October 27th, 2009 / 12:44 pm
Mean

Hipster Autophobia

Hipster Tilley by Johnny Zito

Hipster Tilley by Johnny Zito

I’m tired of hipsters saying they hate hipsters. Every time I read some rant on how hipsters suck I realize I’m reading it in a journal or website written by and for hipsters. Self-hating narcissistic hipsters somehow think they are immune to the vague and broad fallacies of hipsterdom. What deepens this ingrown pathology and paranoia is that self-denying hipsters often subconsciously enjoy being called hipsters, because in some weird way it’s a compliment. This is not a defense of hipsterdom, but an afriendly suggestion that maybe we’re all in the same goddamn pond.

Hipsterdom’s got something do to with an impenetrable irony which results in shallowness, affectedness, smugness, etc. — but aren’t those just judgment calls, like things people have been calling other people forever? Jane Austen and Evelyn Waugh’s been calling out people like that for ages. Hipsterdom may be a new word, but pettiness is timeless.

Case in point with the now infamous¬†article from Adbusters, the quasi-subversive academic yet highly stylized magazine which I can’t help but flip through for the shocking photos. Douglas Haddow,¬†author of said article’s personal flickr is littered with hipster¬†paraphernalia: Pabst beer, Japanese culture, messy studio flats, chicks with weird hair cuts, cheap sunglasses, chronic loitering, etc. He also writes for Vice and a bunch of design blogs. Totally cool, really — seems like a nice life, good for you Doug, seriously, but hey, I don’t quite understand the angst towards your own peoples.

Christian Lorentzen’s article in Time Out New York rings of a sort of exclusionary “jock mentality,” wherein he calls out “fake” hipsters for not being an artist or musician, but some broker or lawyer (here he is [right] in a tux with a scotch rocks at a New York Times award ceremony). I love it when the incumbent gentry cry about gentrification. The Class issue gets all murky, as the nobility of being broke — whether it be artist/writer [sans] salary incurred, or hipster ‘ironic’ blue-collar — is posited by both sides; all the while one’s class is assessed by materialism, inextricably tying this discourse to capitalism, which both parties somehow consider themselves immune to.

n+1‘s “What Was the Hipster” panel symposium earlier this year claimed in their press memo they were “[…] free enough of the hipster taint to write the hipster’s history without contempt or nostalgia […]” They qualify hipster with ‘taint,’ then immediately say ‘without contempt.’ I couldn’t make it, but I have a good feeling they ripped hipsters apart, with legs crossed, pensive and dour, on a stage somewhere while iPhones vibrated perkier news. Again, nothing against being solemn n’ awesome, but dang bros you guys are hipsters (maybe not the “kitschy 80’s” hipster, but mos def the Brooklyn smarty-pants type).

bronzehHUAawardPrelim.JPG

Best Foreign Film

Google “self hating” and the suggested appendages are ‘jew,’ ‘black,’ ‘asian,’ and ‘white.’ Autophobia is nothing new. Pigs bite the tails of pigs in front of them; vicinity is the greatest recipe for derision. Sorry for the Orwellian allusion, I’m just having such a swine time. I guess the implicit question here is what about HTMLGIANT? Is it not hypocritical to call others hypocritical about calling others hipsters when we in fact may be accused of either said hypocrisy or hipsterdom? I’ve spent way too much time perusing the blogs of our commenters and yah, many of you lovely people are hipsters. That’s okay, really. Nice tattoo. Nice subscription to that obscure journal nobody reads. Nice fucked up mattress not parallel to any walls. It’s a nice life, and “nice life” is the key phrase here — because the other name for hipster is bourgeois. Forget about your music taste, or how much your t-shirts costs, we are bourgeois through and through. The middle-class work, the lower-class die, and the upper-class scrutinize other people’s culture, like we are doing here. Just to clarify, I’m not above any of my indictments.

I hate Pabst Blue Ribbon’s simplistic and indulgent economic symbolism. Political, generational, and cultural disfranchisement is a nice PR campaign, but just get a job and you can afford the nice beer. Stop talking about class. The self-hating hipster is still in the making, though I suspect a wiki entry very soon (this is what happens when friends edit friends). And say hi to everyone at the next party you go to, before that awful band starts screaming.

Tags: , ,

110 Comments

  1. Ellen Frances

      this was a lot of over typing in a circle. topic is boring.
      i look forward to the typing of a less boring topic.

  2. Ellen Frances

      this was a lot of over typing in a circle. topic is boring.
      i look forward to the typing of a less boring topic.

  3. Gene Morgan

      Gentrification sucks, the hipsters can only park on my fucking street now.

  4. Gene Morgan

      Gentrification sucks, the hipsters can only park on my fucking street now.

