# 11) Misha Calvert… and pageants in general
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I e-met this hipSTAR after our pet projects were featured 2 posts away from each other on FREEwilliamsburg.com, which I’m sure you all check daily, if not by having the page perpetually open and refreshing the screen every few minutes or so. After robbing a bodega and creating the Mr and Miss Williamsburg Pageant as retribution, Misha became an infamous icon in the hipster realm, attracting a stream of comments with such sentiments as “I hope your eggs fall out Misha,” “i hope you fall onto the L train tracks” and “lousy fucking bitch-cunt,” among others. But shrugging these comments off with skilled nonchalance, her pageant will prevail – and be attended by Gawker.
Mischa reached out to me through email and suggested that I participate in her pageant. I wrote her back, commended her for robbing the bodega (which started this whole escapade), and graciously agreed to participate. After that, we emailed each other back and forth so much that we automatically popped up on each others’ g-talk lists, and so the conversations began.
One day, Misha said, “I’d love to do an interview.” My narcissistic inclinations shining through, I asked when she wanted to interview me. Her narcissistic inclinations trumping mine tenfold, she explained that she was asking me to interview her.
In the midst of awkward confusion, Misha suggested that we “shake up the medium” and interview each other, and so this interview was born. Hopefully, it will satiate everyone’s narcissistic inclinations:
Lola: So Misha, judging from some of the comments on websites that featured your pageant, it appears that hipsters don’t like you. Do you generally find this to be true?
Misha: First of all, thank you for recognizing that I am not a hipster. Although by many accounts, that very denial would make me one.
Lola: This is correct
Misha: Hipster-ness, and hipsters in general are very nebulous, so it is hard for me to draw the line… that is: the line between people who don’t like me who are or are not hipsters. There’s all sorts of people who don’t like me. But to answer the question I would say no, most H-words probably don’t like me either. Probably because I am attempting to satirize their existence. I don’t blame hipsters for passing judgment. But it does get boring.Anyway, my turn! What is the most pretentious industry in new york and why?Lola: I would have to say without question, the media industry. It is full of people with a sense of self-importance unmatched by all other humans, except possibly hipsters. They feel that Americans will be interested in reading their personal mind vomit while failing to recognize that most people only care about themselves. That’s why my strategy subverts common media techniques by appealing to the narcissism of my readers, and my own at the same time.Misha: I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.Lola: Indeed, I agree.Moving on, I notice that the tag line for your pageant is “bring irony to new lows.” As hipsters enjoy irony, is this pageant meant to attract hipster contestants?If so, would it be the ultimate irony to a hipster, should one win the pageant? I mean, winning the crown would pretty much be acknowledging one’s hipsterdom, which is a strange and almost unheard-of concept in the U.S. (Note: This does not apply to foreigners. Austrialians for example, not having been imposed upon by Corporate America from birth, innocently acknowledge their pseudo-hipsterdom.)Misha: Agreed, not identifying with it, not admitting to labels, is at the crux of Hipsterism. I think it goes along with the po-mo pastiche aesthetic that has become so dominant across-disciplines: design, music, fashion etc.I’m trying to be careful not to label too much about the pageant. It narrows things a great deal, any labeling-judgment-type statements about what is and is not hipster enough to compete, enter, win etc.Which sounds completely counter to throwing a Williamsburg competition to begin with.But I’m just putting it together, and letting the judges and audience figure it out.Would it be ironic? Sort of. I mean, it is Williamsburg. H-words are our specialty.Lola: That’s very perceptive, Misha.Misha: Which brings me to wonder: what do you like most about Williamsburg? and what do you resent most?Lola: Ahh that’s an easy one.My favorite aspect of Williamsburg is of course, the abundant amount of hipsters. They are ripe for sociological experimentation and make for prime blog fodder.The thing I enjoy least, is the cost of rent. I can’t afford my fancy artist loft anymore, and may be forced to live in a tent on the roof of the building! It’s a great location though and the landlord has OKed it, so I think it will be fine. And trust me, I will have plenty of roof parties.Now, you may be thinking, “Aren’t hipsters responsible for the rising cost of rent?” But you would be wrong. I place the blame entirely on yuppies and the realtors who anticipate yuppie infiltration.Misha: What an interesting point Lola. What, in your opinion, separates yuppies from hipsters? And how are they similar?Lola: It’s technically my turn but I’ll let this one slide.Yuppies are typically part of Corporate America, generate some kind of income to support themselves, and are typically numb to the concept of “selling out” because they perpetually engage in it.On the other hand, hipsters generate virtually no income, are completely dependent on their parents, and are virtually worthless to the American economy other than as consumers in the coffee and cocaine industries.They are similar in that some hipsters have secret desires to obtain monetary success and yuppies fantasize about quitting their jobs to shop and drink bloody Marys at 1 in the afternoon daily.Misha: I bow to your expertise.Lola: Thank you, Misha. You’re too kind. Now I have to ask, in light of the many “H-word” opinions that your pageant is, and I quote, an “obnoxious circle jerk celebrating the fact that we’re privileged assholes,” (keep in mind that this vocal objector used the term “WE,” indicting her hipster status) do you think that such objectors should be automatically entered in the pageant and forced to compete?Misha: Absolutely. The pageant staff has already reached out to some of the most vocal naysayers via facebook, seeing as they are as much a part of the community as anyone. Hatred or no.Most declined to comment, enter, or acknowledge our existence…save for posting what we said to them on their favorite blogs, complete with their snarky addendums.Lola: Wow. That’s so ironic it’s not.Well, Misha, I have sure enjoyed this interview. Any last burning questions for me? I have to meet a friend for lunch in a bit here.Misha: Are you dating anyone?An H-word maybe?They’re actually not bad to date.Lola: I am not currently dating anyone. However, I am being stalked by a hipster who enjoys my blog, perhaps a bit too much. But just like the “Banker Seeking Hipster” Craigslist posting ponders, who knows what will happen?Misha: Bravo. Good luck with the stalker.Lola: Thanks! And good luck with the pageant, Misha. I will see you there
And so it will be. For all you Williamsburgers curious to glimpse the physical attributes of the mysterious Lola Wakefield, you may get your opportunity September 5th.
Photos courtesy of Misha Calvert’s facebook profile. Yoink!