Posted by
Gavin
• 08.06.08 11:30 am

If you have been associated with “youth culture” well into your late 30s you are probably used to getting calls from journalists writing features with names like “Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization.”

If you have been associated with “youth culture” well into your late 30s you are probably used to getting calls from journalists writing features with names like Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization.

You may have noticed these titles sound eerily similar to Arthur Herman’s neutron bomb of a book The Idea of Decline in Western History where he proves that people have ALWAYS been bitching about how bad things are getting and WILL ALWAYS glorify their youth as the salad days of the scene. That’s why I hate when people hipster-bash. It’s not because I invented hipsters or because they’ve been my bread and butter for 15 years. It’s because people sound like such bitter, old, unlaid, fat, ugly, lonely, grumpy losers when they say, “I hate hipsters.” It’s the same as saying, “I hate fashionable people who are younger than me.” Why?

Well, the first reason is, journalists doing pieces like this are usually getting closer to 30 and they see this new generation of kids as worthless young upstarts who don’t care about stuff as much as they should. This is a natural part of getting older. Seniors will always hate sophomores. That’s why there’s wedgies. The problem arises when you try to categorically prove this generation sucks and you were the real deal. Sorry, but your youth was not that special.

It’s not that they made the best records when you were 18, it’s that you bought the most records when you were that age. That’s why janitors have rockabilly hairdos and big sideburns. As far as they’re concerned, it should be 1958 forever.

Journalists who interview me always bring up punk as the definitive example of how the kids today are sellouts. There’s not “more commercial punk.” There’s more EVERYTHING. That means more political punk, more disco punk, more free punk, you name it. There’s more fucking Mexican punks! Today we have emos rioting in the streets with chaos punks in Mexico City. When I was a kid there were three punks in Mexico and they all knew each other.

It’s not commercialization it’s MOREilization and that’s a good thing. When I was your age I used to take the 132 bus from the suburbs to get to Shake Records downtown. Then I’d spend $14.99 on any import that looked remotely punk. Then I’d be broke. Today I can pay $10 a month for satellite radio and have endless music anywhere I go, or listen to my own Pandora stations on my phone, or sit on Frostwire all day getting music for free. Why do journalists always assume I’m going to say punk is dead and it’s a great example of why youth culture is dead?

Don’t get me wrong, there’s still such a thing as Selling Out. Basically, if you find yourself changing lyrics or jokes or beliefs because they are going to bite the hand that feeds you, you are selling out. If big business affects content then you could bandy around the word commercialized. But that’s not always the case. When Hüsker Dü and the Clash signed to majors the labels didn’t tell them to do shit. Big business is OFTEN bad but not always. I don’t like the idea of WalMart crushing local hardware stores and I’m still scared of globalism and all that but to assume a few capitalist down sides have ruined everything we hold dear is apocalyptic claptrap.

Yes there are a lot of Starbucks out there. There’s also way more mom & pop coffee places than there have ever been and that’s thanks to Starbucks. They invented the idea of people going somewhere special for a coffee on the way to work. More big business doesn’t necessarily mean less small business.

For example, whenever anyone talks about the Internet being doomed, they use radio stations in the 50s as an example. They say radio used to be totally independent but soon the major broadcasters owned 97% of the stations out there. That’s true but it doesn’t mean there was less independent radio. If there were say, 3 radio stations in your town and they were all owned privately then radio was 100% private. If big business came in and added 97 stations to the mix, radio is now 97% corporate. There’s still the same amount of independent stations, 3. Only now there’s 97 others which most likely means there’s going to be more independent stations, not less. Today anyone near a computer can start their own radio station.

The mathematical explanation for this huge surge of memes is called an asymptote. There is more information available to us this year than all of history combined. And that number keeps climbing exponentially. Journalists can complain about “the death of the underground” all they want but there’s actually more underground. There’s more fucking everything! You can romanticize clamoring for mix tapes all you want. I was there. It sucked. Today you can check out a thousand people’s mix tapes on LastFM and pick and choose at will.

None of this matters of course. Hipsters aren’t paying attention to these debates. The same way Canadians bitch about Americans while Americans don’t even know where Canada is, hipsters are too busy fucking and going to parties to worry if out-of-touch people resent them for not being political.

Occasionally I get paid good money to sit on a panel and privately tell a corporation what is “cool.” It is the gayest thing in the universe but it’s fun if you get drunk and they pay you like, $500 an hour. I did it for Rolling Stone once and the panel was a strange mishmash of record execs, magazine editors, and, of all people, Handsome Dick Manitoba. During the discussion some British baby boomer that knew David Bowie went off about “the kids today” and said they don’t believe in anything anymore. He talked about the mods fighting the rockers on the beaches of Brighton when he was a kid and “Why don’t the kids today do shit like that anymore?” As with all things Youth Culture, you always end up saying more about yourself than the millions of twentysomethings you’re talking about. What he meant was HE was not involved in any of this shit anymore and therefore it must not be happening. The fact that anarcho punks had recently almost shut down the WTO didn’t make it on to his radar.

Here’s the one quote from the AdBusters article that made it in:

“Gavin McInnes, one of the founders of Vice, who recently left the magazine, is considered to be one of hipsterdom’s primary architects. But, in contrast to the majority of concerned media-types, McInnes, whose “Dos and Don’ts” commentary defined the rules of hipster fashion for over a decade, is more critical of those doing the criticizing.

‘I’ve always found that word [“hipster”] is used with such disdain. It’s always used by chubby bloggers who aren’t getting laid anymore and are bored, and they’re just so mad at these young kids for going out and getting wasted and having fun and being fashionable,’ he says. ‘I’m dubious of these hypotheses because they always smell of an agenda.’”
-From “Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization”

The agenda I’m referring to is: “The kids today don’t got no respect.” This sounds like something Archie Bunker would say or, more specifically, that sad, old fuck from Nathan Barley.

Shitting on people younger than you is not rocket science. It’s an innate gene in all of us. Just know that when you do it you sound like every other bitter, old person out there and it’s so transparent it’s making the rest of us old people cringe.

UPDATE: Momus, who has been calling bullshit on the anti-hipster backlash for years, wrote this great article about the piece that sums up exactly what I’m trying to say.

