Wednesday, October 15, 2008


It looks like you cannot read anymore a nice magazine without facing with this curious and -for me- absolutely unknown word. Hipster, hipsters, hipsterdom, hipster era...
Finally for the first time i write about something i can see everyday with my eyes, simply because i live in the city of hipsters. New York. Williamsburg and Bushwick -two of the most popular and fancy Brooklyn's neighborhoods- are crowded of them, but you can easily see lots of hipsters even in the East-Village, Harlem or Astoria -Queens-, it just depends on their parent's money. Yes, actually this is one of the most common critics you can read anywhere you read about hipsters, these guys are not supposed to be part of the working class but they pretend to dress that way. In their fancy lecture of thrift-shop t-shirts or really cheap warm and inappropriate wool coats, hipsters don't spend a lot of money to appear, sometimes they wear expensive clothes but always appearing cheap and not that just showered.
What is a hipster? The problem is that a definition of this counterculture's movement actually doesn't exist. Most of the people that hardly criticize these guys talk about their meaninglessness abusing of glorious icons that used to signify very much for many people all around the world in the past. The idea of hipster is generally indefinable. We can say this people wear skinny jeans, cotton spandex leggings, vintage flannel, fake eyeglasses, keffiyeh, American Apparel V-neck shirts. As you already know they buy in thrift-shops but it seems also they eat organic, locally grown, vegetarian or vegan food, they ride bicycles, they mostly smoke Parliament and they never forget home their camera. Generally we can say hipsters are middle-upper class adults (18-34, I'm out) with interest in non-mainstream fashion and culture.
That's why if you go to a hipsters' party and you ask someone: "Is this a hipster party?", he or she is gonna reply: "Don't you see? 99% of the people around you is a hipster". But when you'll ask: "Are you a hipster?", he or she will reply for sure: "Fuck no". You won't find anyone who will define him or herself as a hipster.
Actually i deal with hipsters -or with people dressed like that- everyday, i share this city with them, i use the same trains or buses, i work with them -clients or colleagues- i spend time in the same bars...
What i personally can say is that they're very young, and they dress the way they want. Most of them are students or sort of artists moved to New York in a view to demonstrate their family they can do something great in their lives -old story-, usually, they come from middle and not that upper class, so their parent are not supposed to finance them a luxury New York lifestyle. They buy second hand clothes, they leave scarce tips at restaurants and bars and of course, like everyone at that age, they act like adults sometimes getting arrogant. I just think they're angry. I see hipsters like that kind of guys grown up with no problems with money, grown up in the center of the globalization era. Most of them don't know the meaning of a no global world as i do, that's why i buy local like them when i can.
I'm also sure that if you go to one of them asking about wars, corporations, environment issues, philosophy, web, arts you could find yourself surprised. These people simply understood that globalization fucked up the world, they're just trying to change young people's mentality like stop eating in fast foods, stop buying big-chain-products and other important educational like that. Of course they look so similar each others and they dress like following a fucking meaningless trend, but believe, if you life in New York you need to go shopping and when the maximum you can afford is a 4 dollars t-shirt, you buy it, and you love it. Above all if you are a 21 years old so lucky to live in a city like this without your parents. Come on guys, everyone of us should consider him or herself in paradise, or better, like a cool modern hero.
I usually wear a keffyieh, i eat no meat, i used to smoke Parliament -DON'T SMOKE-, so am i a hipster apart I'm drastically out of age? Maybe if i was younger i should be part of them, they look so involved in getting better of our society, and, of course they are different. They think different, they are single persons and singles brain thinking. Why every time something easy, pacific and polite is trying to appear in a society, envy old puritans try to destroy it accusing of meaninglessness. Hipsters just didn't get into globalization that much.
Some of them are fake, i recognize -like the ones who ridiculously wear fake eyeglasses- but most of them gave me the sensation of no-global, anti-violence, silencious protesters. They look to me with an adorable touch of retro', they usually believe in family values and, as i can say no one of these guys or girls had been impolite with me, all that make me smile any time i meet with some of these sons of global world. Maybe they're the good side of gobalized guys. Do you prefer people who spend 15 hours a day in front a play-station or a television?
I wear American Apparel t-shirts. So what? They're cheap -kind of- and the quality is ok, do i need to be afraid that I'm using a no-logo icon of no-logo with meaninglessness? Come on, try to talk with these guys, and maybe you're gonna find some interesting guy or girl, they can have beautiful ideas, they can be intelligent, stupid, educated or not, they're young, in New York and with no parents. They also just know the "Patriot act reality", so they don't even think there was a time you could see someone even pissing on the streets of New York, and not only as you guess. Of course the fact they don't use heroine or crack has to be taken as a very good news, that's why i really don't understand that journalists that criticize hipster suddenly reminding how cool was living New York 10/15 years ago...i read crazy things complaining about the fact that New York's arts scene is poorer and poorer cos nowadays dealers in Washington square just deal with NYU kids or because there's anymore that 20 yo art kids jammed on acid at clubs in the middle of the night. Maybe it's true and i can believe it but two things: is this hipster guys the responsibility of the absence of any new underground creative community? Second, did any critic journalist of these important papers never take an acid?
Thank you for your time and attention.

- ADbusters - Paper - -

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