… or, should that be: what was The Hipster? Enough time has passed since the world was at Peak Hipster for us to look back at it as a movement, or a craze, or a meme, or whatever it was and try to take stock of what it all meant, if it meant anything at all.
The idea of the hipster has ceased to be. While people still have beards, no one carries around a portable record player, guys don’t really wear thick rimmed glasses, and putting sepia filters on your Instagram posts is out of vogue. I suppose the nearest thing to a Hipster nowadays is someone who does not wear socks with leather shoes.* The term hipster is now just a synonym for “a new thing I don’t get,” or “someone who does something that I don’t do.”
If you don’t take drugs, people who do take drugs are hipsters. If you don’t drive an electric car, people who do drive an electric car are hipsters. Vegans are hipsters. People who are really into meat are hipsters. People with hats are hipsters to people who aren’t wearing hats (who are also hipsters). In Harrogate, if you drink in Major Tom’s you are a Hipster. In Harrogate, if you don’t drink in Major Tom’s then you are a hipster because drinking in Major Tom’s is too mainstream for you.
That being said, we should mourn this maligned archetype. A hipster was a very easy pariah: pretentious, badly dressed, iconoclastic, try-hard. They were like your little brother, scratching at the door dying to be noticed and appreciated, but doing little to warrant it. Now it’s all a big homogenized fat-berg of different idiots. As people have become annoying in starkly compartmentalized ways, it’s important for us, in the hour of mourning of the hipster, to look to who will deserve our ire in the coming months and years.
Mind, having said the above – with the continuing self-reference of pop culture Hipster will be back with us by 2017.