Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Hipsters Suck

Reading (Not) Carrie Bradshaw's blog yesterday and her rant against Portland Hipsters got me thinking about these unwashed, tatooed pseudo-intellectuals and how much they really bug me.

And like Carrie, I can relate to her frustration with Portland's particular strain of Hipster - the whole movement was just really starting to spread in the last year or two that I lived there, when it was still more of a phenomenon than actual movement.

Then I moved to DC, and was relatively sheltered from the Hipster, because there are none there (OK, there are a few that hang at the Black Cat and lately, from what i can tell from the last time I was there, Cafe St. Ex) . For one, there are no cool-yet-inexpensive neighborhoods in DC for these creatures to exist; and two, it's tough to be a college Hipster when somebody's paying the tuition for you to take classes at Georgetown, GW or American (

Moving back to Chicago I was exposed to the full onslaught of Hipsterness - the scruffy hair, big sunglasses, tight, rolled-up jeans, art school supplies and general disregard for hygiene. We live on the outskirts of Bucktown/Wicker Park (the epicenter for the Chicago Hipster) and one of our favorite coffee shops, Filter, is ground zero.

Perhaps I'm 10 years too old, but I just don't get it. (Granted, even if I were 10 years younger I wouldn't be hip enough to be a hipster, but still.) The whole notion of putting that much thought and work into looking like you don't give a shit about the way you look sorta defeats the purpose, doesn't it? And unless you want to work as a barista or record store clerk your whole life, at some point you need to grow up, buy a comb and a wardrobe, and get a job where you have to look somewhat professional, right? I mean, not everyone can be lucky enough to work in production their entire life.

I think some city's Hipsters are worse than others - NYC/Williamsburg Hipsters have set the bar pretty high; in San Fran, Hipsterdom is a contagious disease, spreading from San Jose all the way to Berkeley. And Portland Hipsters are also right up there, considering most of them have never traveled east of the Cascades.

Curious as to what others think, I've made this week's CRQOW about who has the most annoying Hipsters. Vote, and vote often.


Prashant Sridharan said...

Couldn't agree more. Buy some shampoo, get some deodorant, listen to a band someone else has actually heard of, and get a God damn job.

classyandfancy said...

I have been around my share of hipsters and the shit they do is unbelievable. I know someone who used a homemade tattoo gun to get the name of a movie he was working on tattooed into his arm. Not only did it look craptacular, he probably has the Hep now.

Dop said...

Personally I dont understand anyone under the age of 28.

Alannah said...

I knew some kids who self-tattooed the name of their band all up the lengths of their arms. The name of the band? Empire of Shit.

Now that's something you can proudly show your grandkids! Oh..think you're too cool to ever be a grandparent? We'll just see about that...time will tell.

chuckdaddy2000 said...

Hipsters are annoying for all the reasons you give, especially the trying hard to look bad thing.

But, I can't be fully against any fashion movement that pushes the envelope towards sloppy. I am way more fearful of the return of preppy. Are Izods really coming back?!?

Todd said...

What has always bothered me about them is the hypocrisy. And yes Cherry, they were around ten years ago. Even twenty. I remember the grungy hip set at Northwestern in the late 80's who worshipped Edie Brickell, didn't shave, and claimed to be anti-establishment. Then I would see them at Suttons Bay or Lake Geneva in the summertime. Sipping cocktails on the terrace. Quite cleaned up.

Matt said...

Thankfully, Hipsters don't have much of a foothold over here in the UK, but just be damn glad you don't have Chavs!

Surely there must come a time when they're just too old to pull off the Hipster look, kinda like your grandparents trying to squeeze into leather pants from 40 years ago!

Chris said...

You can also count Northern Michigan as fairly hipster-free. We wear flannel out of necessity here.

Ryan Charisma said...

so what I'm hearing is...

you hate Kevin Federline (Fed Ex)?

Julie_Gong said...

There is nothing wrong with a nice clean Izod.

5 of 9er said...

