#14) Dancing

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Every weeknight, clumps of hipsters set off to journey through the streets of Williamsburg. They have two goals and two goals only: find a dance party and get laid. To the untrained observer, such as a tagalong roommate who wants to know where the distant hipster is going all dressed up in the American Apparel dress she can only wear once seven times as an actual dress because it will shrink to 65% of its original size after the first wash, it would naturally follow that the reason for wanting to be in a locaiton where dancing occurs is to participate, as most humans find dancing to be an exhilarating and sometimes cathartic experience that often leads to a release of endorphins and occasionally sexual intercourse (hella endorphins!).

But the dance party-seeking hipster has no intention of actually dancing. This is primarily because this activity is mutually exclusive from getting laid for hipsters and so must be avoided at all costs. In anomalous instances hipsters will attempt to dance, imagining that they look like this to onlookers:

But the most they ever achieve is dressing like this (poorly). These delusions of grandeur are merely side effects of the narcissistic state they exist in. In reality, they likely look like this:

In fact, this is the primary reason why most hipsters seek dance parties: to watch hipsters with alcohol-induced confidence flail like a whirling dervish throughout an empty dance floor. This serves both to momentarily relieve the hipster observer’s state of unbearable boredom and to provide a false sense of confidence regarding his or her own dancing skills as he thinks, “Wow. I mean, nobody could be as awkward as that guy.”

In the cover story of the most recent issue of Adbusters (Hipsters: The Dead End of Western Civilization), author Douglas Haddow described the hipster dance scene as follows:

The dance floor at a hipster party looks like it should be surrounded by quotation marks. While punk, disco and hip hop all had immersive, intimate and energetic dance styles that liberated the dancer from his/her mental states – be it the head-spinning b-boy or violent thrashings of a live punk show – the hipster has more of a joke dance. A faux shrug shuffle that mocks the very idea of dancing or, at its best, illustrates a non-committal fear of expression typified in a weird twitch/ironic twist. The dancers are too self-aware to let themselves feel any form of liberation; they shuffle along, shrugging themselves into oblivion. –AdBusters Issue 79

But like most self-righteous anarchist outsiders, Haddow misses the mark with his analysis of hipster dancing more than the people who thought that New Yorker cover with Obama in a turban cover was racist! (Note: The chick who wrote that post called The New Yorker’s satirical tactics “hipster racism!!!” Hilarious! And so misguided.)

Though the behavior of the lone flailer may seem to be a symptom of excessive confidence, it is actually the result of traumatizing middle school dances where the fledgling hipster, in his attempt to dance to The Backstreet Boys and Aqua, faced ego-crushing giggles from girls in matching Limited Too dresses and possibly abandonment from his posse. To overcome this dancing insecurity, the hipster, in adulthood, has learned to wile out while rationalizing the behavior with mental one-liners such as “whatever, I don’t care what other people think,” and “at least I’m secure enough with myself to dance, unlike all those losers,” which he practices delivering nightly infront of his bathroom mirror.

Hipster dancers alleviate both the mental states of insecurity that the dancer himself has been imprisoned motionlessly by for his pre-Williamsburg existence (although the trauma was such that he does not really enjoy the act of dancing itself), and the state of boredom that the dance party-seeking observer attempts to counter with her nightly binge drinking ventures.

So you see, Adbusters is not qualified to comment on hipster culture and the editors should probably just consult me next time they want to attempt it.

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10 Responses to “#14) Dancing”

  1. steve said

    i like dancing….?!

  2. Jimbo said

    If you follow it down to the lowest level though: white people just weren’t meant to dance.

  3. […] we all know that hipsters don’t dance: it’s a scientific fact. Posted in music. Tags: Fuck Buttons, […]

  4. aa said

    haha hella is a CA word. northern to be more precise
    how do you know it?

    • Shaniel said

      “haha hella is a CA word. northern to be more precise
      how do you know it?”

      Haha, please tell me that you are seriously implying that only Northern Californians use the word ‘hella.’ Sorry, but it’s not even a particularly clever word – let alone unique. It would seem that everyone else has caught on to your hip colloquialism.

  5. Nathanael said

    That first video is freaking awesome! Ok so the music is a little annoying, the dressing up thing is a bit much, but dang those guys can shake it, and most importantly it looks like a lot of fun. As long as people are having fun, there’s hope. Hope Not Hate.

  6. oddwo892 said

    Damned if we do dance, damned if we don’t.

  7. Django3000 said

    I asked the members of Trans Am , elder statesmen of the indie post-punk live electronica circuit once, what they thought of the fact that nobody dances to their clearly throbbing beat-heavy live shows.

    They were as confused as me. Only rationale I can figure for why they still do what they do?

    It must be getting them laid.

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