Also read:

THE END IS NEAR – PART 1


Comments
  1. Ollie says:

    Hurrah!

  2. ew says:

    hipsterdom?chortle, that sounds like magical kingdom made out of candy under my bed. I call imperial vizar!

  3. roscoe says:

    hipsters get laid?

  4. ijustatetheworstindianfood says:

    I look forward to Gavin’s posts. Always spot on. Plus I get an anticipatory boner waiting for the Canada reference.

  5. Stephen A. Murphy says:

    Oh man I ripped on that guy so bad in their comments section. I was all like, “did you circle phrases like ‘temporarily immortalized’ when you sent this article to your old college professors?”

    Me: 1
    That guy: 0

  6. crampon says:

    What is this “Canada” you speak of?

  7. Bagge says:

    I understand where some of this resentment is coming from. I mean, hipsters are the most self-centered and apathetic people I know of.

  8. yawn says:

    good piece gavin but did you come with the idea on starbucks on your own from this piece on slate

    http://www.slate.com/id/2180301/pagenum/all/

  9. face it says:

    The fact that kids no longer hang out on the street, at night, is all the proof you need to see that they’re straight up and down – whack! Kids today have no culture, there is no youth culture. Endless information at your finger tips? Great! Why is it that high school scores keep dropping? Endless amount of music? Great! This is why 3/4 of it is crap. There’s a reason why the music of past generations still hold strong, it’s because they were musicians with talent! I don’t think anyone will be listening to Ladytron on purpose in twenty years.

  10. “McInnes, whose “Dos and Don’ts” commentary defined the rules of hipster fashion for over a decade”
    Funny how the author is using this as an example when so much of the humor of the “Dos & Don’ts” comes from the fact that Gavin is fucking with the readers that look to the “Do’s & Don’ts” for fashion advice. That’s why I like it when they have two people dressed exactly alike in as a “Do” and as a “Don’t”. I have yet to talk to anyone who understands this.

  11. shake reckitts says:

    shake, amazing. hipsters, doubly amazing.

  12. Cuntegonde says:

    Holy shit. This is pretty good.

    Dare I say it? Thought-provoking. And I don’t mean the weird typos. “You’re” for “your”? Come on.

    Really good, though, and thanks for reminding me my youth was not special, fucker.

  13. raymi says:

    ugh that guy said ‘fixed-gear bikes’ way too fucking many times, i had to google what the fuck that even means. F.

  14. tommy gun says:

    this article was so smart it was near perfect. and while these losers sit around critiquing hipsters, people are out there doing this: http://www.myspace.com/thefashionramone

    here’s a label: “totally fucking amazing people living life to the fullest.”

    PS: this article and “wanna poltical party” totally captured the essence of what they were trying to convey – fucking really good.

  15. Fat Jesus says:

    GAVIN,

    PLEASE do another article about the political correctness nazi’s… it’s as bad as ever

  16. ugh says:

    There’s a big difference between fashionable and nonsensical. Let’s face it, many of the so-called hipsters do look and act a bit douchey, so it just feels good to hate them.

  17. Cuntegonde says:

    Addenda:

    And if my youth wasn’t special, why do I see kids rocking fits I got rid of in 1992 because they were too old? Goddamnit!

    AND:

    It’s not just me complaining about a perceived lack of originality. Are today’s youth creatively hamstrung by a surfeit of old: music, art, fashion kept alive in living color and stereo sound by digital means, easily accessed? Or are there really no new places to go? I’m surrounded by young people, artists and musicians doing their thing and rarely am I ever challenged by something I’ve never seen or heard… What’s up with that?

    Ah, it’s probably me. Good read, though, good post.

  18. LOL says:

    wasnt there a post attacting NORMS?

    Attacting easily identifiable social groups is fun.

    People feel the need to defend it when they fall into that category

  19. F. Face says:

    I don’t hate hipsters, I just hate the word “hipster.” Even the term “hipster” sounds like something some cranky old man came up with. What are we in 1957? Do they walk around with bongos and black turtle-necks calling eachother “hep cat”?

  20. SHITCOCK says:

    People are people so why should it be
    that you and I should get along so awfully?

  21. LOL says:

    i mean attacking lol typo

  22. the end says:

    let this be the final word on all of this!!!

    not because of its infinite wisdom (it’s wisdom, is, at best, kind of a snooze).

    but because . . . WHO CARES.

    unless you’re getting paid to (a) write about or (b) talk about this shit, let the kids keep doing their thing and let old people keep doing their thing.

  23. Eli! says:

    I’m feeling attacted right now.

  24. Johannes says:

    “The mathematical explanation for this huge surge of memes is called an asymptote.”
    -He’s conflating description with explanation. So you’ve described what’s happening (exponential growth in everything, from micro-chip processor speeds to the number of coffee joints), but you didn’t really provide an explanation for why that is… Well, here’s the explanation: everyone’s a glutton and an over-consumer–and we’ve got to get a grip. What doesn’t cross Gavin’s optimism-soaked mind is that, just as it’s become easy to broadcast radio from your home, soon it will be just as easy to build a nuke, or cultivate a deadly virus; once that happens, then we’ll see what happens to that pretty asymptote.
    So anyway, I’m saying we should cool it on the so-called progress–and seeing that civilization is at stake, there’s nothing curmudgeonly about saying so…

  25. LOL says:

    lol eff u eli!

  26. Alex Blagg says:

    I couldn’t agree more. The retarded rhetoric and hyperbole in this article – while unsurprising considering its in Adbusters – just reeks of and aging hipster’s misplaced self-loathing. Just fucking Google the guy who wrote it. I made fun of hipsters every week on Gawker for more than two years, but there was never a moment where that was anything more than a generous paycheck – personally I couldn’t give a shit what people look, dress or behave like. But this dude makes the critical mistake of taking all this shit – and himself – way too seriously.

  27. zez says:

    The adbusters diatribe must strike many of us as more than a little ironic considering how cliquey and amorphous activists often tend to be.

  28. A.C. says:

    But if you are old and love on the hipsters it is kind of sad too. Like trying to soak up the coolness by association.

  29. Taeil says:

    People who hate hipsters are usual the epitome of what a hipster is themselves. Since regular people don’t really care about hipsters or actually know what a hipster is it’s usually hipsters that themselves who love to bash them and say stupid shit like, “Oh that? That’s what a hipster should wear.”

