But who is — or was — the “hipster”? The question that never dies. Already the term is losing its relevance in popular culture, but that hasn’t stopped producers from trying to capitalize on it. If recent discussions about Girls and “hipster racism” are any indication, we’re not done talking about them yet.
What do hipsters think about? Judging from episodes of the two shows, it looks like hipsters are just white people who spend most of their time agonizing over what they will buy and aesthetically endorse.
See, we understand hipsterdom as a set of consumption choices: clothes, art, real estate, products and music. What annoys most people about hipsters is their appearance as an alternative subculture when, in reality, that appearance is produced by the same hyper-consumerism we all participate in, everyday.
Indeed, the first episode of Hipsterhood explores the rather mundane choice of what cereal to buy:
Video extras for the show – Hipster Wisdom – discuss topics like which fonts are en vogue:
And the first episode of I Miss Drugs is an inventively simple take on home decor: buying a new pillow. Many people have had these aesthetic dilemmas:
The joke is hipsters look hip, but, in reality, they’re just like us: slaves to style and marketing.
Add to this real concerns about gentrification and racial discrimination (which Hipsterhood addresses a number of times, self-consciously and not) and you have a topic ripe for satire.
Everyone hates hipsters. But hipsters are only bourgeois Americans in better clothes. Their problems are ours, and vice versa.