Just the very mention of the word conjures up images of vintage-clad snobs with better-than-thou attitudes and ironic, well, everything. The term is synonymous with critical braggarts who will look down on anyone and anything because nobody understands what’s really worth listening to/wearing/watching/reading; a hipster is the only person privy to that information.
And if others start taking interest in the things a hipster takes interest in, then said hipster will stop said interest.
Finding someone who will admit to being a hipster is extremely difficult because the word itself is so negative that it’s basically an insult. By admitting to hipsterism, you’d pretty much be admitting you only enjoy things other people don’t know about, and if something is popular enough that most people know about it, then you’ll refuse to give it a chance—even if it’s totally worth listening to/wearing/watching/reading.
To me, the word hipster is almost a slur. I mean, who refuses to listen to a certain artist just because that artist is popular? That’s sheer ludicrousness!
Paying no attention to successful art because of the success and nothing else deserves a backhand slap and four out of five broken non-prescription horn-rimmed glasses.
So imagine how surprised I was when I realized something awful: I’m a hipster.
I came to this realization when I decided to start classifying the levels of hipster culture. So far, I’ve figured out the three types of hipster. Of course there’s countless subcultures, but for the amateur hipster enthusiast, these are the main genus of the species.
First, you have your “Deseret Industries Breed,” or the DIBs as I’ve come to call them.
These are the folks who grab the most faded of ironic screened T-shirts from Hot Topic and try and pass them off as thrift store merchandise. They’ll wear their plaid button-up under their polka-dot pullover with a satin scarf draped lazily around their necks. Their skinny jeans are purple and their combat boots have zebra prints. Every pattern will be mismatched and the colors will clash.
This bothers me so much because I think that is such an awesome look. It throws caution to the wind that blows out of Anna Wintour’s rear end. It’s a statement that sticks it to the man.
But I can’t actually wear this stuff because, well, I’m a hipster. I’m too cool for it. So mark me down as being an ironic DIB. And no, it’s not irony for the sake of irony. It’s actual bona fide irony.
The second class of hipster is affectionately known as the “You Probably Haven’t Heard Them” crowd, or the Yohoprohaherthems. They are the folks who crowd into the coffee shop to hear some local unknown band pluck harps and create interesting noises with cello bows on bass guitars. The Yohoprohaherthems know the names, cell numbers and addresses of all the trashcan drummers within a 30-mile radius of their homes.
Subcultures of the Yohoprohaherthems include “It’s By An Author You Probably Don’t Know” hipsters and “It’s An Independent Film” folks.
But they’re completely taken aback if someone were to play them something from Justin Bieber or suggest they read Stephenie Meyer or recommend a James Cameron film.
Here’s the thing, though. I also hate Justin Bieber. That little squirrel-faced Usher wannabe drives me insane. And no, it’s not because of his music. I hate him for no other reason than that he’s the idol of millions of tween girls (and some middle-aged guys). My feelings are more or less the same for Meyer and Cameron.
Who knows? If they all weren’t so popular, perhaps I’d give their art a chance.
Damn. So I’m a Yohoprohaherthem, too.
The last category of hipster is, indeed, the worst. It’s the “I’m A Philosopher And You’re Not” variety, or as I call them, “I’m a P.A.Y.N.”
These are the intellectual sort who have all of life figured out. They seem to have an answer for everything, and they are impossible to persuade. They’re the type of people who will spill all the horrific details of their lives to you—not for sympathy or advice, but just to prove how much they deal with on a daily basis.
They’d argue with a wall if they thought the wall would listen.
And is there any better proof that I am indeed a P.A.Y.N. than the very existence of The Skewed Review?
So, maybe I’ll start looking at hipster culture as less of an insult and more of an actual way of living. After all, I’m already in the club; I was just too cool to admit it.