Friday, October 28, 2011

ऍम इ अ हिपस्टर?

The other day, my friend Megan called me a hipster. She couldn't be more far off, of course. I hate hipsters. I am the opposite of hipster. Then, I stopped to think. I suppose she may have her reasons.

I've got facial hair from time to time. I generally rock sideburns that may extend to mutton chops. I've also had a full beard, a mustache, a goatee, a douche circle beard, and a fu manchu. One time, I busted a Chester A. Arthur. Okay, twice.

I love PBR. It kind of bothers me that the hipsters do too. I've been drinking it since the mid '90s, way before they started. Then again, claiming street cred for doing it first is kind of a hipster move.

I've got a pretty extensive collection of awesome T-shirts. I'd like to say that none of them are ironic, but I don't, in fact, eat ramen noodles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, nor do I want to make it rain. At least I can say that none are skin tight or faux vintage. Then again, plenty of my clothes are basically vintage now since I go shopping once every six years or so.

I spent two years living in Uptown, Chicago. I never veered as hipster as Wicker Park, but mainly because the rents are too high, the bars are too expensive, and the Blue Line sucks. I lived in Lawrence, of course, which has way more cache than similar towns like Madison or Ann Arbor or Boulder, largely because most people have never heard of it. I also "lived" in Brooklyn and in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, though not for very long in either locale.

So what? A lot of these same parameters could be used to describe my buddy Dylan, and he's definitely not a hipster. He works for the railroad for fuck's sake. I feel absolved. I feel, y'know, that I'm clearly better than all of hipsterdom.

And there it is. My unfounded sense of entitlement back at work. Also, I see that I've painted myself into a corner here. Maybe I really believe my previous statement, that I am better than every hipster. That sort of self righteousness is a total tenet of hipsterism. Maybe I don't think I'm better than all hipsters (and don't classify a large swath of people as hipsters to begin with). I'm just making a joke. Well, then I'm being ironic. Lose/lose.

Are there any other strikes against me? I'm an asshole to pretty much everybody new I meet, foxy girls excepted of course. Hell, 10 minutes ago, I met a couple randoms at a bar in my hood and I was a total dick to them. I get all of my news from The Daily Show and The New York Times. I like the idea of reading books, but I don't actually do it anymore. When I do read, I go for Klosterman and Gladwell. I wear sunglasses everywhere, regardless of cloud cover. I don't own a TV. Not only do I love pirate humor, I basically invented it (y'know, cuz I'm awesome, and I was telling pirate jokes before you had ever heard of them). I love drinking 40s. I particularly love drinking 40s on a stoop. Ironically, I actually have the perfect stoop for drinking 40s on at my current apartment (i.e., urban but crackhead free, not at an apartment complex, and not on a residential street) but I live in a country where 40s in the true sense (high-powered malt liquor in glass bottles that can be procured for 2-3 dollars) do not exist (also, I don't know if this is hipster, but I blatantly overuse parenthetical phrases).

I should also note that I own a number of Apple products, and I am currently writing this very sentence on my iPad while wearing a PBR trucker hat and a mustache.

Perhaps most damning: I don't consider myself a hipster.

So I'm fucked then, yeah? I may as well move to Williamsburg or Silver Lake and get it all over with then. Not so fast, Sancho.

T-shirts aside, I don't subscribe to hipster fashion. I don't wear skinny jeans. If I were skinny (and since I'm not, that makes me less hipster), I still wouldn't. I don't carry a messenger bag (although since purchasing the iPad, I've considered it). I don't have glasses. Old Eagle Eye has no use for such things. I don't have any tattoos. Who knows, I may want to join the CIA one day. Silly to rule out options like that.

I don't own a fixed-gear bike. I don't own a bike at all right now, although I'm not against them. If I had a decent place to stow a bike, I'd probably buy one. However, I have no idea what the appeal of the fixie is. I haven't owned one since grade school, and really the only reason I had one then is because they don't make proper geared bikes for little kids, or at least they didn't in my day. A fixed-geared bike for adults makes about as much sense to me as a fixed-geared car, at least if one is using a bike primarily for transportation.

I like sports. I know I could be a hipster (at least an American hipster) and still like soccer or rugby. Because Kansas Basketball is clearly the most important thing in the world of sports, hipsters in Lawrence are allowed to rabidly follow the Hawks and still maintain their status. The Kansas Basketball Jayhawks are my favorite overall team, but I am not eligible for this loophole. See, I also like baseball. One can be hipster and like theoretical Bill James baseball or historical (read: Negro Leagues) baseball, and I do like both of these things, but I also like baseball baseball. I suppose following the Kia Tigers of the Korean League (I know, It's KBO, K-League is actually soccer) balances out my like of MLB for hipster purposes, but I go a step too far for any hipster. I love the NFL. I'm in fantasy football leagues. I read NFL news every day of the year. Worse, I follow the decidedly unhip Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are coached by ultra-douchy Todd Haley, and we all know that hipsters and douche bags are natural enemies in the wild.

Probably the biggest reason that I'm no hipster - my knowledge of music that came out after the year 2000, or lack thereof. Forget the notion of only liking hipster bands, I don't know any current bands for the most part. While I'm spotty for post-2000, I'm essentially clueless on music that came out after 2006 or so. Being out of the country doesn't help, but I spent the majority of 2009 stateside and didn't add much to the regular rotation. It's entirely possible that my mom has a hipper iTunes collection than me at this point. I could argue that I'm first and foremost a fan of rock and roll, and that Radiohead took the genre as far as it could possibly go with Kid A (in 2000), and therefore there was no reason for me to pay attention anymore since everything henceforth would essentially be a copy of something else. Then again, there is the fact that I might just be old, lazy, and uncool.


Jack said...

i think that late '90's agnst is often confused with hipster bullshit... so, well, whatever... no one drinks pabst anymore, man, it's too expensive... i mean, come on hamms is like about $7 for a twelve pack... when i was in colorado in july they tried to charge me $10.35 for a twelve pack of olympia... bullshit... anyway, what what was i talking about? good post... great post... you hipster bastard...

Lindsey said...


Lindsey said...


Joe Kickass said...

You do enjoy a good death cab for cutie song every now and then...

R.W. High said...

HAHA. Todd, you're the first person who comes to mind when I think "hipster." ^_^~

Paul said...

Joe K needs to update his location.

Nice hat -- proud to be the bearer of hipster fashion. BTW, what is a hipster?

Still waiting for a Taiwan post or something of that ilk. May be going to O, FL for a seminar next week -- no parks on the itinerary.