C is for Hipsters

This one is a bit silly.

So I heard a rumor back when I moved to Detroit.

Detroit is the birth of hipster. 

Basically that everyone was too poor to purchase CD’s when they came out so they bought records. Everyone was too poor to buy designer clothes so they bought off brand and thrift stores. 

Now, I am not an expert. I have no idea if it’s true, but it was a fun bit of trivia living and working in Detroit. 

That is the extent of my hipster history knowledge. But, there is something more. ..nobody positively identifies as a hipster. It is definitely a counter culture movement that nobody seems to want to be. People never self identify as a hipster and I wondered why that was. 

I mean, think about it. 

A hipster is

  • Thrifty
  • Environmentally conscious
  • Aware of musical trends 
  • Well educated

A hipster also tends to be

  • A douche 

Which again is weird, but that feeling doesn’t go away depending on who you ask. A hipster is vegan or fruitotarian or only hand makes their clothes. They tend to be white, work as baristas, have rich parents, have liberal arts degrees, also dreads. 

Like none of this should be a bad thing. Yet over and over the counter culture movement of the millennial generation is viewed as negative by both older and present generations. Why? 

It got so bad that articles were written claiming counter culture was dead. Mass consumerism had consumed the counter culture. Found a way to box it and supply it to the masses. 

Full disclosure, I have been called a hipster. When asked why people sort of gesture at me. I think they mean my graphic t-shirts and large board game collection, how I use the word socialism and anarchism appropriately and not communism, my glasses and the fact I’m an artist. I make all my own food, am vegetarian, and am looking into how to garden. I identify as Buddhist, recognizing the beauty of the philosophy while also appreciating the Buddha intended it to be a living doctrine and so explore what it means for me. Also atheist.  None of this am I ashamed of. 

And yet when people call me a hipster, I feel as though I should be. It’s really ridiculous. Why are we so compelled? Is there a reason to despise? To not identify as a hipster? Is there anything wrong with living off the grid, trying to be sustainable? Abstaining from having children? Or is it more a matter of privilege and people having the resources already to do it? 

I don’t have any of these answers. I’m trying not to block myself into categories so much anymore. I feel really strongly in this case because hipster does not define all of my weird, though people try. 

Oh, also the title:

Hipsters are too cool for their own letter “h” so they wound up here. Also I thought it was really funny. 

Sue me. 


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