"Hipster" as pejorative.

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Actually I think there is a talent to being trendy (in the non-pejorative sense of "following trends, staying up-to-date") that I can admire without irony. I'd like to believe, but don't actually, that it's just a matter of choices I've made that I am not a hipster.

Amateurist (amateurist), Monday, 10 February 2003 17:59 (11 years ago) Permalink

This is also why I'm amused by people who always use the sneery-pejorative "hipster" -- on some level it says you believe these people actually are cooler than you and that you're bothered by that!

A lot of people think 'cool' is shallow and thus to be mistrusted (but maybe resented too).

Differences between being 'cool', 'trendy', 'hip' and 'a hipster'?

I get intimidated sometimes in Hoxton bars or whatever where the clientele look trendier and more confident than I do, but I know that they mostly would be v.uncool if you actually talked to them. Certainly not hipsters anyway. Hipsters have to know stuff. Though I'm not you could be one and look a total state. Maybe, though.

N. (nickdastoor), Monday, 10 February 2003 17:59 (11 years ago) Permalink

Ah, but the importance of staying up to date style-wise is arguably important, as Billy Joel once croaked:

"And if you can't understand why your world is so dead,
why you've got to keep in style and feed your head
Well you're 21 and still your mother makes your bed,
And that's too long"

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Monday, 10 February 2003 18:03 (11 years ago) Permalink

Amateurist you are a hipster. Everyone ever on ILX apart from maybe GALE is a hipster.

It's one of those things like "middle class" -- everyone thinks they're pretty hip but not an actualy HIPSTER like THOSE people over there. Those people, in turn, think the same damn thing right up through supermodel egomaniacs, who are in thrall to the ultra-square and their ability to live normal rational lives.

But by any serious measure of "hipster," pretty much everyone here is one.

nabisco (nabisco), Monday, 10 February 2003 18:05 (11 years ago) Permalink

I refuse to waste any precious time figuring out what is 'fresh' 'new' or 'hot', as in a year's time or less it will be 'stale' 'old' or 'cold'. If no one's wearing, buying, reading, listening, or watching something in 5 years time, doesn't it show a lack of quality (whatever that is)

Oops (Oops), Monday, 10 February 2003 18:07 (11 years ago) Permalink

what about monSTERS?
Oooh, they're worse than hipSTERS

Horace Mann (Horace Mann), Monday, 10 February 2003 18:07 (11 years ago) Permalink

Amateurist you are a hipster. Everyone ever on ILX apart from maybe GALE is a hipster.

No, I'm just a weirdo.

Christine "Green Leafy Dragon" Indigo (cindigo), Monday, 10 February 2003 18:12 (11 years ago) Permalink

i agree with nabiscos first 3 posts, as usual he got it down EXACT

not so sure about the 'everyone here is a hipster' thing, but "i dont care about whats cool right now etc etc" is usually the hipsters trademark, because, like, if you were a hipster you wouldnt admit to that right?

gareth (gareth), Monday, 10 February 2003 18:13 (11 years ago) Permalink

No, it's just that you're likely to have different criteria for 'cool' than they do.

N. (nickdastoor), Monday, 10 February 2003 18:15 (11 years ago) Permalink

I guess it depends on whether you're obeying a widely shared idea of what's cool or whether that idea is more hermetic. Is hipsterism a social quality or is there a such thing as Platonic hipsterism?

Amateurist (amateurist), Monday, 10 February 2003 18:16 (11 years ago) Permalink

Kismet N. + Amateurist!

Amateurist (amateurist), Monday, 10 February 2003 18:16 (11 years ago) Permalink

My grammar was not cool.

N. (nickdastoor), Monday, 10 February 2003 18:17 (11 years ago) Permalink

is it possible to be a populist hipster?

jess (dubplatestyle), Monday, 10 February 2003 18:19 (11 years ago) Permalink

Hefner?
Or is he just cool and not hip? I really need to think this through

Oops (Oops), Monday, 10 February 2003 18:22 (11 years ago) Permalink

i always thought/used hipster as a patronising synonym of trendy, ie a follower, someone who is up to date but only looking at other people's clocks, y'know topshop without the kokosolaki endorsement

the most agreeable aspect of this used is that while said victim would still dislike being defined as cool maan (keep yr guard up) he/she might slightly prefer being called a hipster than a trendy... thus confirming their hipsterness!!!

zemko (bob), Monday, 10 February 2003 18:22 (11 years ago) Permalink

Of course, jess! (that's what ILM used to be about, isn't it?)

