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Archive for July, 2010

So, this is a power-post(BAM!) about a topic I want to bring up here on the world wide internets. Screw hipsters. Sure, they are on the bleeding-edge of what’s cool and hip, but they also stunt their’s and society’s growth in general by letting their actions be dictated by what it means to be a Hipster nowadays.

Being a Hipster nowadays means wearing skinny jeans, ray bahn sunglasses, taking Polaroid pictures, eating at places on the cool streets of town, acting snobby yet socially awkward, listening to obscure bands that you like as long as no one else does, drinking PBR tall boys, riding a fixie, sporting hip ear gauges, and wearing American Eagle solid-color hoodies, among many other classifying things. Now, to me at least, all these things sound slightly cool to do on their own, but then I just think about all of things together, done by one person, then those actions copied by tons and tons and tons of others, and I think about how the world would be, or more over, a town like Portland would be, and it doesn’t sound too appealing. When hipster-ism was first pioneered (whenever some kid decided he liked the idea of counterculture yet realized how being a hippy was far too much work and not very cool today, so decided to model himself after everyone’s soft spot: nostalgia), it was an acceptable thing, albeit awkward and very contrived and pretentious seeming to the outside 90s world, because only a few people were participating in it, weren’t labeled as “cool’ or “hip” or “douchebags” just yet, and just seen as doing their thing.

However, for some reason that’s probably related to our culture becoming an iculture of individualism and ego tripping fools, people decided that this awkward, thick-lensed, coffee swigging man-girl with a bike terrible for hills and enough PBR to fuel a canadian moose hunt, was the new definition of cool. What a joke! They accepted their title as the coolest mothers around and the scene spread like a cold to the minds of developing, impressionable teenagers and 20somethings around the nation. Now, there was a secret army among the people; one of pretentious people who didn’t necessarily do any harm to the world, but were just as much as a drag as just a regular old layman. Everyone following these made-up social rules that were judgmental and shallow, making their own selves be pushed into this shell of chrome retro coolness. So, the end result of all this Hipster-ism was a culture of young people, so determined to “bring the change” or something similar goal, all being something that doesn’t fit quite right, while the handful of people who actually live such a hipster lifestyle are actually mad that there’s so many people making hipster-ism into some yippie-type buzzkill that makes their own life look like that.

So, beyond all the scene-kids who have drifted into hipster-ism and formed their impenetrable sphere of independence, in the center of this swirling madness, lies the people who actually live the “ideal hipster life”, one that I would say is authentic. Real “hipsters”, if you want to call them that, are a much more gentle kind of soul. Not known for the products they subscribe to, or the places they eat or stuff they like, they are known and seen as quite brave type people. They more closely resemble the freedom-fighters of the underground 50s and 60s, trying to live within their own means and on their own terms, in a world that seems to scream at them what to do. Now, here they are, being emulated by the masses, their uniqueness now a standard for coolness, which is quite ironic, but irony is the way of the Hipster.

But what can they do? The thing they do best: keeping being themselves; being honest to who they want to be, not fussing over who wants to be like them or what they could do to be “cooler.” It’s absolutely not about that. Being seen is cool is really quite a tired and used social stigma, and doesn’t have the desired effect of acceptance or betterment that it held before. Now, the cool thing to do is to simply, be.  Don’t be held in by tight skinny jeans or the limitations of where a fixie can go. By trying to appear bleeding edge, one’s illusion of being rad is shattered, cause one finds themselves still just another person in the game, nothing changed but their perspective of others and their now-afflicted view of self.

The cool thing to do nowadays is be yourself. Be a folky, be a scene kid, be a biker, whatever. Be proud, but completely headstrong,  of everything you are; your opinions, your decisions, the truth of what has happened to you in life to make you who you are, or what you choose to look like. No one’s words or actions have control over what you should be. So, stop trying so hard to be cool, just know that you’re the best person you know (cause you’re the only person you really know), and go forth and shine. Get rid of the knots in your mind and your gut, do those things that before have made you feel uncomfortable (those are just opportunites for you to allow yourself to grow into a more open person) and go and have fun, worry free in the sunshine, before it’s all gone.

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