Monday, 29 May 2017

The Hipster

I quite like eccentric people, particularly those who are genuinely intelligent and slightly odd. You know the kind of person I mean; somebody who is so intelligent that they don’t have time for things like fashion, style, mainstream hobbies and conventional culture.

My kind of genius
Sadly, there is a particular breed of pseudo-intellectual that tries to emulate these eccentric geniuses by being odd just for the sake of it. These people are known as hipsters. I’m sure you have heard of them.

During my life, I have encountered many flawed geniuses who simply don’t have the time or patience to worry about their dress sense, hairstyles and don’t feel the need to become a normal social animal, choosing instead to immerse themselves completely in the subjects that fascinate them.  

For example, a university professor with wild uncontrolled hair whose fashion sense was born (and remains) in the 1960’s or the computer nerd who spends every waking hour on his computer devising amazing software for fun and, when he’s not fully engrossed in that will plunge into hours of science fiction and become an absolute expert on everything relating to Doctor Who, Star Trek and Lord of the Rings.

I like these people.

My kind of genius
Over the years, people like this have started to get more respect and others are seeing the light, choosing to embrace them rather than mock them.

Hipsters are latching onto this and trying to portray themselves as – well – weird – but in a cool, fashionable and trendy way. I know for a fact that they are pseudo-intellectuals because, unlike flawed geniuses, the only things that come out of their mouths is a blend of philosophy and bullshit.

Hipsters go one step further – they purposely go out to make themselves stand out as eccentric. They actually fail miserably though because the genius will not spend a fortune on his weird attire and has no desire whatsoever to attract people to them because of their unconventional dress sense.

A hipster is the kind of person who will go to a pub and be positively thrilled that his fish and chips is served in a bucket or his full English breakfast comes on a shovel.

Hipster Breakfast
Hipster coffee
Hipsters look down on people like me who like conventional things like sport and rock music, although they will be interested in my travel exploits, particularly to the more exotic places I’ve had the good fortune to visit.

You see, the hipster tries to portray himself as a cool, open-minded intellectual who is fascinated by everything and anything, as long as it is avant-garde.

A hipster will dress in, frankly, weird clothes – the weirder the better.  

His musical taste is bizarre. Your typical hipster will buy a record full of Peruvian pop songs (even though he doesn’t understand Spanish). Note – it has to be a record that he can play on his 1970’s record player because a CD is too modern and mainstream.

The hipster will also like to portray himself as an intelligent creative genius who will try his hand at absolutely anything from writing bizarre poetry to playing weird instruments. He is the kind of person who will buy a penny farthing and voluntarily go to underground theatres to watch strange meaningless plays. His house will be full of bric-a-brac that he “found on his travels” but in reality cost a small fortune from Camden Market. He will also not understand anything he owns, says or creates, but will boast about it all using philosophical evidence to back his long descriptive words, which will make no sense to truly intelligent people, impressing only those who are trying to be hipsters themselves - pseudo-hipsters if you like.

The hipster will want to travel where his heart takes him, choosing to visit strange countries with nothing but four hipster T-shirts, a pair of sandals and a pair of garish crazy shorts. He will acquire strange tattoos that he claims came from local people who rarely see tourists because, of course, a hipster simply cannot go to a place where conventional people go! Oh no! That wouldn’t be cool.

Travel Hipster
You see, hipsters are a paradox. They like to portray themselves as outsiders and social pariahs but the only reason they do so is to be cool and popular socially. They love to bore you with tales of their exploits.

Here are some things you may hear a hipster say.

“You’ve never heard of Emilio Lugazi’s authentic Chilean classical jazz masterpiece “Soy la evolución del mono y la máquina”? It is exquisite!”

“Oh this tattoo? It means “I am eternal light!” in Thai. It is the work of a 92 year old elder in a remote village near to Chiang Mai. She did it for nothing because she liked a poem I wrote for her.”

“I’ll have the Messy Combo Vegetarian Burger with Melon Fries and Mustard Mayonnaise please. No, it’s fine if it comes on a roof slate. It’s more authentic that way.”

“Here’s a novel I wrote last week. It’s about a woman on a journey of self-discovery in the caves of Izca. I wrote it on a typewriter in Cossack’s Coffee shop. It’s called “The Imagination Cube”. I don’t want to sell it; I needed to write it for my own self-discovery.”

Finally, if you still don’t recognise a hipster – here are a few photos I have found on the web.

Finally, if you want to annoy a hipster, all you have to do is imply that they are now mainstream. For example, if you ever see a hipster typing poems on a 1960's typewriter in Starbucks while drinking his latte out of an avocado skin, just say, within his earshot:

"Wow! Writing your own poetry in Starbucks. That's so mainstream. There's a guy in an independent coffee shop on the High Street, who's just parked his penny farthing outside and is tattooing his arse with original poetry while singing traditional Uruguayan opera. And what a beard he has - five feet long, and dyed in the colours of the Brazilian flag. What a cool guy!"

He will freak out, I promise you.


Grace said...

These people you describe as hipsters are generally called "pretentious assholes".

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Grace,

Yes indeed (though across the pond they are "pretentious arseholes" - same thing).




Elephant's Child said...

Real eccentricity I often find fascinating.
The plastic version? An emphatic no.

River said...

The bearded hipster with the checked shirt and girly shorts looks like he can't decide if he is male or female.
Going by all your descriptions, my daughter is a genius; supersmart and doesn't care about clothes or hair or being in style. I'm just glad she's available when I need computer help.
I haven't noticed any hipsters, I guess there are some around, I just don't get out much. I do know a few pretentious braggarts though.

jeremy said...

The hipsters don't seem to be aware that we were there thirty years before them. Bearded idiots

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

"Plastic eccentrics" is another good term for this particular brand of pseudo-intellectual. I may use that in future.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

He looked particularly strange - I couldn't quite work him out. There are a couple of areas in Manchester that draw in hipsters; I like to play "Spot the hipster" when I am there.

I may even secretly photograph one or two for a future post. To get the full effect, though, I should also tape conversations with them. You will never have heard such bullshit in your life.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Jeremy,

Absolutely. I've seen hipsters wearing the clothes I wore in the 1970's. I knew they were hipsters because they were eating egg and bacon from a bucket and talking utter poppycock.