A while back, here at the Daily Intel HQ (we have two cubicles and a TV, and probably the worst swag in the entire office, although once Comfortably Smug sent us a nice gift basket that we sometimes wear on our heads when we need to think really hard), we endeavored to create a “Don’t Pretend This Is Ironic” list. We called it “Post-Irony.” The point was to try to draw the line between things people like ironically and things people pretend to like ironically but in actuality like very honestly. This was, as you can imagine, a list that was aimed mostly at hipsters. For example: Don’t pretend you are ironically drinking PBR in a can. You like paying $3 for a beer at a bar. Or, don’t pretend you are wearing cowboy boots ironically. You like the way they look, and the fact that they make you two inches taller, because you’re a boy and you can’t wear high heels but you’ve always felt a bit short, really.
Now, there are things that people (hipsters again, really) do actually wear/eat/say/do purely out of irony and humor. Like wearing those heinous eighties thick eyeglasses that, like, Keith Haring and every principal in an after-school special wore. Or Teddy Roosevelt mustaches. But it’s a really fine line. And the more we thought about it, the more it really broke our minds. Did Intel editor Chris wear skinny jeans (past tense because they don’t fit anymore) because it was ironic commentary? Or because he liked the way he looked in skinny jeans? Was Intel Jessica’s tattoo ironic now because she got it so many years ago? Or can she just like the way it looks? And don’t even get us started on Dan Amira’s goatee.
Anyway, we never made the list. If you guys have ideas for things people should stop pretending to like ironically, please put them in the comments. It would help soothe our aching brains. But in the meantime, we’d like to direct you to this little quote by the guy who created Look at This Fucking Hipster, a truly delightful website. In an interview with Gawker, he really gives one of the most eloquent explanations we’ve ever read on the nature of the hipster:
Do you actually hate hipsters? Quick follow up: what the fuck is a hipster? Are you one? I don’t hate hipsters. Not at all. I just find them to be wildly fascinating. And if that sounds condescending, that’s because yes, I am being condescending. Obviously. But I do think condescension comes from a gentler place, don’t you? In fact, I think its weird how much other people seem to hate hipsters. For example, I’ll occasionally post a YouTube of some terrible hipster band’s music video. You should read the comments people leave on those videos after visiting my site. Some of them are like, “DIE HIPSTER! I WANT TO SHOOT YOU IN THE FACE!” What? No! How about you get shot in the face? I didn’t intend for this to be some kind of hate crime website. Look at This Fucking Hipster is about laughing at clowns for being clowns. That’s all. The only hipsters I hate are the motherfuckers who write quasi-intellectual hate email to me. I get so many messages that are like, “Fuck you, man. You’re the hipster…You’re using a false term to describe something that’s just a social construct.” Okay, I get it, you went to college. What do you want from me? A grade? You want me to grade your email? ‘F’ There. You get an F. Go away. Everyone went to college. Am I a hipster? I don’t think so. I mean, I like MGMT a lot. But I’d never go to one of their shows.
“Laughing at clowns for being clowns.” That’s your koan for the weekend.