Anti-Hipster Manifesto

Most people go to great lengths to conceal their prejudices, and I’m no exception. Bias, therefore, is often like some gastrointestinal disorder: The only evidence there is of it is an occasional noxious emission you try furiously to deny. But I’m going to confess a prejudice I have, because I am trying, with every ounce of open-mindedness and liberality I possess, to rise above it. Okay, here goes. I’ve always hated hipsters.

Don't get me wrong, some of my best friends are hipsters. Well, one of my best friends is, anyway, and she's a genuinely stylish, innovative, and brilliant person. But as a breed, I've never been overly impressed with them.

And though it seems, er, un-hip to comment on the phenomenon at this late date – when you could fill a moving van with books and articles analyzing every last aspect of hipsterism – I can't help but offer a few hard facts to my messily-yet-perfectly-coiffed brethren.

Ceasing to like something just because everyone else likes it doesn't make you a trendsetter. It makes you an idiot.

Boutique consumerism is still consumerism.

Every time you put on a trucker hat or mechanics' coveralls, somewhere a truck driver or mechanic begins to laugh. And he's not laughing with you.

You can't be a radical in $300 limited-edition Pumas. No, not even if your shirt came from the Salvation Army.

A shitty apartment that your parents pay for is still just an apartment your parents pay for.

Coolness and worthiness are not the same thing. In fact, they're often inversely proportional.

Cheap sentiment always trumps phony intellectualism.

Rednecks look down on you as much as you look down on them. Difference is, a redneck could kick your ass.

There are precious few white people who can sing the blues. You aren't one of them.

If you relate in any way to Chuck Closterman, you have a serious problem.

Appetite for Destruction still rocks. Deal with it.

Karl Marx would not like you very much. As opposed to Che Guevara, who might think seriously about shooting you.

Hysterical solipsism and neurosis are only permissible if you write as well as Dave Eggers. Otherwise, you'd be better off following his example in another way. That's right, sweetie: Tutor a kid.

Way back when, there used to be a little thing known as counterculture. It was founded on not being cool, being in some way an outsider. From Hippies to Punks to Goths, these shat-upon groups ended up producing some really amazing stuff, without the aid of any aesthetically pleasing electronics. Go figure.

Instead of spending so much time trying to identify "the problem" with the world, you might take a moment to ask yourself if you're part of it.

And, finally,

If you hate your well-paid, cushy graphic-design job that much, quit it. Otherwise, shut the fuck up.

Jan Herndon