People, I’m embroiled in a dilemma.
As the 20-teens swing into full gear, I’m noticing the fashion and music trends that will (I’m guessing) define this particular era of history.
In the 80s it was big hair, big metal, yuppies, and bad music that we hate to love (and in some cases love to hate). In the 90s we saw the emergence and death of grunge, flannel, ridiculously wide-legged jeans, bubblegum pop music, backwards jeans, and other horrendous fashion atrocities I’d rather not recall at this exact moment (think Marilyn Manson and striped tights – guilty).
Actual jeans I owned in the 90s. I could fit a carton of cigarettes in the back of the leg pockets.
The first decade of the 21st century saw the emergence and popularization of trends such as skinny jeans, emo haircuts, shitty emo music, and shitty emo everything else. This period also saw a resurgence in the popularity of electropop ala Lady Gaga that has successfully segued into mainstream music of the 20-teens.
I'm so emo I could cry. And am. You just can't see it because I'm wearing so much fucking horrendous makeup. Also my stupid haircut is obscuring part of my face where the tears are produced.
Over the course of the last couple years, the term “hipster” has been thrown around, mostly as an insult, pretty much everywhere. I’ve seen it on blogs, twitter, G4, magazines, and wherever else pop culture might be mentioned.
The term hipster has existed at least since the jazz era when it was appropriated by well-off white kids trying to be cool. This evolved into the beat kids and hippies of the 60s that we all know and love (to hate). Hipsters eventually evolved into what we have come to know as (usually) well-off semi-young people with tastes, interests, and fashion sense of eras-gone-by and obscure shit no one (hopefully) knows about.
Fuck The Man, ya hip? I dig, Sally Sasserwipe.
In previous eras, lines of demarcation were firmly established between subcultures and one could easily be identified based on the style of dress. If you looked like you could possibly shit bats, never showered, or curse someone with your heavily eye-linered eyeballs, chances are you were/are a Manson goth. If you had big teased hair, wore leather, and listened to and/or made shitty rock music, chances are you are a fucking douchebag from the 80s and your name is Bret Michaels.
99% sure he's a chick. With lip implants.
The problem with this new “hipster” era of pop culture is that the definitions are fucking blurry and no one can seem to agree just what the fuck defines a hipster. Rather, most people have no idea what hipster means and love to label anyone that might slightly resemble said type of person.
I think I have come to save the day. And possibly my own sanity. You see, dear readers, I have been wondering for the past few months if Yours Truly is turning into a hipster.
Evidence to the case in point:
1. I’ve started to love music that sounds as if it should be the score to an indy movie. If this isn’t utterly damning, I don’t know what is. Driving around listening to music that makes me feel like I’m in a low budget, depressing but not completely terrible movie starring Kieran Culkin or Kristen Stewart, is kind of like heaven at this stage in my life.
I might actually love him more than his older and significantly less attractive brother. I have a Culkin fetish apparently.
2. I started wearing flannel again. But not actual flannel. Stylized flannel. As in, tailored and fitted and body forming. The flannel of today is not, I repeat NOT, the flannel we were wearing when Kurt Cobain was un-soberly warbling into a microphone. That shit was thick, itchy, and not at all flattering to the female figure. We actually looked like lumberjacks then. We look more like lumberinas now.
3. I own more Apple products than pairs of underwear, possibly. Self explanatory. I was actually in line the day the iPhone was originally released and it was so awesome to be one of the first people to use it and wow, please don’t taser me in a dark alley behind the coffee house I’m sure you’ve never heard of…
4. I know too much about weird or obscure shit that typically makes eyes glaze over when I talk. I can’t help it, I just have a thirst for learning and I’m sorry if that makes you feel belittled because you don’t know as much as I do, or don’t care, or whatever. This is what happens when your teen years were full of angst, depression, pot, and Super Nintendo.
5. I own and have seen too many obscure or indy movies. I owned Donnie Darko before it was cool.
Ok, so those are the main points about my current tastes and personality that possibly push me into hipster territory. However, I do not buy designer jeans that look like my sister vomited and/or accidentally poured a cup of bleach in the washing machine and/or attacked me with scissors. I don’t hang out at coffee houses. I don’t have an art/philosophy/liberal arts degree and I don’t pretend that some earlier era was better than the current era. I do smoke (occasionally) cigarettes no one has ever heard of but mostly because they taste better than other cigarettes (they also used to be popular but hardly anyone sells them anymore). Also I love pop culture and current trends and watch more television than the average person probably should.
Where the line begins to blur is in deciding if these various evidences for being (or not being) a hipster actually count. I have seen multiple definitions of “hipster” and there seems to be disagreement. The most common I have seen is Apple-loving, obscure-shit-loving, coffee-house-drinking, trust fund babies who love to tell you how much you don’t know about everything that’s underground.
Another definition states that a hipster is someone who appropriates the styles and music of an earlier era without actually knowing or caring about the origins of said styles and music while simultaneously exclaiming older eras are better than the current one. In order to appear more impressive or cool or hip, they wear retro styled clothing, listen to music that was made in a garage in 1972, and hang around locally owned and managed restaurants, bars, and coffee houses.
There is obvious overlap here but I think the main point between both of these definitions is that hipsters are just douchebags. Plain and simple. If they act above you, talk down to you, pretend as if their interests are deeper or somehow more meaningful than yours because they shop at some obscure store or own a record of a crappy garage band from the 70s or refuse to watch mainstream movies, television, or what-have-you, they are a hipster. Not all flannel-wearing, indy movie-watching, Apple-loving people are douchebags. I am actually quite nice and typically know when to shut the hell up about the weird Kieran Culkin movie I just watched.
To summarize: I am sort of a hipster but I am not a douchebag. I am sort of a hipster but only because of my particular interests and not necessarily my fashion sense. I am minimally a hipster. I guess I should hate myself and love it. Or love myself and hate it. I’m not sure. The dilemma continues.
**I honestly don’t know how to categorize those hipsters that fall into the obvious “hobo” category. If you dress like you just had a style consultation with Oscar the fucking Grouch, you have serious issues and need to seek immediate attention from a mental health advisor. Don’t be surprised if the latter half of the 20teens is hobo inspired.**
Does he need change or did he just break his iPhone screen? I can't tell.