Colin McEnroe Show: Hipsters & The Hipsters Who Love Them

Grab your skinny jeans, lensless glasses, and a Pabst Blue Ribbbon!

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Hipster Olypmics
Frostnova, Flickr Creative Commons
Colin McEnroe Show: Hipsters & The Hipsters Who Love Them
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Colin McEnroe Show: Hipsters & The Hipsters Who Love Them

I don't hate hipsters, but I will admit to watching them with amusement.

Starting around 2008, my son and I picked up the practice of going to the Lower East Side, grabbing some seats facing out on the street at a place like Spitzer's and watching the hipster scene go by. Our favorite moment came in 2009 when we saw an older Lower East Side street guy explode at some hipsters sauntering down Houston. "Eff you!" he yelled  "It's supposed to be some kind of artistic gesture that you live here?"

The hipster ethos is now so pervasive that Yelp has added "hipster" as a category -- which immediately raised questions about whether hipsters -- to determined to stay ahead of the culture curve, would continue to go to a place that was starting to get defined that way. One blog commenter suggested, "I guess you could go there ironically?"

Coming up, we'll try to explain to phenomenon to people who don't know what a trustafarian skate rat is. And what does this have to do with Rosa DeLauro again?

Leave your comments below, e-mail or Tweet us @wnprcolin.



Email from Barbara:

I listened to your hipster show today, and while I'm still trying to understand just what or who a hipster is, it did remind me of a book. If you have time, check out "Bobos in Paradise" by David Brooks (2000). Bobo is Bourgeois Bohemians. Or maybe it's the other way around.

Email from ddurland:

COLIN, Just my opinion. Not being one myself, I'd say a hipster is kinda like... Potter Stewart's famous quote on obsenity, "Hard to define, but, I know it when I see it". I tried to google, and almost tripped up... by HIPPA (health insurance regulation) and HIPPO (loveable, unattractive animal), but stopped at HIP (unregulated, appealing) option: A HIPSTER IS A PERSON WHO/THAT: 1. is "too cool for school", but is actually IN school! 2. is completely unaffected all the BS that annoys everyone else. 3. was void of harmful thought and evil activity. 4. was a non-intigator. 5. the group was attracted to, but had no need to be part of. 6. you were envious of, but not jealous. 7. was "into" a thing, way before it became fashionable. 8. would wear LL Bean and Timberland stuff to Sunday church service. 9. had quiet confidence, at all times. 10. had it "all together" naturally. 11. is a one-of-a-kind. 12. was someone you never disagreed with, for fear of being on the losing end of a lengthy, philosophical, intellectual discussion. 13. WOULD accept one WNPR/McEnroe comp ticket to Colin Quinn "Long Story Short" performance, this week, at The Long Wharf, in New Haven, in consideration for this, and the previous "O Bama...Where Is You" hilarious entries. Hey, sort of a "For Colin, From Colin" deal. And, in advance, many thanks for your generousity. I guess, in the final analysis, the reality is...a true, 100% HIPSTER defies description. END All above is fictional, except that ticket thing. Any similarity to real person(s) and/or event(s) coincidental. Not responsible for errors, grammerical or otherwise. Some fun shows of late.

Email from Laurie:

The hipster….Not necessarily a person who does good to go good, for example: not recycling would make them look bad. A hipster’s appearance may include vintage or made to look vintage tee shirts, with ironic logos or conversation starter information..also, tight pants, vintage anything and/or crossing punk with nerd. Hipsters tend to be pseudo-intellectuals. They have good taste but also think everyone wants to know what their taste is and opinion is, they will blog about it, narcissism often is found in hipsters.

Email from Linda:

On an archived NPR - Fresh Air? - interview yesterday or Saturday, Tom Wolfe defined how easy it was to separate himself from the hipsters. To paraphrase Tom Wolfe, Neal Cassaday and/or Jack Kerouac and/or one other of the Merry Pranksters one day decided to take off all their clothes and ride their motorcycles. Wolfe claimed that the hipsters and the nonhipsters quickly differentiated themselves, and Wolfe, keeping on his well-tailored suit, was happy NOT to be a hipster.

Email from Amy:

re: Hipster tattoo. Tattoos have to do with the revolution in body art. It doesn't have much to do with the idea of toughness. I guess people also like to disdain Adoph Loos' idea about tattoos representing inferiority of non-European cultures in the essay, "Ornament and Crime."