Whether it’s tumblr, braids, triangles, literature, indie music or pictures with nebulas, you know that without fail, a friend or two would tell you that they got to it first. It’d be forgivable for a select few who may really have found out about such things earlier than the rest—but where’d all these pop culture hoarders come from?
Ladies and gentlemen, today we discuss the Emergence of the Social Class: Hipster.
Now as with all social terms, “Hipster” can be somewhat ambiguous. In this article, we take the Hipster to mean:
hipster– n. a mindset that entails an excessive sense of possessiveness for a certain trend, claiming to have known it first, before the general population or before said thing became popular/mainstream
For disambiguation of “hipster” see: tumblr*. Keywords: nebulas, triangles, braided hair, Radiohead, hipster glasses.*I’m kidding. The term hipster emerged from the 90’s, and basically is a sub-culture of the people who are conscious of going against things that are popular, and prefer alternative/indie, whether in film, fashion, music or others. But for this article, we are discussing the hipster as a mindset, and the insane possessiveness to trends and obsession to be the first. Such behavior is exhibited in this video:
Hipsters take from their ancestors, widely known, loved and misunderstood as the Geeks. Being a Geek is a compliment, and a privilege, and something that only a select few people could be. Geeks are to be taken as the following:
Geek– n. person with excessive passion for (a) certain topic(s)
Geeks are a rare bunch, because to be a geek means to have (a) sufficient resources/funds, (b) plenty of allotted time, and (c) an unmatched, excessive passion for hobby/topic.
The true band geeks used to be the people who got the leaked version of the album before anyone else. The true gamer geeks were the ones who truly heard the news on the releases before anyone else. The true Otaku (anime/manga geek) would be the ones who have had copies of the freshly inked manuscript. The true comic geeks were the only ones who knew the lives of their superheroes from cover to cover of every issue.
To some extent, perhaps an exaggeration—but in truth, there were geeks as dedicated as that, more than just plain dedication to buy things on the first day of release. They were the geeks who knew things not because they read it in some magazine—they either wrote that article you were reading, or was one of the few information sources for it.
Now, thanks to the internet, anyone who gains even the slightest interest in anything can purchase or download products, and read a comprehensive write-up on topics over Wikipedia. It doesn’t take much to know things when information is free for everyone. And that is exactly what threatens the valued esteem of having the status of true Geek.
Now, any Common Idiot can read up on a certain topic and come off as an intellectual. It doesn’t matter where they read it from—whether it was a second-hand source online, or if they really poured in some good, dedicated research for it like real geeks. And let me tell you, the geeks do not like to be in the same position as any Common Idiot.
Thus, the birth of the generation of geeks obsessed with informing the world that they got the information before anyone else. This branch of geekdom now not only takes its domain over the unpopular things, but generally, into pop culture, where everyone is a race to first place, just to say, “I loved __ before he/she/they/it became famous.”
You and I know them well as hipsters.
It can be confusing but a lot of hipster geeks double up as curator geeks. Curator geeks are the geeks that love to share things, those that look at the world like some sort of giant museum, where they love to introduce people to new things. Curator Geeks aren’t necessarily the most dedicated researchers into one topic, but are people who like to discover things.
Year 2000 something.
GEEK. “Guys, listen to this song. It’s by this great British singer, Adele. It’s so different.”
EVERYONE. “ . . . but it’s boring.”
Year 2011 (release of 21 by Adele).
EVERYONE. “WE COULD HAVE HAD IT ALLLLLLLLLLLL.”
GEEK. “Glad you guys finally appreciate great music! : )”
EVERYONE. “We’ve loved Adele since forever!”
[ GEEK evolves to HIPSTER.]
HIPSTER. “BITCH PLEASE YOU ONLY LIKE HER NOW BECAUSE SHE GOT TO THE TOP OF THE BILLBOARD HITS. I LOVED HER BEFORE SHE BECAME MAINSTREAM.”
Exhibit A.2 ad infinitum:
“I loved Cobra Starship before Good Girls Go Bad.”
“I knew A Rocket to the Moon before Baby Blue Eyes even got written.”
“Why the hell did everyone start listening to Muse all of a sudden? Damn you, Stephenie Meyer!”
To be fair, a lot of the hipsters-at-heart are at first curator geeks, or a geek of some sort. But once a Common Idiot likes to one-up them and pretend they know more, oh, how the fire of hipsterdom burns with passion.