  30. Janie says:

    Personally, I like being old. I mean, I get to enjoy all the trappings of current hipster culture without giving a shit what my peers are thinking or doing or not doing. Its like a buffet – i can pick and choose and mix and match what I find interesting and not have to participate in all the other bullshit drama. I also have the gift of retrospect to draw on when I participate which can be a saviour, let me tell you. Now I just show up and enjoy. Its fucking liberating.

  31. tommy gun says:

    Johannes: this guy is your man: http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/

  32. ol' timey alcoholic says:

    good post.

    yeah haven’t kids of certain age always dressed semi-similiar to a certain extent?

    it’s funny seeing some rockabilly dude/ette making fun of “hipsters” bc they are essentially rocking the hipster look from 50 years ago and are all dressing the same as well.

    i’ve definitely also noticed people that get laid don’t get all hung up on squashing someone elses fun.(most of the time,some people are just natural born fun-killers)

  33. leg up producers says:

    i hated hipsters when i was called a hipster in my 20s. does that make me a true hipster or too old when i’m too young?

  34. leg up producers says:

    Not that bad of an article. Some good points, some bad points made. Really this reminds me of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flappers

    Seriously, while there might not be anything political that hipsters are acting against, there are a great many similarities.

  35. tubey says:

    those pipe pants bother me. they were made for the minogue sisters’ legs, not for boys with baseball caps.

  36. Jim Goad says:

    They already wrote about this on the Hipster Anti-Defamation League’s website.

  37. Dimmesdale says:

    be yourself if not then your pathetic

  38. Crapin' Glitterscuzz says:

    I’ve recently joined your posse. I’ve got to say, it’s great! Who knew? I wasted hours of my life harassing “those fags” for no reason at all! I’ve yet to get any pussy, but it’s looking hopeful. Big ups to Kanye for recommending the hipster lifestyle!

    What kind of music do you guys listen to?

    PEACE N LOVE,

    Brad

  39. Johannes says:

    Thanks tommy gun; lots of guerrilla-y goodness there
    By the way, the only ‘resiliant community’ I can anticipate surviving the era of “do it yourself nukes” (a logical successor to the era of do it yourself filmmaking and do it yourself music recording) is the Monastery…check out the novel “Canticles for Leibowitz” for details…

  40. True-D says:

    you are my new favo internerd. thank gawd that slutmachine put eyeliner on you last week. hi!

  41. tommy gun says:

    Goad: the HADL is part of the global banking conspiracy!

    johannes: i think the resilent communities he refers to are the ones making the homemade nukes. they’ll survive in some encampment in southern Algeria or Mauritania or Western Sahara or the Hindu Kush or some crazy wildnerness.

    anyway – no need to take over the thread with these ramblings. the article was about old people hating young people for no reason and the article was fucking cool.

    this is the best time to be alive.

  42. roner says:

    I agree with you for the most part…but that Nathan Barley video is pretty fucking funny.

  43. GRADY says:

    ALL YOU YOUNG’NS AND YOUR BLOGGIN. I HATE YOUR BLOGGIN WAYS!

  44. ; ) says:

    you just posted a link to livejournal. you guys are old, but i like you nonetheless.

  45. kake says:

    i’m 18 and i think hipsters suck. i hate being associated with my own generation because of the stupid tight pants and neon wearing pansies. they think they’re all different but the thing is they’re just the same as every other fucker out there.

  46. whatev kev says:

    this article may be the first or second decent thing on this site, not sure in the end it was tl:dr, as ive wasted way too much time reading long articles on this site written by the trainably retarded and im no longer willing too put in the effort. I need to find a job with less down time, so i dont have to look for things to waste my time, but anyway, the basic premise seems sound though, old bitch about the young, etc.

  47. whatev kev says:

    sorry thats “to put in the effort”, i need to learn how to type

  48. Johannes says:

    who cares man. the whole point of being a human is shitting on other people. i dont really care what era it is thanks to wiggers. rap looks like it just might quite finally fucking die… but how long were poor people holding on to metal for until rap arrived? that basically means white idiots everywhere are going to be wigged out until something thats new and as big as metal or rap comes along. inland road trips are going to suck balls for the better portion of the life i have left.

    whats up with the hipster on the cover of that adbusters anyway? isnt that classic stylebiter revival for that male model you guys had doing the “news” over at the vbs?

  49. patrickteque says:

    if “hipsterdom” is the “true” way to end western civilization, i’m going to blow all the money i get from my party photo website on american apparel t-shirts and fixed gear bikes and pitchfork albums getting a 7.7 and above while the west burns itself with kerosene in anger of my superficial life choices.

    johnny rotten would be so proud!

  50. ibandini says:

    awwwwwwww dude, again you did it with the good thing that you wrote.

    goddam fucking awesome shit.

    see also: people saying the internet has killed the music business……. well, its also partly because of the false boom the cd industry made when they introduced those things they got this massive hike in sales because everyone went out and bought all the music they had AGAIN and then cd’s died and now they blame the whole worlds problems on downloading. or something like that i probably read that on this site anyway.

    well done on the article anyway. i’ll come back and read the whole thing another time.

  51. Taeil says:

    By the way, in regards to the “End of Western Civilization” what the fuck was so subversive about past counter cultures anyway? Punks, hippies, and headbangers main contribution to the world has been making drugs and alcohol really cool to binge on and champion left wing agendas besides wonderful, wonderful music and funny fashion styles. There was nothing to idolize and cry over the fact “everything’s been done” and mainstream America has appropriated whatever was rebellious or underground.

    Why would anyone subvert America (with all that it would entail as a people, government, and a culture)? We live in a fucking free world, a country with a bill of rights and a democracy that champion free thought and diversity. We’re a nation that saved all of Europe from Hitler and told communism to go fuck itself. There’s nothing to subvert and overthrow or to challenge. Merely doing that is recognizing and upholding it’s ideals. That’s what rock and roll and the subcultures that spawned was REALLY doing.

    It’s not like China where people get beaten to death by police officers for talking shit about what it’s doing to Tibet.

    So in conclusion. America: Fuck Yeah.

  52. dickhole says:

    we live vicariously through gavin!

