Thursday, July 26, 2012

Know Your Hipster part 1

We have heard the term, and you may think that it only applies to those that hang out at H&M at the mall or sit around at coffee shops but the truth is their are more of them out there than you realize. 

On Urban dictionary they define a hipster as follows: 

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

However, i feel this definition may have been written by a proud hipster because their leaving out a main factor, the judging. Hipsters in their pursuit to not be mainstream look down on those that can deal with the main stream stuff. Even though some of us might not define ourselves as hipster and enjoy common products, music or entertainment that doesn't mean that we too can't have witty banter. 

This definition is meant to instill upon you a safety that these are people whom are just 'into their own thing' but the truth is they're snobbish, some might even declare them as douchy but I feel that term is reserved for the tanning, Jersey shore type of individuals who would rather yell "come at me bro" than anything else. 

So lets look at the first part of my know your hipster, ideally I would like to eventually establish a full catelog or field guide to hipsters. Watch for it to be on sale soon at Urban Outfitters.


The Animation Hipster they are not usually a fan of Pixar or any other digitally animated films. Classics like Snow White Cinderella and Fantasia are at the top of the list, but once you hit Oliver & Company in 1988 anything past that isn't as good. The Great Mouse Detective while having digital animation is acceptable because very few people have seen it. They are also the few people who have actually seen all the nominated animated shorts that are nominated at the Oscars. Those that are in German or French are clearly better. They frown down upon anything Pixar related as well as any Japanese anime especially Naruto or Dragon Ball as it has become far to main stream. 


The Beer Hipster, not to be confused with the beer snob, the beer hipster will allow the consumption of Pabst Blue Ribbon and Genny Cream Ale, the only two domestic beers allowed because the rest of the mainstream beer drinkers find these disgusting. The Beer Hipster can be seen shopping for beer not at a grocery store, unless of course it has an extremely elaborate section that is kept to the side and most likely not in coolers, but mostly at specialty beer shops that sell beer in growlers and range primarily in beer from other countries. However Canadian beer is not considered hipster as its so readily available here in northern United States. Going to a bar is difficult with a beer hipster, they'll ask what type of stouts are on tap, or possibly request a warm beer. 

The Book hipster, is an avid reader and they let you know it, they may read mainstream books like Harry Potter, but count on them having a deluxe edition or it being in another language. "I just got done reading Half Blood Prince in French, it was so much better." Other favorites are classics, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, The Catcher in the Rye, Don Quixote will be found in paperback versions, well read with possible cigarette burns on them or library card still in the back. The book was most likely purchased at a book sale and has seen better days. Asking a book hipster what they're reading is usually met with a sigh, they'd rather not respond, they'd much rather keep reading. If the book has had a movie come out its best not to ask them if they've seen it or what they thought of it, they'll go into great detail on how a second tier character never would have said this, or how a third rate character in the movie had so much more to say and do in the book. 


The coffee hipster, most likely the most famous of the hipsters, fill coffee shops around the nation but not a Dunkin Donuts or Tim Hortons type of establishment, if the coffee shop has a drive through its not for them. They are also sometimes confused with Book hipsters, as the book hipsters tend to read in coffee shops, but the primary difference is what the coffee hipster does at home. They don't have an instant coffee maker, look for coffee grinders so that they can grind their coffee fresh at home, or possibly an older percolator that they will have to put on their stove or hot plate. While you might think a Keurig with individual servings would be their choice as well, the fact that they are now so readily available and can be purchased at stores like Target, Walmart and Bed Bath & Beyond have put them out of range of the coffee hipster. Also their coffee is usually drank in two different sizez, extremely small in cups that look like they came from a play set, or incredibly large, where the cups look like soup bowls. If the coffee shop does offer take out coffee watch for it to be in plain white coffee holders to reach full coffee hipster status. 

Comic book reader hipster, the comic book reading hipster while they enjoy the medium often will only read independent comics. Marvel and DC comics are not common reading material and characters with capes are not often accepted. DC comics created Vertigo so that they could retain some of the hipster community but now that characters like John Constantine and Swamp Thing are a part of mainstream DC continuity they are not all that please. The comics of choice will usually be simplistically drawn, but the comic book hipster will praise the artist of the book despite his lack of realism, anatomy, perspective and depth/shadowing. Subject matter like murder, rape and other dark issues are common, the main character/hero of the book will often be seen killing and cursing. This is usually done as an expression of this is how reality actually is and characters like Superman, Batman or The Avengers should be swearing as well. If you find yourself purchasing your weekly comics around a comic book hipster be sure to get some flack for the amount of super hero books you're purchasing and look for books such as Maus, Harvey Pekar and 100 Bullets to be in the recomendation rack. 

Comedy hipsters also exist, if you ever ask someone you know if they've heard the latest Patton Oswalt album or maybe the new Jim Gaffigan CD, they'll chuckle and possibly respond letting you know they only listen to Lenny Bruce, Sam Kinnison or early George Carlin, not HBO special George Carlin. Other comedians to avoid asking them if they like, Robin Williams, Chris Rock, Dane Cook and Dave Chapelle. Other acceptable ones would be Richard Pryor, Sarah Silverman, Lisa Lampanelli and Jeffrey Ross. Fair warning, never, and I mean never ask the comedy hipster if they're a fan of Jerry Seinfeld. Not only was his mainstream into comedy television far to vast but his material itself is just the retelling of common things. "What's the deal with airline food? Its bad, we all knew that."

That is just a few of the Hipster guide for you today, I'll have the second part of this informational guide tomorrow.