Mark Grief has a great article about hipsterism. He ends by pointing towards the possible future:

In recent hipster art, Animal Collective’s best-known lyric is this: “I don’t mean to seem like I / Care about material things, like our social stats / I just want four walls and / Adobe slats for my girls.” The band members masked their faces to avoid showing themselves to the culture of idolators. If a hundred thousand Americans discovered that they, too, hated the compromised culture, they might not look entirely unlike the Hipster Primitive. Just no longer hip.

Matt Yglesias points out the relational nature of hipsterism:

[W]hat I think is most interesting about the term “hipster” is that it seems to function in a purely relational sense. For any city-dwelling member of my generation, there’s always some other set of people who are the “hipsters” and some other set of people who think you’re one of the hipsters.


Greatest Letter to the Editor Ever

We must take back our cities!

Letters: Just who do these insulting, childless hipster bike riders think they are?

I JUST READ another article on this bike-lane baloney – and I’ve had it with the politicians in this city afraid to say to these single, no-kid hipsters that bike lanes just don’t fit on our streets.Sorry, Philly just wasn’t designed for them.

These hipsters always want what they want whether it makes sense or not. And the lamebrains who run the city give it to them because they’re afraid to look like they’re not trying to save the planet! (Mayor Nutter is a wannabe yuppie hipster.)

So now they’re going to get more of what they want no matter what the cost to us car-owning planet-destroyers. But the only way the planet is going to be saved is by governments all around the world working in unison to change the whole planet’s carbon footprint – not by some little jerk who has no kids to take to school in the morning and has no other business in Center City other than to go work at the coffee shop or “bike shop,” riding his bike to his destination.

Most of these people don’t live the typical family life, with kids and all the other stuff.

I’m tired of the agendas jammed down our throats by these liberals! I lived in Queen Village from 1994-2006, and I got their number.

I can’t stand what this city has become, but I’m just a dumb Italian, right? Don’t let me get started on how prejudiced they are toward me because I have a South Philly accent!

They think they’re superior, and we’re just Neanderthals who don’t give a rap about this city (or planet).

I’ve got news for them. When I was growing up, we didn’t need trash police to tell us to keep our street clean. And the old Italian ladies would scrub their steps and pavements, and everyone would follow suit. When my wife worked in Center City, they’d make fun of us – now we can’t stop them from moving into our neighborhoods.

Frank Romano, Philadelphia

(Via Atrios)

Greatest Letter to the Editor Ever