Recently, a couple of friends of mine wrote a tongue-in-cheek article defining what they thought a “hipster” is. In return for their work, they got a nasty letter saying “hipsters listen to whatever they want, they don’t care what people think, you don’t have to dress like this and this to be a hipster, why are ‘posers’ writing this instead of real hipsters, hipsters are all about peace, not indie bands and skinny jeans, man you guys got it wrong.”
So if hipster isn’t all girl pants and indie bands, what is it? A student of my dad’s came over yesterday, and we discussed hipster in principle. Here’s what we found:
A hipster is a trendsetter. This means that, instead of doing what everyone else is doing, they do the opposite(or something different, when no opposites are attainable) to make a statement. Which brings me to my second point…
A hipster is a leader, not a follower. When everyone else starts following the trend they’ve just set, they will either get angry and call the other people “followers,” the meanest thing you can say to a hipster, or they will announce that they were wearing/listening to/doing this trend before it was cool. This gives hipsters a sense of self-righteousness and solidifies their “indie cred.”
A hipster is fashionable. In order to not be trendy, you have to know what’s trendy. They’re never completely out of touch with style. But don’t tell a hipster that, or they’ll get angry.
A hipster is unique, just like everyone else.
This isn’t a how-to guide. If you want to be a hipster, don’t.
My gosh. Don’t.
Hipster is a stereotype. It means someone who values being counterculture. Don’t be counterculture. Don’t be mainstream either. In fact, don’t be anything. Just be who you are. If you find a vintage V-neck at a thrift store, wear it. If you can pull off tight pants, by all means. (And if you can pull on tight pants, we who struggle salute you.) Vote for the candidate you think will make the best decisions. Listen to the bands you like. Write poetry, if it’s your thing. If you like Wes Anderson, watch some Wes Anderson. If you prefer Stephen Speilburg, that’s okay too.
4 classic films, mixed with 1 summer blockbuster, divided into sections
2 tbs. vanilla
1 cone of Oreo ice cream, half-melted
2 overdue library books
2 hands, for holding
1/3 cup of staying out late
2/3 cup of sleeping in
4 cups of sugar
43 1/2 thunderstorms
19 kisses goodnight
And an iced tea with lemon.
Mix one part boredom with two parts bliss and add in the 64 days.
Slowly add water,then stir. Add in moon and fireflies, stirring well.
In a separate bowl, mix strawberries and vanilla.
Add pomegranate, then stir in movies one section at a time.
Add ice cream, let sit until melted(about ten minutes.)
Combine the two mixtures, then add books one at a time.
Mix while holding hands.
Beat the sleeping in, staying out late and sugar in a separate bowl,
then add. Sprinkle thunderstorms until all 43 1/2 are used.
Add kisses one at a time,
Bake at 98 degrees F,
Pickle in liquid sunshine,
Garnish with blades of grass,
And serve with iced tea with lemon.
Traditionally, the best way to begin any sort of tour is to shake your hand and tell you my name. So, hello, and welcome to my mind. I should warn you, it’s a bit frightening in here, so read slowly and make no sudden moves.
If you look to your right you’ll see a storage file. See this drawer? I keep my memories inside. I take them out at least once a month for dusting. Ah, here’s a favorite. My father used to smoke cigars, until his heart attack forced him to quit. This is a shard of smoke from when we’d sit at an overlook together, when I was a child. He always had a cigar at that overlook. I liked watching the smoke leap and swirl out of his mouth and dissolve before my eyes. Now it makes me want to take up cigars, so the smell can fill my house as it did when my father smoked, and so that I can watch the same smoke leap and swirl and dissolve.
Here’s a relic: my first orange soda. I was sitting on our countertop when my father presented it to me. It was in a glass bottle with a painted-on label, and I’d never seen such a novelty. Soda always came in cans or paper cups from the drive-thru. I saw through the glass that the soda wasn’t brown, like most, but instead a translucent neon orange. It tasted tangy and sweet and tart and glorious.
This is a picture of the house we had in Iowa. We used to live there, you know, for two years, before we came back to the south. See the front porch and wide-armed window? It was from there my sister and I would watch the snow. It always snowed in Iowa, except during the four-month span the Natives called “summer,” which was enveloped with a cloud of humidity made from waters boiled in Hell.
Now look to your left. See that dark figure lurking in the corner? That’s me during middle school. As you may have noticed from the chemicals labeled here above your head, I take antidepressants that serve as ADD medicine. Unfortunately, I began middle school with a different dosage than my body was used to. I was mixed-up, depressed, and considered suicide–-never seriously, just “what would happen if I died.” I keep this figure in a cage and feed it poetry twice a month. Truth be told, I’m waiting for it to die.
Now, if you’ll follow me this way…We have now reached the Fear Exhibit. The first fear you’ll notice is insanity. That’s my greatest fear: seeing things and hearing things I know aren’t real, or think are real but can’t be, or are convinced are real and are so horrible I wonder what new world I inhabit, because it can’t be the one I came from–wait, was that screw always loose? I’ll have to call Maintenance. Another fear you’ll notice here is pain. Not death, you’ll notice. Death means Heaven, and I want to go to Heaven. No, I don’t fear death. I fear pain, torture, physical cruelty.
Strangely enough, my favorite movie is Psycho, a film that combines the two. And speaking of favorites, come look at this row of jars.
This are all my favorite things, bottled and jars and displayed on this shelf. Here’s a bottle of Coke Zero, vanilla extract, a jar of summer holiday(I’ll give you the recipe), a vial of rain, some liquid sleep there next to the fireflies and dried flowers. That’s a vat of poetry on the top shelf; it’s added to daily. And this bottle is filled with wit, my own or others. On the shelf below I keep all my favorite books and movies: The Dark Knight, Pan’s Labyrinth, Count of Monte Cristo, The Bell Jar, Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather, The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe, Gladiator, Inception… There’s a copy of Twilight, given to me by a friend. It’s only halfway done, and I’ve had it for about seven months. Come feel how sticky the pages feel. It’s like turning mud, isn’t it? That’s how I read Twilight. but if you open, say Catcher in the Rye–see how quickly the pages moved? That book was over much too soon for my liking.
Here’s the Workshop. This is where poems, stories, and ideas are created. These women work ’round the clock and I’m very grateful for them. This one is constantly playing with words. She’s busiest when I’m writing poetry. This one is Manager of Wit. She’s got a lot of raw talent, but she’s still in training. And that little one at the window looks through my eyes and describes what she sees. Were it not for her, my imagery would be poor and lifeless.
Here is the Printing Press, where ideas are formed. Some are sent to the hands, for writing, others directly to the mouth. We’ve installed a filtering system to ensure nothing unwanted gets through, but occasionally–%*@#$!–some things slip out.
This is the Common Control Room. This section deals with everyday tasks that don’t require much thought–things like walking and breathing. Unfortunately, sometimes the Workshop will be unusually busy, or the Dream crew will get a little carried away, or there wasn’t enough time to recharge last night, and Common Control will start slacking off. These are the days where I’m especially forgetful, stutter a lot and trip over things.
Naturally, there’s much more to see, but many rooms here are for Authorized Personnel only. I’m sure you understand. All the same, thank you for touring today. Please come back soon.