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Hipster Hype – A Huge Steaming Load

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I haven’t been part of what’s “cool” pretty much ever in my life. Sure I listened to The Smiths and REM when I was in high school, I wore a trenchcoat and had weird hair, but compared to my truly “in-the-know” friends I was a poseur. The only thing about Emo or Punk that I really knew was the music. But I have always been a music person.

The clothes, hair, the attitude – all of it escaped me. Then I got dumped by my preppy, wealthy boyfriend for an underclassman because her parents had a lot of money. So out of a misguided attempt to prove the error of his ways, I became preppy for a while. Eventually I realized he was a huge loser, and finally I just became me, and that was the last time I ever tried to be cool. If I have been cool since, it is a total accident let me assure you (although my stepkids think I am pretty cool :).

So when I stumbled upon this article about the magazine Vice and its sister affiliates, what struck me as insane – besides the fact that the founders of this “trend” are entirely UNCOOL and WHOLLY unattractive from my perspective – is that cool just is. It can’t be bought, sold or manufactured. Either you are cool, or you aren’t. And the irony of cool is that is it completely individual in nature.

Just seeing those three tools (scroll down, they are the three turds in shirts and ties at the bottom) associated with an article about hipsters forced me to read further. These three IT-department-looking-rejects are the arbiters of what is hip nowadays, and they also happen to be the biggest POSEUR DOUCHES ever.

One co-founder, Gavin McInnes is by all accounts a white supremacist and a hardcore right wing conservative that makes fun of liberalism, which is understandable to a certain degree – but to state openly such things as “I love being white and I think it’s something to be very proud of. I don’t want our culture diluted. We need to close our borders now and let everyone assimilate to a Western, white, English-speaking way of life.”

Sure, yeah, okay, dude! Preach on, you out-of-shape, unkempt, skanky-looking loser wannabee. Now don’t get me wrong, it is completely possible that someone with the above characteristics could market hip, but not someone who is entirely that closed minded. Hip encapsulates a broad spectrum of people and cultures and to state that only Western, English-speaking whites can achieve this is entirely ludicrous. Plus, anyone who knowingly drinks shitty beer trying to be cool has lost all credibility with me.

I would rather drink water because I can’t afford good beer, than drink shitty PBR. Even in high school that was considered shit beer.

This company and its affiliates market raunch as hip, low-brow as cool, trailer-park trash at chic, and sexual promiscuity as trendy, and elitism with exclusionaryism as the “now” political agenda.

What a load of horseshit. I didn’t even mention the misogyny behind all of this because I don’t want to be labeled a feminist. Honestly, feministas don’t represent my world view, but to assume that “all women want to be dominated” as this company’s founders and marketing agenda does, is totally absurd. Maybe what I like and what another woman likes are opposite. Generalizations like that will make you uncool rather quickly I think.

Promoting unsafe sex, with slogans like “I don’t have AIDS…yet” on underwear just undermines what I want to teach my children. Suggesting that if you don’t have sex with gay men and intravenous drug-users then you can just hump anything that moves is preposterous.

This whole schtick is the agenda of a group of asswipes who are pretending that the Jerry Springer mentality is cool, as though blue-collar life is something to adorn – but with a target market that’s uptown. I don’t know any blue collar persons who could afford a pair of jeans that cost $1000. Personally, the one thing I like about how the fashion industry and perception of fashion has changed, is that I can go to Wal-Mart, TJMaxx or Target and get a current style for my kids without killing my budget.

Back when I was a teen, namebrand was everything and without it you were a “L.O.S.E.R” and shunned from coolness forever.

Don’t buy the hype you twenty-somethings. You want to do something cool and original – be yourself, like what you actually like and wear what looks good on you and that you can afford. Read a book that you might never think to read, save your money for the future, be nice to your parents, volunteer to teach poor kids to read – DO SOMETHING GOOD – now that is fucking cool as shit man!

Oh, and feel free to shop at thrift stores, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Manufactured cool is NEVER COOL.

About Dawn Olsen

  • Jim Carruthers

    You forgot to blame Canada because the guys behind Vice are from Montreal, and outrage is their schtick.

    They are just following the teachings of Larry Flynt, “all anybody could convict me of is bad taste”.

    Wait, are you trying to say you took this seriously?

  • Dawn

    I don’t take them seriously, but those who are trying to create an aura of cool around themselves do. And so does apparently the NYT and a bunch of tools spending their money.

    As for me, a day of baking cookies, watching Disney movies and shopping at Wal-Mart is the height of coolness.

  • Jim Carruthers

    The Black Table dealt with this last week: THE BLACK LIST: I BREAK FOR IRONY, THEN I BACK UP AND RUN IT OVER UNTIL IT’S DEAD.

    Plus, if you aren’t reading Wil Leitch’s “LIfe As A Loser” to your kids, then you’re just not being a good mother.

  • Dawn

    I am a living example, why spend money on the book?

  • Eric Olsen

    Dawn, you are in no way a loser, come on now.

  • Jim Carruthers

    “Life As A Loser” isn’t a book, it’s a weekly column by Will Leitch about his adventures to find love, success and avoid humiliation (since the first column is about how his fiancee dumped him on the eve of him going on “Win Ben Stein’s Money” that theme is rather thin).

    It’s on the net, you don’t have to buy a book unless you really want to, and can convince Will to get one published.

    And he’s not hip. No way. No how.

  • bookofjoe

    “Poseur douches”? Nice turn of phrase, Dawn: I see why you & Eric hooked up. That certain gentle irony and twist of language…NOT!

    One question, though: I’ve been giving a lot of thought to “poseur douches” v “poseur douchbags.” I do believe your phrasing, besides being original, always a plus, is even more scathing than the tried and true one. Kudos to Madame OIsen.

  • Jim Carruthers

    “Poseur douches”

    Well, if we were to translate it from the language of romance, it would be “pretend showers”.

    So, like brunch, it’s not breakfest, it’s not lunch, but with a slice of cantelope, you get a good meal.

  • Particleman

    But Dawn, it’s already too late for most of us 20-somethings on this website… we’re members of an exclusive trendy-but-not-trendy online group of superior bloggers opining about what’s cool and not cool in music, books, and pop culture in general.

    PS: “Douchebag” is how cool people say it ;o)

  • Al Barger

    I must take exception to your slander of the good name of Pabst. PBR is a perfectly good basic beer.

  • Eric Olsen

    “Basic beer” – you mean without the frills of taste or bubbles?

  • Dawn

    When has settling for basic beer been a good idea?

  • Jim Carruthers


    Fuck that! Pabst Blue Ribbon!!!!!

  • Eric Olsen

    PBR me ASAP!!

  • Al Barger

    Well, Sam Adams is better. There are much tastier brews- at multiple times the price. For basic American commercial beer, though, I’d put PBR head to head with Miller or Budweiser. Then again, what do I know from beer- not necessarily my drug of choice.

  • Natalie Davis

    Jim, LOL. Dennis Hopper thanks you.

    This most unhip character is not an imbiber, generally, but my beer of choice is Red Stripe. Two small sips and I’m done for the night.

  • Phillip Winn

    “For basic American commercial beer…” What sort of conversation even includes those words? “FBACB,” I’d rather drink toilet water.

  • Eric Olsen

    Good point – I rarely walk up to my local brewmaster and ask for his best American basic commercial beer. But under the circumstances I’d rather have Rolling Rock.