N. (nickdastoor), Monday, 10 February 2003 18:22 (11 years ago) Permalink

zing!

jess (dubplatestyle), Monday, 10 February 2003 18:23 (11 years ago) Permalink

hoho the joke's on him not me! sigh

zemko (bob), Monday, 10 February 2003 18:23 (11 years ago) Permalink

this is like one of those "atom in the tail of a dog" things isnt it?

jess (dubplatestyle), Monday, 10 February 2003 18:25 (11 years ago) Permalink

anyway basically the hipster level is nowhere near the top. it's gola shoes and airport bags zemko (bob), Monday, 10 February 2003 18:25 (11 years ago) Permalink

uhoh i didn't close somehting

zemko (bob), Monday, 10 February 2003 18:26 (11 years ago) Permalink

s'ok

zemko (bob), Monday, 10 February 2003 18:26 (11 years ago) Permalink

So...Hipster= shallowness, fashion-obsessed, focuses on appearances

Oops (Oops), Monday, 10 February 2003 18:29 (11 years ago) Permalink

but not very good at it

zemko (bob), Monday, 10 February 2003 18:38 (11 years ago) Permalink

so, oops, what you're saying is the hipsterism is anti-rockism then?

gareth (gareth), Monday, 10 February 2003 18:40 (11 years ago) Permalink

don't know what anti-rockism is, but we seem to be saying that hipsters are into a 'scene' more than music. Their whole lifestyle (what they do, eat, read, listen to, etc.) is just a fashion statement.

Oops (Oops), Monday, 10 February 2003 18:49 (11 years ago) Permalink

To me "hip" is kind of all right, that just means you know how to have fun and you're not overly populist about it and you're also not too concerned with trends either...you just like what you like, basically. So what if something is deemed "rockist," that's just someone trying to impose their tastes on you, to cut you down to size. To be hip is to be relaxed about what you like and to not take it too seriously, it's just popular music anyway. But being a hipster is making a cult out of it, and unless you're really a musician who gets obsessed with certain things for the purpose of understanding it--doing it--being obsessive about it beyond your own personal enjoyment of it is a drag, which is not hip. I know I'm stating the obvious and I risk being branded not hip to say it...so maybe I'm not hip after all...

Edd Hurt (delta ed), Monday, 10 February 2003 19:03 (11 years ago) Permalink

*Ahem* Was "hipster" coined as a pejorative?

Amateurist (amateurist), Monday, 10 February 2003 19:07 (11 years ago) Permalink

More like a fashion agreement...

I don't think there's any correlation with being "cool" and being a "hipster".

Does discussing the definition of hipster qualify you as one? Not me, I'm here for scholarly purposes only.

What do people who are overly populist about having fun do for fun?

I don't know if you're hip or not, Edd, but you're definitely OTM.

Stuart, Monday, 10 February 2003 19:08 (11 years ago) Permalink

No, Amateurist.
Hipster was a pretty groovy thing to be. This was before there were alternatives to alternative lifestyles and before there was 5000 magazines and websites telling you their opinion of cool. Almost anyone who wasn't mainstream and 'square' was a hipster. Dig it.

Digable Planets used it positively as recently as 1993.

Oops (Oops), Monday, 10 February 2003 19:11 (11 years ago) Permalink

amateurist i think it was probbly coined as a positive word — ppl who are in the know — but IMMEDIATELY INSTANTLY also became a diss

the word "hipicat" means something relevant in wolof: sadly i forget what

mark s (mark s), Monday, 10 February 2003 19:12 (11 years ago) Permalink

From The Straight Dope

Dear Cecil:

What is the origin of the expression "hip hip hurrah"? According to one book I've read, it derives from an abbreviation of the Latin Hierusylema Est Perdita, "Jerusalem is destroyed." Apparently, medieval antisemites yelled "Hep! Hep!" as they exiled or executed innocent Jews. Can this be true? Can modern expressions such as hip, hipster, hippie, and hip-hop have such an odious etymology? Say it ain't so. --Name withheld, Washington, D.C.

