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V. Illych L.
Apr 11, 2008

I tried to make a mime but his face fell off

Required reading:
"The White Negro" by Norman Mailer:
http://www.dissentmagazine.org/wp-c..._WhiteNegro.pdf
In which Mailer discusses what must be said to be a kind of proto-hipsterism from the fifties-sixties, a merger of continental Existentialism born of WW2 and of

Urban Dictionary on Hipsters:
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=hipster
In which hipsters attempt to justify themselves as a counterculture




We've all seen them, sitting around with their inexplicably fancy coffees or obscure craft beers, dressed up like complete tossers and casting a weirdly condescending look at everything that moves. We all loathe them, of course; they represent a kind of aesthetication of existence which can only be described as vulgar, they approach serious issues with a cavalier lack of sober reflection and the fuckers are smug while doing it.

However, we do not know quite who they are. What is a hipster? There is no obvious overriding hipster ethos, except for a sort of overbearing apathy. There is no philosophical basis; they live, untethered, on the flows of fashion and trends; the hipster's raison d'etre is to maintain a tendency towards sophistication through embracing hyperconsumerism. The hipster claims to do this ironically. Irony is a poor shield, however, and this claim is manifestly false. The hipster's extreme late-capitalist attire is a big clue to the phenomenon; the modern hipster is a late-capitalist existentialist. They preach individualism through a strangely uniform practice. The ideology, if it can be called such, of hipsterism is a highly contradictory one, and these contradictions is what makes it appealing. It allows an individual an "out"; in this world of increasing tension, where the optimism of the nineties is giving way to complete, jaded cynicism in the Western cultural spirit, where even the basic of critique are facing criticism, you can express yourself only through your consumer choice. The hipster realises this; protest is futile. The only act of defiance available is, paradoxally, submission.

Where existentialism searches for the genuine, for the authenticity at the core of all phenomena, the hipster has realised that there is no such thing. While existentialism takes solace in the absurdity of the human condition for its implications on human freedom, the hipster sees this absurdity as simply more oppressive. Thinking starts to hurt, reality is too raw to be approached sincerely. Jabbering, bantering, buying becomes the jargon of a new generation of would-be intellectuals.

Hipsterism is, at its core, a symptom of sickness in our post-modern world. Where the individual can only express itself through products, the individual becomes defined by these products. Where political activity cannot be primary (because, after all, engaging in politics doesn't generally lead anywhere), it becomes a hobby. The hipster lives in the end times, and sees the writing on the wall - our society is heading for a reckoning of apocalyptic proportions, and we can do nothing to stop it. The hipster is the rebel who has given up before beginning; their revolt is, in part, against the expectancy of youth to rebel.

What drives the hipster? Is it simply the angst of living in a society without meaning? I, for my part, am unsure. Most hipsters I meet do seem to have an element of it. Moreover, why exactly do "we" have such contempt for them? I have never been able to pinpoint this. Hipsters, as represented here by Urban Dictionary, seem to think that it's because people are jealous. This is clearly not it. But what is it? What roles do the hipsters have to play in our society? And why on earth do they insist on wearing those ridiculous hats?

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Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


This thread sucks

quote:

“Hipster” is a term co-opted for use as a meaningless pejorative in order to vaguely call someone else’s authenticity into question and, by extension, claim authenticity for yourself.

It serves no conversational function and imparts no information, save for indicating the opinions and preferences of the speaker.

Meanwhile, a market myth has sprung up around the term, as well as a cultural bogeyman consisting of elusive white 20-somethings who wear certain clothes (but no one will agree on what), listen to certain music (no one can agree on this either), and act a certain way (you’ve probably sensed the pattern on your own).

You can’t define what “that kind of behavior or fashion or lifestyle” actually is, nor will you ever be able to. That’s because you don’t use “hipster” to describe an actual group of people, but to describe a fictional stereotype that is an outlet for literally anything that annoys you.

