Hipster? How deck.

I have knitted the Ironic Hipster hat.  (And I love it.)   I used Hungry Hungry Hipster yarn to do it.  But how hipster am I?  Geek, yes.  Hippie?  Yep, once upon a time.  But hipster?  The term has changed over the decades, yet it’s pretty clear that it describes a very particular phenomenon.  Much has been written about the hipster “subculture”.    Hipster is a state of mind, and also a fashion.  (Anti-fashion fashion?)  And a definite image.

The urban dictionary has a definition:

“Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.”

(According to this definition, I’m out by virtue of my age, or just not typical.  Which is typical.)

In the 1940s, Jack Kerouac described hipsters as

“rising and roaming America, bumming and hitchhiking everywhere [as] characters of a special spirituality.”

In the 1950s, Norman Mailer wrote of hipsters as

“…American existentialists, living a life surrounded by death — annihilated by atomic war or strangled by social conformity — and electing instead to “divorce [themselves] from society, to exist without roots, to set out on that uncharted journey into the rebellious imperatives of the self.”

Time magazine had an article in 2009 about hipsters:

“Hipsters are the friends who sneer when you cop to liking Coldplay. They’re the people who wear t-shirts silk-screened with quotes from movies you’ve never heard of and the only ones in America who still think Pabst Blue Ribbon is a good beer. They sport cowboy hats and berets and think Kanye West stole their sunglasses. Everything about them is exactingly constructed to give off the vibe that they just don’t care.”

In his 2011 book HipsterMattic, author Matt Granfield described hipster culture this way:

“While mainstream society of the 2000s had been busying itself with reality television, dance music, and locating the whereabouts of Britney Spears’s underpants, an uprising was quietly and conscientiously taking place behind the scenes. Long-forgotten styles of clothing, beer, cigarettes and music were becoming popular again. Retro was cool, the environment was precious and old was the new ‘new’.  Kids wanted to wear Sylvia Plath’s cardigans and Buddy Holly’s glasses — they revelled in the irony of making something so nerdy so cool. They wanted to live sustainably and eat organic gluten-free grains. Above all, they wanted to be recognised for being different — to diverge from the mainstream and carve a cultural niche all for themselves. For this new generation, style wasn’t something you could buy in a department store, it became something you found in a thrift shop, or, ideally, made yourself. The way to be cool wasn’t too look like a television star: it was to look like as though you’d never seen television.”

Whoops!  It seems this last entry is using the wrong terminology.  According to the Hipster Handbook:

It is no longer recommended that one use the term “cool”;  a Hipster would instead say “deck.”

(Yes, there really is a Hipster Handbook.  An oxymoron if I ever saw one.)

And yet… and yet….a true hipster would deny and defy any definition.  As illustrated so well by this handy hipster flowchart posted yesterday on HappyPlace.com  (Thanks, Bev!):




One Response to “Hipster? How deck.”

  1. Roberta Says:

    You are definitely a hipster 🙂

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