Click here for the link to download the audio track!

 

I am live-blogging on-stage at this pageant where the hipsters are in full-force!! They are intently watching me as I type into my blogging machine, though they appear to be baffled by its high-tech interface. I think, looking at this crowd… this is what Union Pool must be like. I have never been there before but if it’s anything like this I will have unlimited blog fodder for life! In fact, there are so many of them here that it reminds me of my first time at McCarren Park.

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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.

#5) Gentrification

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Over the past 10 years, the town of Williamsburg has become the latest magnet for high-income business people, driving property value and the cost of living way up for all, including local Puertorriqueño, black and hipster populations. As a result, crime is at an all-time high (note: I really can’t verify that statistically, but two people definitely got stabbed with machetes by a gang in the nabe recently.)

When asked if the victims were also gang members, a police officer stationed nearby the scene replied, “Nah, they were probably some kids from Oklahoma who started shit with the people who have lived here their whole lives.”

While hipsters have multiple tattoos and like to dress “hard,” they are not actually skilled with martial arts or weaponry. It is likely that in this case, and many other gentrification-driven acts of violence, hipsters have been wrongfully targeted and blamed by those in financial duress, who confused them with the corporate tools who work so much they don’t even have the opportunity to walk around the streets after 10 pm to get attacked.

If there is one thing hipsters hate more than being victims of violent crime, it is being confused with young professionals. I mean, they wear nothing but navy pantsuits and topsiders.

Thus, hipsters view gentrification as a serious issue.

Aside from being offended by mistaken associations, hipsters naturally clash with the corporate-attire wielding market researchers and investment bankers slowly filling the luxury condos and artist lofts. This is not necessarily because hipsters are morally opposed to the corrupt processes that these people willingly feed with their employment, but because their oblivion is soo ironic it hurts a hipster’s mind to think about. The whole point of living in an artsy slum is to be able to work 3 shifts a week at a shitty coffee shop and have money for rent, drugs and concert tickets. But the gentrifiers in Williamsburg work 40-hour weeks and listen to bands like Bon Jovi, missing out on the finer points of the location they are co-opting.

Kristen Reynolds, 24 who recently moved to Williamsburg from Portland and works at a local restaurant, put the situation nicely:

“I mean, why should I have to take out more money from my trust fund in order to be able to live near some professional stock loser? I would rather be mugged than hear Elton John through my wall.”

Torn between living in immediate danger and immediate wet-towelness, gentrification has forced the hipsters to retreat to the north, unofficially designating “red zones” where hipsters are ill-advised to live. These zones can be seen by this carefully rendered map:

As you can see, the only areas not vetoed by the hipster population are within a 3-block radius from the north side of Bedford Avenue, and maybe Soho.

As you can see, the only areas not vetoed by the hipster population are within a 3-block radius from the north side of Bedford Avenue, and maybe Soho.

Hipsters also do not like gentrification because some righteous hippies on city council are using it as an excuse to close McCarren Pool (and by close I mean spend millions of dollars to make it an actual pool again). See the third thing Hipsters Don’t Like for more on this.

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Map editing by Lola Wakefield 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.

#1) Hipsters

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hipsters have a particular disdain for their peers. They are ruthless when it comes to criticizing the outfits/haircuts/body modifications of the other people around them, and often hold impromptu competitions to see who can spot the biggest hipster in the room. Winner would take all, if he cared – which he doesn’t. You know you have encountered a true hipster his first utterance when entering a venue is “Jesus, this place is crawling with hipsters.”

I can't stand these fucking people

("I can't stand these fucking people")

The hipster will not make any attempt to whisper or conceal his disdain for one reason and one reason only: the hipster does not believe that he is a hipster. Just as Clayton Bigsby, the blind white supremacist played by Dave Chapelle, goes about his life unaware that he is actually black, hipsters attend free showings of movies like A Wet Hot American Summer and The Virgin Suicides at McCarren Park Pool blissfully unaware that they are not really as ironic as they think they are. (Note: any attempt to inform a hipster that he actually is a hipster should be considered futile; be prepared for an incredulous stink eye followed by immediate nonchalance.)