Friday, May 15, 2009

Internet Touring: Grifters, Straight Edge, and Hipsters

Have you ever heard of free-association or free writing, where you're given a topic and then just let your thoughts flow (verbally or in writing) without feeling constrained to "stay on point"? I did that with the Internet, and here's where I went:

So... this week, in a wrap-up style, MSN.com is posting about the top three web searches--celebrity diets, man boobs (eww!), and the hipster grifter.

Internet Tour Stop #1: I decided to check out what was up with this "Hipster Grifter" (aka, Keri Ferrell) and read about some of her "cons," one of which was to live amongst the Straight Edge sub-culture in Salt Lake City and take advantage of their do-gooding. [Don't worry, I'm not going to get into how infernally stupid the Hipster Grifter's cons were; that blog post could take hours to read.]

Internet Tour Stop #2: I decided to see if what I thought Straight Edge was, based on its use in Nick & Norah's Infinite Play List, was accurate. That led me to the Gurl.com website and their list-o-labels. There is a very long description of the many permutations that "Straight Edge" has gone through in the past century, but (essentially) I was right: people who are very into punk rock music, but make a declaration of abstinence from the traditional trappings of the punk lifestyle (marked by avoiding smoking, drugs, alcohol, and promiscuous sex).

Internet Tour Stop #3: Since I was in the list-o-labels, I decided to look up the label "Hipster," because (in addition to being used to desribe the Hipster Grifter) I wasn't really sure what it was all about. My knowledge of what a hipster is, is relegated to its ridiculous over-use in recent commercial literature, especially the phrase "tragic hipster" which is prolific throughout Megan McCaffety's books--she's a real hipster hater. The best I can tell, by an imbedded use of "hipster" on the definition of "indie," it's about the "indie" who goes over-the-top in being a cultural elitist (marked by the wearing of "ironic t-shirts," which I find to be a funny phrase that is oxymoronic and will likely earn its own blog post).

I guess the thing that irritates me about the use of the phrase "hipster," (often accompanied by "tragic") is that it's nearly always said as condesending (or a more polite cover for wanting to call someone a douchebag), but that's the irony of it (not in the t-shirt sense). If you're looking down on them for being a hipster, aren't you then doing exactly what they're doing--being an elitist? Why can't you just let them enjoy their "ironic t-shirts" and be truly original by not caring how other people choose to label themselves? Who cares?

[Picture of the "Hipster" was taken from this website.]

3 comments:

Sabrina said...

Hipsters scare me.

Actually, I think they are fine, as long as they don't think they are the shiz and I'm a dork girl who doesn't wear the right clothes
Oh wait, I AM a dorky girl who doesn't wear the right clothes! :)

Heather said...

You're a giant dork who's bad mis-matching is now infamous.

Rosco Tango Baker said...

From the New Raleigh link: "hipster on hipster crime".

Gotta love it!...and I wonder if trendy dive bars and snooty music venues, across the land, are seeing an up-tick in property crimes? Man, this crummy economy has many far reaching consequences. ;-)

Cool post.