[Hipster scouting: Rockaway Beach]

Monday, September 1, 2008

Typically when people engage in summer activities, they dress in a certain way that minimizes heat close to the body and allows for perspiration to occur. Wearing minimal clothing also allows the sun to have contact with the skin, causing a cascade of enzymatic reactions that doctors believe to cause beneficial effects on mood and skin-tone. Some common items of summer clothing include shorts — or the hipster variation, jorts — tank tops, and loose-fitting t-shirts. This is especially the case when the potential for swimming exists, as people do not typically enter water wearing tight, restrictive clothing. This of course excludes divers, who wear wetsuits. It is also customary to wear light colors during times of extended sun exposure, as dark colors absorb the suns rays and increase heat.

I myself was wearing a red bikini at Rockaway beach earlier this week, allowing for maximal heat deflection and sun exposure. As I was laying in the sand enjoying the scenery, I spotted something out of the ordinary: a dark figure approaching on the horizon…

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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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#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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PANDAMONIUM – Bedford Avenue

Sunday, August 17, 2008

As I was closing up shop after a long day’s work sitting around on Bedford Ave at 10pm tonight, I was shocked to see something that I never thought I would ever see: Hipsters assembling! On their own accord – they weren’t even tricked by advertising gimmicks or indie bands!

At first I wasn’t quite sure what was going on. There were hundreds of hipsters in the street walking alongside cop cars with flashing lights. My initial thought was that it was a parade, and the helicopter flying overhead was lighting the way as a good Samaritan effort. Like the fun parades where the cop cars and firetrucks sound their sirens real loud right before the old men in Kiwanis come out driving little cars and beauty pageant queens and the Mayor ride by in convertibles.

Well, if it was one of those parades I would have peaced out. But naturally, because I saw an abundance of hipsters, I followed the commotion right to the center.

After traveling all the way from Union Square, the hipsters had come to a halt at Bedford Avenue. Led by “Panda-monium,” the group who -get this- routinely assembles at “The Change You Want to See” building on Havemeyer, protestors (and hipsters who like costumes, woo!) attempted to relcaim the streets for the purposes of the people who live and play there as opposed to profit-seeking companies encouraging consumption. Dozens of Williamsburgers decked out in Panda masks (one even had a fluffy white belly) were leading protest chants about Pandas and, later on, police brutality.

Aside from the pandas though, there were at least 200 other people assembled around Bedford and N. 6th. I’m not really sure what made them stop there: Was that their destination or did they just get distracted by all the bars and hipster activities? I’ve heard some rumors of a police blockade, but I don’t know about that. I’m pretty sure the panda-hipster group decided that if there was going to be a showdown, the Bedford stretch, AKA the Hipster Embassy, was where it must be.

At first there were only a few cops actually standing in the street. They were telling people to get out of the street with the ol’ “we really want to stop you from assembling but can’t legitimately make you until back-up arrives, so for now just stop blocking traffic – also, I’m really a nice guy!” trick. One hipster was really fucking with him, to my amusement, first standing in front of cars trying to pass and then standing directly next to the officer pretending to join in chastising the other hipsters for dancing in the streets. He was pretty tolerant though… or outnumbered and waiting. Either/or.

Then back up arrived and they were really trying to make people get out of the street. Apparently, they didn’t get the Pandamonium flier! Otherwise they would have known that that was the whole point…

Surprisingly, people did get out of the street for the most part. I would have thought the hipsters would have been lunging at the cops in herds trying to get arrested to boost their street cred. But except for a few people trying to cross the street for various reasons (one of those reasons may be just ‘because,’ but whatever), the streets became relatively clear and everyone pooled on the sidewalks. But I guess the cops felt like it would be really lame or something to just stand around in the street and not make a show of anything when they were all dressed up and ready to go. (Note: Cops value street cred wayyy more than hipsters.) Clearly, the youth of Williamsburg was a dangerous force with their panda costumes, excessive standing on the sidewalk and chants that couldn’t even last for more than 5 rounds.

The last straw for the police was when a really good song came on a boom box that this guy was holding on his shoulder a few feet away from me. The cops must have known that something sinister was taking place because there were at least 10 people dancing to the music. Given that hipsters shun all forms of dancing in public, this must have signified that they were about to form some kind of revolt.

Then a cop grabbed the guy with the boom box by the back of his arm and yanked him into the street, pushing him to the ground and making him loose grip of the stereo. Now, I know that dancing is illegal and also a sin, but I think there was excessive force used in this situation. The stereo fell, batteries flying everywhere, and when a few of his friends picked it up, a woman cop angrily lunged for the boom box and tried to further dismantle it!

Seriously, when she did that, all I could think about was that scene in Disturbing Behavior when the creepy yet heroic janitor turns on the stereos and all the robot people freak out and attack them. I guess if music-playing devices to cops are pretty much the equivalent of WMDs, I can see why she tried to attack the boom box. She was unsuccessful though, as the dancing criminal’s friends battled it out of her grip.

I was also standing next to a girl who got tackled and possibly tased for sprinkling water on her friends. She didn’t get it on the cops at all, so I don’t understand what about this behavior provoked them to the point that one of them literally ran from the street to where she was standing up against a storefront, grabbed her by the collar and threw her into the street and pounced on her along with several other burly police officers. I mean, you could tell the people around her on the sidewalk were kind of like “Spraying water is more of a hot concert thing than a riot thing but whatever?” The only thing that cop might be able to plausibly say to justify arresting that girl is that he thought the water was actually lighter fluid and she was attempting to burn down the Pizza Place behind her Do the Right Thing-style. “It’s your turn now, mothafucka!”

One potentially good thing about the people getting arrested and brutalized for absurdity though is that approximately 45 people captured everything on video. The currently sad thing about that is that there is only one YouTube video posted of it as of now.

So what have the hipsters learned tonight?

A) Hipsters will assemble if a raucous street costume party is involved, regardless of if they understand that the motivation behind the assemblage is attacking their habits of consumption.

B) Police officers have ocular implants that compel them to crush musical machines.

and C) Hipsters will (probably) use their tendencies to excessively capture life in digital form instead of experiencing it directly to contribute to the public sphere of information… in a few days, or weeks. Maybe… if they feel like it.

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Video by Frooze.

PS: Girl who got arrested, I have your Yankees hat if you want it! A police officer found it on the ground and threw it towards me after they dragged you away. I picked it up, put it on backwards, and gave him the finger.

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: Coney Island]

Saturday, August 2, 2008

This video, brought to you by Annoying Hipster Douchebag, is exemplary of many things hipsters do not like.

A) Bands that market to hipsters

The social events in a hipster’s life will often revolve around going to shows and hearing shitty bands that nobody likes, especially the hipsters in attendance. The reasons for this are elusive and myriad but I suspect the prime motivation for this behavior is that by suffering through Just hope the pharmaceutical industry doesn’t catch on to this form of self-medication and start funding said bands by forcing them to promote their products. Good music as we know it will then become a thing of the past.

But although witnessing live music for the hipster can be an emotionally painful experience (this explains the lack of movement and/or smiling during performances), it is beneficial in the sense that after attending said shows, the hipster will automatically gain hipster street cred by having endured. This is similar to the phenomenons of getting tattoos of meaningless symbols and going to church.

B) People

You heard it straight from the hipster’s horse’s – bad joke – mouth (the only thing hipsters and horses have in common is the desire to graze in fields – and to be ridden, occasionally, by a wealthy owner.

Check back at a later date for more to come on this topic. …