Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hipster FAQ

Much has been written on this blog, and every other one on the interweb, about hipsters. You'd think that there would be nothing left to talk about. But no. The notion of "The Hipster" is an ever changing, mutating and growing phenomenon that often latches itself onto stair-wells and ceilings, dripping caustic ooze onto unsuspecting passer-by, like The Blob (not the original Blob, but the remake with Kevin Dillon).  So with that said, I offer the definitive (for now) Hipster FAQ.

Oh my GOD! The Hipsters are coming, and they haven't had brunch yet!
Q: What is the difference between a Hipster and a Freak?

A: Good question. Because there actually is one, but it is sometimes hard to spot. Hipsters are people who try to be different in a way that is just like everyone else in their gentrified neighborhood. Freaks are people who are different because they are different...and usually can't afford to live in gentrified neighborhoods, for that matter. Let me put it this way: if you like wearing and doing stuff that will get your exposed butt kicked out of all but our country's least respectable Applebee's* because no one liked you in high school--you are a freak. But if you just want people to think that no one liked you in high school, welcome to Hipster City, population: you. To make it even easier: if you look like Bootsy Collins, you are a freak. If you look like Jeff Goldblum, you are a hipster. If you look like Nicki Minaj or Lady Gaga, you are a freak. If you look like Lisa Loeb or Lisa are a hipster.

More like this?
Or more like this?

Q: Oh god! I think I might have accidentally engaged in a conversation with a Hipster. What do I do? 

A: Okay, calm down. It might not actually be a hipster. You might just be talking to a barista. Look at his or her hand. Is it holding your coffee? Just take it and back away...slowly. If not, touch your ears. Are they bleeding because The Possible Hipster won't shut up about composting toilets, all the places he's seen a real Banksy and how The Food Network keeps ruining all his favorite eateries and drinkeries? You are talking to a hipster. Don't panic.  That's the worst thing you could do. Panic is like offal ice cream to them...they love it. Just yell the word bacon three times, confess that you've always really liked The Shins, but now you think they've sold out, and scream, "I really want to try that raw diet, but I love bacon too much!" Then  run, don't walk, to the nearest coffee shop that doesn't brew by the cup. A hipster will never follow you there.

The natural enemy of the hipster.

Q: This is embarrassing. I think I might be a hipster. Am I?

A: Relax. So what? So you've been to a few Modest Mouse shows--it doesn't mean you're a hipster. It means you have bad taste in music. The very fact that you are embarrassed makes me suspect that you are not a Hipster. I know it sounds strange, but Hipsters are actually proud of their Hipster status. (Especially after Bon Iver won the Grammy and gave the whole movement the one thing they love to pretend they don't want: mainstream cred.) If you're still worried, here are a few questions to ask yourself. Do you look like a member of The Specials? If yes, you are either a hipster, or you are in that band The Specials and should probably be getting ready for your reunion tour. Oh, and this is definitive Do you drink PBR? Then you are a hipster.

A message to you, hipster.
Q: I drink PBR, but I am not a hipster.

A: That is not a question, but the answer is yes, yes you are.

Q: No, I'm not.

A: Again, not a question, but yes, you are. To paraphrase Louis Gosset Jr. in An Officer and a Gentleman, "The only people who drink PBR are hipsters and people living on a deserted island who have no other choice, and I don't see a coconut bra** on your sun-burnt boobs (or moobs), so you must be a hipster."

Is that a Pabst Blue Ribbon you're drinking, recruit?

*You of course would never, ever want to go inside that Applebee's. It's filled with freaks and hipsters.

** My apologies to deserted-island dwellers who do not wear coconut bras, but are reading this blog on a coconut-based laptop.

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