Cecil replies:

You're not going to believe it, but there may be a germ of truth to this bizarre story.

Hip, hippie, hipster, and presumably hip-hop all derive from hep (meaning hip, of course), which dates from the turn of the century. There are several theories where hep came from:

(1) From the marching cadence "hep, two, three, four." If you were hep, you were in step with what was happening.

(2) From Joe Hep, who ran a low-life saloon in Chicago in the 1890s. (You may recall our discussion of another 1890s Chicago saloonkeeper who allegedly lent his name to the language, Mickey Finn. 1890s Chicago saloonkeepers were obviously quite a crew.) Hep liked to hover around the local hoods while they plotted their dirty deeds and fancied himself in the know. His name was originally used ironically to refer to someone who thought he knew what was going on but didn't. The ironic sense was soon lost and to get Joe to or to get hep to simply meant to get the straight dope, so to speak. (Source: D.W. Maurer, American Speech, 1941.)

(3) According to a 1914 slang dictionary, "from the name of a fabulous detective who operated in Cincinnati."

Of the three explanations, #1 is probably the least absurd. Hep (or hup or hip) has long been a multipurpose exclamation. In addition to being a cadence counter it was a traditional cry used by teamsters and herders to rouse animals. Hip was used to mean something on the order of "yo" or "hey" in the 18th century, and folks obviously thought it made a nice kickoff for hip hip hurrah.

Now we get to the bizarre part. Antisemitic rioters in Europe in the 19th century often shouted "Hep! Hep!" while on the prowl for Jews. Mob harrassment of Jews in Hamburg, Frankfurt, and other German cities in 1819, in fact, became known as the "Hep! Hep!" riots.

The origin of the expression is unclear. Some claim it derived from Hierusylema (also spelled Hierosolyma) Est Perdita. This theory obliges us to believe that a significant fraction of the rioters were students of Latin. Others say it came from the German habe, in this context apparently meaning "give." But some believe it was nothing more than the traditional herdsmen's cry, perhaps used because the rioters thought Jews ought to be rounded up like animals.

Does this mean we owe hip, hippie, hip hip hurrah and the rest to the howling of a bunch of Jew baiters? Not necessarily. Literary citations of hip hip hurrah in clearly innocent contexts date from 1818, the year before the "Hep! Hep!" riots. (I've seen nothing to convince me "Hep! Hep!" was used in the middle ages.) The most plausible explanation is that hip hip hurrah and "Hep! Hep!" simply have a common source, the herder's cry. Still, it's something to think about next time you're about to give someone three cheers.

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Monday, 10 February 2003 19:12 (11 years ago) Permalink

hipicat, Wolof: “one who has his eyes wide open”

(i got this from the net, not a speaker of Wolof)

mark s (mark s), Monday, 10 February 2003 19:16 (11 years ago) Permalink

hipikitten

mark s (mark s), Monday, 10 February 2003 19:16 (11 years ago) Permalink

Chumpikittin!

Almost anyone who wasn't mainstream and 'square' was a hipster.

E.g. almost no-one was a "hipster" -- Mark is spot-on here, that such terms can only be developed by the subculture they describe (as a way of identifying and distinguishing themselves) but as of the 40s and 50s in America the standard arc was for that description to be revealed to the mainstream public ("here we have the freaks who describe themselves as X") and then become bulk-usage pejorative. (If the dynamics were anything like they are with such words now, one assumes the subculture quits using it as soon as it's revealed to the larger public -- it loses its purpose as a shibboleth and in lots of senses cops to what they'd probably consider the public's "misunderstanding" of them.)

