Sunday, 4 January 2015

Hatin' on Hipsters

I am listening to the radio commentary of Chelsea vs Watford (FA Cup, 2015), so can't really do my usual slap-dash analysis of academic essays. Instead, I'll do some brain-dead click-bait about why we all hate hipsters.

1.They are just like everyone else
I had a big burst of hate for this guy who was riding a bike on the pavement in Sauchiehall Street this week. I called him a hipster (in my head), although I had no idea whether he had a mountain man beard, idiosyncratic piercings or vintage jodhpurs. I was just annoyed, and it was the first insult that came to mind.

I did see a proper hipster couple in the window seat at the iCafe two minutes later. She was a punk, with sculpted blue hair and a leather jacket all covered in slogans. He had a waxed moustache and a rather warm looking woollen jumper. They had clearly spent some big money and attention to their respective outfits.

And I thought: a hipster is just a young person who uses conspicuous consumption to express their identity. They look expensive. They look defined, polished, conscious of how clothes maketh the man. 

And I thought: I do that. Even my leather jacket with all the stuffing hanging out is an act of conspicuous consumption. It announces my lack of concern about clothes. And hygiene, probably. I am a hipster too: I am just shit at it.

2. They are cooler than they are intelligent
No-one has a good definition of the hipster (I think the concept began when a woman with an eating disorder opened a cafe that served only toast and lemon juice). It might be about an interest in artisan quality bread, or obscure coffee, or growing ostentatious facial hair.

Chris Morris and Charlie Brooker could have defined them as 'idiots' in the frighteningly prophetic Nathan Barley. There are plenty of blogs that use hipster to mean 'hateful person who dresses funny and has more money than me.'

I decided that a hipster is anyone cooler than me - which opens it up to just about everyone not wearing glasses kept together with masking tape. And also not as clever as me, which brings it down a little bit. But not much.

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