  53. holedick says:

    “Hipster” is the gap year of your youth development.
    Once you hit twenty, you (should) have found who/what you are.
    You are no longer afraid to be alone and begin to stand out from the pack.
    You no longer need do’s and don’ts/hot or not lists.
    You no longer angrily respond to articles about hipsters because you simply don’t care, for you are now an interdependent free thinker, who is working hard towards that marketing degree so you can become an “artist”.

  54. HUH? says:

    This all might be true, but also is our national Idiocracy .. its possible these two theories are actually the same though.

  55. I was filled with intrigue when I got to the part describing David Bowie’s interview. I’ve been a Rockabilly dude for about five years now. Many fights have taken place in my life, I won some and lost some too. Never have I been in one rumble in my entire life. When drugs hit the streets before I was even born, the melee wepons were replaced with guns. Disputes are settled with driveby shootings nowadays, not as “tough guy” as the up close and personal beatdown.

    That’s why there’s no more rumbles between us and the punks or mods or emos or whatever. These little groups have somehow morphed into one label, the subculture. Ya’ll can label me whatever but deep down inside I opt for the simple life, and the music! When that Rockabilly music touches the soul there ain’t no goin’ back.

    Oh yeah, all the greasers I know including myself read Jim Goad. He’s got some great articles on Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley.

  56. Gavin McInnes for prime minister

  57. crucified skin says:

    complaining about hipsters is like talking about how they don’t play videos on mtv anymore.

  58. gavin, please take note . . . says:

    the problem with this is that it’s in dialogue with everyone you’re complaining about (i.e., not hipsters, but the people who hate them). if you look at this from an objective historical standpoint, one which considers any sort of change as something neutral, you realize that “hipsters”, rather than being “avant garde”, are really one of the most culturally conservative groups among us. and unless you value conservativism, this is a bad thing.

    if we consider the crux of hipsterism to be its artistic dispositions, most distinctively music and the visual arts, and compare them to the machinery in which they operate, e.g., the music business and the gallery system, it becomes apparent that the cultural output of hipsters is that of a group flailing among the wreckage of failed (or failing) industries.

    the music business’s relatively recent inability to adapt to the digital age is so widely discussed that we needn’t consider the details here. the issues with the gallery system are far less documented in popular media. briefly, the worst of its problems are: from a cultural perspective, it thrives on antiquated notions of artistry; and, from a financial perspective, success is confined to too small a group to be considered a successful industry by any standards. this is to say nothing of the art world’s patronage of a corrupt factory – art schools (institutions who are as much a business as any other, cashing in off people’s often mistaken beliefs in their own artistry). so, in light of these facts, given that the currency of the art world is generally propelled by “hype”, and is highly sensitive to the fluctuations of the global economy (perhaps moreso than any other business), the likelihood of the emergence of true artistic “greatness” (or whatever you want to call it) is even more limited today than it was before the rise of the gallery system. this is arguably the goal of most artists: to be a relevant expression of themselves, and perhaps, their time.

    if we value personal authenticity above all things – like most of the great philosophies have – it is important to realize that most “hipsters” trying to work in art and music, etc., are operating in structures irreconcilable with the product they are trying to create, and even the life they are trying to live. and if “hipsters”, in some form or other, are our predominant cultural producers right now, this makes for a world that does not authentically reflect its output. unless reflecting that alienation is considered a reflection – only occurs on a “meta” level (e.g., “irony”), we are right back where marx started.

    so, the problem with hipsters, is that because it is a “youth culture”, and because most young creative people don’t have the temperament or disposition to peel back the layers of the onion, if they are considered the cultural “avant garde” (the avant garde being yet another antiquated concept), the playing field where change is happening, the marketplace where people can be sold things, they are contributing to a world where it is nearly impossible to live an authentic life.

    i am not “old” – not yet at least. but i do posit a next level where it’s actually the old-timers -the intelligent ones that see the inherent problems with the current model of cultural creation – that make the next r/evolutionary leap. either that, or a world in which tech is given priority over more traditional artistic media. etc.

  59. Chachi and the schmucks says:

    I don’t think I have enough energy to hate hipsters AND frat guys (or “bros”). I’d rather support the people that at least have good taste in music and wardrobe.

  60. clit juice says:

    Who fucking cares what AdBusters thinks anyway?
    “Hey, guys, don’t be a mindless consumer!
    But first, buy our magazine and trinkets and FUCKING SHOES!”
    Fuck you.
    All they ever do is bitch about things anyway, with no creative solutions.

    Good article, Gavin.

  61. Liam says:

    I think that this article is missing the major points of the Adbusters article. I am 22 years old, by no means an old fart, but I find hipsters and their culture to be ultimately depressing. Is this the best we can come up with? People wearing ridiculous, impractical clothing, drinking bad beer, smoking too much tobacco and listening to music that sounds the same?

    Meanwhile, we have so much going on right now to protest, and yet we can’t get organzied enough to even stage college-wide walkouts without getting into arguments with each other. It makes me sad and frustrated, and watching the hipsters who dress alike and spend way too much money on their counter-culture fashion and style makes me want to do anything I can to distance myself from them.

    I think the most interesting point in the adbusters article is when he talks about how self-hating the hipsters are. Why do they deny themselves as hipsters, when they dress, act, and participate in the activities quintessential of hipsters? A cultural group without pride is no cultural group at all. The fact that you can go to Urban Outfitters, a very anti-progressive company, and purchase the ultimate hipster outfit, is evidence that the Hipster Culture is ultimately a product of sickening marketing industries of America, and a group that lacks self-awareness.

  62. Wordbond says:

    Very well put.

    Thanks for a great read

  63. +TUNDE+ says:

    Thanks for putting this out there, this is the best put together thought, article, whatever you want to call it, I’ve seen based of the topic of “HIPSTER”

    NICE!!!!!

    http://freshiam.net/hq+/?p=86

  64. vinnie says:

    hey “gavin, please take note”

    “YOU’RE A GEEKSTER!!”

  65. drewsy says:

    fuck Adbusters. seriously.

  66. hipster = the new jock says:

    “Occasionally I get paid good money to sit on a panel and privately tell a corporation what is “cool.” It is the gayest thing in the universe but it’s fun if you get drunk and they pay you like, $500 an hour.”

    so your an old man who sells the young to the highest bidder. BADASS. Does that make street carnage a data mining system?