E.g. in bulk usage from 1963-1976 what would you guess the ratio would be between "hippies" as positive or neutral description and "hippies" with an implied "damn dirty" beforehand?

nabisco (nabisco), Monday, 10 February 2003 19:21 (11 years ago) Permalink

And so what interests me is that in the aftermath of the cultural inversions of the 60s and then the 90s subculture-vogue the reaction isn't "these horrible freaks" anymore, it's "omigod I feel so uncool these people know things I don't."

nabisco (nabisco), Monday, 10 February 2003 19:22 (11 years ago) Permalink

punkimutt

mark s (mark s), Monday, 10 February 2003 19:24 (11 years ago) Permalink

is wolof for clashfan

mark s (mark s), Monday, 10 February 2003 19:24 (11 years ago) Permalink

True fact: there was a time in the U.S. when high school students would be mocked and dunked in toilets for being interesting, not admired and feared for being tapped into some supposed subculture.

nabisco (nabisco), Monday, 10 February 2003 19:25 (11 years ago) Permalink

I've seen Meldrick Lewis (of Homicide: Life On The Street) described as a jazz hipster, and I think that's quite evocative and not at all negative, but that is rare. It's one insult from which I'm completely safe, I think it's fair to say.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Monday, 10 February 2003 19:50 (11 years ago) Permalink

shibboleth

I was called before a high school English department tribunal for using this word in a newspaper article my freshman year. They wanted to know where I had stolen it from.

Martin, I think you're on the right track, since I do recall reading about jazz musicians favorably talking about "hipsters," at least c. 1950. Although by then the word had a slightly patronizing cast, it seems, meaning someone who came from the outside but eagerly, admirably wanted in. (I.e. the white fans who would trek to Harlem clubs in those days.)

I think the word's lost most if not all of its racial implications right? Can we safely say that?

Amateurist (amateurist), Monday, 10 February 2003 20:06 (11 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, there's none of that left. Even the "jazz hipster" phrase could be used of a white person (imagine a Chet Baker type, say).

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Monday, 10 February 2003 20:12 (11 years ago) Permalink

Well I think "jazz hipster" might have had implications of white cultural tourism even as far back as the 40s/50s. I.e. John Hammond. (Not to say Hammond was a tourist, but he was likely perceived as such by some, for a while.)

Amateurist (amateurist), Monday, 10 February 2003 20:29 (11 years ago) Permalink

Does discussing the definition of hipster qualify you as one? Not me, I'm here for scholarly purposes only.

What do people who are overly populist about having fun do for fun?

I don't know if you're hip or not, Edd, but you're definitely OTM.

-- Stuart (gonzomoos...), February 10th, 2003


See, Stuart, I'm so unhip I don't even know what "OTM" means. On the money? Off the money? Off the mark? On the mountain (Hank Williams Jr. reference)? I always thought the word itself came from Wolof (sp?); that's what Robert Palmer (the late music writer, not the British singer who wears suits all the time) says in "Deep Blues."

I always was under the impression that "hipster" was not a compliment, it referred to a white-person jazz wannabe--who was that guy, Dean Benedetti, who wire-recorded all the Charlie Parker solos he could get but left out the others? Am I wrong here? Didn't the term come into general use in the bebop era?

Edd Hurt (delta ed), Monday, 10 February 2003 23:10 (11 years ago) Permalink

Yeah but Palmer and other blues authors are so keen to trace everything in the blues and black culture directly back to Africa in this too-linear way, so I wouldn't trust that hypothesis.

Amateurist (amateurist), Monday, 10 February 2003 23:11 (11 years ago) Permalink

Me liking Rush = not hip. Once that was realized about fifteen years ago, I haven't cared since.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 10 February 2003 23:15 (11 years ago) Permalink

Your awareness than Rush is not hip and your liking them anyways in defiance = you are v. possibly a hipster. (Hipsterism being an omnivorous beast.)

Amateurist (amateurist), Monday, 10 February 2003 23:17 (11 years ago) Permalink

only one of ned's eyes is ever open tho ;-)

mark s (mark s), Monday, 10 February 2003 23:19 (11 years ago) Permalink

haha

(when i was in the shower today i flashed on that sun ra quote "blah blah these are the hopes and dreams of someone, don't be so hip" to his sneering band. i can't date it, tho.)

jess (dubplatestyle), Monday, 10 February 2003 23:20 (11 years ago) Permalink

only one of ned's eyes is ever open tho ;-)

And it's the third one at that.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 10 February 2003 23:25 (11 years ago) Permalink

Philosophy of Modern Music is also a good one, especially if you are a fan of Stravinsky/Schoenberg

Spaghetti Sauce Shampoo (Moodles), Friday, 24 January 2014 18:29 (7 months ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

saw this sweatshirt for sale in target the other day. can i just...

