#18) Pregnancy

Saturday, September 20, 2008

There is nothing more humiliating to a hipster than when her thrift-store bought maternity dress stops being ironic.

Tonight, a hipster will be impregnated. Maybe she’ll buckle to the baristo at the local coffee shop, seduced by his beard and self-aware Exxon-Mobil trucker hat. Perhaps it will be that V-necked charmer at the dive bar who claims to be Ariel Pink’s tour manager. Or maybe it will just be that guy whose filthy apartment she’s been sleeping at for the last month so she doesn’t have to pay rent.

Hipsters are very torn about pregnancy. On the one hand, they don’t have any problem with abortion seeing as they got their BA in post-structuralist conceptual astrology and have endured hundreds of hours of NPR, Ira Glass’ infanticidal socialist drone lingering in their subconscious. On the other hand, being pregnant is kind of cool. It gives them some sort of purpose in an otherwise directionless post-graduate existence. In fact, some hipster girls dream of having a traditional nuclear family. They fantasize about their husband handsomely dressed in wool flannel and Ray-Bans returning home from his long shift at the record store and coddling their infant son decked out in a vintage neon Morrissey romper.

That said, most of the time they just get an abortion.

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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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#13) Sports

Friday, August 22, 2008

So far in the Olympics, the American team is achieving victory over China on the overall ranks, taking 31 gold medals, 36 silvers and 35 bronze! Michael Phelps won eight gold medals! For the average American, delivery of this news would be met with emotions ranging from slight satisfaction to raging excitement, possibly prompting a high five or even a leaping chest bump.

But for the average hipster, common physiological responses upon processing this type of information are a steady elevation of one side of the upper lip and a narrowing of the eyes. This is not only because hipsters are disinterested by sports-related information and consider it a waste of mental space similar to the way that some politically-minded Americans feel after hearing celebrity gossip or watching reality television; hipsters shun all sports related things because they actually have an instinctual aversion. In fact, according to ground-breaking research, hipsters experience a knee-jerk reaction of loathing when the prospect of participating in sporting activities, viewing sports on television, or even wearing sports paraphernalia emerges. (Note: The only time hipsters will take on an interest in sports is when it has some kind of ironic quality. For example, hipsters from northwestern Ohio will wear “Cleveland Browns” sports garb and even occasionally attend an event only because the team is known for perpetually losing and also has several bars dedicated it.)

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#6) Smiling

Monday, August 11, 2008

Smiling is considered a natural, often involuntary response to certain stimulating factors in the environment. But recently, scientists have observed a phenomenon in a small subset of American teenagers and post-graduate Liberal Arts majors residing in urban areas. It seems that when these anomalous individuals, whom researchers refer to as the “hipster cohort,” are presented with experimental stimulus considered “pleasant,” “joyus” and “delightful” by the control group (individuals of the same age group located in Grainfield, Kansas), this group will remain completely stoic, offering no facial indication that the stimulus is favorable in any way.

Despite being at a McCarren Park movie screening with all her friends, this hipster appears to be in a catanoic state of misery.

Despite being at a McCarren Park movie screening with all her friends, this hipster appears to be in a catatonic state of misery.

Explanations for this behavior are heavily debated. One possibility is that hipsters, having had all of their needs consistently met and exceeded by indulgent suburban parents, have nothing with which to contrast happiness. Therefore, the hipster’s baseline level of contentment is much higher than that of the average human being.

Hipsters do occasionally smile, but the act is almost always coupled with the act of swiping a major credit card through a reader when making a purchase, especially at faux-vintage clothing stores located in Brooklyn.

To some, especially self-righteous Canadian anarchists, this behavior is looked upon with extreme disdain. In the most recent issue of Adbusters magazine, Douglass Haddow cited this hipster phenomenon as evidence that hipsters are solely responsible for the decline of America Civilization (See article here).

“Less a subculture, the hipster is a consumer group – using their capital to purchase empty authenticity and rebellion,” Haddow writes.

