Tuesday, March 6, 2012

the reluctant hipster

i have a friend who is always mocking me for being hipster.

whatever.

then i was at a comedy show about hipsters a few months back, and have since come across an uncanny number of articles about hipster trends (see here, here, here: they're all quite funny and you should probably read them to fully appreciate what's about to come.)  and then there's this:

it's semi-painful to hear all these hipster stereotypes and think, "oh.my.gosh. they are describing me."  i wouldn't care so much except that everyone hates hipsters so much.  i mean it'd be one thing if "hipster" was what i was aiming for...but instead it's more like over the last ten years my life has somehow accumulated into being a hipster, and then i get shoved into this "we love to hate you/you're annoying" category.  sheesh, people!

so you can see just how ridiculous this is, here's what's trending in stereotypes of the hipster.  now some might think this is an "oh my, look how I'm every single one of these cool things and therefore how cool i am!" post.  it isn't.  because we all know that hipster things are the most uncool things you can currently be.  but i guess i do feel the need to justify myself in the face of such blatant hatred.  i mean people are conflating vinyl collections with hipsters and hence with annoyance and i just don't feel right about that.  vinyl can be fun!  exasperated sigh.  here we go: the stereotypes of the hipster:

1.  they have a vinyl collection (check.  i've had it since my grandpa died in high school and my grandma bequeathed me with all her old stuff.)
2.  they collect vintage teacups (when you are in london looking for a meaningful souvenir to bring back, what better than teacups?  can you blame me?!)
3.  they have a single speed bicycle (yeaaaahhhhh....so i found it one evening in my friend's garage and she let me have it.  it was old and periwinkle purple and broken in so many ways, so i thought it would be a good summer project, to fix the thing up.  and fix it i did.  except for the speeds.  it has three-speed capability but i haven't yet gotten around to fixing the cable...so it's still single speed.)
4.  they shop at thrift stores (no comment.  other than that D.I. is my therapy after a long week.)
5.  they want to name their son "finn" (look, A Separate Peace is my favorite book.  that was when i realized books have meaning beyond just the storyline--meaning that can widen a person's thinking.  it was the book in which my brain learned how to be metacognitive, and it was cool.  ask any fake hipster what book has a main character named finn and they won't be able to tell you.)
6.  they have thick-rimmed buddy holly glasses (okay this was a deliberate move towards hipsterism, i admit it.  but when you're in london and everyone is wearing buddy holly glasses....i mean it's part of the experience.)
7.  they own fleet foxes' first album on vinyl (see this, then this, my first ever blog post)
8.  they like obscure bands, speaking of fleet foxes. (i probably don't need to say anything here.)
9.  they wear lace tights with skirts and oxfords (dang you, verbal-vomit blogger for saying exactly what i'm wearing.  i am currently wearing lace tights with a short skirt.  it's because my legs are cold and i can't wear oxfords without some form of sock and ankle socks look silly, as do mid-calf argyles, which are my two options.
10.  they call movies "films"  (don't want to talk about it.)
11.  they like films by wes anderson.  (no joke, over dinner at my non-franchised ethnic restaurant at the heart of old-school downtown, my friend and i had a rather lengthy conversation about wes anderson films.  it came up again last night at the library.)
12.  they love documentaries (ahem.  i currently have plans to watch "life in a day", "food, inc." "the artist" "man on wire" and "being elmo."  i own "life" and last year for earth day i got a bunch of people together to go see that lion movie.  maybe i just like oprah who narrates "life" (no, i don't), maybe i just like animals (this is actually true), or maybe most of all i just appreciate really beautiful cinematography and weird facts about the world around me with which i can astound (or more commonly bore) my friends, okay?!)
13.  they like to start bands (we're called "william nye and the gentlemen of science.")
14.  they also dream of working at used bookstores.  (there's this one in paris, right across from the notre dame cathedral................)
15.  they like ugly sweater parties.  (gah.  went to one last night.  NOT organized by me.  and also i feel like this could be said of every person at BYU, soooo.....)
16.  they're into being a freelance photographer, writer, and artist.  (oh dear.  these are my three career aspirations currently.  let me attempt to justify myself: i've been into these things since back when being a cheerleader or a football star was the cool thing.  remember those days?)
17.  they own diana cameras with real film.  (okay look.  because of said long-standing interest in photography, i am the lucky heir of all my grandpa's old cameras.  which happens to include a diana.  a real one though.  not an urban outfitters one.  and real film takes such better pictures than digital.  let's talk dark room for a moment as well: i took photo classes in high school, back before the whole digital thing took over.  the darkroom is one of my favorite places on earth, and i am endeared to it forever, and hence also to film.  and as for the diana,  if the universe is just bequeathing me with cool things of its own accord, i mean...whose fault is that?  i mean in high school, the cool stuff i got from my grandma included an old radio, a record player, a few old cameras, and something else that i'm not sending out into the internet cloud lest all those hipsters out there decide to go get themselves one.  all that stuff shaped what i thought was cool...sorry if it just so happens that suddenly all these hipster people think those things are cool too.  changing my tastes to not fit the hipster stereotype would be about the most hipster thing i could do.)

