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Are you a hipster?



Yesterday, Wayne Marshall contemplated on his Wayne and Wax blog the meaning and popularity of the word "hipster." An excerpt:

"For serious tho, I’m very curious to know what constitutes hipsterism — for Simon and for others — at this moment in time. What makes a hipster a hipster? What value does the term retain if we begin playing fast and loose with it, if we begin labeling a rather wide variety of practices and perspectves as hipster-ish?"

Marshall asks his readers to respond to a list of questions, with the intention of figuring out what exactly makes someone a hipster, whether the term carries primarily negative connotations, and why it's become popular to reference/mock lately (or not-so-lately - back in ye olden days of 2005, Gawker posted an "Are You a Hipster?" quiz). According to the Hipster Handbook, which sort of blurs the line between promoting and parodying the term: "The Hipster walks among the masses in daily life but is not a part of them and shuns or reduces to kitsch anything held dear by the mainstream. A Hipster ideally possesses no more than 2% body fat." The Urban Dictionary says: "people in thier teens to 20s who generally listen to indie rock, hang out in coffee shops, shop at the thrift store and talk about things like books, music, films and art." William Safire has yet to weigh in on this topic - he's still figuring out newfangled terms like "sketchy."

What say you, OTD readers? Are you a hipster? Do you think of it as a negative term? Or do you wish it would disappear, or develop a sudden power wherein anyone who uttered the word would spontaneously combust? Maybe if we generate enough response, we'll start a petition to retire "hipster" from American journalist vocabulary.


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