  5. Blake Butler

      uh oh jimmy

  6. Blake Butler

      uh oh jimmy

  7. Jimmy Chen

      wow, a comment from ellen frances. i’m moving to new york.

  8. Jimmy Chen

      wow, a comment from ellen frances. i’m moving to new york.

  9. Blake Butler

      i like Christian Lorentzen, he’s funny

      i also like yr idea of stopping talking about class altogether

  10. Blake Butler

      i like Christian Lorentzen, he’s funny

      i also like yr idea of stopping talking about class altogether

  11. Nathan Tyree

      what the hell is a hipster?

  12. Nathan Tyree

      what the hell is a hipster?

  13. Amber

      Why? Does it make you uncomfortable?

  14. Amber

      Why? Does it make you uncomfortable?

  15. Blake Butler

      just don’t see the value.

  16. Blake Butler

      just don’t see the value.

  17. Blake Butler

      please respond by saying that this is because i am privileged white male living in america.

  18. Blake Butler

      please respond by saying that this is because i am privileged white male living in america.

  19. Amber

      Nope. Knee jerk response denied. I was just curious. I’m interested in reading stuff that has to do with class, as long as the take is fresh and non-pedantic–and hey, I’m a privileged white female.

  20. Amber

      Nope. Knee jerk response denied. I was just curious. I’m interested in reading stuff that has to do with class, as long as the take is fresh and non-pedantic–and hey, I’m a privileged white female.

  21. Blake Butler

      :)

  22. alan
  23. Blake Butler

      :)

  24. alan
  25. Ellen Frances

      it just seems a case of dead horse being re-beaten.
      thoughtfulness wasted on a silly topic… lovely writerly skills deserve better.

      not that you care, but your personal website is excellent.

      when are you moving?

  26. Ellen Frances

      it just seems a case of dead horse being re-beaten.
      thoughtfulness wasted on a silly topic… lovely writerly skills deserve better.

      not that you care, but your personal website is excellent.

      when are you moving?

  27. Amber

      Awesomeness.

  28. Amber

      Awesomeness.

  29. mimi

      Jimmy, you are so lucky, because you have lovely writerly skills. Please do not move to New York. Do you want to know what *mimi* thinks about your personal website? Because if so I will go check it out and let you know.

  30. Jimmy Chen

      the dead-horse beating thing did occur to me. i guess i thought it was a little different cos it wasn’t against hipsters, but the dissent towards them that made it arguably relevant.

  31. mimi

      Jimmy, you are so lucky, because you have lovely writerly skills. Please do not move to New York. Do you want to know what *mimi* thinks about your personal website? Because if so I will go check it out and let you know.

  32. Jimmy Chen

      the dead-horse beating thing did occur to me. i guess i thought it was a little different cos it wasn’t against hipsters, but the dissent towards them that made it arguably relevant.

  33. Ryan Call

      i thought this was going to be about hipsters and cars. sheesh.

  34. Ryan Call

      i thought this was going to be about hipsters and cars. sheesh.

  35. Christopher Higgs

      I tried to write about hipster literature a few months ago, but I couldn’t stand reading the material so I had to abandon the project. Realism is boring enough without boringness as part of the content.

  36. Christopher Higgs

      I tried to write about hipster literature a few months ago, but I couldn’t stand reading the material so I had to abandon the project. Realism is boring enough without boringness as part of the content.

  37. drew kalbach

      what do you consider hipster literature? i’m honestly not sure what applies to that term.

  38. drew kalbach

      what do you consider hipster literature? i’m honestly not sure what applies to that term.

  39. Michael James

      ha!

  40. Michael James

      ha!

  41. Clapper

      I think I’m too old to be considered a hipster anymore, but yeah… I’m glad you acknowledge yourself among the hipsters. HTMLGiant pretty much defines hipster.

  42. Clapper

      I think I’m too old to be considered a hipster anymore, but yeah… I’m glad you acknowledge yourself among the hipsters. HTMLGiant pretty much defines hipster.

  43. Adam Robinson

      never too old

      it’s just that you wear bad pants

  44. Adam Robinson

      never too old

      it’s just that you wear bad pants

  45. Shane Jones
  46. Shane Jones
  47. Nathan Tyree

      I’m in the same boat. I have no idea what hipster literature is

  48. Nathan Tyree

      I’m in the same boat. I have no idea what hipster literature is

  49. Nathan Tyree

      I’m in the same boat. I have no idea what hipster literature is

  50. Clapper

      I need to go get an STD!

  51. Clapper

      I need to go get an STD!

  52. Clapper

      I need to go get an STD!

