your fashion sins
and i was buried
and on the third day i was born again in a cubicle cave
and i was married
and had an ugly new chevy cavalier and a house and a goatee and no idea what had happened or who i was
and i was fat too
and when i look back on all those years spent trying to be famous and loved and respected and understood
and all the nights smoking on couches arguing about the semantics of genre
and all the time spent learning trivia about a culture that makes nothing, that influences or describes nothing, that barely even sells anything anymore...
when i think about all the blood and sweat and pain milked from the poor and the industrious throughout history to bring our culture to a point where its youth can study highfalutin philosophical concepts and apply them to the creation and study of trash adornment and mere gesture rather than the practical and utilitarian betterment of our species--
i dont regret a goshdarn second.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:56 PM on June 8, 2009 [24 favorites]


Schadenfreude is Envy's green-eyed daughter.

Actually, Schaden Freude is Sigmunde's mopey grand-nephew.
posted by msalt at 2:02 PM on June 8, 2009


I lived in a cum commune back in the.......


I'vesaidtoomuch.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:08 PM on June 8, 2009


He followed his passions, working in satellite radio and playing guitar.

It's kind of a shame his passion isn't in the sandwich arts.
posted by MegoSteve at 2:10 PM on June 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


I don't get it, Empress. Because I had the same experience as you ... I worked at the gas station over the summer while my college friends studied abroad in Florence or read literature at New England writers-camps or took amazing internships in DC & New York.

I would have loved that life.

But please tell me that twenty (plus) years on you've managed to find a life that you love??? I still have a moderate paycheck, still drive a used (1985) car, half the time I need to work for the land lady to work out my rent - and I know that if you wanted to make it to Phuket or Florence or the rest of the world, then you could. Maybe not in the same style as the rich kids, but it's very do-able.
posted by kanewai at 2:12 PM on June 8, 2009


What is really pathetic is-I haven't got the slightest idea what a hipster is. They must not have them in the South or something.

I thought they didn't have them in suburban Chicago either, until I saw a young woman with greasy hair and garish clothing in the grocery store, buying a 12 pack of PBR. I guess that's what she is? I don't know. Was I supposed to throw rocks at her? I forgot my Haters Manual that day.
posted by desjardins at 2:15 PM on June 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


The hipster hate in this thread reminds me of more than a few Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention songs, some of which were written almost forty-five years ago:

You paint your face and then you chase
To meet the gang where the action is
Stomp all night
And drink your fizz
Roll your car and say "Gee whiz!"
You tore a big hole in your convertible top
What will you tell your Mom and Pop?
(Mom, I tore a big hole in the convertible)


I'm not saying that hipster hate is wrong....just predictable.

Lyric cite [warning: annoying]

posted by applemeat at 2:24 PM on June 8, 2009


I have an iPhone now!

Good for you! It was only a matter of time, in the end.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:24 PM on June 8, 2009


He looks human. He really isn't.

I read articles like this and think the same thing. Some of these people just aren't human beings.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:39 PM on June 8


There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable... I simply am not there.
posted by plexi at 2:26 PM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'll condense the comment I left on the NYT site by saying that the paper seems to be focusing an inordinate amount of its coverage of the recession's human cost on privileged groups whose experiences are convenient targets for outrage, envy . . .
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 1:13 PM on June 8


I think you mean page views.
posted by plexi at 2:31 PM on June 8, 2009


Hate away if you must, but most peoples' stories are complicated and I'm sure these people are no different if the media weren't so intent on spinning them one particular way.
posted by jessamyn at 4:17 PM on June 8 [2 favorites +]


That's not how you play MetaFilter.
posted by Pastabagel at 2:34 PM on June 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm not saying that hipster hate is wrong....just predictable.

Zappa was ahead of his time about a lot of things. 45 years later and our architects are now dancing to Autechre. Frank saw it all coming.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:38 PM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


The depressing (to me, anyway) side to this conversation is that it takes a legitimate social critique (that there are people who can lead wonderful lives without having to work, while others slave away*), misapplies it to an entire social group (fixie-riding aspiring artists with particular tastes in music and clothing, which I am too old to be able to specify in greater detail**) and then commences with the sneering.

In other words, anti-hipsterism is the socialism of fools.

