In Defense of Hipsters

So I saw this dude perform the other night:

His songs have no verse-chorus-verse structure, barely a melody, and his only accompaniment was a guy on a sampler and a guy on a real live violin. It’s like a hipster perfect storm.

And sure enough, the audience was feloniously on-trend. Unisex jeans, chunky glasses, scraggly beards: As the venue filled up, I swear it started to smell like a thrift store.

I know I’m supposed to hate these people or whatever, but you know what? Everyone looked great. Lots of dudes and ladies look superlovely in skinny jeans! If you’re a bit of a bigger guy, a beard, a ski cap and flannel works for you. Sure, everyone looked sort of glazed over, but it was Monday! They’ve been at work all day!

I want to know if early ’00s hipster culture is unique in being defined by all of its members hating each other. In the 1950s, was there a guy with a pompadour and a cigarette pack rolled up in his sleeve, sitting on the hood of a Thunderbird going ‘what’s the deal with these fucking greasers’?

I think if you’re gonna choose an aesthetic to define your generation, we’ve done pretty well. Hipster culture is characterized by striving for authenticity, rejecting corporate values and searching for meaning in life and work. We’re more responsible than the hippies of the 1970s, less amoral than the yuppies of the 1980s and more distinct than whatever the fuck Generation X was. Every generation duplicates and broadcasts a set of values to those previous, and we’ve chosen diversity, sensitivity and irony. It could be worse!

So I spent most of the show silently admiring how great everybody looked, and hoped they were as appealing and fastidious on the inside. I’m sure they were all looking at me going ‘what’s the deal with this fucking hipster?’

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Filed under America, Music, Personal, Serious

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