Irony appearing in the wild in its purest form
March 8, 2019 10:21 AM   Subscribe

A man threatened to sue a technology magazine for using his image in a story (previously on the blue) about why all hipsters look the same, only to find out the picture was of a completely different guy. SLCBC
posted by ricochet biscuit (44 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
 
That is absolutely delicious.
posted by chavenet at 10:27 AM on March 8 [10 favorites]


*wild cackling*
posted by Wretch729 at 10:31 AM on March 8 [7 favorites]


TBH when I saw the picture I thought it was of my neighbor. Or maybe the guy in front of me at the co-op? Who can say.
posted by Gray Duck at 10:33 AM on March 8 [5 favorites]


From Wikipedia:
In the classic MSR test, an animal is anaesthetised and then marked (e.g., painted, or a sticker attached) on an area of the body the animal cannot normally see. When the animal recovers from the anesthetic, it is given access to a mirror. If the animal then touches or investigates the mark, it is taken as an indication that the animal perceives the reflected image as itself, rather than of another animal.
Not all animals pass this test.
posted by swift at 10:35 AM on March 8 [15 favorites]


muhahahaha can't tell 'em apart muhahahhaha
posted by infini at 10:41 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


And his conclusion is that in a vast range of scenarios, the hipster population always undergoes a kind of phase transition

They become a gas or a liquid?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:42 AM on March 8 [14 favorites]


I'm outraged.
posted by philip-random at 10:43 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


Editor-in-chief Gideon Lichfield: "So I looked at what his accusation was, and I said, he seems to be accusing us of implying that he's a hipster. I'm pretty sure that can't be prosecuted for slander. My second thought was, you know, I'm sure that we used this photo in accordance with the license and we got it from a reputable agency, so there shouldn't be a problem with using it even if the person in the picture doesn't like the implication. So I forwarded the email to our art department ..."

Not the legal department? (Slander isn't written, and this teapot tempest was over an article, so I think he could be very sure on that point.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:45 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


Exquisite. *fingertips kiss*
posted by not_the_water at 10:59 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


LATFH
posted by scruss at 11:04 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


The supposed hipster in question is sure to be on a TedX stage in three months and trying to make us all feel bad we mocked him.
posted by shothotbot at 11:17 AM on March 8 [9 favorites]


Ha! Excellent.
posted by doctornemo at 11:31 AM on March 8


That hat really goes with the shirt.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:35 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


it is taken as an indication that the animal perceives the reflected image as itself, rather than of another animal.

So...this guy passed the test, but it wasn't actually a mirror.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 11:57 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]


This made me remember the Exactitudes project by the Dutch photographers Ari Versluis and Ellie Uyttenbroek. It's amazing that these people always choose the lifestyle that fits them.
posted by Termite at 12:13 PM on March 8 [9 favorites]


Nobody thinks this has a mean streak to it? If you take out the word hipster, this was just a guy who thought a website had used his picture without his permission before realizing it was someone else. It was a profile shot that was heavily tinted and manipulated, and obviously he must look somewhat similar to the guy in the picture, aside from how he dressed. He was a jerk about how he handled it, but I guess he was embarrassed, and anyway that's on him. But no, the interview ends with the editor saying that this proves how all hipsters really do look the same, ha ha ha.

I've been called a hipster a bunch of times, and the way people are talking about all this kind of sends the message that I look like a punchline to a bunch of people. I mean, look at the comments here, "oh ha ha can't tell em apart." It's like no one here on this site could possibly look like this, or like no one here has been teased or bullied for being a hipster (to be fair, it was only one time when I was 24 that a bunch of frat guys called me a hipster and shoved me around). I don't know if that makes me a hipster or just self-conscious, but you know, it's kind of hard not to feel self-conscious in this context.

Bottom line, this obviously isn't laughing with, this is laughing at. I don't want to be too self-serious about this and try to spoil the laffs, just, you know, try to be aware of the distinction. If you're laughing at "them" because you assume "they" aren't here in any capacity, you're probably wrong.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 12:19 PM on March 8 [9 favorites]


I realize I'm probably proving the point: "oh yeah, if you think this is about you it probably is," or something. Sorry if I'm dead-goating something pretty lighthearted. I just can't shake the mean-spirited vibe I'm getting from this. It doesn't help that I already saw this posted all over conservative Twitter and Reddit, because of course they loved it.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 12:22 PM on March 8


If you take out the word hipster, this was just a guy who thought a website had used his picture without his permission before realizing it was someone else.