  67. c'mon says:

    I just read most of that adbusters article.

    As much as I dislike the ‘hipster’ image, the music and the rest of the ilk, thats just my prerogative, this is just another lame atypical article by some media clown on their amazing insight into a subculture they’ve only recently opened their eyes to.. after its glarringly popular and worked its way out of the underground so to speak.

    The writer claims hipsterism is not as authentic as punk/hip hop/etc, but how and why really? These subcultures were based in fashion, claiming political awareness was vitally important to those previous cultures is a crock. The fixed gear bicycling crap as a defined mode of hipster transportation can be compared to the Mods and italian scooters / rockers & motorcycles in early 60s england.

    Its like any sub culture by the time the media’s got wind of it, its already been termed and commodified and in the hands of the casual consumers/bandwagoneers, and out of the hands of the originators. ‘Grunge’, perfect example. By the time you could name the subculture you had sears selling outfits and crappy bands like candlebox creating the generic creed shit rock using alice in chains, soundgarden and pearl jam as a reference.

    Even if its core value seems to be fashion irony, its comparable to the attempted shock value of 76-77 ‘punk’ fashion. The media eyes been just now turned to Hipsterism even after the palestinian scarves have been sold through Urban Outfitters, to the point where they’re sold at Zellers or Walmart.

    On the topic of not accepting the media’s term for them, what a crock. Consider this quote from an article about Mods from the 60s:

    “The ‘choice’ Mods don’t use the term ‘Mod’. « You wouldn’t be pleased to call yourself that, » says Denzil. « Though you might call us stylists, or faces. » « New faces are being snubbed now, » says Louise, « because the old ones are still in power. By the time it’s the young kids’ turn, something else will be in. »”
    - http://jackthatcatwasclean.blogspot.com/2007/10/changing-faces.html

    Anyhow, I just think that disliking a fashion/music/subculture/stereotype and deeming it the end of cool is pretty short sighted and stupid, and yes it is written by someone like myself who is coming close too 30 and is probably pissed off that they don’t understand what the kids are into. I agree with you.

    -Scott

  68. Hipster says:

    Dude, this non-issue is totes rad, but I’m too busy getting wasted, laid, and riding my fixed gear bike down Bedford in my skinny jeans, American Apparel v-neck tee, and Wayfarers non-prescription eyeglasses to pay any attention. Oh, look! More condos going up! Sweet!

  69. c'mon says:

    shit i didn’t know you were smart.

    “a safe path to transgression” is spot on, though. it’s why i like your shit so much. you don’t have to do shit to be a rebel, just wear shit. your response to sarte’s “to do is to be” is “hey, slow down, don’t tire yourself out. to wear is to do is to be.”

  70. c'mon says:

    Hey second ‘c’mon’, pick another name.

  71. c'mon says:

    Liam

    “I think the most interesting point in the adbusters article is when he talks about how self-hating the hipsters are. Why do they deny themselves as hipsters, when they dress, act, and participate in the activities quintessential of hipsters? A cultural group without pride is no cultural group at all. The fact that you can go to Urban Outfitters, a very anti-progressive company, and purchase the ultimate hipster outfit, is evidence that the Hipster Culture is ultimately a product of sickening marketing industries of America, and a group that lacks self-awareness.”

    Its more they don’t want to be associated with a term that limits and stereotypes them and their lifestyle, in general I’m sure many think they are really subversive and are total individuals within their peer group.

    Also, you’re assuming that 90% of the ‘cool’ population gives a shit about current issues and has the drive and intelligence to do something about it. Forget it. Its never been the case. Most people are content to party/exist for themselves and coast on through their young lives most of their parents and parents before them did before.
    Enlist said people in a war like Vietnam and you’ll see a change, but not before they see consequences.

  72. Geographic Chronology says:

    I hate hipsters and I’m younger than most of them.

  73. bored at work says:

    good article but the argument smacks of the “dont player hate” mentality of simply dismissing any criticism as jealousy. could it be that people dislike hipsters because some of them are pretentious, spoiled music snobs that think the world is one big ‘cool caste-system?’
    true story: when my friends and i were in line to get into a show, some davey havok looking motherfucker behind us mutters “psh! look at mainstream america up there” because they had the audacity to wear jeans that werent skinny or black and hoodies that werent from american apparel. should i not get upset and clown that fool for wearing guyliner and anime hair because that would make me a “bitter, old, unlaid, fat, ugly, lonely, grumpy loser?”

  74. hipster = the new jock says:

    Its also funny to see Gavin, a professional hater, get his panties in a giant knot.

  75. hey says:

    Most comments yet?

    Also, the “hipster spokesonality”(jk) Gavin does alot of shit-talking on a certain preceding generation the name of which I can’t remember right now – so it goes both ways, in some cases. Sure, there’s some homogenization(i.e. aesthetic similarities via non-think) to be found w/in this youth group(even I bought those wacky multi-colored asics off zappos for x-mas) but when has that ever not occurred? I have to agree w/ G’s basic thesis that certain oldies find their eschatology in the young prob. b/c they’re looking for it for whatever reason. But seriously, hipsters= the Four Horsemen? Worst eschatology ever.

  76. hey says:

    Oh, wait, now I’m reading in Revelations “There will be the young, many of them attempting to dress sharply and smoke tobacco romantically. They will buy cheap brew and pretend to have fun, listening to mostly crappy music, but I say unto thee John, they will be confused.”

  77. Johannes says:

    “hipster = the new jock Says,” that’s actually pretty spot on. The poor guy can’t break into the mainstream adult media circuit so he’s stuck being a children’s moaner/liberal baiter. Imagine being 40 and complaining about hipster hating.

  78. porkpie says:

    “could it be that people dislike hipsters because some of them are pretentious, spoiled music snobs that think the world is one big ‘cool caste-system?’”

    But if you supposedly don’t buy into their caste-system then why would you even give a shit?

  79. GOD says:

    Dear Haters,

    Re… Fucking… LAX!

