Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Are hipsters dying? Is the movement over? This schlub thinks yes.

During middle school I tried to fit into the "skater" fad by anxiously purchasing a pair of puffy DC shoes from PacSun. And that was it. I still shudder thinking about how sweaty my armpits would get whenever a trip to PacSun happened: my existence was so horribly awkward I would do anything to get picked on less. Even so, I couldn't bring myself to look any more foolish than what a pair of DC shoes did to me - plus I hated the kids who were legit gangster-skaters (at that time, and in Oregon, you weren't a skater if you weren't also half gangster). As such, I hung around the fringes of middle school society, telling myself over and over that the skater fad was a dying trend, and that the next, better scene would be one I'd embrace full-on just as soon as it happened.

And then it turned out that the next scene was this whole hipster thing that's been going on. And I was almost equally fucked. I know the telltale sign of a hipster is a hipster who refuses to label himself as one, but I'm still going to say that I'm decidedly not a hipster. Sure, I fucking love Wes Anderson movies. And yes, I live in San Francisco and have a velvet painting of an owl in my living room and I majored in English and I think irony is great. But I also wear collared shirts and eat meat and detest skinny jeans and washed out Instagram photos and pointy-toed shoes. Plus I have the whole so-ambitious-I-actually-work-a-real-job thing going for me, so I feel safe in saying I'm not a hipster. I'd logically place myself squarely in the nerd realm, on the side that barely juts up against the fringe of hipsterdom, which is a safe place to be because hipsters are kind to nerds and sometimes regard them as fellow companions adrift in a world of meaningless consumerism (their words [I think], not mine).

So but anyway lately it seems as though the hipster movement has no place else to go. Everything verifiably hipster has become so self-aware that the only remaining option for progress - in my opinion - is to step out of the bubble, shave off the beard, and reinvent. I'm so excited to again see people with genuine expressions on their faces I can hardly stand it. Imagine: walking into a coffee shop and witnessing animated mouth movement; eyes that widen in excitement when someone exaggerates with their hands; the sweet booming of a belly laugh. It'll be as if an entire generation of youthful zombies (coincidence that zombies are so popular right now?) just snapped out of their languid repose and realized they spent the best decade of their lives trying to pass as catatonic. Plus lesbians will have their look back to themselves.

I wouldn't describe any of my immediate friends as hipsters... but friends of friends definitely are. From a once-removed perspective, I've had ample time to stare and judge. I could write a lot about their *interesting* fashion choices, or how the whole lifestyle encompasses so much wasted talent it makes me sad, or that the paradoxical, so-different-I'm-the-exact-same nature of their existence is a black hole of logic (or is that the point?), though in truth I'd rather focus on the inherent retarded ineptness of it all. For fuck's sake, people, you're using an app on your iPhone to take pictures that look as if they came from a classic Polaroid, so that you can then use those pictures to embellish your idealized online version of yourself in front of the 1,400 people who claim you as a friend. It's sacrificing real-life living for a too-cool avatar. But if you ever pointed that out, they'd say they're drinking tall boys, wearing ridiculous clothing, and specifically not mugging in front of an ever-present onslaught of cameras precisely because the last thing they care about is Facebook. I suspect, though, that I'm preaching to the choir here.

I'm reminded of a quote from Brenda on Six Feet Under: "That's the thing about depression - if you really allow yourself to feel it, it gets very boring very fast."

Are they bored yet? Don't they have to be by this point? I suspect what's holding back the new revolution is the dawning realization and fear of the fact that they've pissed away so much time doing exactly nothing that to start caring now would be, like, really hard.

Two signs of the coming hipster apocalypse: Jake Gyllenhaal murdering the shit out of them (here), ***and this is a real-time update, foks - I'm so jacked on coffee right now I can't remember what the second telltale sign is that inspired this entire post in the first place. Here's hoping it comes to me soon***

The really great part about this, of course, is that all these clueless hipsters who are about to put down the barista apron, buy a bed frame, and look for lucrative ways to turn their passion for poetry into a moneymaking career are going to be about 2.5 years behind yours truly. For once I have a legit head start! And damn, does it feel good. After the world doesn't end in December, I'm envisioning a 2013 that plays out like a minimalist version of the 80s: those fucking hippies had their fun, now it's time to make money and drive nice cars.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great article. As a San Diego and Portland resident, I fear my cities will be one of the last to enjoy hipster genocide as we are typically 1-3 years behind New York and LA with everything. Although, your words give me hope that one day soon I won't get a disgusted look from some guy with a Don Quixote mustache because I'm wearing slacks and a nice shirt.