a study in semantics: hipster
hipster is a term that has been completely bastardized in modern culture. the origins of the word come from the 1940s/1950s for upper middle class white folks following the cutting edge black jazz musicians of the day. the term gained popularity again in the 2000s to define people who were involved in alternative culture.
the reason i started doing some hipster research is because i looked up the yelp reviews for the bar and restaurant i work at. the term hipster came up in at least 95% of the reviews and was intended to be a negative reflection of the establishment. of the 15+ people i work with i would say only two (maybe) have the “hipster” look. our clientele includes families, tourists, historic reenactors, science and business professionals during the week, and straight bridge and tunnel on weekend evenings. soooo, where exactly is my place of business getting this title from? i got really agitated reading these reviews because hipster has now come to mean something beyond the word’s original meaning. basically the term has come to define everything and everyone that makes people feel less cool than they hoped they were.
lets be honest. your feelings about your level of coolness is on YOU. no one is that fucking hip to any subculture or scene and if you feel really bad about not being on the up and up thats not my problem. the only person that is truly a hipster by the 2000s standard is some kid living in rural georgia creating music on a homemade electronic auto-tuning banjo in his grandaddy’s chicken coop with 3 of his closest friends who make t shirts out of egg yolks and poop found in said coop that they sell at a roadside stand. everything has been done to death. i really cant say it better than fred armisen in this clip from portlandia
its really not that hard to look like a hipster. in fact, anyone can do it. i actually suggest you do it instead of wasting time on yelp using “hipster” like a dirty word. and it would be a huge favor to all of us that need to look at you. they’re called uggs for a reason. THEY’RE UGLY! so below please find some easy tips to start your cool new path to hipsterdom. even the biggest idiot can follow these easy steps to stop feeling bad about themselves and hating on everything that makes them feel like a huge dork.
- if you hit up your local thrift store or an urban outfitters sale then you too can look like a hipster. its not that hard to get some skinny jeans and a leather jacket.
- skip the flannel shirt. they dont look flattering on anyone besides a lumberjack. also, you should know that the tools on jersey shore wear plaid shirts with their bling and air force 1s.
- pbr isnt cool. it IS less disgusting than schlitz, bud and coors. and its cheap. if its hip to drink something inexpensive since you’re broke and would rather your beer taste like water over piss, then yeah, pbr is totally fucking cool. if you’re broke just find the least expensive, least offensive beer and drink it and stop being concerned about what can it comes in.
- that really sweet star (yes, im guilty)/sparrow/nostalgic childhood book character/bicycle/mustache on your finger/knuckles/boom box or other sound producing device tattoo is tomorrow’s tribal. express yourself on a piece of canvas with some oil paints.
- get some better taste in music. this is easy, i promise. if arcade fire is in the same category as katy perry at the grammys then anyone with interwebs and ears can easily access interesting music.
so kids, this was your easy guide to feel like a real life hipster. now you can stop using hipster like a 4 letter word. or you could just go find a smoky jazz joint and really stick it to your 1950s upper middle class upbringing by being a hepcat.