Hipsters

If you like fixed-gear bicycles with leather seats, homebrewed beer, and butchering, congratulations, you are ready to be dismissed as a hipster.

Using a typewriter, for example, will unleash a special vitriol directed at your life choices. Especially if you also occasionally use an iPhone. Because if you enjoy using a typewriter, you are definitely a hypocrite if you also use current technology.

Urban farmers and vinyl aficionados are frequent victims of the hipster dismissal. There is nothing good about being evaluated as a hipster–it implies a temporary posturing, a passing interest in something that might be cool. It’s not authentic.

Although surely there are people who are interested in establishing a tedious dominance over others through these various activities, chances are many are actually interested in these things. Speaking from experience, it’s next to impossible to go back to buying cheap meat at the grocery store after you work with livestock–a task that could surely have me dismissed as trying too hard. How was my choice to learn how to work with sheep, chickens, turkeys, pigs, and honeybees just something to do to prove something when I have maintained much of what I have learned from that experience?

My refusal to eat cheap meat is a target for those who become eager to dismiss the whole small-scale food notion when they hear about it. “I don’t care where my food comes from,” they say, as they defiantly eat ground beef from the supermarket.

If you like riding bikes instead of driving, you too may be evaluated as an insidious hipster-force. Never mind that our reliance on sedentary transportation isn’t any good for us, and it may be in our best interest, no matter how hip, to walk and bike more often. If you like the simple mechanics of a fixed-gear, that’s even worse.

How can it be unreasonable to learn how things work, whether it is animals or bicycles or any other thing? Given that we are increasingly living in a world where we don’t know how anything works, this should be a good thing even if it’s impossibly hip.

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