What is a Hipster?



I have been accused of being one. I have been asked what they are. And at the end of the day I have no fucking clue how to respond.

 A Hipster, as defined by Urban Dictionary is as follows:

Referring to young people of around 18-30 years of age, who drink cheap beer, listen to on-the-cusp famous musicians, and sport thrifted clothing; someone who is smart enough to regurgitate facts they Googled about philosophy, music, politics, art, etc. with you all day long, but not smart enough to see how big of a tool he or she is
They typically flock to any gentrified neighborhood, which explains why there is such a big population of them in neighborhoods like Woodbridge, Midtown— and the occasional downtown stray. You can recognize an approaching Hipster if they are wearing a beanie, glasses that contain no prescription lenses and look like the bastard offspring of a hobo and a rocker. After intense investigative research, by which I mean conducting observational research through sitting at local cafes and wandering around Midtown, I have concluded that defining a Hipster is akin to the Stewart maxim. What is the Stewart maxim, you ask? U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Steward, in his concurring opinion from Jacobellis v Ohio, a 1964 case about obscenity and free speech, said of pornography:   
“ under the First and Fourteenth Amendments criminal laws in this area are constitutionally limited to hard-core pornography. I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it 
Also, Hipsters are a pain in the ass. Ask someone if they are afflicted with this malaise and they will most likely deny it. However, if following this denial they putting an LP on a record player while wearing boots with shorts, then your suspicions will indeed be correct. “You can’t really define a Hipster,” claimed Nietzsche, “For this in itself would be classifying them into a certain category, which goes against their inherent dislike for being categorized.” So I am faced with an existential dilemma that none of the great philosophers can help me overcome: Am I a Hipster? My first inclination would be to scream “No!” But then, to my horror, I realize that this would be the first instinct of a true Hipster. Tis true, I have a love for cafes. It also happens that I downloaded Florence and the Machine’s album a whole year before she became a hit on iTunes. I wear the occasional beanie because, sometimes, laziness outweighs my desire to look clean; I use glasses because I actually need them; my jeans are extra skinny because I have less than 5% body fat and my body (if not for working out a lot) would be mistaken for a 12-year-old boy’s. Detroit’s population has continued to plummet, leaving a substantial vacuum for this unruly subculture to fill — like a venereal disease that has spotted Motown with fashion-forward genital warts, which were likely picked up at a thrift store. While attending a recent concert at The Fillmore, I was surrounded by hipsters. And the issue is that you can never quite tell if a hipster is straight or gay. I found my thoughts ridden with A.D.D-like interruptions: Straight or gay? No one can tell. (That guy wearing a plaid T-Shirt and cut-off jean shorts: Straight or gay?) But even the label straight or gay may be too mainstream — thus most hipsters claim to be bisexual. See what I mean? They are a pain in the ass. So as Detroit, and the nation are flooded with this sub-group of pseudo-elites, look in the mirror and ask yourself: Are you a Hipster? (If you’ve read this the entire way through, chances are you are, friend, you are a Hipster. Now suck it!)

Jason Singer is an editorial intern at the Metro Times and dares you to cast judgment on his Hipster bona fides. Email him comments to [email protected]

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