There I was, spending a relaxing Saturday night in the company of friends without a care in the world. Suddenly it happened—so quickly I barely had time to flinch. I was confronted with the “H” word.
I can’t remember exactly how it happened. Maybe we were talking about our various aesthetics. Maybe I suggested a group outing to First Friday. That might have done it. Who knows. All I can remember are those fateful words: “You’re totally a hipster, Lauren.”
Aghast, I leapt from my chair. “No! Hipsters are apolitical snobs obsessed with being supposedly ‘ironic’! I may partake in snobbery but I am not apolitical and I never really even say the word irony out loud — I am definitely not a hipster.” My defense, a very circular one, did little to dissuade my audience. Perhaps it was my mullet, perhaps it was my excessive cigarette smoking. Regardless, the word continued to echo in my head long after the night was over.
Desperate to disprove this label, I consulted the internet. After rushing to complete an “Are You A Hipster?” quiz, I was horrified to find glaring, irrefutable evidence. The page declared my hipster-dom loud and clear, with a taunting “sweet jesus, you’re a ##### hipster” subheading. Unbelievable. I had to do something but it seemed that I was caught in a disidentification dilemma. According to many a cheesy survey, urbandictionary.com, a few close pals and other trusted sources, claiming that one is not a hipster only serves to prove that you are one. There was no way out.
Indeed, to be or not to be a hipster is a Catch-22. I can’t help but still feel disqualified: I am too cheap to shop at American Apparel, I have no tattoos or piercings, and I don’t have a blog — yet. In the meantime, I will try to be grateful that my own Catch-22 doesn’t require faking jaundice or going on bombing missions. This probably won’t work for long thanks to my new mental preoccupation with whether I am a You-Know-What or not, but I’ll give it a try.
Although unable to fully embrace the whole “hipster” thing, the author of this piece does openly identify as a cyborg. (A Campanil illustration)