Thursday, January 03, 2008

People You Meet on Transit #3

by scripted_addicted (Flickr)
The hipster. This is the guy (I have yet to recognize the gal variety) listening to the newest iPod as conspicuously as possible, with fashionably tousled hair, a rakish grin and a scarf that costs more than my coat.

They are like a Gap commercial come to life, if Gap's name-brand cheerfulness and ability to swing dance at will was replaced with a sardonic mind that framed all the world in either post-Chomskian analysis or as fodder for their next avant-garde three act interpretive shadow puppet dance featuring the vocal stylings of the only ethnic person they know.

It must be tricky being a hipster, since by default everything they say or think has to be sarcastic. Now, at some point, that has to get cliche,so does one layer sarcasm on top of sarcasm? Does sarcasm work like negative numbers, where two negatives multiplied together creates a positive? Are optimists merely pessimists who have gone too far? Or does sarcasm work like watercolours? Where if you layer enough sarcasm together, it all looks like a grey mess and you can't be sure if you just used the dirty water where you store your brushes or have created a new NEW grey which may be featured in your friends next art show at the corner gas and frappucino bar.

I imagine that when multiple levels of sarcasm are layered upon each other - in a slave-like fashion not unlike how the pyramids were built; every layer more difficult to lay upon the previous one, and the all the while the previous layer bringing all sorts of doubt as to it's structural strength - the sheer weight of analyzing everything for pop-culture reference, blatant hypocrisy or whispers of post-consumerist neo-capitalist faux-objectivism must get tiring.

The hipster, I'd imagine, gets crushed.

I mean, you can't seriously wear those twill houndstooth jacket with the army surplus hats forever, can you? At some point it all looks fairly ridiculous. At some point, you are going to be mocking your own ability to mock things, which in turn can be seen as a transparent grab at seeming extra edgy and on the envelope.

Dang, I don't even know where I'm going with this, except to say hipsters are the black holes of the Transit universe, they eventually implode. What comes out the other side, well, someone must know. Do they become the power-broking attorney who works 100 hours a week but smokes weed every three months so they are 'still cool'? Do they metamorphosize into a barrista with visions of finally doing a proper edit of Casablanca?

Where do they go off to? There are no 40 year old hipsters.

Maybe they just eventually save enough money for the downpayment on that Jetta they've been eyeing.


andrea said...

funny...i always thought hipsters were a low riding pair of pants...or really sporty underwear ;)

Niteowl said...

You need to ride transit more. Or hang out at Commercial Drive.

andrea said...

true transit rides have been limited of late...however, i've noticed these hipsters of which you speak...i usually call them posers, but you say tomayto...and so it, in exercising such judgemental behaviour would i be then considered a female version of this hipster of which you write? i'm only wondering cuz sarcasm tends to be my weapon of choice?...or is it really a full-on package of epic Kanye-imitating proportions that leads one to qualify?

Niteowl said...

You really do need the full package to be a hipster. An authentic poser, if you will. You also have to listen exclusively to bands that no one has ever heard of.