My hipster dilemma – part 3

Thursday, November 27, 2008

An artist's rendition of my hipster dilemma.

An artist's rendition of my hipster dilemma.

Things are starting to get weird. I’ve been waking up at 8:30 to be at work at 10 am every week day — an oddity since my natural waking time is between the hours of 2 and 4 pm — working all day every Saturday and Sunday nights. Well, OK. I usually wake up at 9:30 and get to my day job at 10:30, but nobody cares… hopefully. AND, I can wear whatever the hell I want (read: NOT corporate attire).

This workforce regularity seems to suggest I am falling away from hipsterdom. If one were to examine this piece of evidence alone, it would be reasonable to predict that, within the month, I will be going to the opera and learning to cook. However, an expert researcher and blogumentary maker such as myself always looks at the larger picture, which is best illustrated by this g-talk conversation between my good friend Howard Duesterberg and myself..

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#15) Global warming

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hipsters have inadvertently devised a method to stop the ravaging of resources from the planet, reduce fossil fuel emissions and conserve energy. But unfortunately for their credibility among hippie environmentalists, they typically have no idea they are being green! (Although it is possible that Al Gore and all the “green becoming stylish” ad campaigns have finally beat their way in to those advertising-averted skulls.)

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#8) Corporate attire

Thursday, August 14, 2008

***RECENTLY UPDATED***

The other day, I did something awful for which I will surely be shunned throughout Williamsburg:

I got hired.

Oh, it gets worse. I didn’t just get hired at any old dive bar or bodega – I was hired by a corporation in the financial district where I would work 9-5 shifts. At such an institution, the term “disposable income” might cease to be an intangible concept like “the real world” and “success.” (Note: especially for hipsters, these things are eternally intangible.)

I don’t know what made me apply with that temp agency in the first place. Hipsters characteristically abhor employment and having self-generated income, preferring instead to spend their days complaining about their lack of adhesion to the larger world outside their college bubbles. To be a genuine hipster, I should have embraced my inner insecurity and continued spending business hours searching craigslist job postings at the local internet cafe and sleeping in my windowless room. By joining Corporate America, my hipster dilemma would cease to be a dilemma.

But as I would learn going to my job interview, the worst part about being employed by a corporation is that you automatically become excommunicated from hipster social circles. This happens for many reasons, the most prominent of which is that you are forced to do something that is intolerable in a hipster’s mind: You must wear “corporate attire.”

It was on this day I realized that while hipsters will enthusiastically faux-grudgingly wear any combination of seemingly ridiculous or unfunctional clothing and walk down Bedford Avenue with pride (or at least with a “I know I’m hot but if you look at me again I will fucking kill you” ambiance), the one thing a hipster will not wear is a suit. They are also hesitant about anything that falls under the “corporate attire” category.

For example, here is a website that attempts to market corporate attire to hipster females:
working and new trends. Perhaps they thought they would be fooled into buying because of their irony?

This website attempt to lure its target audience by advertising with two things hipsters dislike: working and participating in "new trends." Perhaps they thought the irony would fool them into buying their merch?

As you can see, this company is trying to market it’s clothing to both the hipster and the corporate whore, but I anticipate their plan will fail due to the prominance of the “how to” section on their site. Hipsters would never buy anything from someone who is telling them how to do something, especially if that something is dressing like a yupster.

Walking down Havemeyer at 8:00 am (AM!!! Note: This is a hipster’s deepest REM sleep time), the streets were empty save a few hipsters in suits. If you think that the disposition of a hipster is generally distraught, seeing the agony on the faces of the few hipsters whoring themselves out to Corporate America, onlookers would surely assume they were on their way to a concentration camp.

Beyond being physically uncomfortable in the loose-fitting slacks, non-v-necked button-up shirts and other items of customary corporate garb, hipsters feel the utmost sense of embarassment while walking the streets of Williamsburg in such blasphemous clothing. As researchers have learned through in-depth interviews with corporate hipsters, this feeling can only be compared to what hipsters felt when were forced to walk the halls of their middle schools wearing parentally-purchased items that weren’t at all what the “cool” kids were wearing. As this crippling stage of development is known as the root of all the common hipster’s problems (and is therefore considered the inspiration for their pilgrimige to Williamsburg), the irony that these feelings should be rekindled in their place of solace is too much for the hipster to bear. To compensate, the corporate hipster then spends approximately 85% of his gross income on cocaine and Jack Daniels.

