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The Great Hipster Trend Kill


I don't know what a hipster is, but I know one when I see one. Or so the expression goes. Which is only to say that in the popular imagination, hipsterdome seems to be one of those ubiquitous contagions that paradoxically are everywhere but also no where. Indeed, there seems to be as many definitions for a hipster as there are the real thing.

But we understand; I get it. There are people out there (and online) who are just too cool for school, and certainly there are social traits that are unpleasant to come across: snobbery, bullying, hot-headedness... Surely there are people out there who think for whatever unfounded reason that they are better than others, and for what it's worth I can agree that those people suck.

But, then again, hipsters are also defined by the kind of culture they consume (Pitchfork much?), or the kind of clothing they wear (Mishka much?), or even the kinds of places they visit (Brooklyn much?)... or, absurdly I think, the fact that they prefer vinyl. They're also defined by a kind of inauthenticity. But mention Sartre's notion of the inauthentic and beware the hipster brand yourself...


I suppose the concern I have has to do with what kinds of knowledge and what kinds of self-presentation tend to be defined as hipster (see Sartre comment above). And I have the fear that what is really behind the idea of the hipster has something to do with a kind of distrust our collective society has for challenging forms of art and ideas, which, for some reason or another, no longer define the hippie, the philosopher, or the weird. Instead, weird-hippie-philosophers are now what we make fun of, and god forbid you're a professor with ideas...

About a year ago, a cool EBM band posted "how do i love thee... let me count the ways" to their Facebook, followed by a comment about "man I love Shakespeare." It was a very popular artist and the post received hundreds of likes and dozens of comments. I thought about pointing out that it wasn't Shakespeare who penned those lines, but I refrained. Perhaps it didn't matter much but I still can't help wondering whether it was the fear of being accused of being an elitist that stopped me. I've certainly not proved it with this rant, but I worry about whether "hipster" isn't just another form of silencing.




Read more about resenting hipsters here.