* "slave away" here means having a PDF open in one monitor and metafilter in the other, as I've already said.

** although one of this cultural signifiers appears to be drinking Pabst, in which case the hate is appropriate
posted by bonecrusher at 2:40 PM on June 8, 2009 [5 favorites]


gurple:Are hipsters any gayer than the rest of their age group, controlling for geographic location?

I propose putting a large dildo in downtown Williamsburgh with a sign proclaiming "free penis". The research dong will be tied to a polaroid camera to record the results. The margin of error will be +-eleventybillion to correct for irony.
posted by dr_dank at 2:42 PM on June 8, 2009 [7 favorites]


I don't feel schadenfreude at the thought of these kids who are suddenly cut loose, because, you know what? If my folks had told me that they'd pay my rent wherever I wanted to live, so that I could "discover myself", hell, I'd be on that like flies on shit. If they were willing to keep doing it, I'd be a 45-year-old hipster.

Instead, my folks watched as I went out on my own and made mistakes, gave me advice, watched me ignore it, bailed me out only when I really needed it (and only to the extent that I really needed it), reminded me of the advice that I had previously ignored and suggested that I reconsider it, and were justly proud when I went back to school, got my library degree, and made something of myself.

So, I do feel a little sorry for these hipsters. I feel sorry for them because they are being kicked out of the nest a long time after they should have been. I'm not talking about taking care of adult children who have real problems; I'm not talking about subsidizing someone with real promise in the arts who would never make a lot of money without some sort of grant or fellowship of some kind. I'm talking about prolonging someone's college years, without even requiring them to make grades or show some sort of progress, and then cutting them off just like that. Fuck those assholes.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:43 PM on June 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


If someone handed me money out of the sky, I would take it. Haters, please explain why you wouldn't.

Because--and I can say this with confidence, since my future mother-in-law just offered to pay me $30,000 if I move back to her state so my fiance doesn't move out of it*--there's always a price. And often, it's a pretty dear one. Those I know whose parents have paid their way have also had their parents dictate major life choices--what schools they go to, what they major in, what they do for graduate school, whether or not they're "allowed" to work. Carving out my own way is rough, sure, but at least I can call my own shots with confidence.


*If you can't guess, I said "Thanks, but no thanks."
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:44 PM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Williamsburg, however, doesn't have much outside restaurants to recommend it, unless you are specifically interested in the scene.

What about:

- an incredibly fast commute to anywhere in Manhattan?
- East River Park?
- McCarren Park?
- good if expensive supermarkets and good services?
- excellent music venues within walking distance?
- real neighbors and neighborhood (one of my neighbors has been in the place for over 40 years, since he was 7...)
- and even good parking (apparently?)

I have a nice garden and I'm 25 minutes from my job in Manhattan and I hear birds chirping outside my windows all day, I like my neighbors, what's not to like?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 2:51 PM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Weren't the hipsters growing woodsman beards/wearing peasant dresses/adopting the paraphernalia of a rural, self-sufficient lifestyle a while ago? Perhaps some of them will take the hint and actually go and live in cabins in the woods trapping small animals for meat and skins.
posted by acb at 2:56 PM on June 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


I was thinking about this thread on my way to work. I just realized I have been a hipster in many peoples eyes. This is what they saw:

A group of friends in a nice building in a nice part of the city. We all had crappy jobs, like bartending, working in kitchens or in retail, pulling tourists in pedicabs. Most of wore second hand clothes, were fond of our faux furs in the winter and ancient threadbare t-shirts in the summer.

Some of us rode stripped down old bikes, and we spent our free time drinking cheap beer in parks and discussing obscure movies and books. While hard working people where commuting to work at 8:30 a.m. or out for lunch at 12:30, we were laughing and drunk on the streets, sunbathing in the park.

Damn, was I a hipster deserving of all your hate! But I did not know it at the time.

If anyone had stopped to ask, they would have found out there were 8 of us living in a one bedroom apartment, all immigrants with no work permits, thus the minimum wage jobs from 5 pm. till 3 a.m. every day. We wore second hand clothes because that was all we could afford after sending half our money back home to pay our debts or help our families out. Faux furs are the most warmth for the least money you can get second hand. The old stripped down bikes? You could get them for free, no one would steal them, and the less gadgets they have the easier they are to fix.

