What’s Hipster Than Being Cool 18 Comments

What’s Hipster Than Being Cool

According to Andre 3000 the only thing cooler than being cool is ice cold…

But after getting out from behind my computer and into some of Melbourne’s bars and cafe’s this past weekend I have to say many Melbournians seem to believe that the only thing cooler than our current icy weather is the hipster culture that’s taking over our city, one moustache, rolled up jeans leg, and retro flannel shirt at a time.

But what is hipster culture?

I got thinking on this after a recent Ed Comm meeting when one Edcommer queried a fashion term in a submission and somebody else suggested, ‘ask Fenwick, he’s a hipster’. In response to this Fenwick quite angrily replied, ‘I’m not a hipster you fucking hipster’.

Perhaps the explanation for Fenwick’s ire can be found in Urban Dictionary definition of Hipster, number 7

‘A derogatory word fashionable young people use to refer to other fashionable young people that they don’t like.’

I say definition number 7 because Urban Dictionary has 181 definitions for the word hipster, such is the division on the word’s meaning. This is most likely because all 181 definitions were written by hipsters and one commonly noted quality amongst the definitions was the hipster’s innate penchant for obscurity.

Have I said the word hipster enough times … hipster hipster hipster. Just like Jan Brady. Who most certainly wasn’t a hipster because the main criteria for hipsterness or hipsterocity (I prefer this word as it sounds fiercely obscure) is fashion sense.

Do you commonly refer to your look as retro, vintage, timeless or by exact time period ie, winter 1967 – spring 1968? Or perhaps more aptly do you just refer to the fact that you have a look?

Have you got a shaved back and sides and one or other of the following; coiffure, flat top, comb over, boot polish slick, or mini mohawk (under six inches or else you are a punk or Western Bulldogs supporter)?

Or maybe you have John Lennon Hair? Or any member of the Beatles or Beatniks for that matter?

Not to mention rimmed glasses of some kind?

Or a moustache unaccompanied by a beard?

Have you got On the Road in classic, retro and ipad version?

Do you write in a moleskine, or a macbook, or macbook with limited edition moleskine cover?

Do you constantly feel the need to explain the seventeen subgenres of music your latest favourite band/electronic group/concept project belong to whilst simultaneously deriding the genrefication of art?

Do you own an unorthodox yet quirky pet, ie, ferret, duck, mongoose, otter or raven but not snake (far too creepy serial killer)?

Do you own a regular pet with an unorthodox or clever name ie, Sir Winston Snugglepuss, Mr Rasputin or El Jefe for those of us with a Latin socialist inclination?

If you have any of these broad generalised attributes you may be a hipster.

Or you may not,

William S. Burroughs (yes a beat I know) wrote in the glossary to Junky, a person who is Hip or Hep is

‘Someone who knows the score. Someone who understands “jive talk.”Someone who is “with it.” The expression is not subject to definition because, if you don’t “dig”what it means, no one can ever tell you.”

Perhaps my attempts at definition are just ‘jive talk’ and I should have first asked myself this question, from old school gangster hipster, Cyrus from The Warriors, Can you dig it?

Maybe the answer lies back amongst the mountain of Urban Dictionary definitions, one of which states,

‘Hipsters deny that they are hipsters and mock other hipsters for being hipsters. most everyone who can define the word “hipster” probably actually belongs to the hipster subculture in one way or another.’

Hence  my attempt to define Hipsterocity leaves me at one of two places.

Either I accept that I just don’t ‘dig’ it, in which case I have no chance of being cool in Melbourne this winter, not to mention making it back to Coney Island with my warrior brothers.

Or I willingly admit to being a hipster or at least aspiring to be a hipster (due to my lack of fashion sense and the fact that going grey at 24 excludes me from any of the aforementioned hipster hairstyles). By this admission I can, in clear conscience, take pleasure in the following websites mostly concerned with hipsters mocking other hipsters.

Look at this fucking hipster

Unhappy Hipsters

Hipster Puppies

So hipsters and hepcats, enjoy the mockery and hipsterocityand may I leave you with a question to comment on … how many hipsters does it take to change a light bulb?

  • http://www.littlegirlwithabigpen.wordpress.com Sam van Zweden

    I think I find hipsters more terrifying than just about anyone. So self-assured in their lack of confidence! Too confidently unconfident! Conundrums…
    Concise, Liam. Thanks.
    Great links also. Love the hipster puppies best.


  • http://www.toothsoup.com phill

    1 to change the lightbulb.

    1 to walk around wearing a v-neck shirt under a cardigan and complain that it’s cold. Also he might be wearing great big fucking glasses that have no lenses in them. We will call him fashion-hipster.

    1 to take a photo of the lightbulb being changed (preferably mid-way with lightbulb-hipster enclosing it with his hands so that photo-hipster can croon over how retro and awesome the glow effect looks; just like oil lamps or something) with his iPhone using a polaroid app that puts a white border around it and uploads it to his ‘arty’ facebook photo album.