  53. Ellen Frances

      ha! good comment = def still a favorite plus extra good commenting points x 2

  54. Ellen Frances

      ha! good comment = def still a favorite plus extra good commenting points x 2

  55. Ellen Frances

      ha! good comment = def still a favorite plus extra good commenting points x 2

  56. Beniamino

      “Nice fucked up mattress not parallel to any walls” is the name of my new dadaist afrobeat ensemble

  57. Beniamino

      “Nice fucked up mattress not parallel to any walls” is the name of my new dadaist afrobeat ensemble

  58. Beniamino

      “Nice fucked up mattress not parallel to any walls” is the name of my new dadaist afrobeat ensemble

  59. a moorad

      any book purchased at urban outfitters.

  60. a moorad

      any book purchased at urban outfitters.

  61. a moorad

      any book purchased at urban outfitters.

  62. stu

      I think you can find it next to “fratire” in your local bookstore.

  63. stu

      I think you can find it next to “fratire” in your local bookstore.

  64. stu

      I think you can find it next to “fratire” in your local bookstore.

  65. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      part of hipster culture is actively disidentifying w/ the term. I’ve been told I can’t qualify as a “true hipster” if I call myself one.

  66. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      part of hipster culture is actively disidentifying w/ the term. I’ve been told I can’t qualify as a “true hipster” if I call myself one.

  67. james yeh

      heh

  68. james yeh

      heh

  69. stu

      I think it depends on how seriously a subculture’s adherents take its ethos (Actually, I have to laugh at that). The “punk” subculture generally follows that same trend. If you have to announce your “punkness,” you are decidedly not a punk. It might also depend on whether or not one would rather label or be labeled.

  70. stu

      I think it depends on how seriously a subculture’s adherents take its ethos (Actually, I have to laugh at that). The “punk” subculture generally follows that same trend. If you have to announce your “punkness,” you are decidedly not a punk. It might also depend on whether or not one would rather label or be labeled.

  71. Justin Rands

      So angsty over something so trivial and boring. Dead horse indeed. Some people are broke, and slackers, and in debt, not caring much about anything, and like the taste of PBR, and are too busy living life than trying to think about ‘the image’ other people are giving ‘them’. I dunno. I don’t get the whole thing. I am a ‘hipster’ though, I suppose. I’ve been called this. I don’t deny it. I’d rather drink pabst at a house party in San Francisco and listen to a new band I don’t know with people actually dancing instead of pay 20 bucks for a show with expensive booze for a band I think I heard before where people are too scared to move.

      But…..I also know trust fund babies who try to live this sort of life on purpose. So it goes both ways.

  72. Justin Rands

      So angsty over something so trivial and boring. Dead horse indeed. Some people are broke, and slackers, and in debt, not caring much about anything, and like the taste of PBR, and are too busy living life than trying to think about ‘the image’ other people are giving ‘them’. I dunno. I don’t get the whole thing. I am a ‘hipster’ though, I suppose. I’ve been called this. I don’t deny it. I’d rather drink pabst at a house party in San Francisco and listen to a new band I don’t know with people actually dancing instead of pay 20 bucks for a show with expensive booze for a band I think I heard before where people are too scared to move.

      But…..I also know trust fund babies who try to live this sort of life on purpose. So it goes both ways.

  73. Justin Rands
  74. Justin Rands
  75. Nathan Tyree

      oh. so boring crap, then

  76. Nathan Tyree

      oh. so boring crap, then

  77. Douglas Haddow

      Hey – thanks for reminding me I had that flickr account, haven’t updated in ages.

      Cheers,

      DH

  78. Douglas Haddow

      Hey – thanks for reminding me I had that flickr account, haven’t updated in ages.

      Cheers,

      DH

  79. Tadd Adcox

      there is no way for me to type the intended sincerity into this statement, so you’ll just have to take my word for it: i love hipsters.

  80. Tadd Adcox

      there is no way for me to type the intended sincerity into this statement, so you’ll just have to take my word for it: i love hipsters.

  81. Nathan Tyree

      what the hell is a hipster? I still need to know

  82. Nathan Tyree

      what the hell is a hipster? I still need to know

  83. mike

      damn yeah for real

  84. mike

      damn yeah for real

  85. mike

      i drink pbr and i have a real job and could potentially afford beer that costs more than pbr BUT

      let’s be honest here

      if i am drinking it is probably because i want to be drunk
      i can get a six pack of pbr for $3.40 including tax

      why would i get anything else?

  86. mike

      i drink pbr and i have a real job and could potentially afford beer that costs more than pbr BUT

      let’s be honest here

      if i am drinking it is probably because i want to be drunk
      i can get a six pack of pbr for $3.40 including tax

      why would i get anything else?

  87. lorian

      urban outfitters sells nabokov

  88. lorian

      urban outfitters sells nabokov

  89. Almanacco del Giorno – 27 Oct. 2009 « Almanacco Americano

      […] HTML Giant – Hipster Autophobia […]

  90. Angi

      Word.

      I really like PBR, better than any other cheap beer.

