Recently, a new trend has appeared on the Web : compilations of typical phrases said in different parts of the world, all entitled “Shit -whatever- say”. I came up to these videos with the Parisian version and Clémence -my beloved French friend and true lighthouse in the midst of London- ingeniously suggested that there might be some about hipsters. And there were, indeed.
In this one, many clichés, yet often to be true, are explored. For instance, their passion for any form of alternative art. It does not matter if it is good or not, as long as it was found in the street. Industrial music, “not even music, just high-pitched sounds” thanks to keyboards and omnichord, is the rule. I guess the sound of a hammer bouncing on a doornail should be the next hype. And oh my, the guy’s dance move at 1:12 is just hilarious.
The recurrent jobs they have are evoked : how many times have you heard a hipster vaguely say “I work in media/fashion/music” ? Which reminds me of a little debate I had with one of my flatmate recently, about the question : “What makes a hipster different from an artist ?” I quite came up with “Well, I guess an artist is…an artist, aka he/she creates art of any kind. While a hipster is just…a hipster aka someone who does not create anything…?” Retrospectively, I think we may say that a hipster is someone who enjoys art rather than produce it, although you may do both. God, I guess that a whole article could be written about that, so I’ll just stop now and think about writing this later. Let’s go back to the video. Don’t forget your hipster glasses.
Their obsession with DIY is brilliantly explored : “This is a warehouse that was converted from an indoors farmer’s market, that was converted from a sugar factory.” I have to say that I, too, do love, VERY MUCH, anything that has a new function, from a Mac tower used as a chair in a cosy café in Brighton (The Marwood, where they do the best brownie EVER, by the way), or the glorious Tate Modern and its wide rooms which used to be a factory. I LUV it.
Finally, I loved the usual phrases they use when they wanna share their underground knowledge with the rest of the mortal world : “The thing about that is…”, “Did you know that…”, “Contrary to popular belief…” It’s true that the hipster has a tendency to show himself as -obviously- omniscient about anything related to underground arts, places and facts. Which is always a good thing of course, I am also someone who reads a lot of non-fiction to get more knowledge about things of my interest (and eventually rule the world). What matters then is the way you present it to people, and hipsters tend to do it in quite a show-off one. Which can not do any good to their popularity.
Concerning the attitude, I think the actors embody quite greatly the specific poses of hipsters like the blasé tone, judgmental/blasé look and frenetical nods. The looks are alright, especially the Ray-Bans, Claudine neckline and tiles-patterns shirts. The fact that the girl wears Christmas lights as a necklace is simply a tremendous idea. And made me laugh terribly.
Most important of all : they start the video with the true essence of the hipster : denying his/her core condition of hipster. We may see it as an expression of their intrinsic irony about anything. Or a way to be even more “underground”, as what could be more “underground” than something that does not exist ? I guess, then, that sirens, leprechauns, unicorns, centaurs and all their mates are the most underrated underground creatures EVER. Don’t you think ?
Pictures : found on Tumblr (hipstest place on the Internets)