My hipster dilemma – part 3

Thursday, November 27, 2008

An artist's rendition of my hipster dilemma.

An artist's rendition of my hipster dilemma.

Things are starting to get weird. I’ve been waking up at 8:30 to be at work at 10 am every week day — an oddity since my natural waking time is between the hours of 2 and 4 pm — working all day every Saturday and Sunday nights. Well, OK. I usually wake up at 9:30 and get to my day job at 10:30, but nobody cares… hopefully. AND, I can wear whatever the hell I want (read: NOT corporate attire).

This workforce regularity seems to suggest I am falling away from hipsterdom. If one were to examine this piece of evidence alone, it would be reasonable to predict that, within the month, I will be going to the opera and learning to cook. However, an expert researcher and blogumentary maker such as myself always looks at the larger picture, which is best illustrated by this g-talk conversation between my good friend Howard Duesterberg and myself..

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[My hipster dilemma – part 2]

Monday, August 25, 2008

I don’t know if this blogging venture is getting to me or what, but this weekend, I had the most hipster moment of my entire existence.

The afternoon sun deceptively boasted an atmosphere suitable for lounging around, but my best friend had to catch a plane to France and time was of the essence. It was noon when I left for The Lodge, and I knew I would have to hurry and chug those buy-one-get-one bloody Marys so she could leave for the airport by 1:30.

The hipster moment started when we realized it was 1:45 and did not yet have the check.

“Oh shit, I have to go. I haven’t even packed yet. We have to hurry!” my friend recognized. (Note: As you may know, hurrying is not something that hipsters are capable of.)

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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.

[Hipster scouting: Craigslist New York]

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

One of the girls I share a Williamsburg artist loft with recently sent me this cry of desperation yuppie fantasy romance plea she came across in the Craigslist personals (I don’t know why she was looking through them. Don’t ask don’t tell, right?).

Anyway, I thought I would post this to give hipsters hope that, despite their outward standoffishness and unemployability, they too can find romance with the middle-aged banker of their dreams!

Banker looking for hipster

Who knows if it’ll work out?
You can’t wait to tear off my pinstripe suit. If you rip any buttons I’ll totally stretch out that tshirt you bought off etsy and pass off as your own.
On Monday nights you’ll try and get me to drink. You’ll think I won’t because I have an adult job. But I won’t because I want to be lucid for this week’s episode of The Hills.
The next day you’ll tell me that my job is boring and that you hate the Upper West Side. But the truth is that you kinda like making out in central park and enjoy that my bonus can cover all the grilled cheese sandwiches you dig. I’ll make fun of whatever dirty street you live on in Brooklyn, but I know it’s a lot more fun.
You’ll pretend you can cook and make me pancakes. I’ll probably distract you while you cook and you’ll probably burn them. It’s OK; I’ve got waffles in the freezer.
I don’t have to tell you what I do or my background. I’m great on paper (school, work, charities). I’m 6’1”…handsome and jewish/irish. You be cute, wear scarves, make witty/biting remarks, and have an infectious smile/laugh.
After a while I’ll probably become a vegetarian because of you and you’ll probably start bringing up op-eds from the wall street journal when you’re hanging out with your friends. It’s cool. Don’t fight it. I promise we’ll have the sweetest combined movie/CD collection of all the couples you know.
Send a PICTURE, AGE AND LOCATION. thanks. :)

I have a feeling that this scenario, should it be actualized by a lone hipsteress with a yuppie fetish, could lead to the most epic tale of unlikely romance of the century (think Pretty Woman but more high-tech and awkward). As a precaution, I will claim rights to that screenplay right now.

Be warned though: evolutionarily speaking, the human race has never experienced a cross of this kind. If said couple actually achieved a combined movie/CD collection that kept them together long enough to mate, the result would likely be a new species…

He can watch sports and pretend to listen while she tells him all about Catcher in the Rye...

He can count his money and pretend to listen while she tells him all about Catcher in the Rye...

According to evolutionary biologists, the yupster offspring would likely experience inclinations to both climb the corporate ladder (which would be met with seemingly unmotivated gifts from his father and poorly-masked glances of disappointment from his mother), and defy corporate dress codes by wearing neon ties and metallic converse high tops (earning grim diatribes from his father and loving gestures of acceptance from his mother). This will result in the need for staff psychologists to develop a whole new scale to measure neuroticism and an entire section in the DSM-IV manual, aka the crazy guide.

The yupster hybrid would go on to create intriguing controversy within the company but would ultimately end up quitting to explore the possibilities of his sub-par punk band (which would of course emply viral marketing schemes to gain followers) or move to Hollywood to direct the movie of the story of his sad existence. Both courses of action would inevitably result in failure (note: the directing plan had promise, but was unfortunately aborted due to an inadvertent copyright breach, followed by a hefty lawsuit).

Mr. Banker, I don’t know if your romantic quest will work out either, but I sure hope it doesn’t – for the sake of the children.

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Photo of hipstress reading by Christophe Legris for Stuff Hipsters Don’t Like ©2008