In Defense of Hipsterism by Hunter Daniels

If you saw me on the street, you would probably label me a hipster. I am a white, middle-class urbanite whose parents and grandparents saved up enough money so that he could go to a 4-year university with very minimal debt. When I got there, I pretty much only took classes in Film Studies, Feminism and Black Studies. I took 12 units — including an honor's seminar — in pornography as a film genre. I wrote and directed an animated sitcom pilot starring a time traveling Adolf Hitler who becomes a NYC cabbie and a surrealist musical romance about a boy trapped in a big pink bunny suit; I got class credit and state grants for both of these.

I spend my days clad in thrift store clothing, writing pseudo-rap slam poetry and screenplays at Starbucks. While I don't have a blog of my own, I have spent most of my free time since 16 writing for various film and music websites. Recently, I have begun to paint postmodern minimalist graffiti on walls (Beige squares: how you gonna cover that up? That's what you cover graffiti with!) When I took a trip to Israel, I carefully selected the strangest clothes I could find, but didn't bring a camera so that I could make a photo album of myself in the background of other people's photos looking like a weirdo. You've never heard of my favorite band. I sing mashups in the shower. I speak almost entirely in references and allusions. And so on.

The fact of the matter is this: I grew up with the internet. I grew up with netflix and file sharing. My generation simply doesn't see history in the same way as our elders. We now live in a full of pop culture singularity. It doesn't matter if a movie came out in 1960 or last Friday, or if it's Next Friday. We have equal access to all of them. I haven't listened to music radio since the 10th grade, so it doesn't matter if a song is famous, or obscure or new or old. They're all on an equal plane.

I'm sorry if postmodernism pisses you off. Or meta annoys you. Those things speak to me. They speak to my soul. They make perfect sense, emotionally, philosophically and intellectually. Derrida was right. McLuhan was right. There is nothing outside the text. And I don't see why it is bad or inferior to pointedly express myself through the recombination of previous or dissimilar elements jammed together to create something new.

The NY Times article describes my kin and me pretty thoroughly. But not a word of that article applies to us. I do not do these things out of irony. I love the things I love. And I can explain exactly why I love everything I love. In great detail. In fact, the vast majority of the so-called Hipsters I know can. I keep hearing about these vile, self-indulgent Trustifarians, but I really haven't met many. And I spend a lot of time in Hipster havens. I do stupid things because they make me happy. And I have absurd and frivolous life goals because I'm stupid enough to think that a song, or a poem, or a screenplay can change the world if it's good enough.

If that makes me worthy of derision, then so be it. But I'm incredibly happy in my non-slave labor V-neck and thrift store biker jacket, comparing weird foreign films to the plays of Samuel Beckett while sipping PBR at a dive bar.

Fuck you. I'm a hipster. And you know what, you just don't get it.


Image via Tumblr


Anonymous said...

I think you really just proved one of her main points; that hipsters are a self-centered, selfish cohort of useless, self-referential monotony. You just proved that in spades by writing a response to an article that is 80% about you and doesn't even mention the actual piece you're criticizing until the very end and even then just as a context to why we should be so impressed by your useless creative expressions that have led no where and do nothing except to reinforce your narcissistic delusions. You aren't Derrida, you aren't McLuhan and I would argue you aren't even an intellectual because nothing you say seems to be of any consequence.
At the end of the day I think hipsters of your ilk simply need to ask themselves "Who the fuck cares what you do?" We don't get it because there is nothing to get, your existence is utterly useless.

Anonymous said...

"FROM this vantage, the ironic clique appears simply too comfortable, too brainlessly compliant. Ironic living is a first-world problem. For the relatively well educated and financially secure, irony functions as a kind of credit card you never have to pay back. In other words, the hipster can frivolously invest in sham social capital without ever paying back one sincere dime. He doesn’t own anything he possesses."

Hunter Daniels said...

Hey Anonymous, thanks for taking the time to read. I genuinely appreciate it.

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