My vote is for Portland being the worst... just because right now they have the "coolest" music scene (menomena, decemberists, shins, thermals, stars of track and field, norfolk & western, etc.) and people are flocking there like crazy. So Portland has more twentysomethings with tight sweaters, white belts, floods, and backpacks.
Brooklyn would be #2.

Prashant Sridharan said...

How are the chicks in Portland?

I need a new weekend hangout city that doesn't involve the fucking TSA.

The [Cherry] Ride said...

Prashant: Surely your question about PDX chicks is meant for someone else - I have no idea.

Classy: I knew you'd have a good hipster story to share. (I also think your frenemy J-Gong would have some to, bu instead she chose the very-true Izod statement.)

Dop: Careful there - wouldn't that also include your BF??

Alannah: Tattoo parlors could do their perspective clients a huge public service by posting photos of old people with tattoos. But then, they'd probably lose a lot of business that way.

Chuck: Bring it on, I say. I'm looking for an excuse to by a new bright orange one!

Todd: True Dat. Reminds me of the young kinds in Portland who go back to their parent's house in the West Hills after a long day of panhandling.

Loaf: I agree. Chavs are the worst! I guess I should be thankful we don't have them here.

Chris: Flannel? Wow, what a concept!

Ryan: I love K-Fed. Popozao!

Julie: Totally agree.

Niner: I'm leaning towards agreeing with you.

Mr. Surprise said...

Clearly someone hasn't spent any time in Mt. Pleasant or Adams Morgan when in DC. Both are pretty granola. You can smell the composting heaps all the way down in Dupont Circle if the wind is right. Oh wait, that's just Metro.

Eve said...

I love going to Hiptown (Williamsburg) sometimes just to sit in the existential discomfort of these hipsters. And the crazy thing is, all the stores in Billyburg (doesn't the name make you want to retch?) are so expensive.

Once I was watching Taxicab Confessions and there were two hammered hipsters making out in the back. There was shaggy hair flying all over the place.

Karen said...

Hipster? Is that what the youngun's are calling it now? I thought it was strange that there were truck drivers hanging out at all the fancy coffee shops all of a sudden.

I'm Not Carrie Bradshaw said...

Obviously I could go on and on about this one. I'm glad that Portland is getting called out on this finally because I thought I was just getting grumpy and old. I'm seriously considering moving back up to Seattle just because latte swilling Microsofties are almost preferable to unsufferable Hipster Kids (i almost can't believe i just said that) and at least they have more than one pro sports team.
Oh, and Prashant the chicks in PDX are excellent if I do say so. (Except the Hipster ones of course).

carolyn says said...

move to rogers park, you'll be safe from the hipsters there, except for a few random loyola students who are too big for their britches.

my friend poindexter says the hipsters in portland are all addicted to the crystal meth so it go my vote but some of those chicago kids were a pain. i remember thinking they needed a sandwich and a shower stat

Jamaal said...

I sang for Empire of Shit, and I can guarantee that we didn't all have our band name tattooed up and down our arms. We all had it tattooed somewhere, as a symbol of the shared experience that we had both living together and being in a touring band for years together, but the ones of us who had it visibly tattooed were the ones of us who had many other visible tattoos too.

Also, as a black person from the South Side of Chicago, I was the most middle class of the group. The majority of that group came from Northwest Arkansas (with 2 exceptions), had mostly worked jobs at factories, farms, in construction and shit restaurant work (being not so middle class). Doing things that shock your parents isn't the definition of a silly, self-conscious hipster, but ridiculing doing anything that falls out of a stereotypical norm has become a silly pseudo-rebellious pose that has become more and more popular since the Reagan years.

Also, having 'Empire of Shit' tattooed across my lower stomach hasn't prevented me from becoming an engineer, and my drummer's tattoos across his neck and up and down his legs haven't prevented him from becoming a fairly successful classical composer who has had his works performed by orchestras.

Enough of 'protesteth'ing too much about the personally aimed comment.

About the entry: If you live in Wicker Park, you are a hipster. You are an inhabitant of one of the most quickly gentrified neighborhoods in American history, and you are paying a massive premium to continue to be. You don't get to claim some sort of immunity to the hipster tag by patronizing the most obnoxiously hip coffeeshop in the city, and judging the other patrons of the place as somehow not doing it in the cynical, self-aware manner that you do.

