I've had a theory for a while, and it's generally unpopular; I'm almost the only one who holds it. So far, I've generally kept it under wraps, for fear that its unpopularity indicated a genuine lack of validity. Of course, popularity is not correlated with validity at all (sometimes quite the opposite), but still, if you advance an unpopular theory, you should be sure you have something compelling to offer. After all, chances are you're going to get torn apart by representatives of the consensus.
This theory has to do with the general angst and disapproval of "hipsters" in popular culture. It's inescapable, everywhere you look, among people aged 25 and lower. "Fuckin' hipsters" is an alarm sounded all over New York and the Lower East Side... it's a stigma that can be applied to neighborhoods (Williamsburg), beers (PBR), articles of clothing (fedoras), filmmakers (Wes Anderson), musicians (Connor Oberst), and people (that dude who lives in the apartment above you). It's a universally despised stereotype that gets so much bad press, you'd think it was EVERYWHERE, a plague of locusts on our Manhattan avenues. There are some powerful voices attacking the Hipster... Time Out New York just ran an article called "The Hipster Must Die," and Nothing Nice to Say, a generally amazing punk comic, has run a number of strips whose target was the Minneapolis hipster.
But where are they? I can't fucking find them. I occasionally see a dude in a fedora, or a girl in eccentric post-hippie attire, or someone drinking a PBR, but none of them seem like the shallow bad faith revolutionaries that are such a bugaboo of modern media. For a while, I figured they were specifically a plague on the streets of Willyburg and Minneapolis, and that I wasn't seeing them because I just wasn't in the right place.
But then, one day, someone called ME a hipster. Normally, I'd have just laughed and said, "Oh yeah, you bastard? YOU'RE the hipster, I'm just a kid who lives in Brooklyn" (kind of like in an article in The Onion). But I'm a fucking philosopher, so it makes outright rejection rather difficult. I made the mistake of looking at my own life and tastes and noticing that I share a range of attributes with the stereotype. I genuinely like Wes Anderson, and I like bullshitting about Postmodern film. I have a philosophy degree. I like Bright Eyes. I used to be a punk, and now I listen to The Postal Service and Ted Leo (among many other things). Despite the reassurances of my friends ("hipsters are out there, but you're totally not a hipster!") it started to become a question in my mind: what's a hipster? Did I have the necessary or sufficient characteristics? Who is it I'm supposed to be differentiating myself from?