End Kwote

After it's all said and done, life's just a bunch of kwotes

I was sitting at dinner the other day and a friend of mine came up to me and said, “I wana be a hipster this year. Will you teach me how?”

My first reaction was, well, nothing. I was so confused and taken aback by the question that no words formulated in my brain. I just said, “Uhm, yeah, sure. I’ll like, write you a list of steps or something.” It was stupid and I’m sure I sounded stupid, but it seemed to be the only appropriate response.

The hipster label is dumb. Really dumb. That being said, I guess I can see where the labelers are coming from. If one were to examine what exactly a hipster is (if one could possibly do such a thing), I suppose I would fit into some of the stereotypical hipster conventions. It is what it is, and people can call me whatever they want to call me. I don’t give a damn, two shits, and/or three words that start with “f” and rhyme with duck.

However dumb I might find the label, I saw an opportunity to create the list that I’d mentioned to my curious friend. I thought it might make a good blog post. And also, if she cares to read it, she can learn the ways of the mystical hipster.

So, here are 19 steps that any schmuck can follow that will turn his/her life from pop culture to counter-culture:

1. Denounce anything that is popular/gaining popularity. “Nike and Uggz are the spawn of Satan,” says the loyal hipster.

2. Puff some cigs. 

3. Listen to vinyl.

4. Insist that a band’s “older albums” are the best, even if they’re older albums were recorded on one of those Fisher Price tape recorders.

4. Develop a love for antiques that runs deeper than most of your friendships.

5. Tell everyone how much you prefer to hand write things.

6. Read poetry, even if it makes you feel like you’re trying to understand Swahili. 

7. Watch a buttload of indie movies. I recommend Charlie Countryman and Wrist Cutters.

8. Take obscure pictures of inanimate objects and post them on Instagram.

9. Accumulate at least five really old, really baggy sweaters.

10. Play some sort of instrument. Bonus points for shit no one ever plays. Like a banjo. Or a didgeridoo.

11. Wear the proper footwear. Vans, Doc Martins, Converse and Toms are all perfectly good examples. Bonus points if your shoes have holes in them/look like they were worn in a battle zone.

12. Read “On The Road” like it’s the Bible.

13. Talk about weird bands that no ones ever heard of as if they’re the Rolling Stones.

14. Drink lots of coffee.

15. Get a tattoo or piercing .

16. Regularly use the phrase “I liked that before it was cool.”

17. Be misunderstood. More misunderstood than Shia Lebouf. Or slam poetry.

18. While we’re talking about slam poetry, start doing it. Right now.

19. When you’re making lists of things, use an odd number. Like 19. Because 20 is just too mainstream.

 

Well folks, there you have it. Nineteen steps that are guaranteed to turn you into a hipster. Now, this is by no means an exhaustive list, so if you have anything to add, please do so in the comments.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little list I put together. And to my friend who wants to become a hipster, well, here ya go. But before you all leave to prepare yourselves for the weekend, ponder this thoughtful Morpheus meme.

Until next time.

End Kwote

8 thoughts on “How to be a Hipster in 19 Steps

  1. I am often accused of being hipster, though I certainly have no intent of being one. Here are how the various questions apply to me.

    1. Denounce anything that is popular/gaining popularity. “Nike and Uggz are the spawn of Satan,” says the loyal hipster.

    I don’t denounce anything that is popular / gaining popularity, but I do denounce a lot that is.

    I embraced Keurig when it came out, I thought it was cool. Then a ph0nesex dispatcher (she can reveal herself if she wants to) mentioned the recycling concern in a Private Message to me and then I realized the problem.

    But I do denounce things like what most people call “The Cloud” – Software as a Service, etc. but my reasons isn’t because they are new, rather because they make us dependent upon particular services resulting in vendor lock-in while frequently at the same time making our data vulnerable to snooping and user profiling.

    But that I denounce so much of what many consider to be “modern computing” I am often branded a hipster.

    There are however plenty of fresh new technologies I embrace that many who accuse me of being a luddite hipster don’t embrace :

    * Opus – a superior lossy audio codec that greatly reduces the bitrate needed for transparency
    * Dalla – a radical new video codec being developed by xiph.org
    * DNSSEC – a simple way to secure the DNS system
    * DANE – a superior mechanism of x.509 certificate validation
    * EC Cryptography – better security requiring less resources than RSA/DHE equivalents

    Etc.

    So while I denounce the whole “cloud” smartphone app world, it’s because I find it to be lacking in what is important to me, not because it is new or popular and I want to stand against the flow. It’s because I don’t like it.

    2. Puff some cigs.

    Sure I smoke, but so do a large number of people. I want to quit.

    3. Listen to vinyl.

    I don’t, but I do want a record player because I have some vinyl that was never released on CD. The plan is to build my own phono pre-amp that does not apply the RIAA curve, so I can digitally record the records, fix pops and cracks as much as possible, reduce sound, then digitally apply the RIAA curve at the same time as I resample and peak normalize to 48 kHz / 16 bits audio.

    I have no desire to listen to records.

    I do however reject the “High Definition” audio and for that I am often called a hipster. I am very good at math, I understand things like the Fourier transormation, I know that to perfectly reproduce an analog wave we can take discrete samples at twice the highest frequency we want to reproduce. Extra samples (what you find in HD audio) are just bloat and do not improve the quality of the audio.

    I also know that 16 bits per sample is enough so that the volume has to be so loud it will damage hearing before the noise floor caused by the sample bitrate can be heard.

