Saturday, May 29, 2010

What's wrong with hipsters?

It can't be all bad. Being hip is good, it's the ster you don't want. But there's no problem with a jokester, a prankster, or a speedster. The dilemma here is that the ster itself implies hipness. You can't have enough of a good thing, but you surely can't have two of the same identical good thing. Let's look at it this way: in a general way, a synonym for hip is fad, and who would take the term "hipfad" seriously? You can't be hipfad, trendycool, or weirdavantgarde. It would be a redundancy like true+real, which wasn't okay before they made a new word for it. Redundancy means you're an out of touch phony that probably goes around championing your hipster label.

Hipster is the Coke II of words; The Fonz with no jukebox. Still, everyone's a hipster to someone. Soon enough you'll meet a man doing all he can to stray from this societal stereotype by wearing hand-me-down sweatpants, stating, "I'm just out here trying to survive," shamefully inside a Borders bookstore and eying Top Ramen specialty cookbooks. The paint-stained overalls, demented, bug-eyed clerk at Ace Hardware thinks you're a twatty trendster for buying new pants every 12 months and sporting an audio player that doesn't handle cassettes.

It started with hippies. They wanted to be on the level, adding the peppery -py to make it more folksy, thus setting themselves apart and above cool. They embraced the simplicity of nature by taking heavily manipulated chemicals and raving over the audio systems and automobiles the industry they claimed to despise afforded them. They fucked freely because they're filthy idiots, then AIDS happened, now they drink V8. Hip is good enough. When you go for hipcool you're a tryhard and a poser.

These terms are labels to help us find our role and coagulate with society, yet can also harbor and hide a lack of depth. I'll paraphrase some semi-obnoxious lines I read: The absence of humans would have little effect on the planet, and in addition, almost all other species would benefit from our extinction. If ants went extinct, on the other hand, the effects would be devastating and the moon would fall and deers would spontaneously combust into Magic: The Gathering playing cards. (From The Food Revolution by John Robbins.) The general sentiment implied humans contribute nothing to Earth.

Don't fool yourself when reading those words. We're nature, and perfect despite perceived flaws. Personally, I don't identify with labels and calculated lifestyles designed for definitions, but won't condescend to you over your need for an Auschwitz tattoo. Whether we're hipsters or not those obnoxious trending assholes, we add the most vital element to this planet: we put it on the map. We make it interesting.

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