tɹi.ʃɪp (Treeship), Wednesday, 12 February 2014 04:49 (6 months ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

Inevitable product of Fox News commentators having to live in NYC

Dan I., Friday, 14 March 2014 17:55 (5 months ago) Permalink

There are four states of being in the cannabis society: cool, groovy, hip, and square, in that descending order.

how's life, Friday, 14 March 2014 18:00 (5 months ago) Permalink

http://nypost.com/2014/03/22/the-hipster-war-on-you-how-liberals-use-cool-as-a-weapon/

"Icons of cool like Robert Redford, Mark Zuckerberg, Jesse James and Yoko Ono get shredded in the book" - Mark Zuckerberg AND Yoko? What an iconoclast!!!

Herbie Handcock (Murgatroid), Saturday, 22 March 2014 22:44 (5 months ago) Permalink

jesse james the kinda nazi-ish biker?

how's life, Saturday, 22 March 2014 23:43 (5 months ago) Permalink

"Cool kids party it up at the Coachella Music Festival."

coops all on coops tbh (crüt), Sunday, 23 March 2014 00:25 (5 months ago) Permalink

^^^ predictably, use of the word "hipsters" marks the nadir of this terrible song. (don't worry, it happens in the first verse)

Many American citizens are literally paralyzed by (bernard snowy), Sunday, 23 March 2014 03:21 (5 months ago) Permalink

okay lmfao at this appalling cynicism:

How do the cool enslave you? By convincing you that:
- If you don't agree with them no one will like you.
- If you don't follow them you will miss out on life.
- If you don't listen to them you will die a lonely loser

How do you vanquish the cool and discover your own true self? Read this book.

Many American citizens are literally paralyzed by (bernard snowy), Sunday, 23 March 2014 03:23 (5 months ago) Permalink

it's like, yes, okay, when I was middle school I used to worry that I was literally retarded, and "a great conspiracy / Of books and people" had been constructed with the aim of making me *think* I was normal while everybody secretly laughed at the ape parading around in human clothing using the telepathic that I was also worried everyone but me possessed--fortunately I aged out of these fears before anybody gave me a book deal

Many American citizens are literally paralyzed by (bernard snowy), Sunday, 23 March 2014 03:27 (5 months ago) Permalink

Three cheers for hipsters, hip hip hooray!

très hip (Treeship), Sunday, 23 March 2014 03:34 (5 months ago) Permalink

Fast-forward to today, when, writes Gutfeld, "the Labor Department reports that only 47% of Americans have a full-time job. That’s because it’s hard to get full-time work as a maker of artisanal tricycles."

okay so this book appears to have been written by someone whose knowledge of the world is limited to the business+style sections of the new york times

Many American citizens are literally paralyzed by (bernard snowy), Sunday, 23 March 2014 03:42 (5 months ago) Permalink

... and you wanna call *me* the hipster!

Many American citizens are literally paralyzed by (bernard snowy), Sunday, 23 March 2014 03:43 (5 months ago) Permalink

Now a few groovy artisanal types are sounding the alarm about vaccines

yes, it is the """"cool"""" hipster people doing this, they are doing it to be cool, like noted hipster jenny mccarthy

linda cardellini (zachlyon), Sunday, 23 March 2014 04:19 (5 months ago) Permalink

it's all the same though. anyone who objects to anything about the status quo is the same, no matter the content of their objections. they need to take a chill pill and get with the program. a chill vaccine even.

très hip (Treeship), Sunday, 23 March 2014 05:15 (5 months ago) Permalink

shoot me up

markers, Sunday, 23 March 2014 05:34 (5 months ago) Permalink

does obamacare cover the chill vaccine?

sent from my butt (harbl), Sunday, 23 March 2014 14:12 (5 months ago) Permalink

haha i was coming here to post about this book. looks like a scream!

slam dunk, Sunday, 23 March 2014 23:59 (5 months ago) Permalink

i really love how the american right wing describes every cultural rift as a "war". so fun.

très hip (Treeship), Monday, 24 March 2014 00:06 (5 months ago) Permalink

They like war

sonic thedgehod (albvivertine), Monday, 24 March 2014 00:24 (5 months ago) Permalink


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