#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!).

Read the rest of this entry »

It was my best friend’s going away party. She was leaving for France the following morning and her roommate threw her a bash so that hopefully she would still be drunk when she got on the plane. Over the course of the night, I sought the biggest hipsters I could spot and struck up conversations, discretely studying my subjects in the wild. I anticipated encountering some awkward pauses and music elitism galore, but I never expected I would end up shooing coke-head hipster secret society members out of my friend’s bathroom.

There were four of them; three were clad in identical skin-tight black jeans and an assortment of black and white shirts and black leather jackets, and the other one (I can only assume he was the leader) was sporting a plaid button-down. When I commented on one of the jackets, the SS hipster disclosed that he got it at Beacon’s Closet for $20! During introductions, SS Hipster #1 did not hesitate to inform me of his self-importance.

“Yeah, I’m in a secret society,” he said nonchalantly, tossing his bangs.

“That’s cool,” I said. “What’s the point of it?”

“Yeah…” he started, a faraway look in his eyes, “I can’t really talk about it. You know. It’s a secret society.”

“Oh yeah, whatever. It’s fine,” I replied. “I’ll probably be tapped soon anyway.”

Later on that night they invited me to join! “Ah, sorry, I’m already in two others.”

When the party started to wind down, my friend’s roommate left for the bar with his posse, leaving just a few us to proceed with drunken goodbyes. But then all of a sudden, the hipster secret society members were back and snorting coke in my friend’s room!

I don’t know what it is about secret society hipsters that makes them think it’s OK to be the last people at a party where they don’t know anyone where even the host is trying to leave, while they wait for their friend to “use the bathroom” for 15 minutes (I fear for her nasal cavity!) but like, that’s gotta be a party foul on some level. It’s cool though because I had the opportunity to take this photo and blow their cover! In the absence of my photographer, I had to revert to my tried and true hipster-photography method of inserting a plant into the pic.

Tap this!

Tap this!

__________________________________________________________

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

Expert Photoshopping by Laine Stranahan for Stuff Hipsters Don’t Like ©2008

This bodega-robbing pageant creator actually asked me interview her. That's kind of narcissictic, but whatever...

This bodega-robbing pageant creator actually asked me interview her. Me thinks that's pretty narcissistic, but whatever...

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

Read the rest of this entry »

When one spots a hipster on the street, his first inclination is rarely to strike up a conversation. Given hipsters’ sullen facial affect and copious amounts of street cred-earning tattoos, they are generally viewed as standoffish and even mean.

More recently, they are sometimes even referred to as “the new jocks.” This label incenses hipsters for a variety of reasons. For one, it is inaccurate; while jocks have measurable talents, hipsters do not posses talents beyond sleeping until traditional dinner hours, binge drinking and pimping their myspace profiles.

Another reason this title bothers hipsters is because they do not acknowledge themselves as oppressors. In fact, their whole image is based on being oppressed. If they were known as oppressors, they would lose their ability to receive benefits from society like being given “the benefit of doubt” when they don’t show up for work and second chances in relationships where the significant other “just doesn’t want to hurt” the hipster. This is similar to how blacks are now losing affirmative action privileges since they are viewed as a threat in workplace power hierarchies.

Also, hipsters had to endure socially-acceptable torture from jocks in their fragile years of adolescent development, AKA the “awkward phase.” In fact, jock harassment is partially responsible for the birth of the modern hipster (which would cause hipsters to hate jocks even more if they ever acknowledged that). After launching a high school and early-college rebellion (which consisted of not caring what “those assholes” thought, scamming on jocks’ girlfriends and blasting punk music in the parking lot), the jock was ousted from his spot at the top of the social ladder. (Note: Some jocks will vehemently deny this claim, using their fraternity status as proof of sustained status, but the fact that they must now spend thousands of dollars to immerse themselves in these realities of alternate cool – which are similar to WoW and Second Life – to feel superior is objective evidence against their case.)

All the while this was happening, however, the hipster went about life unaware that this transition had occurred, as is the case with most other things involving hipsters and their place in the world. That is why, as you can imagine, some hipsters are shocked and appalled to be equated with jocks. I say some because the majority of hipsters, not identifying as such, have jumped on the bandwagon with this train of thought. They can be heard wholeheartedly agreeing that hipsters are just like filthy jocks.

But there is a logical flaw in the comparison of hipsters with jocks that may alarm you because of its counterintuitivity: Hipsters are not actually mean, they are just really awkward. Their outward appearance of angst and annoyance is really just the physical manifestation of the hipster’s inner awkwardness.

For example, if a male hipster is considering talking to a female of interest, the female will likely notice the male scowling in her direction. This is because the hipster is weighing the possible outcomes of an interaction. You see, due to the years of jock-bullying during adolescence, hipsters have developed warped negative self-images and anticipate their interactions to end in some form of awkwardness. Evolutionarily, this defense mechanism has developed as an adaptive way for hipsters to save themselves from embarrassment, which would further weaken their self-images. But this plan also works against hipsters, as it thwarts social interactions and decreases their chances of mating.

To understand the hipster’s thought process in situations of potential human interaction, watch this video that was recently posted on FREEwilliamsburg.com, the hipster’s equivalent of The New York Times or Reuters.

As you can see, pervasive fears of awkwardness in the hipster’s psyche account for many additional hipster behaviors that are often misinterpreted as “snubbing” someone. These behaviors manifest in scenarios involving going to restaurants, riding elevators and all social interactions in general.

Let me just say, this video was filmed in Williamsburg for more reasons than one.