But I don’t think the blame should fall completely on the hipster. Being part of the first generation to face the onslaught of advertisements through technologically advanced mediums, hipsters have simply done what has been asked of them by the capitalist machines past generations have failed to prevent and thus, have effectively created. The fleeting smile in response to capitalistic exchanges – and little else – is something to be expected. Moreover, the modern hipster has come to expect enjoyment from buying things like the people who typically criticize them expect fulfillment from sexual intercourse. (note: while the expectations built around sexual intercourse often exceed the actual pleasure received, the pleasure a hipster experiences from buying random crap is real and can consistently produce a euphoria that lasts hours. This act also requires smoking a cigarette immediately after exiting a location where a purchase was made.)

Additionally, researchers have concluded that the loss of facial motor function and inappropriate emotional response is merely the hipster’s way of adapting to a world in which real anguish is not commonly experienced. This is also why, the worst possible thing for a hipster to encounter is to find out that access to her constant stream of monetary parental support has been cut off until she gets a “real” job to actually earn money to feed her compulsions. This imposition, however, is too ironic for hipsters to handle for the following reason: The only way for hipsters to break out of the patterns that characterize them as such, is to join the very organizations that contributed to their awkward state in the first place: the advertising industries, the corporations, Hollywood – which are the only industries that are still functioning despite the decrepit state of the economy (besides the war profiteering industry).

Perhaps, the satisfaction a hipster gets from shopping at second-hand stores comes from the subconscious knowledge that in buying these products, they are failing to contribute to sweatshop labor and global warming, thereby chipping a minute amount of income away from Corporate America, the Dr. Frankenstein of the hipster cohort. (Note: sadly, these effects are canceled out when anyone shops at Urban Outfitters and American Apparel – 50 items must be purchased at the Salvation Army in order to karmically redeem one item purchased at Urban Outfitters.)

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Photo by Christophe Legris for Stuff Hipsters Don’t Like ©2008.

#3) Concerts at McCarren Park Pool

Friday, August 1, 2008

I definitely don't see any neon in this graphically-rendered crowd.

I definitely don't see any neon in this graphically-rendered crowd.

McCarren Park Pool, the emptied-out, rotting cement basin that once served as an actual pool and now serves as hipster paradise, is going to be turned into an actual pool once again. With $50 million pledged by Mayor Bloomberg, the plan only has to pass one more stage of approval before McCarren Park Pool reverts back to its original state.

At first, the idea doesn’t seem too terrible. I mean, even hipsters like water on a hot summer day. But considering that the Tuesday night movie showings and the Sunday concert series sponsored by JellyNYC are about the only things that will motivate a hipster to assemble, stand in line for hours at a time in the scorching sun, and even dance shuffle around in pouring rain, the transformation of McCarren’s pool basin into an actual functional pool/ice skating rink will likely extinguish any chance Williamsburg’s hipsters may or may not have to become some kind of functional movement, forcing them to retreat back into their smoke-filled artist lofts.

The New York Times featured an article today discussing the plans.

That McCarren Pool will be filled with water again has pleased many longtime residents and activists. But at several recent concerts the prevailing opinion was: bummer.

The article quoted Phyllis Yampolsky, founder of the McCarren Park Conservancy, as ideologically describing McCarren Pool as some sort of community venue that should serve people other than white hipsters with trust funds.

“The basic need of that pool is as a pool and recreation center for all the peoples of North Brooklyn, which includes a lot of black people and a lot of Latino people,” Ms. Yampolsky said. “Its basic needs are not for the fashionistas of Williamsburg.”

What?! Blacks and Latinos at McCarren? Whatever happened to gentrification?

The article also cited one astute hipster girl who is in cahoots about the matter and plans to take action as soon as cool becomes cool again (note: this is the hipster equivalent of pigs flying):

“It was a good run,” said Emmy Tiderington, a 27-year-old Williamsburger with a tattoo snaking down her right shoulder. “Nothing lasts,” she added.