We spent all out time in parks and coffeehouses because the lack of privacy in the apartment would drive anyone crazy. Try to bring a girl home with seven other dudes there sleeping on the couch and floor, stinking of restaurant kitchen and old beer.

The obscure books and movies? The theater was too expensive and bestsellers and blockbusters too expensive to buy, but the old books and unpopular movies were to be found at the 10 pence bins in the second hand shops.

So I have a question for all you people: When I see someone dressed like a hipster, riding a hipster ride, drinking hipster drinks at the hipster place, with the hipster hair and hipster books, how do I know if they have a trust fund or if they are broke and just trying to have some fun? Laptops and iPhones used to be good indicators, but now anyone can get one. I don't want to be hating on the wrong people.
posted by dirty lies at 2:56 PM on June 8, 2009 [13 favorites]


And before I forget, yes, take your cultural tunnel vision somewhere else. Where I come from, any parent that can afford it will help their kids well after they finish college, with the expectation that the kids will pay back when the parents are too old to make a living. Even uncles will help their nephews. One of the advantages? Getting sick will not usually bankrupt you, since you have a whole network of support built around you.

If this is cheating, so is being born in one of the richest countries of the world, speaking English and getting your vitamins when you are growing up.

I still hate the hipsters.
posted by dirty lies at 3:00 PM on June 8, 2009 [6 favorites]


A more interesting article might have focused on all (or any of?) the publishing/broadcasting/non-profit interns or young associates who are losing the support from the Bank of Mom and Dad and can no longer swing the $25,000 starting salaries (or unpaid internships) on the island of Manhattan that were de facto the exlusive domain of folks who had an outside source of financial support.

I doubt that anyone would have agreed to be interviewed for that article. Anyone managing to hold on on a starting salary wouldn't want to risk getting caught complaining, and anyone who had to go home wouldn't want to admit it. And there is always some kid out there with richer parents or lower-maintenance lifestyle requirements.
posted by sidecar144 at 3:00 PM on June 8, 2009


Man, all the hater-hate. Counter-hate. Post-hater-ism. Whatever you call it.

Very few people hate actual real people. Most haters just hate some broad stereotype which may not actually describe any living breathing actual person. So your questions are nonsensical on the face of it.

Also: hate : hater-hate :: irony : irony
posted by GuyZero at 3:02 PM on June 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


Very few people hate actual real people. Most haters just hate some broad stereotype which may not actually describe any living breathing actual person.

This is what makes me unique. I love broad stereotypes. It's the actual individual people that I hate.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:06 PM on June 8, 2009 [6 favorites]


an incredibly fast commute to anywhere in Manhattan?
- East River Park?
- McCarren Park?
- good if expensive supermarkets and good services?
- excellent music venues within walking distance?
- real neighbors and neighborhood (one of my neighbors has been in the place for over 40 years, since he was 7...)
- and even good parking (apparently?)


Yeah, perhaps I was a little harsh there. Still, if someone was visiting Brooklyn and wasn't interested in bars or music, I'd still send them to Cobble Hill/Brooklyn Heights first. YMMV.
posted by Bookhouse at 3:32 PM on June 8, 2009


Guyzero - what do the little colons represent in your picture? Is that like an SAT reference, i.e. Hate is to hater-hate as irony is to irony?

Because if so, I have a headache now. I used to get so irritated with that section of those kind of tests - there was something so suspicious about the mechanism behind it.

I mean, I know - it's all about being able to understand and interpret hidden relationships in abstract ideas and form bridges in your thought patterns that invariably lead to an "Aha!" moment, that you then symbolize smartly on the little Scan-tron page with your perfectly-articulated Little Black Dot....

But come on - seriously. Are you really that much ahead of the curve of Possible Outcomes with a subterranean, hard-wired-from-stressful-test-environments outlook?

Does the X: X-X :: Y : Y pattern really help with that muzzed-out, slightly acidic tang in your mouth at the start of your day? Does that hidden causal relationship, stunningly revealed at last via a previously-unconstructed neuronal pathway truly define the borders of wisdom in our daily round?

oh yeah naptime. But no binky! :(
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 3:41 PM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm simply one of those people who thinks that the phrasing of SAT test questions represents the pinnacle of human communication. Also, the SAT was the last time I felt my existence was validated and that someone appreciated me. No one ever gave me a 1550 in friendship.

