After spending the time since finishing uni writing for radio, I realised I hadn’t written for myself. With a topic I’d been meaning to write on for a while, I set myself a few rules for this piece. In the more humorous articles for UniLife Magazine I relied heavily on brackets to jam as many jokes into the piece as possible. This is lazy writing, so you’ll find no brackets. I also wanted to keep it short, at under 500 words. Being able to write thousands of words on any topic is a skill but severely hurts your chances of publication. My third constraint was time, with the article being handwritten, typed and edited in 90 minutes. I’m not having a go at anyone, hipster or no, in this article, I just wanted to get my thoughts on the subject down in print as opposed to shouted from the end of a bar.
My friends think I’m a hipster.
And much like being told you’re quick to anger there’s no way to disagree that won’t further illustrate their point. This character attack came out of nowhere and I can’t understand why they would think I have joined the heaving maroon-jeaned masses. I don’t wear chunky oversized glasses. I don’t have parts of my head shaved that shouldn’t be. My wispy moustache is non-existent, much like my Instagram account. My top button is never done up unless it’s sitting behind a tie. My bike has gears, like most legitimate modes of transport. I do shop at op-shops, but have been doing so since emos ruled the alternative landscape, and most of my purchases are less-than fashionable or functional, including a giant wizard robe and half-green half-purple suit jacket. Admittedly I do have a growing record collection inherited from various family members, and an old typewriter which cost $5 in 2001 and I’m reasonably sure has not grown in value.
So without many of the physical attributes that make a hipster so easy to spot I next wondered whether it was my personality which fitted the hipster mould. I do think my music tastes are better that yours but surely everyone does. If you knew there was better music out there the next logical step would be to seek it out. The enjoyment of irony has been commandeered by hipsters, or at least a wide-ranging interpretation of irony. What was once a legitimate source of humour for British sitcoms has become a punchline in itself, although one which must be used carefully for fear of having it turned around on you along with questions about your favourite Wavves track.
So I couldn’t work out what was causing my friends to think I had turned to hipsterdom, but maybe no one ever believes they are a hipster. Much like the survivor hiding their zombie bite, they think the worst won’t happen to them. I’ve heard a few different names used to excuse someone from the hipster’s ever-growing ranks. Urban Elite, which essentially means they have the money to afford the hipster lifestyle of imported beers and vintage markets. Alternative, which is not exactly new and I’ve never met anyone who describes themselves as Mainstream. But the vast majority of those when questioned will scoff and list off the hipster trends which they stand against, which is most worrying for me.
I shouldn’t let this name-calling fuss me though. My turntable will continue to be used long after hipsters have gone the way of the punk and the mod. This forced revelation will not change who I am and what I like, and I hope I can say the same about the next cultural trend. My bet – Barbershop. Start working on those middle parts and harmonies, so you can make sure you were doing it before it was cool.