The twist, of course, is that if it weren’t for your own insecurities, nothing that a “hipster” could do or wear would ever affect you emotionally. But you are insecure about your own authenticity - “Do I wear what I wear because I want to? Do I listen to my music because I truly like it? I’m certainly not like those filthy hipsters!” - so you project those feelings.

Suffice it to say, no one self-identifies as a hipster; the term is always applied to an Other, to separate the authentic Us from the inauthentic, “ironic” Them.

V. Illych L.
Apr 11, 2008

I tried to make a mime but his face fell off

that's just, like, your opinion, dude

agarjogger
May 16, 2011


Yeah it's a term with even less meaning than the Australian bogan. Maybe it can be useful somehow, but I feel pretty dirty and stupid throwing it around.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

robot whores
come before
a cure for
cancer




Griff Lee posted:

This thread sucks
It was cool before the OP sold out, I say

V. Illych L.
Apr 11, 2008

I tried to make a mime but his face fell off

Nessus posted:

It was cool before the OP sold out, I say

Ah, but i was sold out to begin with, that's the whole point. Can't sell out more once you're already there!

V. Illych L.
Apr 11, 2008

I tried to make a mime but his face fell off

Seriously, though, part of the idea of this thread was to clarify what/who the gently caress we mean when we say "hipster" and why it's become so reviled as it is. It's a really strange term, and from where I'm sitting in Scandinavia it seems as though Americans would have a better idea about it.

sitchensis
Mar 4, 2009



I see hipsterism as being nothing more than a "KIDS THESE DAYS" kind of thing. No one would freely admit to being a hipster, but we delight in pointing out the people who are.

Youth and young adults are disaffected, bored, and use consumption and the appropriation of cultural symbols to generate meaning. See: every generation since the industrial revolution.

Basically:

R. Mute
Jul 27, 2011



If you want to talk about materialism, talk about materialism, op. As it is, I have to agree with poster number two.

V. Illych L.
Apr 11, 2008

I tried to make a mime but his face fell off

R. Mute posted:

If you want to talk about materialism, talk about materialism, op. As it is, I have to agree with poster number two.
aw why you got to be like that

Not sure what materialism has to do with anything, to be honest. Hipsters are often fairly anti-materialist, in the sense that they don't care much about buying shiney stuff. It has to be cool, which is another matter.

The materialist buys fast cars and obviously expensive things; the hipster's outfit doesn't have to be expensive at all, it just has to be trendy, "ethical" and ever-so-slightly provocative.

R. Mute
Jul 27, 2011



Oh, I thought you talked about it in the OP which I didn't really read because I don't care enough. Sorry!

Math Debater
May 6, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 13 days!


sitchensis posted:

No one would freely admit to being a hipster, but we delight in pointing out the people who are.

When I was a freshman in college during the 2008-2009 academic year, my roommate self-identified as a hipster.

Cicero
Dec 17, 2003

Jumpjet, melta, jumpjet. Repeat for ten minutes or until victory is assured.

Like Griff's quote said, "hipster" has become just a catch-all term for someone you don't like. There are certainly traits that often get associated with supposed hipsters (young, urban, facial hair, fixies, PBR, flannel, prefers retro/old stuff), but nobody can agree on a definition and the accusation of being a hipster gets flung around even for individuals who only fit one or two traits ("You have facial hair and live in a dense urban core? You hipster.").

Cicero fucked around with this message at Mar 28, 2014 around 18:23

RBA Starblade
Apr 27, 2008

Going Home.


Hipsters are like art, you know it when you see it.

Fitzy Fitz
May 14, 2005

Dynomite

I thought hipsters were just young people trying to give their lives meaning by wearing vintage clothes and listening to underground music while sipping on a working man's beer during a photo shoot on train tracks.

Helsing
Aug 23, 2003

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Insofar as "hipster" is a meaningful term I think it refers to the attempt to derive or create some sense of authenticity from a culture that is over run by marketing. It isn't an altogether new phenomena but it really stands out amongst members of the millennial generation because viral marketing and the corporate co-optation of local art and culture has reached such an absurd degree.