Does the X: X-X :: Y : Y pattern really help with that muzzed-out, slightly acidic tang in your mouth at the start of your day? Does that hidden causal relationship, stunningly revealed at last via a previously-unconstructed neuronal pathway truly define the borders of wisdom in our daily round?

This is, to my mind, the only way to preempt snark - go so far beyond the limits of comprehensibility that I would only reveal my own ignorance to make any comment at all.

So, uh, no? Yes? Cheerios?
posted by GuyZero at 3:48 PM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


For the record, I love hipsters. Especially that purring sound they make when you scratch their chins.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:19 PM on June 8, 2009


I live in Los Feliz, one of the Los Angeles neighborhoods that seems to attract a lot of hipster types (along with neighboring Silver Lake and Echo Park). There have been a ton of "for rent" signs in the 'hood over the past few months, and my first thought when I noticed the phenomenon was "Huh, I guess the hipsters' trust funds are drying up."
posted by the_bone at 5:01 PM on June 8, 2009


why do I hate these people?

Because they cheated.


Hm. I'd say they took advantage of the advantages on offer. Scarcely human (Ha!) if they hadn't. Can't say I would necessarily like or hate them, not en masse, at any rate.

What I would say, however, is that you were lied to.

We all were. Still are. We live in the land of Hope and Hype. Love the underdog story.

But really, the whole "work hard at what you love and money will follow" thing is a crock. Especially in the arts. Right up there with "You Can Be Anything You Want (in America)." Crock. Too few slots, too many would be players. By temperament or lack of talent, I can never, however much I may wish, be a basketball player, or computer programmer, or jazz crooner, or nuclear physicist, or best selling writer, or cunning sleuth, or Top Chef, or Top Model, or Top Designer, or Top Decorator, or Tap Dancer, or court room lawyer, or Secret Agent, or any number of things. Not even had I started as an ambitious tot. Chances are, you can't either. Failure to recognize this is what fills American Idol with so many Gawd-help-us-es.

Now if I'm really lucky, I can find a field that I really like hanging out in and maybe, just maybe, find a way to get paid a living wage in the neighborhood. Failing that, I probably can find a job that I can endure and spend the free time doing what I like for little to no pay - amateur theater, community dance, church choir - or admire other people who can do whatever it is. Maybe even a trip abroad once or twice in my life.

Them's the breaks, but no reason to waste time and emotion on hating those who drew the extra long straws.

(SIDE BAR - How to define happiness, anyway? Ballanchine's dancers once complained to him that they were underpaid and wanted more money. He responded that they were already overly compensated. They got to do what they loved at the finest theatre in the world - what more could they possibly want? Not that I agree with him, mind you, but you can almost see his point.

And I seem to have gone off mine. Carry on.)
posted by IndigoJones at 5:18 PM on June 8, 2009


Adults should have no need to take a single penny from other adults.

I agree with that one hundred percent. They should have no need.

But yet, sometimes, they do.
posted by davejay at 5:26 PM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


There have been a ton of "for rent" signs in the 'hood over the past few months, and my first thought when I noticed the phenomenon was "Huh, I guess the hipsters' trust funds are drying up."

That, or unemployment in LA has gotten really bad.
posted by flaterik at 5:31 PM on June 8, 2009


Two guys earning a total of 90K a year should build a wikiup out of bike chains, Starbucks coffee sleeves, and ironic t-shirts.


And decorate it with wall hangings woven from ironic facial hair that still smells of Parliaments and PBR.
posted by MikeMc at 5:32 PM on June 8, 2009


Guyzero - Cheerios is in fact, the correct response.

Please put your pencil down, and do not turn the page until instructed to do so.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 5:49 PM on June 8, 2009


I have a friend that is ungodly wealthy. Giant house paid for with the trust fund and everything. Trophy wife. Three kids. He claims to work as a project manager for his father's vanity company (Dad made nearly a billion many moons ago; now he dabbles in customized software for high-end rich guy toys). He's smart, witty, healthy (triathlons), has plenty of time to coach youth sports and generally fuck around.

