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Thread: Hipsters: Scourge or Irrelevence

  1. #16
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    Well just like any subcultural niche, particularly one that is as marketed to as heavily as mine (or ours) I think hipsters definitely can be split into further subgroups.

    Arguably techno hipsters are a different breed than indie rock hipsters, but people like Matthew Dear would be partially in both camps.

    I'm a kind of scuzzy looking man in my mid-twenties, with facial hair and pseudo military looking clothes so I think I qualify for the look and the uniform.

    (I wear a lot of A Kurtz and designer skate clothes, if that helps).

    I DJ dubstep, techno and house and recently a little disco, so I definitely think that qualifies. But maybe this is all just a description of my micro micro niche.

    But yeah, I think I'm a little more self aware and less flashy than your average Williamsburg type, maybe just because I'm from the Midwest.

  2. #17
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    Is it just me, or is there a certain parallel between the hipster and the nerd? Both groups stereotypically have an anally-retentive attention to detail, usually with regards to things other people couldn't give a toss about and have often not even heard of; a desire to stay ahead of the game in terms of current developments, be it in a musical micro-scene or internet culture and technology (coupled, paradoxically, with an obsession with all things retro) and, as people have mentioned, the fact that people who would be described by others as a hipster/nerd usually do not identify themselves as such. In fact, anyone who calls themselves a nerd is probably a hipster trying to appropriate nerd culture or 'geek chic' (the dorky rectangular glasses, woolen cardigan, tweed jacket...), which seems to be a whole look by itself these days.
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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarboi View Post
    I'm a kind of scuzzy looking man in my mid-twenties, with facial hair and pseudo military looking clothes so I think I qualify for the look and the uniform.

    (I wear a lot of A Kurtz and designer skate clothes, if that helps).

    I DJ dubstep, techno and house and recently a little disco, so I definitely think that qualifies. But maybe this is all just a description of my micro micro niche.
    Don't forget the forum avatar taken from an anime film.
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  4. #19
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    "Arguably techno hipsters are a different breed than indie rock hipsters, but people like Matthew Dear would be partially in both camps"
    I think that I meant something other than the different types of music that people might listen to though - what I mean is that if, as you suggest and I would tend to agree, some defining features of hipsterdom are being "an early adopter of culture and music" (or at least, I would say, being aware of things early but often being too cool to adopt them) and placing "a great amount of worth in subcultural minutiae" then that description could definitely apply to K-Punk as well as the new-rave kids of Hoxton, but from that common basis they seem to continue in very different directions.

  5. #20
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    "Don't forget the forum avatar taken from an anime film."


    Right, and I prefer "geek chic".

    I'm not technically proficent enough to be a nerd.

    That seems to imply a certain level of abstract/mathematical intelligence that I'm just not capable of, I'm word-smart not programmer smart.

  6. #21
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    Ah, well then there's the difference between nerds and geeks, which I've never actually understood myself. Is there a meaningful difference between the terms? How do you differentiate between people who attend Star Trek conventions and people who can quote entire Kevin Smith movies?
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  7. #22
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    I think the difference between K-Punk and our increasingly stereotypical young 20 something from a trendy area in London/New York/Paris/Berlin/LA is that we trade heavily in the cultural signs and signifiers of cool, while he analyzes from a distance. Its the process of constantly keeping the fashionable at arms reach, cherry picking only the most hyper fashionable that gives a hipster power.

    It also tends to make the majority of us look and act ridiculously a large percentage of the time.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    Is it just me, or is there a certain parallel between the hipster and the nerd? Both groups stereotypically have an anally-retentive attention to detail, usually with regards to things other people couldn't give a toss about and have often not even heard of; a desire to stay ahead of the game in terms of current developments, be it in a musical micro-scene or internet culture and technology (coupled, paradoxically, with an obsession with all things retro) and, as people have mentioned, the fact that people who would be described by others as a hipster/nerd usually do not identify themselves as such. In fact, anyone who calls themselves a nerd is probably a hipster trying to appropriate nerd culture or 'geek chic' (the dorky rectangular glasses, woolen cardigan, tweed jacket...), which seems to be a whole look by itself these days.
    I think they're the opposite, really. A nerd (if I'm right in conflating 'nerd' & 'geek') doesn't give a shit about what people think about him, hiding in personal obsession at the expense of status games. It's self-conscious outsiderism. 'Hipsters', according to every definition above, are interested in subcultures principally as a status game. It's self-conscious insiderism. Their very LACK of obsession, of real personal engagement, is their main characteristic & seems to be the principal argument the self-proclaimed 'real' give against their 'right' to engage with the subcultures they toy with.
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  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarboi View Post
    Well, I claim to be a hipster, whether you would recognize me as one by sight remains a question though.

    I wrote a short little hipster confessional on my site.

    http://patternloader.wordpress.com/2...inations-pt-1/

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.
    I wouldn't worry or feel guilty about it, you don't sound like one of those twats that ride around on fixed gear bikes that the adbuster article was talking about.

  10. #25
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    The people in the adbusters piece, didn't they exist ten years ago, only they wore 70s retro clothing instead of 80s and listened to Marky Mark rather than Girl Talk?

