Saturday, May 07, 2011

What the Hell is Hipster Culture?

My sister often makes refernce to hipster coulture and I honestly believed she just means "cool and trendy". But hipster culture is now a bit of a force to be reckoned with as I am loosing my baby brother to it. Yes, loosing him, to this horrible gray space of a subculture that is useless and ill-defined. So ill defined, I think I may be apart of it. To gain a better understanding, I called my BFF who I thought should have better access to these folks... on the street, at the farmers market or Urban Outfitters. From there we put our heads together did the only thing I really know how to do, research.

I came across an article entitled Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization that actually describes the hipster in detail

    Take a stroll down the street in any major North American or European city and you'll be sure to see a speckle of fashion-conscious twenty-somethings hanging about and sporting a number of predictable stylistic trademarks: skinny jeans, cotton spandex leggings, fixed-gear bikes, vintage flannel, fake eyeglasses ...
Gasp!! that's my brother!! Twenty-something with skinny jeans, skinny tie, the bike! Then it goes on to include a Keffiyeh
...and a keffiyeh – initially sported by Jewish students and Western protesters to express solidarity with Palestinians, the keffiyeh has become a completely meaningless hipster cliché fashion accessory

Hold the phone, I love the look with the Keffiyeh. A white tee and skinny jeans and heels, a good hand bag and bangles. That's my fresh look! Am I a hipster? Assuming hipsters don't wear 4-inch heels is the only way I can sleep at night.

There is also a little golden nugget called "Hipster Hitler".  It's a cartoon/comic that portrays Hitler as well...a Hipster (again whatever the hell that means) styled in ironic T-shirts and armed with that weird attitude I usually attribute to "being a teenager". I am a little concerned about a subculture that feels comfortable using Hitler as satirical material that is apolitical and lacking of any moral lessons. After giving it weeks of thought (Okay, maybe not weeks if you add it all up) and comparing "Hipster Hitler" to an entire comic dedicated to Uncle Ruckus from the "Boondocks"(which would be a lot)...I kinda see where they are coming from. A little. Okay not really but I am still trying.
But couldn't they have used like...Manuel Noriega? Noriega in skinny jeans and Ironic tees? Stalin? Rasputin?   No...because that requires effort and knowledge. I understand my "not getting it" is part and parcel of the subculture. What gets me most is... Hitler...with a side-part (slicked with a little pomade or gel in his hair) and a man cardigan, sipping a juice box with a tee shirt that says...I love Juice. Say it out loud.  Yes...it sounds like Jews. If you felt the urge to chuckle...you're human and I won't hold it against you. If you didn't feel at least a tiny bit of shame afterwards however, then you my friend are not.

I kind of get this one. And it could have totally been useful except Eastside-Westside beef was soooooo 90s. Oh wait Hipster's like retro too. Damn.
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