On Hipster Hating
I’m not supposed to be doing this. I promised myself: no more blogging, not one little post until you finish your portfolio website. Not one. I’ve been able to resist, but the muse has called.
Tonight I stumbled on a couple of NYT articles that peaked my interest. One of which was some kind of rambling musing on the “ironic” lifestyle, embodied to the extreme by “hipsters.” It was written by someone who is near to 40 and is like “when I was young, people had respect! None of these damn kids walking around embracing everything they shouldn’t in an effort to be ironic!” I’m not going to link to the article, because I don’t see a reason to. I’ve just summed it up accurately. And that article in particular is not why I’m sitting here writing this. It’s what the article got me thinking about.
The hipster: the fashionable scapegoat of personal self-loathing and derision of upwardly mobile white people everywhere. Why, I wondered, do we hate the hipster so virulently? Why do white people turn on each other when it comes to this cultural trend as if they were fighting for the same seed in the hen pen? Why can’t we agree on what a hipster is? Because he’s nothing. A ghost. An apparition to throw our ire on. A completely harmless persona young people created to feel as if they belong. Yes, it may be based more on artifice than principle, yes it may be full of hypocrisies, yes it may be pretentious…but my god, aren’t you too?
When was the last time you heard a sermon on the mount that said you had to be 100% different than everyone else to matter? Or 100% the same? There are parts of each of us that are identical to every living (and not living) thing in this universe. And yet our fingerprints are completely unique. And you know what, those facts don’t change how we buy our milk or fuck our partners or walk our dogs. Neither does a guy walking by you in skinny jeans, a mustache, a Jem T-shirt from the ’80s, and whatever else “hipsters” are wearing these days.
Laugh about it and let it go.