At Last: American Hipster Kills Hipsterism Dead

Hipster_02.jpg
quattrostagioni / Flickr
John Q. Hipster models "the new normal."
​We didn't need any more evidence that the hipster aesthetic and lifestyle were firmly implanted in the U.S. mainstream. We've known for a while that the whole package -- the fixie bike, the skinny jean, the knit cap or cheap-ass short-brim, the "ironic" facial hair, the black-frame glasses, the PBR -- make about as much of a statement as a set of new tires from Costco.

But today we got more evidence. It came in the form of an obituary a press release about three shows to be released later this month on a YouTube channel called American Hipster. About the only thing that could scream "OVER!" louder than this is a Martha Stewart special on hipster cuisine or a line of plaid shirts from Mel Gibson.

"American Hipster explores what it really means to be cool," says the obituary press release.

We'll just let that one hang there for a minute. Go ahead, read it a second time. It's worth it.

The obituary press release continues: "'Hipsterism' is a growing trend in the U.S. that doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon."

We agree. It isn't going anywhere. Except to Target.

Speaking of targets, American Hipster (based on its trailers, embedded below) can't tell quite where it's aiming. First, this stuff has high production value. Really. These look like trailers for shows you'd see on the Travel Channel or Comedy Central -- or maybe even PBS, in one case. But the whole hipster thing is about low production value -- like something put together with a bicycle pump and a GAF View-Master between nine people sharing a two-bedroom Potrero Hill flat. So who are these shows are aimed at? Middle-class Oklahoma Colorado Wyoming Dakota? In other words, the only people left who've never seen a hipster in real life and have never traveled farther than the Best Buy out on I-10? That's our guess. Which means the skinny jean is attempting to muscle its way into the Mount Rushmore of American culture that includes baseball, hot dogs, mom, and apple pie. Which means looking like a hipster is about the safest thing on the planet.

The first show, American Hipster Presents, is a documentary series that's very serious about hipster-influenced art, fashion, food, and music. The series profiles cities including San Francisco, Philadelphia, Austin, and New Orleans. (Brooklyn! Where's Brooklyn?) The series "explores the passions of American tastemakers." If by "American tastemakers" they mean "trust-fund babies," then they're on track.


From there it gets confusing. The second show, Hipster Grandmas, contains two faux-old ladies (one who is a young woman, the other "her gay BFF") bitching about how "old" hipsterism is, and how they were doing it before anyone. This seems like a straight-up parody. But go back to that American Hipster Presents trailer. It seems as serious as any documentary Ken Burns ever made. If the hipster grandmas are, in fact, a parody act, and the real act of hipsterism is based largely on parodying the real world through so many ironic acts, then this is a double negative and should have already thrown itself -- and all hipsters -- into another dimension. No such luck.


The third show leaves orbit and heads for deep space. It's called Max Movie Reviews. It has a "talking hipster baby" named "Maximus" who (it says here) will review movies. It's some guy's (non-ironic) mustache and mouth superimposed on the face of a kid who's probably not old enough to speak. That joke goes from "not really that amusing in the first place" to "turn it off!" within the 17-second duration of the trailer. To expect someone to watch more -- and on a weekly basis -- sounds less like entertainment (or even parody) and more like a sentence imposed by a particularly cruel judge.


"He'll change you ... after we change him," says the obituary press release.

Not if we change the channel first.

[disclaimer: If the whole thing is a joke, we don't get it.]

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20 comments
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CrawdaddyJoe
CrawdaddyJoe

Wait, you.... just found out about the death of hipster?

You poor thing. We've been celebrating for months in the Midwest. 

pmm
pmm

I'm so cool I'm anti-anti hipster. Take that followers, you'll get here eventually... again.

Keith
Keith

as soon as the word 'OVER' is seen in all caps, the article is irrelevant except to reveal that it's written by a hipster obsessed with hipster economies of attention, fame, alienation and conformity.

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

No, it's not a US trend.  It's worldwide.  I was in Berlin back in August and found hipsters there also rode fixies, then men had skinny jeans and mustaches and the girls wore tights, big glasses and bright-red lipstick.  The rent for the hipster area, I was told, was some of the most expensive in the city.

Doesn't all that sound familiar?  It felt like one of those Star Trek episodes where they end up in an alternate world that looks just like ours.

Author = Angry Hipster
Author = Angry Hipster

Summary of the article:

Man look at all these fake hipsters! I was a hipster BEFORE it was cool! And I wasn't even a hipster, I was just doing what I thought was cool, like we all were!

Even though you all dressed the same (STYLE wise) and acted the same. You were so unique.

THANKS, KEITH!
THANKS, KEITH!

OMG, thank you so much for writing this article!  

There's nothing I hate more than when "middle-class Oklahoma Colorado Wyoming Dakota" does the same thing as me.  Like, I used to watch television, wash my hair, and clean my apartment, but then on a visit to Target (purely ironic, of course), I found out that they sell televisions, shampoo, and household cleaning products at Target!  Imagine my shame!  I can't even believe I just admitted that here.  I'm really glad my friends in Brooklyn only read blogs no one has ever heard of and not SF Weekly, because I'm sure if they knew that I owned anything that wasn't super esoteric they would never speak to me again.

Unlike every other pop culture trend that eventually gained mainstream traction, hipsterism is so special and needs to be protected.  Is nothing sacred anymore?  Why do people in "middle-class Oklahoma Colorado Wyoming Dakota" think that they can just go around liking whatever they want?  Don't they know that as soon as they like something it automatically sucks? 

And what gives people who aren't/don't want to be hipsters the right to know anything about us? I don't need some relaxed-fit jeans wearer hearing about my bike.

norman mailer
norman mailer

has the show even come out yet? doesn't SF Weekly have better things to do than lambast a show that hasn't come out? is keith bowers a hipster? who is keith bowers? kenny powers? goatees are hip.

"Arf!" Lemming
"Arf!" Lemming

Goatees are 'hip' ; so  are 'trust funds' , as I'm sure you're aware of....

super!
super!

this is a great article! simply super! loved it! 

BanjoBuxby
BanjoBuxby

ironically, an advert for these prime slices of mock hipsterite fail would have to say largely the same things, and given the state of the web, I guess this, like, a paid-for advert ?

Meatsack
Meatsack

I am seriously confused, calling someone a hipster after 1970 has been an insult I assumed?

Look at the hipster in his Spensers punk duds at the punk show, here comes mom in the station wagon.

Look at the hipster with his scooter and mustache five years to late.

Doesn't hipster mean aping a trend years too late and doing it poorly?  Doesn't it mean following one trend after another in an attempt to remain cool, while being utterly superficial?

Realist
Realist

I've always hated hipsters and their stupid fixie bikes and their stupid mustaches and their ugly tight jeans. And their hats and glasses and, most especially, their lame, weak, same-old-same-old, boring-ass fucking music. I'm always ahead of your stupid trends, I see you coming before you even know you're headed anywhere. Hipsters are all followers, cattle, ants, lemmings, brainless drones, sheep. Eat me, hipster bitches. 

Keith
Keith

written by an ultimate hipster. Hipster hating is hipsterism.

Meatsack
Meatsack

What is hipster music?  I just assumed they listened to the worst neo-punk bands because they were so superficial that they didn't know any better.

Codei
Codei

American dickheads.

"Arf!" Lemming
"Arf!" Lemming

Certain parts of Hipster 'dress code' , like 'grunge' before it , were done by Neil Young , many years ago....Nothing new.

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