If you ignore the fact that the article was about hipsters looking alike, then yes, it's about someone thinking a website had used his photo without permission, but that really misses the point.
Granted, a lot of people enjoy hating on hipsters. But I don't think they're really a protected class.
posted by uosuaq at 1:02 PM on March 8 [12 favorites]


Nobody thinks this has a mean streak to it?

The whole thing is pretty dumb, including/especially the way the original story was promoted and I can't fault someone for being annoyed at how they believed that their image was being (mis)used. That they were mad enough to threaten a lawsuit only to discover that it wasn't their image being used at all is, IMO, worth a chuckle or two in spite of everything else.

(I do actually like the shirt and hat combo in the photo, but that's because I'm a hipster.)
posted by octobersurprise at 1:17 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


Bottom line, this obviously isn't laughing with, this is laughing at. I don't want to be too self-serious about this and try to spoil the laffs, just, you know, try to be aware of the distinction. If you're laughing at "them" because you assume "they" aren't here in any capacity, you're probably wrong.

I for one am laughing at "them" because "we", my friends and I offline, have a running joke about real incidents where we have misidentified strangers as each other because of the identical haircut/dress style/activities of hanging out on Capitol Hill. And are we hipsters? Well, I feel like it's the same as being cool - I can't self-identify as that, but all my friends are for sure.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 1:18 PM on March 8 [7 favorites]


Nothing says “yes I’m balding” like that sort of hat. Also, yes, I’m balding.
posted by freecellwizard at 1:28 PM on March 8 [6 favorites]


Given how adamantly that thread insisted there was no such thing as a hipster and it was just a way to say “fashionable individual” and certainly none of the posters there could be hipsters and they definitely wouldn’t dress similarly...its kind of weird this happened. Perhaps the real hipster was the friends we made along the way. Or this guy.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 1:41 PM on March 8 [7 favorites]


I've run into photos of other people on the web that looked enough like me that I did a double-take and had to examine them for several seconds to conclude they weren't me.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:57 PM on March 8


This is funny in the way it always is funny when someone acts self important and then gets struck comical. The irony of an ostensible hipster corroborating the theory of the article about hipsters looking alike, unwittingly and with a soupçon of shrillness, is exquisite as it is delightful to anyone not implicated by action or association with the demographic being laughed at. So, Ha-Ha and good show. Time to move onto the next entertaining item in the never ending stream the internet provides. Sorry about the hurt feelings old chap.

But it is helpful, I think, to recall that the whole original article this evolved from was really not about hipsters per se, as it was about a mathematical analysis of a sociological hypothesis. It was a mistake for the author of the article to use the "hipster" label, because that inevitably devolved into boring and infuriating rules lawyering over the definition of "hipster" rather than the fairly interesting thesis of the original article.

Also, look at this fucking hipster.
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 2:47 PM on March 8 [12 favorites]


IME the only people who bother spending any time talking about "hipsters" past high school in real life are either people who secretly hope they are in fact perceived as hipsters, and/or schlubby insecure dudes who are secretly a little worried about their masculinity.
posted by aspersioncast at 3:27 PM on March 8


Nothing says “yes I’m balding” like that sort of hat.

I started clearly going bald in my mid-20's and I've never worn a hat like that. I make no conclusion from this.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:41 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


Allow me. I studied philosophy so I know my modus ponies from my modus toll gates:

IF Hat, THEN Balding

IF NOT Balding, THEN NOT Hat

If NOT HAT then anything goes
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 3:45 PM on March 8 [3 favorites]


Nothing says “yes I’m balding” like that sort of hat

I don't know, according to the internet, "Beanie with Long Hair" is one of the officially recognized ways to rock a beanie.
posted by Lyme Drop at 3:56 PM on March 8


It's not this exact look, but damn if the guys who rock the shaved head + black frame hipster glasses + hipster beard (essentially adding the beard to previously looking like moby) aren't all *utterly* indistinguishable from each other. A friend who only had the first two of the three added the beard and suddenly I was seeing hundreds of him all over London. It's uncanny, I guess with all three you've erased just enough distinct features to totally confuse the human brain.
posted by ominous_paws at 4:11 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


Hipster fashion became pretty widespread/mainstream in the mid-aughts, and it's continued connotation as subcultural in an undesirable way is an interesting phenomenon.

