Why Hipsters Suck
Today, my dear readers, is Earth Day, which means two things for me. The first is that I have a library book I need to turn in. The second is that the hipsters at my college are giddier than children on Christmas, and are having a get together in a nearby park. This of course means any other park patrons get to enjoy watching these funemployed trustafarians playing polo and cranking the latest playlists from Pitchfork over their stereos, that come tomorrow, the park will be littered with cans of PBR and leftovers from Whole Foods, and very likely three or four different kinds of bodily fluids. Truly, that these bozos trash a park on Earth Day and hand out fliers to go green before driving to class provides a form of irony too rich for a hipster to understand.
I realize that strange strands of youth culture are nothing new. The baby boomers had hippies, generation X had yuppies, generation Y had the punk/grunge movement, which all shaped their time and culture in many ways, good and bad. My generation gave the world hipsters, something myself and many others will no doubt be apologizing to posterity for years to come, as the subculture continues to grow.
Many of you have no doubt seen it before, especially those of you who live in cities that play host to a hive of hipsters, like my native Richmond. The logical evolution of the emo culture of my generations youth, the group of whiney, over-privileged upper middle class white kids have now grown up – or at least aged – into whiney, over-privileged upper middle class white post-adolescents (I can’t bring myself to call them adults). They can be easily identified for a range of things, including their abominable fashion sense, their fanatical loathing of mainstream culture in favor of, ahem, independent alternatives, loathing of corporations (except for Starbucks, American Apparel and Apple apparently), claiming to make a living as an artist/writer/graphic designer, while in reality, living off of their parents trust funds, and most importantly, looking down on anyone who does not share their lifestyle.
This loathing is more than happily returned by large segments of the population, and not just for making selling crappy coffee for $7 bucks a viable business model, or for making words like ‘trustafarian’ part of the linguistic lexicon. You’d be hard pressed to find a more loathed subculture in modern mainstream society, which given that the entire subculture seems to be an odd mixture of flipping the bird to modern mainstream society the bird while screaming ‘Look at me, I crave attention!’, the virulent hatred for hipsters held by many people makes sense in context. Articles or videos of people expressing their disdain for this subculture are as common as pictures of these over-aged adolescents drinking PBR at warehouse raves are on Tumblr, and a number of them alone provide more worth than the whole of hipster culture. Yet the question remains – just what is that so infuriates the people about hipsters?
Is it that they are an unholy mixture between the idle rich and the worst aspects of various subcultures, with none of the benefits of any of them? That their music is a banal annoyance and their movies of the My Mom’s Red Hat school of filmmaking? That hipster culture as a whole amounts to little more than a collaborative circle jerk-slash-pissing contest? That wherever they move, they cause gentrification, causing the original inhabitants of the neighborhood to be unable to afford to live there anymore? That they are yet another facet of the increasing issue of young people who refuse to grow up? That they’ve made calling yourself a writer, musician or graphic designer a laughingstock? That they’re quest for the authentic is more facetiously false than any of the mainstream things they condemn? While all of that no doubt plays a part, I don’t feel any of that is the main reason hipsters attract such scorn.
No, in the end, it’s not that your stereotypical hipster is a skinny jeans wearing vegan trust-fund baby with bad taste in movies/music/beer that has earned them societies scorn, or at least not the main reason. It’s that they look down on anyone who’s not a skinny jeans wearing vegan trust-fund baby with bad taste in movies/music/beer, and in their quest to separate from societal norms, they condemn anyone who doesn’t follow their own norms, becoming the most intolerant group of sheeple I or many other people have encountered in modern society. Such unbridled arrogance and elitism would be intolerable from any group, let alone one that relies entirely on the groups they scorn for their continuation of their Lost Boys lifestyles.
If there is one positive to be had about these pretentious plagiaristic parasites, it’s that the growing opposition to them, especially among my generation, is likely to sprout the very sort of cultural and artistic renaissance that hipster culture claimed to be. As the saying goes, manure fertilizes the finest harvests, and you’d be hard pressed to find crap that reeks more than Michael Cera and Skrillex.