We can surgically remove the backpack, but I’m afraid the unmerited smugness is terminal

August 12, 2009

So the American Psychological Association is telling us something we already knew: that therapies that purport to change people from gay to straight are bullshit.

Now can we can turn those misguided “reparative therapy” efforts to curing something much more pressing to our society: curing hipsterism.

Hipster has many meanings, but the one I personally go by is someone whose life is at least 65 percent ironic.  They’re not wearing those thrift-store reject clothes because they think it actually looks good.  They know it’s hideous, that’s why they bought it.  That garishly striped shirt, the velvet cowboy shirt, the mesh trucker hat, that BJ and the Bear iron-on t-shirt even though they never watched an episode of it in their fucking lives… all ironic wardrobe choices.  They have no other connection to what they wear.

Note: most of the 35 percent of the hipster’s life that isn’t irony is usually taken up by a deadly serious love of music, specifically from bands no one has heard of.  The less people know of a music act, the more the hipster will like it.  So when that band gets more popular, the hipster’s interest in them will wane until it disappears and they find someone new and relatively unknown to latch onto until too many people like them and the circle of hipster life  repeats.  This also goes for clothing choices.

The Elvis Costello/Buddy Holly horn-rimmed glasses are usually a dead hipster giveaway, but having the most common hipster symptom doesn’t necessarily mean you have the hipster infection.  Other symptoms include very skinny jeans, ironic facial hair (like a porn moustache on someone who will never get close to making a porno), hairstyles determined by the pillow you slept on and not any sort of comb or brush, wearing only Converse All-Star sneakers, religiously drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon even though you know it tastes like shit and you can afford a better beer, rainbow tights, 70’s retro knee-high football striped socks, wool hats regardless of weather, large aviator sunglasses, looking like an Urban Outfitters poster boy or girl, and playing kickball past the age of 22.  There are many more symptoms, but these are the ones that are the least disputed (if you know more symptoms, leave them as a comment).

Do not fear though.  Having a few of these symptoms does not make you a hipster.  There’s a good chance at some time you will pick up one or two of these symptoms, especially if you grew up in the 90’s and 00’s (because Ducky from Pretty in Pink in the 80’s didn’t dress like he did ironically, he dressed like that because he thought he was styling, and he fucking was).  But like depression, you need to have a majority of the symptoms to fit the criteria for a hipster diagnosis.  So remember the warning signs and seek help before you start looking like a character from a Wes Anderson movie.

As of now, science hasn’t determined a sure-fire cure for hipsterism.  It’s theorized that actually having a well-paying job might do the trick, and other believe that the body eventually rejects hipster germs as the patient grows older.  But there are no studies to verify these ideas.  Yet.

And if there’s any money left over from hipster cure fund, can we use the rest to stop people from wearing toe socks and sandals?  That’s just fucking creepy.





  1. Hmm, I’d say these are more indicative of nerdery than hipsterism. Updating that Diagnostic and Statistical Manual is a tough job.

  2. WTF is that with the wool hats? Why don’t they keel over from heat exhaustion? It’s in the high 80s near DC at the moment and I see it everywhere. I see them in the GYM with those hats on. I’ve restrained myself more than once from going up and asking, because anyone demented enough to do that is just demented enough to go Sodini, I mean, it is the gym and all.

  3. Maybe we should call them hipster-dufus.

  4. but without the hipster corps, geeks would be back at the bottom of the social pecking order…

  5. Hipsters are fascinating, aren’t they? Oh, and don’t forget: anything they love in a non-ironic way, they loved BEFORE everyone else. They loved it first and they loved it harder, and their love is anything but mainstream.

  6. I will say this about hipsters, you really don’t have to worry about one of them trying to start a fistfight with you in a bar.

  7. (like a porn moustache on someone who will never get close to making a porno)

    So I have to do porn now? Oh well.

  8. where does this leave Huey Lewis?

    • I love Huey Lewis without irony, though I do like saying that I liked Huey before most other people.

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