    And if you wanna take it back even further what about the retro-soul "style culture" that gripped London's clubland pre-acid house? (As described in Energy Flash, I dunno much about it)

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    Is it just me, or is there a certain parallel between the hipster and the nerd? Both groups stereotypically have an anally-retentive attention to detail, usually with regards to things other people couldn't give a toss about and have often not even heard of; a desire to stay ahead of the game in terms of current developments, be it in a musical micro-scene or internet culture and technology (coupled, paradoxically, with an obsession with all things retro) and, as people have mentioned, the fact that people who would be described by others as a hipster/nerd usually do not identify themselves as such. In fact, anyone who calls themselves a nerd is probably a hipster trying to appropriate nerd culture or 'geek chic' (the dorky rectangular glasses, woolen cardigan, tweed jacket...), which seems to be a whole look by itself these days.
    Nah. Hipsters are poseurs who self consciously flit from one cultural meme to another, consuming on a superficial level in a desperate attempt to appear ahead of the game.

    Nerds are obsessives who tend to be involved with their fields of interest at some creative level and steadfastly stick to their passions, whatever they may be, regardless of fashion - bless em.

    Though there is crossover. With nerds trying to be hip, and hipsters posing as nerds, but there is a fundamental difference - Hipsters go out and party at the weekend, Nerds sit in front of a computer/sampler/whatever.

    As for the whole geek/nerd thing. The difference is fully explained in my fanzine.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHAOTROPIC View Post
    I think they're the opposite, really. A nerd (if I'm right in conflating 'nerd' & 'geek') doesn't give a shit about what people think about him, hiding in personal obsession at the expense of status games. It's self-conscious outsiderism. 'Hipsters', according to every definition above, are interested in subcultures principally as a status game. It's self-conscious insiderism. Their very LACK of obsession, of real personal engagement, is their main characteristic & seems to be the principal argument the self-proclaimed 'real' give against their 'right' to engage with the subcultures they toy with.
    Yes, opposite in some ways, but in other ways closer than you might think. Everyone knows nerds are unfashionable, but wouldn't a truly dedicated hipster (if there is any such thing?*) take pleasure from knowing that Mr. and Mrs. Normal look at him and think "What the fuck?"? Nerds might be 'outsiders', but there is often a fierce sense of belonging, even cliquishness, within their own social groups.

    *this might be worth expanding on: I suppose I'm talking about people who put a hell of a lot of effort into looking and acting like they don't give a shit about anything. And when this gets too obvious, we say someone looks like they're "trying a bit too hard", which I imagine would be a devastating put-down to any true hipster.
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  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarboi View Post
    Well just like any subcultural niche, particularly one that is as marketed to as heavily as mine (or ours) I think hipsters definitely can be split into further subgroups.

    Arguably techno hipsters are a different breed than indie rock hipsters, but people like Matthew Dear would be partially in both camps.

    I'm a kind of scuzzy looking man in my mid-twenties, with facial hair and pseudo military looking clothes so I think I qualify for the look and the uniform.

    (I wear a lot of A Kurtz and designer skate clothes, if that helps).

    I DJ dubstep, techno and house and recently a little disco, so I definitely think that qualifies. But maybe this is all just a description of my micro micro niche.
    Hmm, I thought that this was all about the nu-rave / shoreditch twat / trucker cap / media mullet axis. It's not just about early adoption, there's a sense of decontextualization and stripping things of (their original) subcultural meanings. I've seen a few DJs at nights I'd associate with that sort of scene, and the mix of music was what you might call blogline - odds and sods of bassline, dubstep, crunk, old rave, nu rave, hyphy, garage, grime, jungle - mostly decent tunes, and all fairly obvious big anthems of their respective scenes, but the whole thing got a bit directionless after a while because the sets didn't have the context and inter-connected web of significance that you'd get from a pure jungle set or a pure grime set.

    It seems kind of different from the traditional idea of white hipsters being obsessive about black / urban culture in that there doesn't seem to be the interest in the cultural nuances and the original context and in that it's a lot more eclectic and less into rarity and obscurity - most of the tunes I heard are actually ones that your mum would recognize, or at least that anyone with a cursory familiarity with the genre would consider a bit obvious.

    I dunno if there is a sort of new context / new significance being stuck into the tune by hipster / scene culture or whether it's pure surface. I guess it could be interesting either way, but tbh it mostly gets on my tits. Maybe I'm going rockist, but taking a tune that's come out of some sort of urban struggle subculture and treating it as a mostly decontextualized piece of pure pop sonics for (normally fairly privileged, mostly white suburban) fashionistas makes me uneasy.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny B View Post
    I wouldn't worry or feel guilty about it, you don't sound like one of those twats that ride around on fixed gear bikes that the adbuster article was talking about.
    I was out on Saturday and a couple of guys had left their bikes unlocked, they were brand new identical 300 dollar single speeds just sitting there.

    I've never been more tempted to rob someone in my life before.


    I might not be one of those twats, but I hang out with them. My friends listen to Girl Talk, and they went down to the Pitchfork festival this year.

    I probably exist somewhere in the geek<--->hipster spectrum.

  15. #30
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    "Their very LACK of obsession, of real personal engagement, is their main characteristic & seems to be the principal argument the self-proclaimed 'real' give against their 'right' to engage with the subcultures they toy with."
    I was waiting to see if anyone would mention "realness" as it seems that usually one of the main things people define hipsters by is a lack of it relative to the purer and more genuine true fans. Surprised that idea took so long to pop up here to be honest. I think you're definitely right to use the scare-quotes as much as possible though - how does one define "realness" and, even if you can, how do you extend that to telling which people are real and which aren't?

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