    1 to break up the argument between fashion-hipster and photo-hipster over why photo-hipster hasn’t taken a picture of fashion-hipster yet, even though fashion-hipster’s new cardigan that he found in a dumpster out the back of a soup kitchen is obviously a lot more retro than lightbulb-hipster’s ironically torn jeans and rainbow tie-died singlet top with a stencil of a unicorn with two horns combination. Problem-resolution-hipster is his name.

    1 hipster to point out that problem-resolution-hipster can’t actually exist since it isn’t hipster to give a shit about anything, let alone issues between other hipsters. His name is cynical-hipster and he also points out that hipsters aren’t often attributed any kind of skill in electrics. Lightbulb-hipster takes offense at this, photo-hipster takes a photo of his offense, and fashion-hipster makes a whiny noise and pouts. Problem-resolution-hipster continues not existing.

    Eventually they all decide to throw it in and go out to a wanky bar named after a poet or, I don’t know, fucking numbers or something, so they can all sit around pretending not to notice how hipster they are and being faux surprised and uncaring when someone points it out.

    So the answer would be 5 if you count the one that doesn’t exist.

  • R-Knee

    3: One to change the lightbulb; another to decry the misdirective tokenism of flourescent-light sand-walls built in the path of industry-conjured tidal waves in a tone of voice that says h̶e̶ s̶h̶e̶ it doesn’t really care anyway, so whatever; the third to be really, really fucking hip.

    I had thought that the growth of hipster culture might be crippled in terms of genetically aligned memetic progenitor cultural replication (oh god, the redundancies) due to the testicle-crushing properties of hipster jeans, but I’ve come to realise that, as Hipsters are more inclined to imitate their grandparents than their parents, this probably won’t be a factor for another 30-40 years anyway, and by that time hipsters will be wearing parachute pants.

    • http://www.toothsoup.com phill

      y’know, I got really confused when someone first pointed out a hipster to me. I was incredulous, “I think they’re stovepipes, actually.” It was then that I realised that people weren’t playing spotto with jeans types, and it was a mode of dress. Stupid me. :(

      • R-Knee

        I think there’s a strong element of androgyny in Hipsterism/ocity/aciousness. Maybe the jeans are an attempt (by the male of the species, anyway) to minimise or disguise (or even apologise?) for their external genitalia. Though of course with stretchier jeans moose-knuckle can manifest, having the reverse effect.

      • http://www.toothsoup.com phill

        @ R-Knee: Hahaha! Whenever I see a hipster with stovepipes (i.e. whenever I see a hipster) I am now going to imagine them apologising for having balls.

  • RBS

    This is joke doesn’t make sense; hipsters don’t change light bulbs – they use vintage Swiss paraffin wick lamps.

  • http://samuelcooney.wordpress.com/ Sam

    sometimes, on the odd occasion, especially by VW edcommers, i have been labeled a ‘hipster’. this is ridiculous. i am as unplugged from the coolest things as LiLo is unplugged from reality. anyway, i shrug off these slurs (not in a hipster way, but in a completely different way). yes, i get the ThreeThousand updates in my inbox, but it’s not me, man. i’m more than sum of my parts, man.

    i don’t shop at Jack London (though i’ve been in before and thought, ‘yes, i could wear this’, but i never bought anything). although i did go to the launch of the first Jack London shop, but only because a friend knows the owner. shit. i sound like a hipster. still, at this launch (read: free alcohol) i was the least cool person there by about a factor of 156. if the cool ratio is 1, i was running steady at about .00378. (so 1:0.00378).

    • http://www.toothsoup.com phill

      It’s alright dude, hipsters aren’t in Bega adverts.

    • Maddie

      You are a hipster. Deal with it.

  • http://wwwnikitavanderbyl.com Nikita

    Not sure if you guys have seen this, it may be too mainstream fo’ ya’ll, I laughed though, so… yeah.

    • R-Knee

      I also laughed. Especially at “I’d shave, but like… why?”

    • Liam

      Gold Nikita … did you see this one
      Probably didn’t … it’s like pretty rare

      • http://wwwnikitavanderbyl.com Nikita

        Quality stuff Liam, quality indeed. Much mirth did I feel watching it.

    • http://www.toothsoup.com phill

      Brilliant! 😀 Loved the mumbling Arcade Fire imitation going in the background.

  • EmilyA

    Thank you Liam, thank you everyone! You have made me laugh. I swear it’s getting worse all the time. The hipsters are winning.

    Virgule readers in other states, is this just a Melbourne thing? I was in Sydney last year and didn’t see any hipsters. Well, not fully-blown Melbourne-style hipsters. Was I just in the wrong place (or should I say, the right place)? Or have the hipsters all moved here and that’s why it seems like they are multiplying?

    • http://www.toothsoup.com phill

      Perth has many hipsters, mostly congregating in one street in Mt. Lawley, but also seen in various wanky pubs and clubs around town. They are not as frequent as, say, a zombie infestation, but their numbers are certainly on the rise if the number of long cardies seen around Perth is any indication.

  • Saba

    I thought hipsters were jeans. Clearly, I’m out of the loop.

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