    Sincerely,

    God

  80. J. Erkoff says:

    Gavin, you’re acting like a bit of a fucking wanker judging people on wether they get laid or not. What a stupid criticism, who the fuck isn’t getting laid? that’s the whole point of the human race isn’t it? fat catholic chicks in korea are getting laid, so are alcoholic dead beats in russia, so are nerds in canada, so are bloggers in iceland. Seriously….”not getting laid anymore” is the new “JAGERBOMBS”

  81. Your shits WEAK says:

    Buy into the past, Don’t sell out to the future. Why try anything new when its already been done.

    bah bah goes the sheep.

  82. Sca. says:

    For someone European – what exactly is a hipster? Some photos would be cool!

    I do have an idea, but some more specifics would be cool. What’s the main music among hipsters these days?

    Seems like it’s more fun than emo, and “indie” anyway.

  83. bored at work says:

    “But if you supposedly don’t buy into their caste-system then why would you even give a shit?”

    its not something that keeps me up at night- i just dont buy that the reason people pick on hipsters is because its “an innate gene in all of us”
    kids have been shitting on older people for not being “with it” long before any of us were even born, is that a product of our genes as well? if so, that would prove my original point that people dislike hipsters because theyre stuck up little elitist shit-talkers

  84. bored at work says:

    i hit ‘submit’ by accident-

    anyway, my point is; the shit-talking goes both ways. hipsters arent innocent victims.

  85. racing dinghy maintenance says:

    why do people leave such long-ass comments about this shit? what does it matter to you, or, for that matter, to the readership of adbusters, what kids (and only a minority of them at that) do with their weekends? what a bunch of assholes.

    PS linking to adbusters is like an inch shy of rickrolling – gavin i don’t know if i shall forgive you for this

  86. nirvana says:

    old people can suck my dick.

    i’m going to a dance party to do drugs.

  87. nibblodian says:

    ‘Seniors will always hate sophomores. That’s why there’s wedgies’ ahhahahahahahahah.
    THAT is VERY funny.spot bloody on.

  88. Kath says:

    I really agree with what you said about “more-ilization”. The real issue people (snobs) have with popular culture in general is that more people are paying attention to it now than ever before, and so the common denominator keeps getting lower and lower and “cultural authenticity” or whatever the fuck is diluted because it has to be spread out over a larger group of people.

    Also, haha being old is boring.

  89. leon says:

    So I propose a cool guild where to be admitted you have to prove you’re weird and cool and once you get in you do wild stuff that no one outside will ever know about. You might just find yourself in control of the international monetary system or the panama canal corp. Or getting a 4 dimensional tattoo with vertexes made of liquid fire.

    People who hate hipsters are in more of a musical and fashion lockstep than hipsters themselves. Check out this funny t shirt that isn’t tucked in and my jeans. Who wants to play xbox???

  90. dirk says:

    From the keyboard to God’s ear.

  91. My Walkman is My Best Friend says:

    This is a perfect example of why hipster-bashing is so funny. Scroll down a bit to see his post about the lack of hipsters at Billy Joel Concert.
    http://diehipster.com/

  92. Kilgore Trout says:

    Leave it to TV Carnage to come to the defense of all the poor hipsters.

    I agree that the Adbusters article was filled with unsubstantiated claims. However, defending hipsterdom with some kind of weak academic approach using charts and mathematical formulas, smells worse than the original attack.

  93. duh says:

    you must not have a lot of real-life contact with real-life hipsters. the emos and punks you mentioned, bless their melodramatic selves, are 17 and will probably stop being so emo-ey and punk-ey with time. hipsters are rich (monetarily speaking), cultureless, and just wanted to move to la or nyc when they were 17 because they thought they grew tired of their shitty priviliged lives in west virginia and north carolina and wherever the fuck. true, they’re having fun, and that’s good, but hipsterdom is, regardless of what you say, the whitest, basest, most mercurial, hollow, vain, pathetic, fashionable “scene” i can think of. hipsters are a phone call away from dropping their fun time and leaving their brooklyn loft for a life of i-banking thanks to daddy’s connections; mexico city punks aren’t.

  94. Bad Self says:

    Isn’t the whole thing about youth culture to be creative. You’re at that place where you’re educated, exposed to tons of shit, full of energy, and totally cocky.

    Why then, are hipsters not hip to anything but what’s in the stores and clubs? I hate to say it but geeks and dirty artists are the new creative force of today. Hipsters have become the jocks.

  95. [...] tries to be insightful about hipsters; people [...]

  96. Mighty Crown says:

    that was nine years ago..

  97. werkshop says:

    I really think that hating current youth fashion just mean that you are conservative. I don’t like it much myself, but I could really give two shits about people’s fashion. I can find plenty of stupidly dressed people that aren’t ‘hipsters’ whatever that is, but again, I jsut don’t give ashit and it’s sad that some people do…and sadder still that those fuckups try to make others feel as they do.

  98. Slayed says:

    Its really obvious to me that the adbuster guy is projecting alot of his own personal dissapointment onto this abstract term, “the hipsters.” The hipsters aren’t even identified. The journalist talks alot about what hipsters should be, blue collar, left wing, all that stuff. He has this romantic idea of the ideal hipster that just doesn’t exist. He kind of has this gonzo journalistic style that seems to copy hunter thompson, and that itself proves his own journalistic style is just a copy of some old genre. I’d like to know more about the author besides the fact that he sustained head injury at a young age :)

  99. Tony says:

    Like the Who sang… “the Kids are alright”

  100. xnoelle25 says:

    I can agree with you about how older people put down the youth just because it’s different, but I’m 19 and I also see “hipsters” as an individual subculture, something you left out. You know, those American Apparel-wearing, bright wayfarer kind of kids who love nothing more than shopping at vintage shops and listening to electropop and indie music. Do I like them because I myself am very into fashion and I love going to shows (just not that kind)? No, I don’t, and I don’t exactly think they’re particularly stylish in their own personal right. They kind of all look the same to me. But, hey, I guess we’re talking about two different things.

    As for emos, I think it’s just driven on by young kids who aren’t aware of what else is out there. They’re the kind of kids who decide they don’t like hip hop culture and blindly turn to the next immediate mainstream thing opposite of that. They’re basically being fed emo, but don’t realize it. It’s something you kind of grow out of once you see the whole spectrum. I know, I had a bit of emo in me a few years back.

