To anyone who has even spoken to me, it’s really no surprise that I don’t like hipsters. It’s not that I dislike them for the sake of disliking them. It’s because they’re entire subculture is based around irony and apathy. Ugh! At least the punk subculture was all about saying “fuck it” instead of just whining all the time.
So let’s get into the meat and bones of why I don’t like hipsters.
Other subcultures seem to have vanished because of hipsters
Nowadays, the term hipster seems to have not only evolved into its own genre, but is sucking off of many other subcultures that already exist. When did it happen that being artsy, hippie, retro, indie, nerd, and even vegan automatically make a person a hipster? Uh… they’re not the same. For crying out loud, even wearing a checkered shirt and listening to Nirvana is no longer grunge, but hipster. Just because you like indie music and don’t shop at the Gap doesn’t mean you’re a hipster. If you like foreign and experimental films, that does not a hipster make of you. If you enjoy shopping at Goodwill or Value Village for retro clothing, there is no automatic hipster button on you. If you choose to cut out animal products from your diet for whichever reason suits you best, there is not necessarily a hipster within you. Since I was a toddler, I grew up with music on vinyl and at age 8 started using a 35mm camera. It was just a part of who I was. Today, if I so much as utter the words vinyl and 35mm camera, people put me in the hipster category and there’s no way out. WTF?
Sure, we can all argue that culture along with its subcultures constantly evolve into new and different things. The two most popular ones we have seen in the last few decades are popculture and alternative culture. They dance with each other in a perfect balance. If one changes, the other must by force of opposite magnets, but they don’t take over each other. I find it to be quite irritating how at least 6 subcultures who existed before the rise of hipsters in early 2000 are automatically classified with a group of people who are inherintly different from them.
How do I know if I am a hipster?
The answer is actually quite simple: apathy. The attitude of not caring and laissez-faire just doesn’t cut it in the world today. The truth is, no one cares that you don’t care. Not caring means less voting in a democratic country, lack of awareness for serious issues on a national and international scale, and on a more personal level, a sense of hopelessness. I mean, if you wake up in the morning and just don’t care about most things, than what’s the point? Your lack of action and motivation isn’t doing anything for anyone. In fact, it makes you invisible, because you don’t even care to be present.
A bit of hipster history
In a way, I can understand why the hipster apathetic movement happened to begin with, back in the early 2000’s with the reign of President George W. Bush. With him as president, the youth voice in the US appeared to have silenced overnight. No matter how many protests, documentaries, or objections to his decisions were presented, those opinions were cast aside like week old leftovers to make way for Bush’s vision. Ex: the youth generation wanted to save the environment with sustainable energy, while Bush kept pushing for fossil fuels.
On top of that, it wasn’t just the government, but many industries as well, such as entertainment. Television, music and film no longer showed what youth wanted to see, but told them instead. And that’s when the internet EXPLODED to create its own online culture.
Products were now being made available over in the internet. Why listen to the radio’s top 40’s which included Rihanna and Nickelback when you could download the new Interpol album? Partnered by their apathy towards the hardwork of artists everywhere (Hipster: I need my 12$ more than The Kills do), illegally downloading became the new thing. Sure it existed before, but now, everyone was doing it as casually as putting butter on toast. With the boom of the internet, new celebrities popped up everywhere: internet celebrities and bloggers. Facebook, Myspace, YouTube and many other sites propelled the illusion that anyone could become famous. Hipster bloggers became famous just for their cynicism. At a time when the youth generation didn’t seem to matter, being able to create your own content while still being apathetic was a gold mine.
Why do hipsters never admit that they are hipsters?
Simply put, the hipster subculture spawned from a group of people who didn’t want to be labelled in a cookie cutter world. Within a few months, they were labelled as hipsters, thus their individuality was over. If you’re a hipster from back in 2000, it’s probably because you wanted to live outside of labels, so you hate when someone labels you as a hipster. It’s a circular battle that neither side can really win.
Hipsters also don’t really like anything that becomes popular. They’ll claim that they discovered a band that’s amazing, but as soon as anyone outside of hipsterism likes it, or even too many hipsters like it, they’ll say that they never liked that band. Muse is one of my favourite examples. I’ve been loving and listening to them since New Born and my loyalty hasn’t wavered since. Sometime near the beginning of Black Holes & Revelations (a magnificent album), hipsters were all over the album. Then, the track Supermassive Black Hole appeared in the Twilight movie (stupid vampire baseball) and they all denied ever liking Muse. Also, who here remembers that once upon a time Lady Gaga’s song Just Dance was THE dance anthem of hipsterism. How quickly did they ditch her once her song made it on the radio?
Since Nomes has already touched on this aspect of hipsterism quite well in her last post, I won’t get too far into it. The only thing I will add is that I find it partially insulting whenever I see someone with Peanuts t-shirt who wears it because they hate Peanuts, therefor its ironic, because they’re wearing something perceived as stupid in a cool ironic way. Gag! The personality you’re protraying to the world is of someone pessimistic and slightly insulting. No one likes that dude in the back of the class.
So to end this off, how do I know I’m not a hipster?
Simple. I like art, vinyls, everything nerdy, and sushi, but I love them without faltering. I love Muse even if stupid tweens do. I wear long sweaters because I like something that keeps me warm during Canadian winters. I like the Batman 1992 Animated Series because it’s just amazing. I vote at every election because I think my voice matters in my country. And I love/do all of these things for the simple reason that I love them, not because it’s ironic. But mostly, I have stuck by them through their moments of rise, popularity, decline, and renaissance. I didn’t let any subculture deviate me.
So to end this off kids, you might like certain things labelled as hipster, but remember that hipsters didn’t necessarily create anything new (except cool fonts), but instead stole from a bunch of other already existing subcultures.
- You like watching films with subtitles? You’re not a hipster, you’re just well-rounded.
- You like going to an independent rock concert because the band is good? Stick with the band for as long as they are good in you’re eyes and not the public’s.
- You gave up animal products because you’re against the meat industry? Take a stand! You couldn’t be further from a hipster.
- And lastly, do you care about what happens to the world around you? Don’t give up! Because as soon as you’ve resolved to becoming lazy and apathetic, you’re a hipster.
Keep on space trucking kids! The hipster movement can only last so long. Their choice president, Obama, is running the country. Their favourite music is on the radio. Their fashion style is everywhere. There really isn’t anything left for them to not care or be ironic about.