It feels like being a super villain, seeking revenge for once being ignored and misunderstood, with years of deep seated hatred for the people who marked you as a loser.
[ Comic Geek reads Marvel Comics in the corner.]
EVERYONE. “Hahaha, what a loser. Always alone reading comics.”
[Fast forward to 2010-2012, when movies like Ironman, Capt. America, Thor and The Avengers come out.]
EVERYONE. “OMGGGG AVENGERS!”
COMIC GEEK. “Omggg, Hollywood.”
GAMER GEEK. “Anyone ever played Morrowind / Oblivion?”
GAMER GEEK. “Uhm, these great RPG games from The Elder Scrolls series. The latest is Skyrim.”
EVERYONE.“SKYRIM LOL OH GOD ARROW TO THE KNEE.”
Hipsters are, in essence, the mighty guards of the Geekdom trying to keep out unworthy civilians. Tumblr feels like a place where they reject your passport to gain entrance. Being a hipster is a defense mechanism, born in an attempt to preserve the value of being a geek.
Hipsters make sure that being Geeks won’t become mainstream.
Other classic examples:
“Just because you can afford a DSLR doesn’t mean you’re a photographer.”
“What kind of idiot doesn’t know that Spiderman and The Amazing Spiderman were from two different universes?”
“Is Hans Zimmer the only composer you know?”
“Ella Fitzgerald came from the fifties, not Fallout videogames.”
“Why do you not know that the Hitler Response video came from the movie Der Untergang?”
“Just because you downloaded the latest Adobe Photoshop doesn’t mean you know how to use it.”
“Windows Movie Maker? HAHAHAHA. No.”
At some point, the moment a certain thing becomes popular or mainstream, a hipster would stay away from it or lose interest in it. Like memes, how they used to be like secret inside jokes among Redditors and 4chan Anons, and even to some dA deviants who were part of inventing them , and then onwards to Tumblr. Once RAEG comics hit 9gag, they all just stopped using them. (Also, a proper hipster will correct you and say that they’re not MEME FACES but RAEG COMICS. Psh. Dumbfags.)
I am like this, and I hate admitting it, but I may be a hipster at times.
I started reading the first two books of Harry Potter at age six. When the movies came out, I stopped reading because it was all everyone ever talked about. And they never talked about the books, just the movies. When you’re like, six or seven, and all your classmates loved the movie but never knew the last test by Snape was omitted, it just gets you and you start to snap.
I started the hipster way of life so early, that I’ll be hipster enough to say that I was a hipster before any of you. (I won’t, but in retrospect, it kinda feels like it.)
I typed down all of the examples of how I am a hipster in real life, what with the books I read before their movie adaptations, or listening to artists’ first albums before they became famous with the second. But they were too many, so I just hit the backspace for the sake of convenience.
It’s a horrible feeling, to know something or love something and deem it very special to you, even when once before you were considered a real weirdo. Then when corporate asses try to make money out of the thing you love by making it popular—even though you admit, that money will help said artist/writer/creator/whatever to be able to continue making wonders on this earth—or just generally, something grows popular and everyone else loves it, it feels like betrayal, disrespect and utter disregard for the fact that you were here first.
So how to avoid the birth of a hipster?
When you meet a person who passionately speaks of something and would like to share some information with you, please try your best not to pretend to know more than that person. When you know that you’re (a) Common Idiot or (b) new to The Fold or (c) A Curator Geek, then follow The Curators’ Code and learn to cite your sources and stop pretending like you own the damn world of knowledge. If someone knows more than you do, admit it and give due praise when fit. Treat your betters as they should be—as your betters. Geeks are always more than happy to share the things they love most, as long as you don’t act like a pseudo-intellectual. And a geek knows when he is speaking to someone of equal rank, and will happily discuss the wonders of the universe without trying to be better than you. I assure you.
There is an insane hierarchy of geekdom that no one wants to admit exists, but you really don’t have to as long as you play nice and keep the peace.
And because I don’t want to end this article with “happy hipster-ing!” as I originally planned, I will leave you with a quick guide on how to make things more adorable than they should be.
Step 1: Take Fluffy Animal.
Step 2: Put Hipster Glasses.
Step 3: Add caption. (Optional.)
Step 4: Upload.