“Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization”

As I read this story from adbusters,  I oscillated between nodding in agreement and embarrassing self-awareness. In general the story hits on some valid points that I’ll explain in my favorite way: lists.

  1. Hipsters are a counter-culture
  2. Every other counter-culture; punk, hip-hop, etc was established as a way to revolutionize and challenge the status quo influencing the creation of new art, culture and society.
  3. Hipsters do not do anything revolutionary or challenge anything in society.
  4. Hipsters all look different in exactly the same way.
  5. To identify yourself as a hipster is inconceivable and just not possible (to any hipster).

I nodded in agreement to all the above 5 things, but my embarrassing self-awareness came about when I read this:

“Loosely associated with some form of creative output, they attend art parties, take lo-fi pictures with analog cameras, ride their bikes to night clubs and sweat it up at nouveau disco-coke parties.”

Given that I do 4 of the 5 things listed above, and I own not one, not two but THREE lo-fi picture cameras, I began to think, noo….oh my god….yes…I am a stereotype of a hipster! The most embarrassing thing of all is that I can’t even say the phrase “I am a hipster” out loud for fear of imploding into a bang of self-fulfillment.

I remember in college what I now interpret as “hipster” I used to call “indie”, and I would always say it with a wistful tone of voice because I always wanted to be one of them. After discussing the nuanced difference with a friend of mine I noticed, hey, back then there was a difference. Indie to me meant good taste in music, a general artistic sense, a definite fashion sense and only occasionally came off as snobbish. Whereas now, I see hipsters as the indie kids distilled to their most potent form—they’ve got good taste, not only in music, but in art, design, food, fashion, travel and drink while always being a snob. The most alarming thing is I’m one of them. Deep down I think I always wanted to be, but I just don’t have the disdain and nonchalance the other of my crew so carefully craft. I’m too giddy over cute dogs and hugs from my Mom. So what does this mean? I don’t think my collection of cameras will be the downfall of western civilization, but I will be keeping my snobbery in check.

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