The Roaring Twenties: The Taming of the Hipster

Fellow SFTE's, I have a confession to make: I'm more of a hipster than I'd like to admit. I'm entirely sure what that means, because I think the first rule of being a hipster is that you don't talk about being a hipster. Or something along those Fight Club lines. I also don't drink a lot of PBR or tool around on a fixie bike or wear a fedora -- but those traits belong to the hipster of yore anyway, don't they? Isn't today's hipster a little more evolved? Don't they (we) wear slightly better-fitting garb and subsist on farmer's market vegetables and constantly check Twitter for funny comedian tweets to attempt to wittily reply to?

I don't know. I don't really know what a hipster is anymore. I do know that defining hipsterdom is kind of like defining pornography according to Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, who said that he knew it when he saw it. And I do know that I'm writing this post in a café using the energy I just acquired from a Blue Bottle latte. Do with that information what you will.

Is being a hipster so wrong? It used to be, sure. We pinned it to people that we despised, the unwashed masses who kept house music from dying its rightful death and scoffed at listening to albums on anything other than a turntable and insisted on wearing glasses with no frames. (Side note to those folks: It's insulting to people who actually need glasses to see. Please stop.) But I think the hipsters have softened. We've softened. Being a hipster here and now isn't so bad. Hipsters are only obnoxious when they refuse to acknowledge that mainstream culture can actually contribute something to society. They're the ones who like Britney Spears ironically instead of just admitting how fucking great it is to blast the song "Toxic" in your car because it's so much fun to sing to. They're the ones who created a Tumblr account with a song-lyric username, posted to it a half-dozen times with supposedly "meaningful" quotes and silly cat videos, and then forgot about it a couple weeks later. They're the ones who insist on wearing fingerless gloves at the beach -- wait, actually, I see the value in that. It's freezing here all the time. Anyway, I think you get my drift. They maintain their elitism to the point of no return, and they're impossible to be around. And I'm glad to say that they're not around as much as they used to be.

Today's hipsters are a vast improvement from their five-years-ago counterparts. They -- okay, we -- are genuinely curious about culture. They seek out information about the past to learn about it, rather than mock and parody it (unless it deserves to be mocked and parodied, of course). They not only attend independent art gallery openings, but they make their own art, and they take pride in it. They're not embarrassed to have a corporate job to pay the bills because, hey, it's important to pay the bills. They own iPhones because they're really nice phones, not just because they can use the Instagram app to make their photos look vintage-y. They wear their own university colors with pride, rather than "humorously" donning the secondhand sweatshirt of a middle school they've never heard of. They root for the Giants all year round, rather than just during the playoffs, because baseball is great.

These hipsters are out there, fellow SFT's. I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm one of them, and you shouldn't be either. 'Fess up.