What’s a hipsterlectual?
Quite frankly its a poor title for a seemingly title-less group of people! But I will use it in this post for the sake of consistency.
This post begins with a conversation I started with my friend Evan the other night. We got on the topic of his experience in San Francisco, and the genre of people he met there. Which led to a discussion about the genre of people that live on the West coast, particularly in the Pacific Northwest.
Here’s a list of associated words to most accurately describe this group of people (who btw, live across the country): progressive, natural, liberal, sustainable, vegan, counterculture, organic, co-ops, outdoorsy, crunchy…catch my drift?
So what’s your instant impression of these “hipsterlectuals”?
If you’re a waiter, I’m sure you’re pretty annoyed when one of them asks you where the chicken on the menu was raised.
Which brings me to my next point; the hipsterlectuals are INCREDIBLY easy to mock. They are widely considered an obnoxious and snobby group of new-age idealists.
For some reason, when discussing this group with my friend, for the first time I asked myself WHY these people are so easy to mock. I personally know many people who may be categorized in this genre, and I DEEPLY respect and admire their values and ambitions. I mean, there is NOTHING I find obnoxious about the way these individuals live. Granted, any one person can be any varied degree of obnoxious, no matter who they share the same values with, so there’s some truth to the annoyance many people feel about certain individual hipsterlectuals. Overall though, I could only dream to have as high standards and strong convictions as these people do.
But yet, why are these people who promote progressive ideas and values condemned to comedic intolerance? Their overall unifying characteristics are that they care about the environment, contribute to a healthier, more balanced future, and they limit personal indulgences to socially and environmentally responsible decisions.
What the hell is so goddamn funny about that!!!????
And yes! It is funny to mock them! The show, Portlandia, hits the nail right on the head. If you haven’t seen the show, WATCH IT. It’s absolutely brilliant. The best characteristic of the show is how precisely the characters portray the hipsterlectual stereotypes, in ever variety they exist in. [[It's clear that in order for Fred and Carrie to so aptly mock these stereotypes, they are well acquainted with the existing subculture.]]
AND SO I FIGURED OUT WHAT MAKES THEM SO FUNNY/OBNOXIOUS/STEREOTYPABLE!!
The lifestyle is impractical, BUT ONLY because of the way our culture has forced us to live.
A waiter who is asked where the chicken on the menu was raised finds the customer obnoxious BECAUSE the waiter works at an establishment where he cannot provide for the needs of the customer. If the restaurant’s mission was to inform customers where the food they put in their mouth comes from, the waiter WOULD NOT feel annoyed.
If we lived in a culture that valued sustainability, we would not feel the need to MOCK those who devote endless hours to sustainable lifestyles; we would not be annoyed by the vegan whom we can never properly cook for.
We simply would not hate them so.
Instead we live in a culture where we are not alotted time to care about these core issues. We do not give up our car because our job is miles away across busy roads and intersections. We do not care to eat quality food because we don’t have enough money to afford it, or we don’t have the time or informational resources to make responsible choices. We do not live sustainably because we wouldn’t know where to start, because we are not educated about it from a young age.
We do not ask where our meat comes from, we cross our fingers and hope it comes from somewhere good. We hope that our lives our not manufactured from an unjust and dishonest world. We hope someone is taking care of us they way we would take care of our own children.
But we are not being taken care of. THAT is what the “hipsterlectual” movement stands for. That easily mockable group are dedicated to fueling the struggling advancement of humanity. They stand for the inconvenient truths and ask the annoying questions that every human being should inherently want to know the answers to anyway.
I’m not suggesting they should not be laughed at ever (because that would mean Portlandia isn’t one of the greatest shows of all time)… I merely suggest we should constantly be asking the why’s and the how’s. There’s so much to learn about our human nature, and our education begins with our own questions. Imagine that.
For instance, where the hell DID this chicken come from???!!!