exasperated sigh again.

i guess i'm stuck.

and so i shall own it:
maybe the happiest (not to mention most sensible way of living (in the way of comfort, cheapness, reusing-old-things-ness) also happens to be the hip[ster]est way of living too?

put that in your hipster pipe and smoke it.

(yeah pretty sure pipes are going to be the next thing to make it big.)

21 comments:

  1. plus you own that fur hat. just saying.

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    1. oh sheesh. i forgot about the fur har. this is worse than i thought.

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  2. carolyn,
    my mom stumbled upon your blog and forward me the address. i've spent sometime reading your thoughts, listening to your music and looking at your pictures. you're so talented. and i just had to add in, we are having an hipster themed ipod dance party later this month...if you would like to join. hope to randomly run into you on campus soon. bests!

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    1. oh yeah! nothing says hipster more than ipod dance parties! :) thanks for the invite, i'd love to come. and yes, let's run into each other.

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  3. Hey I love hipsters. Let's just face it, I'm not cool enough to be a hipster but I admire those who are!!

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    1. Hey I love seeing you! :) Glad you're doing so well, and so excited for California for you!

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  4. have you ever seen the show happy endings? Probably not, it isn't very hipster. However, they do a hipster episode. It is worth watching. At least my very non hipster self appreciated it.

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    1. i haven't seen it, but i will have to look it up!

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  5. i haven't known 'hipster' to be so positive until used to describe you. hooray for the real people.

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    1. and hooray for knowing that people like you, exist, miss courtney. you rockstar you.

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  6. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    life realizations can be so harsh.

    last night i wrote an essay (and by essay, i really mean email) to my parents detailing my feelings on house v.s. home. whilst writing this, i paused and found myself surrounded by used tissues, doughnuts, milk, string cheese, and raspberries. it was at that moment when i realized i have issues.

    Also, i've been reminded over and over lately of the fact that i am slowly turning into my mom. that one hurt a little. especially when i asked ruby if she needed to "trickle." worst. word. ever.

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    1. hahahahahahahahahaha, that IS the worst word ever.

      those late night realizations can be especially shocking, no? but look at it this way: at least you were using tissues instead of your shirt sleeve or back of your hand (this means you are classy), at least you were eating doughnuts, a policeman's favorite food (this means you are inclined to bravery and protecting), at least you were consuming dairy (this means you are health conscious!), and as for the raspberries, this means that when it all comes down to it, your subconscious is forever grappled to the women in your family who, from your earliest memories, gathered in the garden or at grandma's counter, picking raspberries and making jam.

      and your mom is awesome, so you should fly that flag with pride. :)

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  7. http://www.buzzfeed.com/lenkendall/flowchart-are-you-a-hipster-wh6

    A true hipster! I don't think people hate hipsters - I don't anyway. (Out of all the social stereotypes, they might be my favorite.) Maybe people just like making social commentary on them.

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  8. emily mcb showed me this post.
    i think i'm in love with you.

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    1. aw thanks! so now i did the blog hunt and found yours: i'm diggin pretty much everything on your wiiknd list... the rocket summer? patio grilling? yes please.

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  9. carolyn. i love you. and you should look at this: http://dadsaretheoriginalhipster.tumblr.com/

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    1. uh, wow amazing recommendation lindsay. this is what it's all about. and by it, i mean human existence. (love you too.)

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  10. I used to own that tour only death cab t-shirt. now i'm wondering what happened to it!

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    1. I bet Tucker stole it. just saying.

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  11. what about the tattoos? is that going to be next for you? :)

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    1. knowing how much i love needles, yeah probably. ;)

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