    Thus high definition audio is pointless, as has been demonstrated numerous times with double-blind ABX tests.

    Apparently knowing the science behind digital audio makes me a hipster to some.

    4. Insist that a band’s “older albums” are the best, even if they’re older albums were recorded on one of those Fisher Price tape recorders.

    First of all, the recording medium has nothing to do with how good an album is. But anyway, yes, I tend to like a bands earlier albums more than recent stuff.

    I suspect most of that has to do with compression that is increasing in digital recordings, called the “loudness war” more than anything else. And autotune. And my generation is older than the 20 somethings, so the style of music I’m partial to is older, but bands need to adapt with the times or they don’t sell as many tickets to the 20 somethings that pirate all their songs.

    That is just generation gap thing, not hipster thing.

    5. Tell everyone how much you prefer to hand write things.

    My handwriting sucks, I have trouble reading it, so no. However I do often handwrite things because the tactile experience can help my creative mind flow and I can lay out papers all over my desk, very useful – I can’t afford a 6 monitor workstation to get the same screen real estate, and even if I could, it would be a waste of energy.

    But I’ve never been accused of being hipster for using note paper when brain storming. I guess some have.

    6. Read poetry, even if it makes you feel like you’re trying to understand Swahili.

    To me, reading poetry is something I don’t do often enough. Poetry is good for keeping the creative mind lubricated. That’s not a hipster thing though, people from all walks of life read poetry, or at least listen to it. That’s what a lot of music is.

    7. Watch a buttload of indie movies. I recommend Charlie Countryman and Wrist Cutters.

    Nope – definitely not me. I avoid many mainstream movies but I don’t often watch indie movies.

    8. Take obscure pictures of inanimate objects and post them on Instagram.

    Not really, snakes and frogs are not inanimate. And I reject instagram.

    9. Accumulate at least five really old, really baggy sweaters.

    If a sweater is not full of holes, yes I will keep it. No need to throw something away that still serves the function it was intended to serve.

    10. Play some sort of instrument. Bonus points for shit no one ever plays. Like a banjo. Or a didgeridoo.

    No, not me, not very musical.

    11. Wear the proper footwear. Vans, Doc Martins, Converse and Toms are all perfectly good examples. Bonus points if your shoes have holes in them/look like they were worn in a battle zone.

    I don’t think that’s hipster. But I wear hiking boots.

    12. Read “On The Road” like it’s the Bible.

    Never heard of it.

    13. Talk about weird bands that no ones ever heard of as if they’re the Rolling Stones.

    Not sure what a “weird band” is – but I do like many bands no one has ever heard of. I don’t like the produced sound many “popular” bands have.

    Wolf Alice, Elephant Listening Project, etc.

    14. Drink lots of coffee.

    Guilty. But only regular coffee, from a french press. Not that fancy stuff that costs $17.00 a cup at a coffee bar.

    15. Get a tattoo or piercing.

    No piercings or tattoos, but I don’t like that makes one hipster.

    16. Regularly use the phrase “I liked that before it was cool.”

    That’s definitely not hipster, because what hipsters like rarely becomes cool. What hipsters do like often was cool before they were born, and no longer is. It’s also not me.

    17. Be misunderstood. More misunderstood than Shia Lebouf. Or slam poetry.

    I am mis-understood. That’s more a symptom of being anti-social rather than hipster, though.

    18. While we’re talking about slam poetry, start doing it. Right now.

    I never cared for slam poetry.

    19. When you’re making lists of things, use an odd number. Like 19. Because 20 is just too mainstream.

    Well 19 is a prime number, and I do like prime numbers. They are lucky for me because, um, ooh look! a bird.

  2. Would a hipster watch Portlandia? Or would that hit a little too close to home?

    1. End Kwote says:

      Quite possibly. I don’t watch it personally, but it seems a bit hipster

  3. hipsterczar says:

    Exactly! It doesn’t have a definition! – hence all the fun I have with the label! Haha and to be completely honest with you, the 19 steps describe everything people know about hipsters. Interesting, isn’t it? Haha

    1. End Kwote says:

      It’s just in the nature of people to label, and that’s totally fine. But it is good to have some fun with it. Right? It’s easy to nail down the stereotypes I suppose

  4. harevalour says:

    Ha.. I love it. I have some notes tho… Always bring your own mug to the coffee shop… Coffee at home can ONLY be hand ground and brewed in chemex. You should probably only use organic cotton reusable coffee filters. Speaking of organic… Your underwear should def be organic along with your bed sheets, and probably even your mattress. You should only ever cook food in antique cast iron. Stop listening to music altogether- cassette recordings of paper being ripped up, or wind, or a woman hissing, etc. are all you need. Anything else is pretty mainstream. Your baggy sweaters must be nordic and pure wool. Hipsters don’t do synthetic. Also, piercings must be in obscure places… Tattoos should be of obscure vegetables. You should spend at least one season on an Alaskan fishing boat, live in a yurt at least once, work in an organic co-op, get a degree in literature/philosophy/some obscure branch of history, and know at least a dozen forgotten poets off hand. Oh… You should definitely make art, but only from found objects or felt.

    I dated that guy^

    1. End Kwote says:

      Those are the most fantastic hipster tips I’ve ever seen. Bravo.

      And thanks for the awesome comment!!

      1. harevalour says:

        I could go on! Hah. I grew up between San Francisco and Sonoma County, so like, hipster is in the water. Which you should definitely filter thru your berkey so you don’t ingest fluoride. 🙂

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