      I think I fall somewhere into the hipster category and am not offended by that term. But then I also kind of fail at it because I really don’t give a shit what music anyone else listens to or whether my favorite things are more obscure than yours.

  91. Angi

      Word.

      I really like PBR, better than any other cheap beer.

      I think I fall somewhere into the hipster category and am not offended by that term. But then I also kind of fail at it because I really don’t give a shit what music anyone else listens to or whether my favorite things are more obscure than yours.

  92. niina

      i think the most relevant question here is where the hell can i get an i <3 blogs pin? i would wear that.

  93. niina

      i think the most relevant question here is where the hell can i get an i <3 blogs pin? i would wear that.

  94. gena

      hi niina, i like how your name is spelled.

  95. gena

      but it’s mean week, so i guess i should be saying…fuck your name?

      :)

  96. gena

      hi niina, i like how your name is spelled.

  97. gena

      but it’s mean week, so i guess i should be saying…fuck your name?

      :)

  98. niina

      hey, thanks! i hate your name too. let’s be frenemies.

  99. niina

      hey, thanks! i hate your name too. let’s be frenemies.

  100. M.J. Nicholls

      I’ve been on this site for at least three hours and I still don’t understand what’s going on.

      It’s either a place to throw faeces at writers or to throw other things (rocks, maybe?) at writers. I don’t get it.

  101. M.J. Nicholls

      I’ve been on this site for at least three hours and I still don’t understand what’s going on.

      It’s either a place to throw faeces at writers or to throw other things (rocks, maybe?) at writers. I don’t get it.

  102. CATHARTICA

      I’m not getting the PBR reference. That’s an excellent price for beer though! My God! Over here in Honolulu, when I pay a Safeway Club Card price of 6.99 for a 6-pack of Kirin, I feel like I just got the deal of the century!

      $3.40 including tax?!? Unreal!

  103. CATHARTICA

      I’m not getting the PBR reference. That’s an excellent price for beer though! My God! Over here in Honolulu, when I pay a Safeway Club Card price of 6.99 for a 6-pack of Kirin, I feel like I just got the deal of the century!

      $3.40 including tax?!? Unreal!

  104. CATHARTICA

      stfu while I cordon off the area. Actually, I wouldn’t even begin to know how to cordon off an area or even what to cordon it off with. Oh, wait–yellow tape. But who has access to that stuff besides cops and coroners?

  105. CATHARTICA

      stfu while I cordon off the area. Actually, I wouldn’t even begin to know how to cordon off an area or even what to cordon it off with. Oh, wait–yellow tape. But who has access to that stuff besides cops and coroners?

  106. HTMLGIANT / Varieties of Contempt (a guest response from Christian Lorentzen to JC)

      […] Lorentzen sends word post-occasion of Jimmy’s hipster post, in the form of “Varieties of Contempt”: Would I accept several thousand dollars in […]

  107. Eva Gala

      I posted a comment on face book about dirty hipsters yesterday actually after complaining about dirty hipster literature. I saw Nathaniel Hawthrone’s The Scarlet Letter at Urban Outfitters and became severely confused and kind of outraged hence my facebook thing. Then I was swarmed with commentary on
      How I am the queen bee hipster. Then I became confused. Really? All my friends think I’m a dirty hipster?

      This was slightly disconcerting.

      Here is why we as people get so goddamn offended by this: no one really wants to be slumped into a category
      Where you are made out to be like everyone else. The worst thing about this is taking things that are actually pretty
      Awesome ie J.D Salinger, antiques and not showering for five days-and making them some sort of a fashion trend.

      The whole thing is weird.

      Maybe I should have tried to explain myself at 5am on my blackberry on my futon below my Diane Arbus print.

      I appreciate the irony of this blog. I can’t believe no one mentioned that part yet. That probably was the best part about it. Well done.

  108. Eva Gala

      I posted a comment on face book about dirty hipsters yesterday actually after complaining about dirty hipster literature. I saw Nathaniel Hawthrone’s The Scarlet Letter at Urban Outfitters and became severely confused and kind of outraged hence my facebook thing. Then I was swarmed with commentary on
      How I am the queen bee hipster. Then I became confused. Really? All my friends think I’m a dirty hipster?

      This was slightly disconcerting.

      Here is why we as people get so goddamn offended by this: no one really wants to be slumped into a category
      Where you are made out to be like everyone else. The worst thing about this is taking things that are actually pretty
      Awesome ie J.D Salinger, antiques and not showering for five days-and making them some sort of a fashion trend.

      The whole thing is weird.

      Maybe I should have tried to explain myself at 5am on my blackberry on my futon below my Diane Arbus print.

      I appreciate the irony of this blog. I can’t believe no one mentioned that part yet. That probably was the best part about it. Well done.

  109. Anna

      yes.

  110. Anna

      yes.