I definitely don't think hipsters are rebels in any meaningful sense, not even rebels who have given up on rebellion. They're just people (typically young, upwardly mobile, middle class and educated) who are doing what people have been struggling to do since the advent of modernity, i.e. appropriate bits and pieces of the culture they are born into as a way to entertain themselves and to develop social capital.

Duplicant
Oct 31, 2004

Just remember though -- this offer may be revoked at any time.

Math Debater posted:

When I was a freshman in college during the 2008-2009 academic year, my roommate self-identified as a hipster.

Last year PPP released some polling and 50% of the 18-29 group self identified as hipster.

Bip Roberts
Mar 29, 2005



Duplicant posted:

Last year PPP released some polling and 50% of the 18-29 group self identified as hipster.

But like 60% of those who did only checked the box ironically.

Math Debater
May 6, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 13 days!


I also remember having read at least one post on these forums by someone who described themself in the post as a hipster.

V. Illych L.
Apr 11, 2008

I tried to make a mime but his face fell off

Helsing posted:

Insofar as "hipster" is a meaningful term I think it refers to the attempt to derive or create some sense of authenticity from a culture that is over run by marketing. It isn't an altogether new phenomena but it really stands out amongst members of the millennial generation because viral marketing and the corporate co-optation of local art and culture has reached such an absurd degree.

I definitely don't think hipsters are rebels in any meaningful sense, not even rebels who have given up on rebellion. They're just people (typically young, upwardly mobile, middle class and educated) who are doing what people have been struggling to do since the advent of modernity, i.e. appropriate bits and pieces of the culture they are born into as a way to entertain themselves and to develop social capital.

I don't think that they are looking for authenticity, though - I think the essential hipster insight is that authenticity in our current world is a sham, so they always keep "one step ahead" of the mainstream. That's where they diverge so violently from their beatnik or existentialist forerunners - they're explicitly not in revolt, because revolt is futile. So they're embracing this whole 'consumer' ideal very tightly, manifesting parts of their personality through their purchasing decisions. I seriously think that hipsterism is a real thing in western society, and that its peculiarities can tell us something about said society.

Also, where I'm from, lots of people self-identify as hipsters. I'd be astounded if it was fifty percent, but a non-trivial portion of my acquaintance certainly "admitted" to being hipsters.

Popular Thug Drink
Apr 25, 2013

PROUD SURVIVOR OF WINTER STORM SHERMAN.

JANUARY 28 2014 NEVER FORGET


If you think of society as being composed of groups there aren't any default, neutral groups for generic millenial middle class urban/suburbanites you can self-assign to except hipster.

I know people who self identify as hippies, rednecks, country boy/girl, academic, nerd or geek, etc. But these groups all articulate some choice in values. If you're not trying to position yourself as X, you fall back on hipster. It's such a vague term, it can range from severe lifestyle choices to just having an interest in trendy fashion/music.

Popular Thug Drink fucked around with this message at Mar 28, 2014 around 18:57

Talmonis
Jun 24, 2012

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.


Almost universally, anyone I'd describe as a "hipster" are music, art and/or film snobs. This person or persons will lord it over you and deride your tastes as "uncultured". Have you ever enjoyed a song you've heard on the radio, A Michael Bay Film or liked a painting of a landscape? Congratulations, your tastes are the subject of obnoxious ridicule if you ever voice it within earshot of a hipster.

Nonsense
Jan 26, 2007



Math Debater posted:

I also remember having read at least one post on these forums by someone who described themself in the post as a hipster.

I've seen goons claim others mocking hipsters are just mocking handsomeness and good dress style.

Popular Thug Drink
Apr 25, 2013

PROUD SURVIVOR OF WINTER STORM SHERMAN.

