If I could get my wife to sit in front of a microphone I would turn stuff like this into a podcast, but instead you get a write-up. Blame her, not me.
The other night my wife and I had one of the best conversations about hipsters. I tow a fine line at times where I could possibly be considered a fringe hipster (a fringester?). I know it, but I really like my beard, black-rimmed glasses, plaid shirts and cheap beer. Are those things still hipster-related? I feel like asking if those were “hipster-related” might make me a hipster. Damn.
Anyway the conversation.
We were discussing the hipster friend who automatically makes things no longer cool. For example, let’s take three guys:
Here we have Jim, Dave and Mike (Do hipsters have vintage names like Ward or Cliff?). Dave and Mike have been friends for a long time, and have high regard for each other’s opinions. Jim has known Dave and Mike for a few years. One day Dave and Mike are talking about how awesome the new album from Smith Westerns is, and it is better than their first album, and so brilliant. Two weeks later, Jim catches a Smith Westerns write-up on Pitchfork, and tells Dave and Mike about this great new band he just heard.
Dave and Mike are devastated. They were already leery of Jim’s Doors t-shirt and necklaces, so Smith Westerns (at least in the eyes of Dave and Mike) are no longer cool. Jim is like a litmus test for Dave and Mike. If Jim likes it then it immediately is deemed uncool.
On top of it, Dave and Mike never tell Jim that Smith Westerns are cool, or even suck. They instead say something like, “Oh yeah. We knew about them in 2009,” or some other condescending shitty thing. Jim continues to try and be cool with Dave and Mike, but slowly he decides that he might want to start hanging out with other people. People who think The Doors’ best album is Waiting For The Sun.
At first you might feel sorry for Jim, but he is probably the coolest guy of the three. He wanted his friends to know about something he liked, and is just trying to be himself. Jim moves on because he is likable, and eventually makes some great friends. He keeps in touch with Dave and Mike, but mostly by following them on Twitter or Facebook. He might run into them at a show, or comic shop, but they don’t talk much when they meet. Dave and Mike probably immediately dislike the comics Jim is buying, and the band they are watching.
Dave and Mike continue doing things to their fullest hipster potential. They start smoking pipes, they start listening (and stop listening) to Odd Future, they drink tea, and continue to live together in some cruddy old house. Dave and Mike are meant for each other, and are totally OK with being in a folk/hip-hop/electronica band.
Of course, this is all hipster theory. It might sound like I am bashing hipsters, but I am not. Hipsters are OK, but they can be major dicks sometimes.