Other than that, I don't think he's ever lifted anything heavier than money. He doesn't give a penny to charity.

He's thinking about getting a divorce now. Claims his life is empty and his wife is cold. What my friend really wants to do is travel and write and "be creative" and bang 19-year-olds.

I think William Gibson wrote that the very wealthy are not fully human, in that they no longer have shared experiences with the rest of us. I wonder what island-hopping in the Aegean is like. My friend has done that, and really, he can do that whenever he wants. You and I have fears that he just doesn't grok. He looks human. He really isn't.

I read articles like this and think the same thing. Some of these people just aren't human beings.




No, they're human. People like you are just jealous, envious and bitter. I would much rather be him than someone like you.
posted by Zambrano at 5:58 PM on June 8, 2009


You'd rather be rich and idle than jealous, envious and bitter? Woah, deep. I mean, sure, me too. I'd also rather be handsome and suave as opposed to awkward and deformed.
posted by GuyZero at 6:00 PM on June 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm down with both suave and deformed here.

Ladies Love Lame LT.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:17 PM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm down with both suave and deformed here.

Toulouse-Lautrec called, he wants to grab dinner sometime.
posted by Justinian at 6:22 PM on June 8, 2009


I go for the awkward handome type myself. And I don't think I'm alone here AMIRITE ladies?!

But what do I know, my parents paid for my braces.
posted by jessamyn at 6:30 PM on June 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


So you been to school, for a year or two
And you know you've seen it all
In daddy's car
Thinking you'll go far
Back east your type don't crawl

Play ethnicy jazz
To parade your snazz
On your five grand stereo ...
posted by adipocere at 6:30 PM on June 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


I am certain that I hate-not on the hipsters as much as I hate the lady at my work who eats 3 lunches a day and uses mayo as make-up and mating scent.
posted by Gravitus at 6:36 PM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: jealous, envious and bitter.
posted by MikeMc at 7:14 PM on June 8, 2009


Now, maybe I'm biased here because my parents have helped me out at times of personal crisis (and I passed up a full scholarship for a private college my parents paid for), and my brother receives their help (in what seems a perpetual state of personal crisis), but there seems to be a lot more to this "hating the hipsters" than that they have unfair advantages.

I think there's a resentment that they spend their time on the arts, that this seems incredibly self-indulgent to people. Yet, say, look at George W. Bush. Didn't seem to go in for that fancy artistic stuff, and instead, culturally, glorified the Texas culture his Connecticut family adopted. Yet his work history was very much that of the trust-funder...

Now, sure, everyone hates on George W. Bush, but nearly half of voters voted for him, twice. They didn't see him through that self-indulgent hipster lens, because he didn't seem to look down on people for being unsophisticated--he looked down on people for being sophisticated.
posted by Schmucko at 8:05 PM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


People like you are just jealous, envious and bitter.

And people like you are smug, with about as much depth as my fish tank.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:30 PM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


People like me want a beer.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:33 PM on June 8, 2009


Adults should have no need to take a single penny from other adults.

Every man is an island.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:09 PM on June 8, 2009


I'm Guam.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:11 PM on June 8, 2009


I am a rock.
posted by not_on_display at 9:32 PM on June 8, 2009


I think we all took that for granite.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:34 PM on June 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Obligatory snarky comment.
posted by Iron Rat at 10:27 PM on June 8, 2009


I don't think hipsters even have vision problems. Those glasses are purely for show.
posted by anniecat at 10:33 PM on June 8, 2009


My in-laws have bought us diapers weekly since my son was born. Is this assistance? Or a gift? Should I be embarrassed? It never occurred to me that I should be. Where does the line between 'a generous gift' and 'assistance' fall?

Wherever the heck you want to draw it; I made a point of saying it would be embarrassing for me to just take money I didn't earn for no reason other than 'Hey, free money!' It's not something I'd be comfortable with, but like I said in my previous comment about education, I don't begrudge someone getting a financial helping hand in pursuit of a practical goal. I would think that the subject matter - entitled young adults who expect their folks to bankroll their lives as they follow their flaky bliss - would make it a little more clear to whom my oh-so potent derision and not insignificant contempt is directed.

there's nothing more entertaining that reading people extol the benefits of hard work. Before 5pm. On a Monday. On the Internet.

