Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Urban Dictionary

Hipsters' paradise

Hipster (n), chiefly British
An urban species commonly found in the area comprised between Clapton Common Road in E5 and Shoreditch High Street, via Kingsland Road. However, sightings have been confirmed in Brixton. Hipsters’ habitat usually follows this formula run-down area+regeneration=gentrification=loft/basement/warehouse conversion=hipsters. Hence their large numbers in the eastern part of the British capital.
Appearance: There are various guises, but the main uniform consists of rolled-up skinny jeans, V-neck T-shirts or long-sleeved “sailor” tops, or in the case of the female of the species, cardies they tug on endlessly as they sway unconsciously from side to side whilst dropping the word “like” twice or three times per short sentence. In the case of males, a lumberjack shirt in winter and a fully grown beard are commonly found nowadays. An ironic beard. Hipsters are big on irony.
Feeds off: The Next Big Thing. Especially if no one else’s heard about it. Hipsters are big on The Zeitgeist even if they’re not aware it’s a German word or they can’t pronounce it. remember, they are big on irony and Zeitgeistic (or should that be Zeitgeistich?) irony is the best.
Likes: Modernism, post-modernism, punk-post-modernism, retro-counter-culture-punk-alt-post-modernism and art-rock (a tautology, I know, but remember, hipsters are big on irony). When it comes to visuals, the line between porn and art is one that must be crossed, because what is art if it doesn’t provoke? Don’t call them sexists or misogynists, though. Whatever your opinion is about the Japanese picture of the naked woman about to be “raped” by the octopus with the eight penises instead of tentacles, keep it to yourself. The hipster won’t be interested. You, commoner (read below), have failed to see the irony behind the painting.
Dislikes: Common People (no relation to the hit song by Pulp. In fact, Jarvis Cocker’s latest re-incarnation as radio DJ has created a whole new subgroup of hipsters: the Geography teacher look). Hipsters strongly dislike people who like mainstream music, mainstream art exhibitions and mainstream everything. You might as well magic yourself out of the place in which you are if a hipster happens to stroll in. The odds are they will be looking for signs of alien art life so will, like, fail to notice you, commoner.
Speech pattern: Rising intonation at the end of statements, because remember? They do, like, irony? And, you know, dude (Americanisms are limited but they do exist), life, like, kinda sucks, doesn’t it? They also tend to speak slowly. Common words include, like, you know, the usual: so, sorta, kinda, like, cool, massive (usually an elongated sound, as in maaassive). When reverting back to their British accent, hipsters go for an “Inbetweeners” inflection.
Means of transport: Single-speed, fixed-gear bikes, mainly vintage or of a Dutch provenance. What the VW campervan was for hippies, the single-speed bicycle is for hipsters. Occasionally you will see the male of the species sporting a handlebar moustache whilst leaning on his bike. And looking at people walking past in an ironic way. Remember, hipsters are big on irony.
Origin: Obscure, with some sources claiming a direct link to the famous “hepcats” from 40s US, especially New York. But unlike their Lower East Side ancestors, hipsters don’t really do jazz (unless it’s on vinyl), they go more for the likes of Death Cab for Cutie and Arcade Fire, although the latter has fallen out of fashion somewhat in recent years.
Enemies: None recognisable, except that almost every other person in London hates hipsters. Hipsters don’t mind that, though. They see themselves as non-conformist rebels without the whole anarchist mindset. Above all, the more you hate them, the more they feed off that hate and use it as energy to pedal on the streets of the British capital on their single-speed, fixed-gear bikes. All the time, smiling. A wide, ironic smile. Because, like, hipsters are like, so big on irony?
© 2014

Photo taken by the blog author

Next Post: “Sunday Mornings: Coffee, Reflections and Music”, to be published on Sunday 8th February at 10am (GMT)

26 comments:

  1. Quite the troop thrown for a loop by a normal person you say? talking about Goof Troop at your bay lol

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  2. Sounds like the Valley Girls, young people who used to live in Orange County, USA and had the same traits as this species, moved to London.
    I read here and there that Portland, Oregon has hipsters but I've yet to figure out who they are because there are so many young groups here vying on being the coolest.

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  3. I read this in two halves ... cooking, like, taking priority half way through. Both times I giggled at the authenticity of the post. Not the content but, like, the way you wrote it. I'm so glad I never went down the hipster path. They were around, like, just called something different. Thank you for this excellent post.

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  4. ¡Qué bueno chico!
    Tengo un sobrino en London y le voy a enviar tu post ahora mismo.

    Saludos desde Chipiona, hoy vestida de londinense.

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  5. I kind of like enjoyed this like.

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  6. Tan solo dejarte mis saludos no tengo comentario.
    Un abrazo.

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  7. There is a form of hipster everywhere. Here, an entire city, Portland- Oregon, considers itself HIP, where the Mayor makes fun of himself as a hipster, and episodes in the TV program "Portlandia" are truly happening around the corner. Not exactly irony, more self deprecation and a sense of style that pushes the envelope in all forms of self expression.

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  8. I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,

    dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,

    angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,

    who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz ....

    Actually, I like your piece better than Allen Ginsberg's words .... a very neat bit of writing, CiL .... good work, man ....

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  9. I love that Ginsberg's piece.

    I wish you all a great weekend.

    Greetings from London.

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  10. ha. they keep life interesting now though dont they...we come in all shapes and flavors....we def have them too, chasing the new...

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  11. If you have Netflix at all in your life, you should watch PORTLANDIA (skit comedy), which is a very detailed and astute send-up of everything you catalog here.

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  12. haha... i think we have some of them as well over here..smiles

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  13. Los Angeles is a city of hipsters from every ethnic group you can imagine. And now the hipsters have children who are hipster children! I feel old, but I admit to loving the people/hipster watching!

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  14. Haha...yes...they are big here too.
    Really enjoyed this post!
    Many thanks:)

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  15. That's a really interesting post, thank you.

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  16. Haha! I could have been one myself,and quite wanted to, except that I was never hip enough - and now I have given up trying :)

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  17. I've always been intrigued by the word. Actually was going to write an article on hipster at one time. This is far superior. Thanks.

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  18. Quite true - there are members of the same species to be located in droves i. Their habitats on Manhattan, NY....Greetings from a very rainy Riviera..

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  19. I found this utterly hilarious, splendid.

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  20. Many thanks for your kind comments. I hope you're having a smashing weekend. Mine just gto better with Chelsea's victory today. :-)

    Greetings from London.

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  21. very funny...smiling and completely understanding. I know quite a few hipsters and you are spot on :) Enjoy your week ahead!

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  22. Sounds like the same group that irritates every city from New York to Chicago.

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