I personally relinquished any not-a-hipster claim when I went to a concert that ended up being covered by Pitchfork and they published some pictures of the crowd including one with me pretty central to the frame on their blog. I wish I'd saved a copy of it at the time, and not just the link, which long ago stopped working.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 4:14 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


IF Hat, THEN Balding

I wear hats because it's raining or cold or sunny, it has nothing to do with hair, fashion, or sociocultural group. Sic refutare.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:16 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


(In retrospect that reads as grumpier than I intended. I was just having fun with the premise. I promise to stop derailing now.)
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:31 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


“So I forwarded the email to our art department ..."

Not the legal department?


The art department would be able to say where they sourced the image. And yeah, they contacted Getty and got the model’s info, boom. Case closed.
posted by Autumnheart at 5:03 PM on March 8 [3 favorites]


Nothing says “yes I’m balding” like that sort of hat
I'm a boomer, and boomers got different hats than that when they went bald, but I guess this is a newer generation's bald hat. I think it's also a more left-coast or New England kind of look.
It doesn't seem like you'd wear a hat like that in Mississippi.

I remember a saying from decades ago:
You can always tell the non-conformists. . . they all dress alike.

posted by MtDewd at 6:01 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


Needs more pictures of the other guy. Both links have the same picture, which I spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to figure out whether they were two different people.
posted by spacewrench at 6:13 PM on March 8 [5 favorites]


Spoiler: It was Ken M.
posted by ODiV at 7:12 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


Hipster fashion became pretty widespread/mainstream in the mid-aughts

It's gotten so fuzzy now, though... The word "hipster" had stuck around to vaguely mean "youth I don't like" or similar, seemingly living on because it's not really tied to a super specific look like "emo" or "goth" or whatever. But I a lot of the origins specifics are gone (skinny jeans) or now totally mainstream - premiership footballers got in on sleeve tattoos years ago now, the guys from my hometown who scream abuse out of their passing cars all have massive beards, etc.

Not much idea what I'm trying to say here, but it is interesting.
posted by ominous_paws at 1:11 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]


If "hipster" now basically means "cosmopolitan youngster I don't like," doesn't that mean "hipster" has looped back to its original meaning? That's kind of neat, actually.
posted by grandiloquiet at 10:01 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]


Or as we olds say: GETOFFAMYLAWN!
posted by evilDoug at 12:07 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Nobody thinks this has a mean streak to it?

Possibly, but the nature of humour is that almost always, someone has to look a bit of a fool. The more tactful and skillful among us can make self-deprecation work, but that is a tricky line to walk. Anyway, as the original poster, I was more interested in the hubris here than any potential injurious slant to the story.

Human folly is a theme for the ages.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:34 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


If "hipster" now basically means "cosmopolitan youngster I don't like," doesn't that mean "hipster" has looped back to its original meaning? That's kind of neat, actually.

i don't really see it
posted by thelonius at 5:49 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


I think part of why I find this delicious and not mean is because of my own insecurities around hipsters, especially hipster men. There is nothing quite like their disdain, almost an audible “ugh, woman I don’t want to fuck” — so many times I have walked into a coffee shop and experienced that. It’s my own fault for living in Seattle for so long (and now sometimes it happens to me in Portland, though people are so much warmer here). An excuse to laugh at a hipster is welcome to me and I imagine to many others who have felt like the cool kids were laughing at them most of the time.

Also, this guy’s response was a massive overreaction. There’s a photo credit right there, Getty is a well known stock image source. I guess maybe as a designer I don’t know if other folks don’t notice that or know what it means — but if he was so upset, wouldn’t he first look closer and have that clue him in that they didn’t just use his picture without permission?
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 7:26 PM on March 9 [6 favorites]


Whoa. I've only been to Seattle once, and was incredibly uncomfortable there, but couldn't put my finger on exactly why. People just seemed to naturally treat me with contempt for some reason, I thought maybe because I was a tourist, maybe because fat and middle aged, but "ugh, woman I don't want to fuck" hits the nail right on the head.
posted by Daily Alice at 8:07 PM on March 9 [3 favorites]


I seem to see this quite a bit on the Green when people would preface their Ask request by making it clear that they are a "snowflake". It would be immediately clear that their "snowflake" problem was shared by thousands and thousands. It's the human condition that everyone in this mirror-image world is not as different as we like to imagine.
posted by JJ86 at 7:30 AM on March 10


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