At my interview I was instantly hired and asked to come in for a background test the next morning. I left feeling desolate at the thought I would have to endure the hipster walk of shame every week day. I couldn’t even fathom what the walk home from the JMZ would be like, what with the hipsters awake and in full force. I resigned myself to taking comfort in that I would soon be home and could change into an empire-waisted plaid dress and flip flops.

****UPDATE!!!!!!!!!!****

Good news: By a stroke of luck I slept through my background check! I was deeply humbled by that extreme close call and have since vowed to never work anywhere where “corporate attire” is required. Or anywhere that I have to wake up at 7:30 am every day. Or anywhere with the word “Corporation” in its title.

That same day, I was hired on Bedford Avenue! When I walked in on my first day, my manager (who wears tight jeans and has hella tattoos) was smoking a cigarette outside while the front desk was unattended. Hence, my first official training exercise was “how to smoke cigarettes and stand around.” I go into work at 4pm and the only requirement is that I “try to be nice to people.” I’m making a full $10 and hour less than I would be at the corporation, but I can do whatever the fuck I want (which consists of blogging and drinking coffee)!

Expect great posts to come.

#5) Gentrification

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Over the past 10 years, the town of Williamsburg has become the latest magnet for high-income business people, driving property value and the cost of living way up for all, including local Puertorriqueño, black and hipster populations. As a result, crime is at an all-time high (note: I really can’t verify that statistically, but two people definitely got stabbed with machetes by a gang in the nabe recently.)

When asked if the victims were also gang members, a police officer stationed nearby the scene replied, “Nah, they were probably some kids from Oklahoma who started shit with the people who have lived here their whole lives.”

While hipsters have multiple tattoos and like to dress “hard,” they are not actually skilled with martial arts or weaponry. It is likely that in this case, and many other gentrification-driven acts of violence, hipsters have been wrongfully targeted and blamed by those in financial duress, who confused them with the corporate tools who work so much they don’t even have the opportunity to walk around the streets after 10 pm to get attacked.

If there is one thing hipsters hate more than being victims of violent crime, it is being confused with young professionals. I mean, they wear nothing but navy pantsuits and topsiders.

Thus, hipsters view gentrification as a serious issue.

Aside from being offended by mistaken associations, hipsters naturally clash with the corporate-attire wielding market researchers and investment bankers slowly filling the luxury condos and artist lofts. This is not necessarily because hipsters are morally opposed to the corrupt processes that these people willingly feed with their employment, but because their oblivion is soo ironic it hurts a hipster’s mind to think about. The whole point of living in an artsy slum is to be able to work 3 shifts a week at a shitty coffee shop and have money for rent, drugs and concert tickets. But the gentrifiers in Williamsburg work 40-hour weeks and listen to bands like Bon Jovi, missing out on the finer points of the location they are co-opting.

Kristen Reynolds, 24 who recently moved to Williamsburg from Portland and works at a local restaurant, put the situation nicely:

“I mean, why should I have to take out more money from my trust fund in order to be able to live near some professional stock loser? I would rather be mugged than hear Elton John through my wall.”

Torn between living in immediate danger and immediate wet-towelness, gentrification has forced the hipsters to retreat to the north, unofficially designating “red zones” where hipsters are ill-advised to live. These zones can be seen by this carefully rendered map:

As you can see, the only areas not vetoed by the hipster population are within a 3-block radius from the north side of Bedford Avenue, and maybe Soho.

As you can see, the only areas not vetoed by the hipster population are within a 3-block radius from the north side of Bedford Avenue, and maybe Soho.

Hipsters also do not like gentrification because some righteous hippies on city council are using it as an excuse to close McCarren Pool (and by close I mean spend millions of dollars to make it an actual pool again). See the third thing Hipsters Don’t Like for more on this.

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Map editing by Lola Wakefield for Stuff Hipsters Don’t Like ©2008

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