Some guy called me a hipster last night.
When I asked him whatever led him to make that assumption, he replied that it was for two reasons. To begin, I’d mentioned that the bar we were in used to be owned by my grandpa’s friend, and that I’d spent a lot of time in there when I was wee while old dudes taught me to play shuffleboard. The other reason was because I had a large tattoo.
I told him that I didn’t understand how an alcoholic grandfather made me a hipster, and that my tattoo clearly wasn’t crappy and had nothing to do with nautical stars on my elbows. So hipster? I think not. (Especially because it’s Sunday and I’m watching Sister Act II on basic cable. So hip.)
There’s a girl I work with at Arena whose boyfriend is a hipster. Kind of. He’s not a smug, douchebaggy hipster. He’s actually a polite, sideburned hipster who drinks rail bourbon and PBR and happens to fit into that St. Louis rockabilly hipster scene possibly without trying, but still, he’s in there. His girlfriend agrees with me. He does not.
“Hipster?!” he gasped sincerely. “I’m not a hipster!”
Au contraire, sir. You are. A big fat one. But not actually fat, because lord knows you hipsters would just die if you couldn’t get into your skinny jeans. I’ve found that most hipsters emphatically deny being hipsters, and usually defend their choice of lifestyle by claiming that they don’t care how they look or how other people think about them. It’s just them, man, this is just how they are.
Cough. *Bullshit* Cough.
The hipster debate is just like all those weirdo goth-ish people who used to go on Jenny Jones back in the early 90s (don’t blame me, this was during summer vacation before I could drive). All of them claimed to hate it when other people stared at them on the street, yet they were the ones spending an admitted hour gluing their hair up into bright green, 12-inch-tall spikes and blacking their eyes with Sharpies. Look, Gunther, I don’t mean to tread on your individuality, but no one walks around Mormon City, Utah with a dog collar and a codpiece and doesn’t expect to get a few long glances.
Those goth-ish kids and their contemporaries, the hipsters, know exactly what they’re doing. Which is fine. Like I said, I don’t want to tread on Gunther’s (or anyone else’s) individuality. If you’re comfortable in super tight jeans and itchy, thrift store flannel, be my guest. But don’t act like it’s all an accident. You didn’t dumpster dive for clothes, find non-prescription Buddy Holly frames, and cultivate a ridiculous love for Animal Collective* (but only the early stuff, and possibly the solo projects) on a whim. Don’t pretend like you have no idea how you ended up looking like the food stamps version of Rivers Cuomo had a baby with Karen O. Your hipster-ness is a carefully considered choice, patchy beard havers and Brooklyn defenders, and we all know what you’re up to.
* I don’t really know who Animal Collective is. I just Googled “bands hipsters like” and decided TV On The Radio was too well-known and non-sucky to be included here.