I work nights.

As a maintenance man.

I'm sorry.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:44 PM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


If I can't be assed to even care, does that make me a hipster? Or a post-hater?

Do I suck if I don't hate someone? Or if I don't care enough to write this comment so that it makes sense?

Kumbaya/let's all get trashed.
posted by saysthis at 10:53 PM on June 8, 2009


People like me want a beer.

Join hands with me, brother! So I can use the other one to steal your beer.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:03 AM on June 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Is my John Deer hat still cool?
posted by bardic at 2:31 AM on June 9, 2009


I don't have a problem with poor people that live the life style because it is the only way they can make it and keep their sanity at the same time. If you are working harder than 9-5, do whatever during your down time. I promise I won't bitch or gripe.

I do have a problem with rich kids faking it and living off their parents money. If you are working less than 10 hours a week, sleeping in til 2 PM every day and still dressing like a second hand junkie while depending on Mom and Dad to buy everything and anything for you then Get a real job, work +40 a week and then I won't be a snarky asshole when it comes to your life style. Til then Fucking hipsters annoy me. It's not that I want Mom and Dad to pay for everything, or I want to sleep in til the sun goes down, or I feel cheated by them....

It is the fact that they wear styles from the 90's 70's and 30's (EG tight fitting jeans, sweater vest and Indiana style fedora. I bet one of them is dressed just like this right now somewhere!), drink Papst blue ribbon, say out of date things, and have their act NOT because it is who they truly are but because just like goth kids they feel they need to make an imagine for themselves or no one will notice them. That is why I am annoyed by hipsters.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 6:30 AM on June 9, 2009


Is my John Deer hat still cool?

If you have to ask...
posted by josher71 at 6:42 AM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


I do have a problem with rich kids faking it and living off their parents money. If you are working less than 10 hours a week, sleeping in til 2 PM every day and still dressing like a second hand junkie while depending on Mom and Dad to buy everything and anything....

But how can you possibly know so much about somebody you see in a sweater vest? I know a number of young people who do work 40+ hour weeks while also adopting many (I'll agree, somewhat exasperating) hipster affectations. I chalk it up to "youth." Ultimately, your stated complaints seem to say more about you then about these "hipsters."
posted by applemeat at 7:04 AM on June 9, 2009


The financially-dependent stage of the modern first-world professional human lasts into his or her 20s. That's just the way it is -- Doogie Howser was made up. The choices are massive debt and parental assistance.

Perhaps more than that, the whole concept of the independent nuclear family (along with the stay-at-home mom who could focus on childcare) really had the most traction due to the post-war employment bubble of the 1950s and 1960s. That bubble has been slowly deflating in recent years with larger numbers of people entering a job market where wages have not kept pace with inflation (especially with medical costs), and larger number of people only able to find part-time work.

Of course, none of this applies to trust-fund babies.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:42 AM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hopefully rent will go down in Brooklyn!
posted by tj241 at 7:57 AM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


It is the fact that they wear styles from the 90's 70's and 30's (EG tight fitting jeans, sweater vest and Indiana style fedora. I bet one of them is dressed just like this right now somewhere!), drink Papst blue ribbon, say out of date things, and have their act NOT because it is who they truly are but because just like goth kids they feel they need to make an imagine for themselves or no one will notice them.

I'm always confused how someone can purport to know "who someone really is" better than the person themselves, based on nothing more than how they dress. I am wearing all black right now and my hair is spiked with gel; what does that say about me? Is this who I really am? Am I trying to make "an imagine" for myself, whatever that is? Do I get a pass because I work 40 hours/week? Because I'm married and live in the suburbs? Because I work in a cubicle? I happen not to be of the goth persuasion*, but what difference does it make?

There are times I look at people and think OMG that outfit looks ridiculous, but I seriously don't understand using their appearance as a shortcut for "who they really are." Go look at your high school pictures, or any other period in your life where you looked like a total dork (don't lie, everyone has those pictures). Is that who you really are?

* When you own two black cats, it's advantageous to own lots of black clothes.
posted by desjardins at 8:40 AM on June 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


It seems like people are confusing two partially-overlapping groups as they complain about this mythical moochy "hipster" archetype.