JANUARY 28 2014 NEVER FORGET


V. Illych L. posted:

I don't think that they are looking for authenticity, though - I think the essential hipster insight is that authenticity in our current world is a sham, so they always keep "one step ahead" of the mainstream. That's where they diverge so violently from their beatnik or existentialist forerunners - they're explicitly not in revolt, because revolt is futile. So they're embracing this whole 'consumer' ideal very tightly, manifesting parts of their personality through their purchasing decisions. I seriously think that hipsterism is a real thing in western society, and that its peculiarities can tell us something about said society.

Also, where I'm from, lots of people self-identify as hipsters. I'd be astounded if it was fifty percent, but a non-trivial portion of my acquaintance certainly "admitted" to being hipsters.

This may be the core of Hipster but as in all things it's diluted down by people who don't know, care, or grasp this idea of authenticity such that hipster effectively just means young person with some superficial cultural markers.

I know a lower SES Mexican-American teenager who bought some fashionable glasses and started catching poo poo for emulating a hipster.

Fitzy Fitz
May 14, 2005

Dynomite

V. Illych L. posted:

I don't think that they are looking for authenticity, though - I think the essential hipster insight is that authenticity in our current world is a sham, so they always keep "one step ahead" of the mainstream. That's where they diverge so violently from their beatnik or existentialist forerunners - they're explicitly not in revolt, because revolt is futile. So they're embracing this whole 'consumer' ideal very tightly, manifesting parts of their personality through their purchasing decisions. I seriously think that hipsterism is a real thing in western society, and that its peculiarities can tell us something about said society.

Also, where I'm from, lots of people self-identify as hipsters. I'd be astounded if it was fifty percent, but a non-trivial portion of my acquaintance certainly "admitted" to being hipsters.

I live in a hipster kingdom and my opinion is that they think they're authentic. Maybe they aren't, but they think they are.

If you were to call a hipster materialist they'd be aghast.

Ronald McReagan
May 14, 2004

~facts are stupid things~

Talmonis posted:

Almost universally, anyone I'd describe as a "hipster" are music, art and/or film snobs. This person or persons will lord it over you and deride your tastes as "uncultured". Have you ever enjoyed a song you've heard on the radio, A Michael Bay Film or liked a painting of a landscape? Congratulations, your tastes are the subject of obnoxious ridicule if you ever voice it within earshot of a hipster.

How often do people actually experience this? As far as I can tell, the ratio of complaints about "hipster elitism" to instances of "hipster elitism" is about a thousand loving billion to one. I've never caught poo poo for liking Lady Gaga and Star Trek from anyone wearing plaid or living in Williamsburg or whatever.

Talmonis
Jun 24, 2012

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.




This can only be a hipster.

V. Illych L.
Apr 11, 2008

I tried to make a mime but his face fell off

Popular Thug Drink posted:

This may be the core of Hipster but as in all things it's diluted down by people who don't know, care, or grasp this idea of authenticity such that hipster effectively just means young person with some superficial cultural markers.

I know a lower SES Mexican-American teenager who bought some fashionable glasses and started catching poo poo for emulating a hipster.

Well, yes, but this is the case with every subculture. Back in the day anyone who engaged in politics on the left would be called a sixty-eighter, for instance, and anyone who smoked weed was a hippie. This doesn't mean that sixty-eighters and hippies didn't exist as real phenomena worth thinking about, it's just what happens when these terms are popularised.

Talmonis
Jun 24, 2012

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.


Ronald McReagan posted:

How often do people actually experience this? As far as I can tell, the ratio of complaints about "hipster elitism" to instances of "hipster elitism" is about a thousand loving billion to one. I've never caught poo poo for liking Lady Gaga and Star Trek from anyone wearing plaid or living in Williamsburg or whatever.

I used to get this poo poo all the time in college. I don't get it in the Corporate world though, likely since it wouldn't be tolerated.

Nonsense
Jan 26, 2007



Talmonis posted:



This can only be a hipster.

No, that is a respectable startup entrepreneur.

Miltank
Dec 27, 2009

Rollout. Rollout! ROLLOUT! ROLLOUT!ROLLOUT! ROLLOUT!

I thought hipsters were people like me who get all of their clothes from Goodwill.

