Hipsters Respond To Time Out Bashing

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When Time Out New York published an issue last week focusing on hipsters (“Why The Hipster Must Die”), who would have thought that New York’s hipsters would have had the time to look up from their blogs and indie rock playlists to care?

Dozens of self-proclaimed hipsters (and, for that matter, self-proclaimed hipster haters) wrote letters to the magazine in reply and Time Out was kind enough to print their screeds.

Some highlights:

Whoever wrote this article is probably a hipster that couldn’t get laid. Watch out world! Don’t reduce your carbon footprint and don’t recycle, because TIME OUT NEW YORK says it’s “too hipsterish”. Are you kidding me. Who cares why someone is becoming environmentally conscious it will never be pretentious. Let’s not add to the “dumb American” stereotype by confusing someone’s global concerns with tight jeans.”
Julian Pelekanakis, Brooklyn

Distinctions between hipster and yuppie, banker and beggard, all disappear once we take acid.
A. Huxley, London

What a hiliarious issue! I guess it’s good to alienate your core audience because aren’t most readers of Time Out New York, posing “hipsters”? And even more so isn’t Time Out New York basically run by hipsters who in each issue are trying to promote what they think is “cool” in their own toothless defanged way? So esssentially you’ve dedicated a self-hating issue to yourselves. Now that’s totally hipster!
— Warren, Philadelphia, PA

well i have something to say now about this article. I THINK THE ARTICLE MISSED THE WHOLE POINT. NY is a place where people come to be whatever they want to be. Hipster is a label, which when tagged onto someone has a negative connotation. OK, so the article attempted to explain what a hipster is. BUT SUCH GENERALIZATIONS! Lord knows i have a range of friends. and some can be considered “hipsters”. But they are good people. kind people. party people. judging someone according to a generalized label is what kids do in grade school! GET OVER YOUR OWN EGO!!!!!! How dare you judge someone according to what they like how they live! I agree i am pissed about the current state of the music industry the condos being built on the williamsburgh waterfront the glamorization of the likes of Paris hiltonetc.etc. YOU KNOW WHAT I DO? I LEARN TO PLAY DRUMS START MY OWN BAND…. I MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE LOCALS IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD AND RESPECT THEM I DON’T BUY THE TABLOIDS AND IF I WAS A BETTER WRITERI WOULD START MY OWN ZINE! THE POINT HERE KIDS don’t bash on others start a “CIVIL WAR” or “KILL” anyone else because you are jealous pissed off or have some other grudge against them- GET OFF YOUR LAZY ASS AND START SOMETHING BETTER! BE A BETTER PERSON! EDUCATE THEM AS TO WHAT IS “COOL”. These people are everywhere these so-called “HIPSTERS”. they are part of our community SO ACCEPT IT QUIT JUDGING IT. (maybe not everyone has the same definition of “cool”) THANKS AND F OFF.
— Rachel Becker, New York City

Thank you Time Out for finally exposing this farce (or fart) of the current popular youth culture. As a 20 year resident of NYC I have seen the underground slowly dwindle down to all but a fond and distant memory. You look around and it’s obvious that today’s downtown ‘rebel’ is really the rich jerk-off son or daughter of some dentist in Jersey. Snark indeed. On the one hand it makes me sick that the downtown scene has pretty much been castrated and all these wannabes and yuppies in training are arriving en masse every weekend. On the other I couldn’t be happier that I was in my 20s when I was. Now at 40, I look at these beat-phoneys and I don’t feel a tad jealous. My generation may have caught the last window of opportunity to live in the East Village when the time was right, but at least we saw it, and saw it big-time. I would trade anything with these young chumps or their music, or their entertainers. The Killers? Sarah Silverman? The Rapture? The Strokes? David Cross? Bright Eyes? Modest Mouse? You can fuckin keep it. To quote one of the ‘hipsters’ of my day: “ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” Lick it up hipster boy and girl. Lick-it-up.
Winson Smith, E. Village

Although I am a vegan, female, Brooklyn-living graduate of Oberlin College (the #1 Hipster School according to the Hipster Handbook) I too agree that hipsterdom is an irritating trend and not really a sign of any important or memorable movement (except perhaps the movement towards a more narrow pant leg). However, it makes sense that any sideline movement whether it be Hippie, Hipster, or Punk will be co-opted by marketers/Urban Outfitters, etc. and sold back to the masses. Without co-opting and people thinking they’re buying into rebellion/bohemia, capitalism would fall on it’s distressed Levi’s tooshy. However, what irritates me about your article is that although I could be wrong, the main demographic who reads Time Out New York is the same person who keeps up on the watered down musical/art events through Flavorpill, checks back on Cobrasnake from time to time while wishing they were young enough to go to Misshapes, and holds the sweaty railing of the L train each morning to arrive to their Graphic Design/___(Insert Pseudo Creative Job here) profession while secretly closing their Macintosh windows to check up on Gawker/secretly WISHING they could be accepted by the “It” Hipster (which I don’t even think exists unless you count models and rich modelesque artists who would be ENVIED in any social circle whether it be Hipster or otherwise.) Overall I think this article totally ascribes to the Hipster Handbook Rule #71 which states like Fight Club “A Hipster will deny it’s Hipster status until death”. The “TimeOut Hipster” just happens to be too physically unattractive to pull it off. Wasn’t it TimeOut who just featured white sunglasses and Kidrobot sweatshirts (unarguably “played out” Hipster leanings) in your latest issues as desireable products? Furthermore Real Hipsters/ Norman Mailer’s “White Negroes” aka The “Poor People” you are saying are getting kicked out of the LES/Brooklyn are not being helped by your article (They don’t READ Time Out). Instead your article caters to the Timeout Hipster who shows up at Sway for Smith’s Night without knowing to say “Ben Cho’s party” at the door and sulks back home via $20 cab to read Gawker’s Blue States Lose to feel better about themselves as Rejected Hipsters while wearing ill-fitting clothing from the Urban Outfitters Sale Rack. No offense.
Calen Altman, New York City

[illustration: Natalie Dee]