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The Reluctant Hipster: Her Debut, Self-Titled Album
by Honey Barc
TheSyndicatedNews columnist

There's a new phenomenon among 18-34-year-olds who are active in social networking: hipster bashing. Being a hipster used to mean a person was young, and cool. It used to carry with it the connotation that someone was the foremost authority on underground music and pop culture; that he or she had the skinny on all the coolest spots and was personally acquainted with the door guy, the English DJ working everyone into a frenzy on the dance floor as well as the cute cocktail Bettie Page-coiffed waitress named Sambuca or Dreidel. Hipsters have been further defined by their day jobs as graphic designers who drive to work in Mini Coopers or Priuses with bands like Broken Social Scene and Passion Pit playing on the stereo. However, any time you look at a Facebook, Yelp, MySpace of Hi5 page nowadays, there seems to be this rampant backlash against this crowd.

I've found obnoxious posts online from people who refuse to hang out at this bar or that venue because of all the hipsters there. But isn't this just hipster irony? It's like these guys with their hot, uber thin Asian girlfriends and girls with their pensive lead-singer-in indie-rock-bands boyfriends forget who they are and where they came from. How can you hate hipsters when you are, in fact, the walking embodiment of the term.

Well, by definition, I am a hipster. I work a day job in the Web department of my company. My cubicle is decorated with action figures and crazy graphic design projects made by trendy friends of mine. I keep my top of the line MP3 player stocked with the latest from my favorite bands, Jaguar Love, Matt & Kim, TV on the Radio, The Walkmen and Jonathan Fire Eater. Sofia Coppola, to me, is a goddess divine. My life is conducted in black Chuck Taylors, chain wallets and Marc Jacobs dresses. I check out live shows several times a week. I'm a writer. Cartoon Network's Adult Swim? Um, yes please! Vegetarian cuisine is my mothership, like, seriously. Oh, and I can recite--on command--every line of dialogue from movies like Heathers, The Rules of Attraction and My Own Private Idaho. Yet, I don't have this weird hatred of other people like myself. As a matter of fact, the majority of people I wish to know in this life are people like me.

For years, I lived in Shreveport, Louisiana--a place where, at the time, everyone dressed alike in the same GAP jeans, Asics and Patagonia fleece pullovers. Expressing one's individuality was a HUGE no-no. Any time I wore something even remotely off-beat to school, I was laughed into exile. So, now as an adult, it's refreshing to be around other quirky adults.

I don't understand the need to bad-mouth and make fun of people who were probably unique kids just like me 10 or 15 years ago. To me, these folks have grown up, done well for themselves and have finally sought the courage to wear their individuality on their sleeves. They should not be treated like pariahs with scarlett "H's" across their chests.

Still, peer pressure has backed me into some trepidation about referring to myself as a hipster. After all, If I say I'm a hipster, I just look like a poseur. But if I don't own up to my social status, then I'm just as bad as all of the other hipsters who foist the term on their peers like it's a rancid hot potato.

Ugh, it's so hard being me sometimes. I'm going to the skate park.

Published: Feb 14,2009 03:32
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