First, you have the children of the moderately well-to-do who live in a trendy neighborhood.

Second, you have young people who feel 'square' culture is boring and meaningless and are trying to have fun, all of whom get called "hipster" whether they like it or not. This group encompasses a wide spectrum of people- we're not just talking interests and style, but also socioeconomic backgrounds.

Sure, you get lots of kids from well-to-do families (poor kids don't have the same means to follow their interests or even find out about things to be interested in) but you also get poor kids whose parents encouraged them to follow their interests. And you know what? There's nothing wrong with being young and playing in a band, or wearing funny clothes, drinking PBR, or even accepting money from your parents- mine are usually broke but are quite happy to help me out when they can and I'm in a pinch.

The only thing I resent is not being able to be creative and do cool stuff because I can't afford to- but I'm not going to blame "hipsters" in general for it.

As well, hipsters and trustafarians are not the same thing.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:33 AM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Are hipsters with rich parents the "creative types" behind all of these writing jobs that pay $5 or $10 for a feature-length article? Because if so, I hate them.
posted by Never teh Bride at 11:09 AM on June 9, 2009


Burhanistan said: "That attitude of "screw 'em, let them fend for themselves" is something I've found to be a bit on the atavistic side of things."

That isn't the attitude at all. I'm not saying that parents shouldn't want to provide for their adult children; I'm saying that their adult children should find the idea of mommy and daddy paying their way repulsive.
posted by coolguymichael at 12:05 PM on June 9, 2009


Yes, because sane people choose hard labour over free money every time.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:08 PM on June 9, 2009


Yes, because sane people choose hard labour over free money every time.

So anyone not living off their parents by is by choice living a life of hard labour? As someone who happily moved out at 16, and finished high school, college, and grad school on my own, I would disagree. But then, I must be insane.
posted by coolguymichael at 1:59 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think William Gibson wrote that the very wealthy are not fully human, in that they no longer have shared experiences with the rest of us. I wonder what island-hopping in the Aegean is like. My friend has done that, and really, he can do that whenever he wants. You and I have fears that he just doesn't grok. He looks human. He really isn't.

I read articles like this and think the same thing. Some of these people just aren't human beings.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:39 AM on June 8 [40 favorites +] [!]



Of course they're still human. Some of them may lose their human sensitivity because of their circumstances don't require them to work that particular mental muscle. There are extremely wealthy people who are also extremely compassionate, philanthropic, and who actively try to maintain an understanding of/connection with the rest of humanity. Then there are those who get soft and lazy and callous. At the surface level your friend's life sounds like its full of opportunities for him to learn, grow, and enjoy life in ways that many can't. And yet he is unfulfilled. He needs to let Jesus into his life. lol, no just kidding. Maybe he needs to put more effort into some non-profit undertaking...I highly doubt fucking 19 year-olds and being an Aegean playboy is going to give him lasting satisfaction. Happiness is generally something you have to work for regardless of whats in the bank.
posted by captain cosine at 2:29 PM on June 9, 2009


I basically hate hipsters (the rich ones anyway, oops I mean the ones with rich parents) because of their phoniness and (i know, i know, this is the pot calling the kettle black), their judgy-ness. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being "counter-culture", but to go so far to try to make people think you're something you're not -- ie, poor, living on the fringes of "conventional" society while your parents have a vacation home in the hamptons, not able to afford a shower or a hamburger, etc. -- is just pathetic. At least those spoiled rich kids in Manhattan with the neon-white bleached teeth and the $50 cocktails and the Prada are being what they are -- and generally aren't making you feel like you're stupid/boring for not being just like them.

Be honest about what you are, is all I'm saying.

desjardins wrote: There are times I look at people and think OMG that outfit looks ridiculous, but I seriously don't understand using their appearance as a shortcut for "who they really are." Go look at your high school pictures, or any other period in your life where you looked like a total dork (don't lie, everyone has those pictures). Is that who you really are?