  101. bob says:

    Yo -

    Fuck all these brainless idiots on this website that automatically agree with Gavin without thinking.

    Use your brains for fuck sake.

    Hence, I’m going to space out my points to easily format it for you tards..

    Gavin, your article is JUST as reactionary as the Mythbusters dude.

    While you make some interesting points – you grossly over-generalise and fail to address the issues that the guy in the Adbusters thing was actually getting at.

    You say “there’s more EVERYTHING” and rally against “The death of the underground”. Listen dude, the underground IS dead.

    During the 60′s, 70″s, 80′s, early 90′s – you actually had to search out and be tapped in to different scenes to access certain kinds of music, films, books, etc to gain access to them. This elusiveness of these artforms and scenes meant that it gave their meaning potency.

    Today, the underground IS dead because everything is easily accessible through the internet. If you want to know about baile-funk, the early work of herzog, the top 5 romanian doomcore records of 1996.

    The knowledge is no longer buried (as in, buried underground). Everything is there for you to re-gurgitate to your hipster mates.

    Gavin, you mention that “hipsters are too busy fucking and going to parties to worry if out-of-touch people resent them for not being political.” Absolute fucking rubbish.

    HIpters tned to be the most repressed, self-conscious, limp-dick sub-cultures out there.

    Go to any so called hipster party and i’ll buy you a fucking jager-bomb if you can even point me out one dude macking. It simply doesn’t happen man. Self-awareness and irony are the strong suit at these do’s. Fucking and partying are far from it.

    Lastly, the Arthur Herman argument you reference just does not stick. For fuck sake dude, there’s so much data out there that quantifies that the times we are living in ARE fucked. Look at the economy, environment, money lust – and then compare it to the apathy and unwillingness from this generartion to actually stand up and say something and be an individual.

    No, much easier to reach for the safe blanket of irony than dare to stand up and speak of change. That is what the guy was getting at in his ADBUSTERS article and, despite it’s earnestness, it’s pretty fucking apt dude.

    “Hipsterdom” will go eventually. Hopefully to be replaced by genuine individualism and self-expression.

  102. beef balones says:

    how did I get here? Why am I reading this? I must be bored. This is some pseudointellectual bullshit. My god. There is so much EXTRA of everything everywhere!

  103. stan says:

    so if hipsters are the scourge of the earth
    and mainstream bros are terrible too
    and emos are tools
    and punk is dead
    is there any culture/group of todays youth that isn’t being villified?

  104. street cloud says:

    the hipster thing started with the nation of ulysess

  105. ambismTaW says:

    Hi!
    My name is Jessika!

  106. Daz76 says:

    I may be the most unknown person to ever influence pants. I was the first person in NYC east village late 90′s to get my Nike shells hemmed, as to eliminate the elasticized scrunchies of leg hole openings. I shit you not. For real and you can ask the Korean tailor and his wife at Ave A near 4th. It only cost me 6 smackers but they made a killing on my invention that year.

  107. Jamie J. says:

    Genuine individualism and self-expression. Right on Bob.

  108. mateo says:

    hipsters aren’t people that are younger and more fashionable than me, I just hate them because no matter how they view themselves they are extremely materialistic as well as the worlds biggest pussies.

  109. J Gilmour says:

    I was a mod in the 80′s that evolved into a skin and so on. I used to hate it when some old English guy would say ” You kids don’t get it…”. Get what? Running around in “bovver” boots or parkas? Drinking, fighting and fucking? Tell me WHAT DON’T I get? Fucking right I get it. I think youth subculture is natural and healthy. I’m just not 18 any more and that’s O.K. Well, it’s not O.K.. You know what I mean.

  110. [...] 20 did a wee thing on everybody’s visceral hatred of hipsters and everything they stand for which appears to be “not standing for a lot of things.” I gave my two cents or the 80th [...]

  111. lol@u says:

    yeh that’s what I always tell people when they are shitting on “the kids today”. I call it old-fartism myself. Is it wrong that I agree with you and still find the rise of the idiots trailer pretty funny too?

  112. Johan Ritter says:

    Dear “gavin, please take note”

    you’re a poofter. please shut up.

  113. [...] HIPSTERS STREET BONERS and TV CARNAGE HATING HIPSTERS good [...]

  114. [...] well written, organized, and clever.  Here’s the link if you’re interested:  http://streetbonersandtvcarnage.com/blog/hating-hipsters/ Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Winds of ChangeNebraska State QuarterJune 27, 2008 [...]

  115. badedukation says:

    “Shitting on people younger than you is not rocket science.” *heh* Says the man who just used a graph to assist him in shitting on the people that were shitting on him for being younger than him.

    I am OLD MAN and I can’t say I ever think to myself “These kids today!” just because, well, I was those kids today at some point. I was dumb as shit. As was the generation before me. As was the generation before them. As will be all the generations the succeed every generation. Being dumb as shit is what defines being “kids today” because that’s what has always defined that. It’s not an insult, mind you, it is what is is. However, when you whip out “Kids today…” to talk about their lacking in whatever it is that you thought was the important defining thing when you were a kid and YOU were dumb as shit, well, that just means you’re OLD and dumb as shit. It means you didn’t learn not to be dumb as shit and let kids learn from their own being dumb as shit. You kept being dumb as shit and now that “kids today” are dumb as shit in their own special way you find their brand of dumb as shit abhorrent, immoral, apathetic and general lacking in substance.

    Who cares what a hipster is, anyway? The same people that cared who teeny boppers were? The same people that care who zoot suiters were? The same people that cared who stoners were? The same people that care who slackers were? The same people who cared who flappers were? The same people that cared who swingers (both 40s and 70s swingers) were? Nobody cares. Nobody.

  116. [...] Gavin McInnes on the article. ▶ Comment /* 0) { jQuery(‘#comments’).show(”, change_location()); [...]

  117. freezy says:

    That graph was drunk/nerdy as hell.

    (Also, I don’t think you understand the word “asymptote.”)

  118. Travis Bostick says:

    I don’t think hipsters are neccessarily “kids these days”. There’s plenty of these dickheads in their thirties. I see them at gallery openings all the time. They look at me in my reasonably sized blue jeans and button down shirt like I just suggested the whole room drink an expensive beer then laugh ironically with their pals in headbands, fugly blue flannel and gross scraggily beards.

