10 Things hipsters couldn't ruin in the '00s
Hipsters rove in hungry packs, easily identifiable by their painted-on jeans and quickly-rotating ensemble of accessories designed to make them stand out like their friends. When not loitering at bus stops and coffeeshops in considered poses of indifference, they're out looking for records nobody else has heard of (read: cares about). But even the meatgrinder of cool that is hipsterdom couldn't kill the truly awesome items on this list. Perhaps permanently scar them with the stench of dirty clothes and excessive hair product, maybe, but never, ever kill.
You know that something has peaked when it's offered for $10 in the teen section at Target. Yes, flannel is reaching new heights in popularity. No, that is not an oxymoron. Pair it with a trucker hat, a scarf, and an ironic tattoo, and you have the flannel presented through a hipster lens. But if history has taught us one thing, it's that flannel cannot be co-opted into any one group. Not by lumberjacks, butch lesbians, truckers, nor Eddie Bauer-shopping soccer moms, and certainly not by cool people. If anything, the universality of something so ugly and unflattering speaks to the universal power of comfortable fabric.
This one cut it a bit too close for comfort, escaping death by hipsterdom narrowly just this year when every version of every pair of shades worn by any Hollywood hipster showed up at Urban Outfitters en masse for $25 a pop. But sunglasses will always be cool, and that's just the fact of it. That is, unless, you pull a Corey Hart and throw 'em on at night. Then we don't know you.
Pabst Blue Ribbon
Somehow this beverage became inextricably linked with trucker hats and weasel mustaches when it came to hipster cliches, but let's face it, there are several perfectly good reasons to drink this stuff. First off, it's cheap, so you don't have to be some kind of trust-fund twerp to get blitzed off of it. Secondly, it's readily available, whether the bar's an Uptown hotspot next to an art gallery or that skeevy dive featuring centerfolds from 1983 stapled to the wood-paneled walls. Third, it's been around for a long time, and if it's survived being popular among the fixed-gear crowd, it should probably outlast them. Fourth, and best of all, it's not advertised on TV -- sure, if you drink PBR, you might be considered a hipster, but better that than one of those frat-dude morons who thinks the idea of preferring beer over women is, like, so true bro.
Oh, remember those giddy early days? Before all the Lolcats and the endless assholes in comments sections nitpicking your spelling. As with anything cool, the Internet has become overrun with hipsters, with their own obnoxious lingua franca and Shibboleths. But for all this dickery, the Internet remains a transformative information-sharing medium that has profoundly altered the way we live, think, and communicate. Internet FTW.
A good cup of coffee is a good cup of coffee. Luckily we plebeians don't have to slurp it to fully appreciate the floral undertones. We just want it either a) burned black as the night or b) infused with enough cream and sugar that it tastes exactly like hot chocolate. All we really care about coffee is that the caffeine kicks in before our 45-minute morning commute to our "real jobs", where we earn stuff called "money," because some of us can't afford to sit around talking about coffee all day.
The fact is, beards aren't a rebellion against current fashion standards or a post-feminist return to primal manhood. Beards are what happens when a dude stops shaving. There are great big bushy beards and patchy, wispy beards. Some look good, some look awful; it depends on the face and the beard in question. Don't act like you've "rediscovered" something that's been around since we lived in trees. Beards are here to stay, and as always, the good ones will be friggin' awesome, and the bad ones will make us want to take a shower for a week.
Wes Winship for Burlesque of North America
Ahh, the Macintosh, much-maligned sidekick to the on-the-go hipster. The kind who sits in the window seat of the coffee shop specifically to show off the logo on the back of his laptop. The kind who updates Facebook every time his Mac goes into the shop because he's too tech-illiterate to maintain the thing properly (and because we totally care). But let's face it...underneath all the snobbery and foolish hipster-centric branding, Macs are pretty good machines, and their service plan is top-of-the-line - and Apple taught Microsoft everything it knows. Really the only downside to Macs is that each one costs about as much as an aircraft carrier.
Coincidence or not, in the years after Alanis Morrisette (unintentionally) went meta by writing an ode to irony that mischaracterized the very definition of the word, irony was to be found in every facet of hipsterdom -- ironic clothing, ironic hobbies, ironic voting, even ironic bitching about the over-use of irony. But irony as a concept not only weathered the deluge, but gained a more legitimate, and potent, place in pop culture (see the rise of the Onion and Colbert Report). Appropriately deployed, irony will remain a legit rhetorical device that no number of trucker hats can make obsolete.
Actually liking things
Between the average hipster's love for all things ironic and a shared nostalgia for the more obnoxious parts of '80s and early '90s culture, this decade found twentysomethings parading around in ironic wolf t-shirts, reminiscing about crappy sitcoms, and competing in endless debates over who loves Journey and Styx the most. Somewhere in the mix, we almost forgot how to really, honestly enjoy things without feeling deeply ashamed or writing it off as a "guilty pleasure." Luckily, being a humorless a-hole is only fun for so long, and the majority of us understand that feeling actual joy about something isn't going to kill us.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.