Ronald McReagan
May 14, 2004

~facts are stupid things~

Talmonis posted:

I used to get this poo poo all the time in college. I don't get it in the Corporate world though, likely since it wouldn't be tolerated.

Funny how my experience has been the exact opposite. It's almost as if people of all types employ shibboleths from time to time!

edit - case in point:

Popular Thug Drink posted:

I know a lower SES Mexican-American teenager who bought some fashionable glasses and started catching poo poo for emulating a hipster.

Can anyone seriously say that hipster-ishness throws more poo poo than it catches?

Ronald McReagan fucked around with this message at Mar 28, 2014 around 19:11

Pesmerga
Aug 1, 2005

You know, that reminds me of a joke...

Hipsters are at once a form of other created through socially constructed discourse, a nebulous figure that it is acceptable to dislike and fear, yet also a self-constructed form of identification amongst diverse and disconnected groups as a form of resistance against dominant social and cultural discourses. Ironically, the more that counter-culture becomes a form of culture in itself, they become part of a dominant discourse, as well as legitimising existing cultures through their acts of rebelling against them.

I'm sure the average hipster appreciates that irony.

TheImmigrant
Jan 18, 2011

Arrogant Yankee Cokehead

Just another twentysomething subculture, many of whom have the luxury or apathy to spend a few years or decade of their youth in a state of "pretirement". I don't understand the bitter scorn many have for them. They often seem to be enjoying life without being too serious about it. Why hate them for it?

Nonsense
Jan 26, 2007



Having a boss that has more obscure musical taste than you will be the standard. While the proles listen to Avenged Sevenfold Greatest Hits & The Definitive Beyonce 1999-2045

enbot
Jun 7, 2013


V. Illych L. posted:



We've all seen them, sitting around with their inexplicably fancy coffees or obscure craft beers, dressed up like complete tossers and casting a weirdly condescending look at everything that moves. We all loathe them, of course; they represent a kind of aesthetication of existence which can only be described as vulgar, they approach serious issues with a cavalier lack of sober reflection and the fuckers are smug while doing it.

No, not really.

Griff Lee posted:

This thread sucks

iawtp

TheImmigrant posted:

Just another twentysomething subculture, many of whom have the luxury or apathy to spend a few years or decade of their youth in a state of "pretirement". I don't understand the bitter scorn many have for them. They often seem to be enjoying life without being too serious about it. Why hate them for it?

Dude, they drink different coffee than me; this causes me to literally shake with rage.

TheImmigrant
Jan 18, 2011

Arrogant Yankee Cokehead

Ronald McReagan posted:

How often do people actually experience this? As far as I can tell, the ratio of complaints about "hipster elitism" to instances of "hipster elitism" is about a thousand loving billion to one. I've never caught poo poo for liking Lady Gaga and Star Trek from anyone wearing plaid or living in Williamsburg or whatever.

Try bringing a case of Belgian beer to a blue-collar Super Bowl party, or playing K-Pop at a party in South Bronx.

V. Illych L.
Apr 11, 2008

I tried to make a mime but his face fell off

enbot posted:

No, not really.

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

I would never shop at Costco. The paper towels won't fit into my sports car!

Talmonis posted:

Almost universally, anyone I'd describe as a "hipster" are music, art and/or film snobs. This person or persons will lord it over you and deride your tastes as "uncultured". Have you ever enjoyed a song you've heard on the radio, A Michael Bay Film or liked a painting of a landscape? Congratulations, your tastes are the subject of obnoxious ridicule if you ever voice it within earshot of a hipster.

Those things are pretty terrible though and I don't see why you'd like them.

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rscott
Dec 10, 2009


TheImmigrant posted:

Try bringing a case of Belgian beer to a blue-collar Super Bowl party, or playing K-Pop at a party in South Bronx.

I brought a couple bombers of lambics to a memorial day party with a bunch of 'necks and they were actually pretty well received

e: this might be because they're like 10.5% and that poo poo will get you pretty hosed up compared to bud light

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