    Age has nothing to do with it. Hipsters just act like fucking assholes.

  119. Anonymous says:

    “The mathematical explanation for this huge surge of memes is called an asymptote.”

    I’m not going to need a math lesson from a fucking faggot that doesn’t know which side of a graph the y-axis goes on.

  120. Max Man says:

    you guys should check out dearhipsters.com and lafth.com – so much good hipster hating!
    great article!!

  121. geewhizz says:

    loling at me for i have not a clue what a ‘hipster’ is, and i am sixteen.
    perhaps cause i live on the other side of the universe!

    reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeow.

  122. your mom is as fat as a cow says:

    i DEF don’t think hipsters are younger and more fashionable than me. i hate the word too, but what else can i call an American Apparel sheep, limpdick, pussy dork that doesn’t try anything new or like shit without running it by his friends first or making sure it’s not too uncool? trying to make up some weird eccentricity to mask the fact that they are dull and lack personality. hating loudly on sports (not cause they simply don’t give a shit about em, if you listen closely to what they are saying it’s obvious that they are simply jealous they can’t do anything requiring any sort of physical fortitude). always having this ‘us vs. them’ shit going and hating on the fact that people could give a fuck what they think about shit. there are people like that in every “group” : people who live their entire lives trying to make themselves feel like they are better than others when they are obsessed with how the world perceives them. and it is SO OBVIOUS

    fuck those people. that’s what everyone hates. it’s not people who like to experiment with clothing or are young (or even not that young, fuggit) and do what they please WITHOUT trying to prove to those people they proclaim to hate how cool they are to get some validation and self-esteem they can’t muster up on their own. we need more people like that…real people.

  123. Elle Essdee says:

    “Age has nothing to do with it. Hipsters just act like fucking assholes.”

    Amen to that!

    And can we get over the idea that anyone critical is a jealous fattie? I mean it’s a laughable cliche at this point. It’s not remotely insightful, except as an insight into anyone who would actually believe that. Being a hipster is not the same as being hip, it’s being TRAGICALLY hip. The article covers nuances about hipsterdom that are obviously lost on you and anyone who doesn’t find hipsterdom laughable. If you can read that and reduce it to someone being jealous, that is truly pitiful.

    Guess what? I don’t want to be a hipster. I’m attractive, I’m young, I like things I think are pretty darn cool but that I came to on my own and feel passionate about. I would not want to be a hipster wearing a keffiyeh that everyone else is wearing, looking painfully insecure and wanly trying to cover it up with a ‘too cool’ attitude (which is not only transparent but comes off as ‘jerk’ way more than ‘cool’).

  124. mexican punk says:

    “When I was a kid there were three punks in Mexico and they all knew each other.”
    Well, you don’t know what you are talking about. Mexico city had thousands of punks ever since the late seventies, until the early nineties when everyone became “cholo”.
    Still from the nineties to this day there have been more than a thousand punks consistently every year.

  125. Kirribilli says:

    I’m a boomer, and I don’t hate hipsters at all. I find them to be amusing nonentities; we’re mutually irrelevant. And if I want to fuck one, I peel off some cash. Generationally, I’m blowing all their dough on my retirement; they pay my mortgage, too. So, what’s not to like? Go ahead, dress up, party, be dumb, kids! I love it. I only wish I was going to be around to see you guys clean up the mess in 20 or 30 years. You’ll be in Charlotte call centers trying to hide your American accent from rich folk in China and India.

  126. Staj says:

    What if you’re young and hate hipsters? You don’t address that at all. Hipsters do not consume all or even a good portion of what you call “Youth Culture”. They are a select group of self-important idiots who pretend to be cooler than everyone by doing things they think is unique. Nothing special about them at all. I’m young, 20 years old, and even I think “hipsters” are full of shit.

  127. zoh says:

    Dear Bagge:
    another massive generalisation? yes. thats like saying people who wear shorts are the most apathetic people you can think of. Seriously chum, get your lazy brain in gear and at least try and see through your bitter stereotypes. Judging at face value is akin to every type of prejudice.

  128. Ronan says:

    Hey,
    Decent article. But you also fall into the trap of making too many generalisations. There are loads of fifteen year olds who hate and rip on hipsters. Fucking loads. It’s not just about being old and resenting youth although i’m sure that’s part of it for many. And not everyone glorifies their youth. I grew up listening to Alice in Chains and the Prodigy but I can often be heard droning on about how the period from the beatles’ Rubber Soul to Led Zeppelin’s Physical Grafitti, taking in John Cale, Brian Eno, the beach Boys best albums, Neu!, Can and so on was the greatest period of music ever. I wasn’t there but I glorify it.
    Of course, when people look back at music it’s always picking the stuuf they like, ignoring Take That or the Bay City Rollers and the vast majority of the shit. Like 1970 was non-stop Zeppelin and Velvets gigs.

  129. modmodmod says:

    I love Jullian Barrat

  130. Taylor Smith says:

    What people don’t understand is that new generations will come after them, even if they like it or not. They must remember that they were looked at in the same way they look at the young kids now, because they were different. Even if the future generations, and the current generations are different, the Earth will not stop spinning. People grow up, or out of anything, because admit it or not, life teaches you to fight and become what you must.

  131. Anonymous says:

    i’m in my early twenties and hipsters kind of bum me out because of all that tame music and wes andersony cute shit. I also hate all the irony and stuff, but then when i wear my ugg boots and leather jacket to be “funny” i realize i’m doing the same shit! so fucked

  132. somebody poisoned the waterhole says:

    everyones a faggot

  133. Everporry says:

    Nicely, I cherished your blog, its during my social book marks. I think the online site you will definitely as if it too. …

  134. Bob says:

    Fuck the hipsters Jk I’m not judging but hey guys rockabilly is cool!

  135. Nasplasha says:

    OMG THATS ME IN THE FIRST PICTURE!!! When I was 18 in a wig hahahha hahahahah the good times

  136. My NAN says:

    You need to get a grip, and start writing something more meaningful, perhaps I can point you in the right direction.

    http://www.spiritscienceandmetaphysics.com/scientists-claim-that-quantum-theory-proves-consciousness-moves-to-another-universe-at-death/


Leave A Reply