While I understand what you're saying and agree that clothes don't "make the man", the clothes people choose send out signals. People who dress in the "hipster" manner know this as well as anyone else -- or else why would they be picking out clothes that signal their identification with a specific group? They pick those clothes because they want people to think that's "who they really are".
posted by imalaowai at 2:46 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


You know what I can't stand? Hollywood. What a bunch of goddamn phonies.
posted by milarepa at 2:58 PM on June 9, 2009


I guess the main reason I hate hipsters is because they're always plotting ways to make me look stupid. They use their mind-rays to turn all potential allies against me, while broadcasting telepathic thoughts at me about their special social status. And then when I tell them to stop it, they act like they weren't doing anything at all! And when I tell them to mind their own business, they show me a map of all the neighborhoods I like to go to, and tell me they're going to infiltrate them and hang out there so that I can't any more! But they do all that with their minds, too! And then they tell me their motivations are to cause me pain and judge me! It's just so FUCKING FRUSTRATING!
posted by Greg Nog at 3:04 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


the clothes people choose send out signals.

Yes, of course. PEOPLE. Not exclusive to hipsters, or goths, or any other group. My husband tends to wear khakis and polo shirts most days, because part of his identity is interacting with people who view that as a corporate outfit. Would he prefer to wear something else? Probably; he certainly doesn't wear that on the weekends. Does it mean that he's being a phony? No. I have more latitude in what I can comfortably wear to work, but there are still boundaries. I leave my thigh high boots at home.
posted by desjardins at 3:55 PM on June 9, 2009


Me: Yes, because sane people choose hard labour over free money every time.

You: So anyone not living off their parents by is by choice living a life of hard labour?

Uh, no, but... Given the choice between working their asses off for minimum wage or great wodges of free cash & all the spare time in the world, I'll bet most people would go with door number two; hence the popularity of lotteries.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:05 PM on June 9, 2009


I highly doubt fucking 19 year-olds and being an Aegean playboy is going to give him lasting satisfaction

I volunteer myself for a longitudinal study on this particular subject.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:11 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


milarepa wrote: You know what I can't stand? Hollywood. What a bunch of goddamn phonies.

greg nog: I guess the main reason I hate hipsters is because they're always plotting ways to make me look stupid. They use their mind-rays to turn all potential allies against me, while broadcasting telepathic thoughts at me about their special social status. And then when I tell them to stop it, they act like they weren't doing anything at all! And when I tell them to mind their own business, they show me a map of all the neighborhoods I like to go to, and tell me they're going to infiltrate them and hang out there so that I can't any more! But they do all that with their minds, too! And then they tell me their motivations are to cause me pain and judge me! It's just so FUCKING FRUSTRATING!

haha, ok i get it. truth be told i've never even thought about hipsters this much until know . . . i think i might be starting to like them!

desjardins, i see your point. i would wear jeans to work every day if i could and i don't think i'm phony because i wear chinos instead. my main point is that i just wish people would be more honest about themselves. my rant was partially inspired by a friend of mine (tho not a hipster, but definitely a SWPL kind of girl) who gets almost everything paid by her parents but goes out of her way to make people think she doesn't come from the privileged class. She teased me for a year because my parents paid my rent -- and then I found out her parents had been paying her rent that whole time. i love my friend and i know that a lot of that attitude of hers stems from feeling ashamed at not being able to support herself. but who the hell can support themselves these days anyway? i don't see any shame in taking money from your parents -- if they're offering to help you and they can afford it, and you're using it to get on your feet, then i see that as being totally legit. but it's ridiculous to put up this front like you're a starving artist when your parents are paying your car, rent, and every other goddamned thing in your life.
posted by imalaowai at 5:49 PM on June 9, 2009


I highly doubt fucking 19 year-olds and being an Aegean playboy is going to give him lasting satisfaction

I volunteer myself for a longitudinal study on this particular subject.

me too. Is there a sign-on sheet or form I should fill out?
posted by From Bklyn at 11:49 PM on June 9, 2009


Hey! You're sloppy seconds, mate. Just so's you know.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:56 AM on June 10, 2009


Is my John Deer hat still cool?

Is my Dear John letter still depressing?
posted by davejay at 1:24 AM on June 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Aegean is a very big 'playground' fff, maybe even big enough for both of us...

*unbuttons shirt to navel, starts browsing gold chains and chest wigs on amazon...*
posted by From Bklyn at 4:36 AM on June 10, 2009


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