The New York Landmarks Preservation Commission (which has a title as ironic as hipsters strive unsuccessfully to be) is scheduled to meet to pass the final stage of approval later this month. While the Times article cited Stephanie of the Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn as saying that the hipsters have been (surprise!) apathetic about the matter and haven’t shown up for any community board meetings to protest or anything. But who does she think they are? Dirty hippies? Even if a hipster cared enough to stand up for the McCarren pool summer concert series venue, could find out WHEN the meeting was (this website is a fucking enigma), he would likely be too hung over to make it there – let alone suffer through all the boring other topics. Also, hipsters eyes are offended by lack of neon in any given room, and I suspect there would be an abundance of beiges and grays at this meeting.

But the likely truth is, the decision is already made, though not formalized, and the people in charge never wanted the input of the hipsters. If they did, they would serve Bloody Marys at their meetings.

But one keen hipster has an idea: hope everyone else is as lazy as she is.

Elena Gilbert, 22, a Bard College student whose summer plans include five pool shows, looked up briefly from what appeared to be prolific texting to note the one hope for the future of the pool events: bureaucratic delays.“Hopefully it’ll be like the Mermaid Parade,” she said, “where they keep telling you it’s the last summer and it never is.”

I guess this is one big fail for the hipsters. Good luck to JellyNYC for trying to get them all to see concerts in Bushwick. I’ll bet that one will go over as well as any new feature on the Facebook.

****UPDATE****

I recently came across this website containing a petition circulated – err, stationed – by JellyNYC urging the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to open an alternate concert venue in Bushwick. Judging from the turn-out so far, it looks like the hipsters will have no choice but to revert back to their isolated iPod bubbles come next summer.

Just call me hipstrodamus from now on.

As you can see, hipsters have met a whopping 1.14 percent of the target goal.

JellyNYC, you’ve got quite a task ahead of you. Do you realize that trying to get hipsters to sign a petition is like trying to get neocons to be factual?

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Pool image by Gowanus Lounge. Not an actual rendering of the projected plans, just a photoshopped creation. Commentary my own.

Ice sk8ing image is an actual rendering of projected plans. I don’t know why they render lame people in there but I guess that’s their prerogative. Commentary my own.

#2) Being spontaneously photographed

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hipsters love to have their picture taken. Every snapshot is one more chance to achieve the perfect myspace profile picture. But they hate being captured as the rest of the world sees them, spontaneous and digitally unaltered. If you approach a hipster and ask to take his picture, he will either:

A) Oblige, but spend five entire minutes attempting to portray “distant indifference” while shaking his bangs so they fall in the perfect asymmetrical pattern. Then, unless he is in a hurry (note: hipsters don’t actually hurry; they only occasionally quicken pace to give the appearance that they have something more important to do than talk to you), he will inevitably force you to show him the image after and retake it if it does not meet his standards. If it excels his standards, he will insist that you email it to him, further lengthening the encounter.

or B) Contemplate why you want to take his picture, become extremely self-conscious, angstily refuse, and proceed to question his identity, become depressed.

This becomes problematic when attempting to capture true hipster essence. In order to avoid the bad karma of inducing a midlife crisis on your subject (note: while the life expectancy of the average American as calculated by the Centers for Disease control is 77.8 years, the life expectancy of the average hipster according to my own precise calculations is 28 years, so it would really be more like an over-the-hill crisis) or wasting time, I devised an unobtrusive and surefire method to capture hipsters on camera in all their unsuspecting glory.

My lovely assistant will demonstrate:

Have your friend position herself next to the unsuspecting hipster and pretend to take her picture.

Step 1: Have your friend position herself next to the unsuspecting hipster and pretend to take her picture.

Position yourself at an angle that optimally captures both your friend and the angst radiating from your subject.

Step 2: Position yourself at an angle that optimally captures both your friend and the angst radiating from your subject.

More on hipster life expectancy below the jump –>