Tuesday, May 26, 2015

hipster cred.

Hipsters are not among the most well-loved groups of people. Grandmas? Yes. Cupcake shop owners? Yes. Kindergarten teachers? Yes.


Hipsters have a bad reputation, what with their frightening beards, super skinny pants, and unnecessary eyewear. Hipsters delight in looking down upon their fellow man, as they have already been there and done that. Your favorite band? Hipsters were over them before they were cool.

As much as I don't want to say this, I think that everyone just might have an inner hipster. Yours doesn't have to be as judgy as the regular variety, but it's there - lurking behind a goofy hat and some ironic tattoos.

Yes: I, too, have an inner hipster. I don't always like to let mine out, but sometimes, it just can't be tamed. How do I know I have said inner hipster? Why, by my hipster cred. Allow me to explain:

hipster cred item #1:
I have never heard an entire Taylor Swift song.
This alone should be moderately impressive, as Taylor Swift is everywhere. What makes me a hipster is that I like to brag about it. Sure, I've heard plenty of bits and pieces, but never an entire song. And I've managed to avoid almost all of her new album. I am sitting at my dining room table at this very moment, trying to think of just what "Shake It Off" sounds like, and the only song I can come up with is the Florence + the Machine song of a similar name ("Shake It Out," which I'm sure is far superior). That's very hipster of me.

hipster cred item #2:
I have never seen an entire episode of Friends.
Item #2 is quite similar to #1, and I am a little braggy about it for the same reasons. Sure, there are many television shows with which I am unfamiliar, but none so widely loved as Friends. Friends has been around for most of my life, and yet, here I am: in the Friends dark. I could tell you bits and pieces of Friends general knowledge, like that Central Perk is a thing. And so is the Rachel haircut. But I couldn't name all six of the Friends friends without cheating. And that is hipster.

hipster cred item #3:
I worked for my college radio station.
A hipster rite of passage. You're allowed - even encouraged - to pass on your snobby musical tastes to others. Speaking of snobby musical tastes...

hipster cred item #4:
I liked the band Of Montreal before you did.
Thankfully, I have since ceased my appreciation for the band Of Montreal. They are a super-weird indie band (who, despite what their name suggests, are NOT from Canada) that want to be David Bowie but just can't hack it. Their albums have titles like Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? I came across Of Montreal in the early 2000s: a while after the band was formed, but an equal while before anyone I knew caught on. I even went to an Of Montreal concert at First Avenue when I was 20. That was around the time Of Montreal began to be more widely known, but I was ready to move on... to some equally hipster bands like Mountain Goats, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and Architecture in Helsinki. What a weird time.

hipster cred item #5:
I can't part with my beat-up Converses.
I have this wonderful pair of black Converses that I bought in 2009. They were the first Converses I ever owned, and I wore them to DEATH. When I finally broke down and replaced them, they had gigantic tears at the sides and would take on water if I even looked at a puddle. It was time for a new pair of black Converses, but I couldn't part with them. They are still sitting in my closet. Few things say "hipster" more loudly than a grungy pair of Converses (except maybe a grungy pair of Keds), but these Converses and I have been through a lot together. It's hard to say goodbye.

I have other bits and pieces of hipster cred: I have gigantic eyeglasses...
Though my myopia requires it. Do I get
bonus hipster points for the Guinness?
I own (and adore) a retro bike...
More than one, actually.
I went to a green college (before being green was cool, of course), and I enjoy a good pair of skinny jeans. However, I just don't have it in me to be a full-blown hipster. Not only is my ability to grow crazy facial hair not up to par, but I fully embrace all sorts of distinctly non-hipster things. Stupid movies, like Tommy Boy and Titanic. Embarrassing music, like Garth Brooks and Katy Perry. (Who am I kidding? Garth Brooks doesn't embarrass me one bit.) Guilty pleasure TV shows that I'm going to regret admitting to, like True Life and Sister Wives. Less-than-intellectual reading material, like Batman graphic novels and everything that Jen Lancaster has ever written. All decidedly non-hipster.

So hipsters have their ups and their downs, and I feel pretty ok with my inner hipster. Hipsters always flock together, and I think that's pretty cool. I need to get me an artistic, culturally aware, and devastatingly sarcastic posse... but one with room for a little Garth Brooks. No judgement.

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