The Hipster Culture
The coolness of New York is at a dangerous risk. What’s the danger? The answer is simple, Hipsters. Often referred to as bored, slacker trust-fund kids, the Hipster is a noticeably present subculture in New York City. Before coming to New York from a small college town in Texas, I had never even heard of these “hipsters.” From my first impression, they seemed to try so hard to be unique and “cool” by their own definition, which, for the most part, was an accurate assumption. I see now, after observing them for quite some time, that the hipster’s look and lifestyle is a backlash to the mainstream and, for partially that reason, mainstream doesn’t like them (causing what seems to be a war that the hipster will eventually lose). The hipster culture looks like a combination of a counter-culture and a mixture of different cultures at the same time. By setting themselves apart from everyone else as a result of looking cool, or “deck” as they would say, they also seem to inherit a more snobbish and obnoxious demeanor as a group from the most subjective topics, like clothing and music. This, along with the hipsters need to exemplify irony and apathy towards everything they do, seems to cause many people outside of this culture to despise them. Though they ironically have the term, hip, in their subculture name, they have become anything but that; this is a telltale sign that they won’t be around much longer, and the people of New York won’t miss them but, in fact, will welcome their downfall.
Surprisingly, the hipster, or at least the term, was founded in the early 1940’s. According to Dan Fletcher, who wrote the Time magazine article, “Brief History of Hipsters,” the term came “after the jazz age, when hip arose to describe aficionados of the growing scene.” Gradually, the people who fit the description were called hipsters. This explains a lot about the hipsters’ affiliation with music because they’ve always been affiliated with music since their emergence early on. Gradually, they would grow to emulate other subcultures of the time periods that they thought were ‘hip.’ At the early stages of the hipster subculture, the war was ending, or about to end. Fletcher adds that this had an effect the on hipster movement. Because they had a lack of a definition, the hipsters sought other art forms to fulfill that need. They turned to literary poets of the time to help them. Norman Mailer, the eventual co-founder of The Village Voice, was a big influence, painting the hipsters as “American existentialists, living a life surrounded by death – annihilated by atomic war or strangled by conformity – and electing instead to ‘divorce oneself from society, to exist without roots, to set out on that uncharted journey into the rebellious imperatives of the self’” (Fletcher).
With the current exception of the atomic war event, this creed describes the current hipster subculture well. The hipsters were, at first, incredibly interesting because they didn’t seem to realize or even care what they look like or what other people think. After reading this creed, it explains that the hipsters have a fascination and an affinity to be “unique” and the anything “Indy” scene. By engulfing themselves with independent genres in various facets of different cultures, one could essentially assume as to their distaste for the popular and the general attitude they have towards everything. They wanted to be separate from everyone else and they wanted individuality; they would not be able to achieve this by being attached to things that were popular to the mainstream. Now, this ideology seems to slowly being dying out. They seem somewhat contradictory too because the hipsters could be classified as a group, which was previously not possible before, and it was what they were completely against. They are also starting to have a closer relationship to the mainstream by being more noticeable than ever before, which was also something they...
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