#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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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!

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

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

#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.