I guarantee you that the priced out Hispanic ex-inhabitants of your neighborhood know exactly who the enemy is. as they fill up Austin, Portland, Wicker Park, Williamsburg, and definitely DC, one of the spiritual birthplaces of the modern hipster plague as the city in which the 'emo' posture was created, and then unleashed on the world within the vehicles of the children of upper middle-class professionals.

OK, that's my rant for the day.

Anonymous said...

portland hipsters are unoriginal. they all look the same, act the same. i movement got blurred somewhere. there's nothing original aobut hipsters. they lack substance

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Iowa City. We have a whole colony of hipsters. Very obnoxious, exactly like the stereotypical descriptions to boot. Politically correct as always. The U of I is very liberal arts oriented. Need i say more?

Anonymous said...


Forgive me if I reside outside the realm of the "culturally informed," but whenever I come across a discussion of clique-based self-identification, I have a sudden urge to barf everywhere.

God forbid anyone explore the world beyond the bounds of your insular meta-urban domain. Besides, we all know that anything worth doing can be done in tight jeans, latte in hand, surrounded by asinine self-centered assbags just like you.

Anonymous said...

Everybody here heralds the motto - "keep portland wierd". First off, the motto did not start here, it was in Austin first, be a leader not a follower. Wierd is a privilege. Tattoos are great but they cost money. Being a hipster ain't really hip or different. This city has turned into a Peter Pan complex filled with adult-children who think their non-profit environmental thinking is changing the might be changing your block, but to change the world you have to leave this place or get other people from other places to want to come here, not just for the donuts, and talk to people who don't necessarily have the same views.

You might be surprised to know I do, but like Bill Maher talks about the fact that democrats have turned into pussies, so have this supposedly progressive city. People here are much more interested in living their lives happily or in a supposedly "livable city", than truly talking about anything that will extend their reach. Beer, bikes, and joints have taken over this city, there is a time and a place: that time was college and that place was daddies house.

Maybe it would help if all of us starting thinking about ways to "keep portland employed"

Anonymous said...

Please dont forget Missoula, MT
The hipster capital of the rockies behind boulder, co of course.
What really bothers me is how incredible cold an judgmental they are to others based on appearance. When they cross in fornt of my car in downtown missoula they always stare at my 91 honda accord and at me then tip their noses at my blaring Ramones music. None of they seem to have any connection to the land around them whcih is the reason most people like MT. Whats really sad is seing this lame hipster mentality spread it's way from missoula and portland to rural little towns in central ID and other places. All the youth have tight jeans, a cigarette hanging from their mouth and no relation to the country around them. Thats lame hokey redneck stuffto them..*(whcih I aint trust me).

Anonymous said...

Minneapolis/St. Paul has a pretty awful hipster scene too, particular in Uptown. Pabst, and parliaments everywhere. Fucking christ, man, I swear they're all cloned.

Anonymous said...

Portland - Too Many Hipsters...Too Few Organic Coffeehouses

"It Totes Blows Brah"

Check it out... hipsters are the worst

Anonymous said...

Hey Jamaal,

Loved Empire of Shit. Would that drummer you speak of be Joe per chance? Would love to know how to find his classical stuff. Thanks for the memories!

Antimissoulandia said...

I was born in Missoula and grew up in small town outside of it and this hipster bs needs to go. They've totally ruined the summer and late spring culture and night life of Missoula. I remember when you could go hang out at a Al & Vics and not have to worry about getting your whacked accidentally with a skate board and if you did the jack wang that accidentally hit you would apologize and didn't smell a trash can. In recent years it was cool to hang out at a new establishment like Draught Works and it would be all I guess it is hip of trending to bring your small children out to the bars.
I agree 100% with these A-- clowns have no appreciation for where they are or how they are ruining a once great western small city's seasonal cultural activities for its natives.
10 years ago I lived in NW PDX and it was already starting then, but at least it stayed in that part of the city. Hipsters can have PDX and SF, but stay out of Missoula.