By Dave Schilling
|I get a lot of books about hipsters to review. I also get a lot of phone calls from my credit card company asking me to "please pay my past due balance," but I don't ask for those either! Anyway, you might remember Mussolini reviewing Gavin McInnes's Street Boners. Yes, I am aware that the article is a modern cyberspace classic. I'd take a bow, but I'm in my office, all alone and it would just look like I was trying to blow myself. Which...I kind of am, though only in the non-sexual, metaphorical sense.|
I have to say that I'm really happy that all of you wonderful folks aren't tired of hearing internet pundits babble on about hipster culture. I bet that Joe Mande, author of Look at this F**king Hipster is even happier, since he's gotten wealthy off of your rampant self-loathing. I'm not quite to the "wealthy" part, but I'm working on it! I had an idea for a Tumblr blog that is nothing but hipsters being mauled by mythical creatures, like unicorns, griffins, ligers, Bearsharktapuses and other savage beasts. It's called Look at this F**king Hipster Get Eaten By A Goddamn Animal. I see a movie deal in my future.
Isn't this way cooler than some guy in a flannel shirt?
Joe's book is just a port of his blog content, only now you can put it on your coffee table so that guests to your home can flip through it aimlessly while you avoid talking to them. Thanks, Joe!
In order to justify this brain-dead release, Mande has written some middling copy to bookend the photos. Chapters are called "What is a Hipster?" "What Makes a Hipster a Hipster?" "Can I Say the Word 'Hipster' Again?" "Do Yall Like Hipsters?" "Hipsterpocalypse" "Hipster on a Hot Tin Roof" "Day of the Hipsters" "Revenge of the Hipsters" and "Hipster Hipster Hipster...Hipster." I'm still not quite sure what the book is about.
In an effort to answer the questions Joe poses in a more succinct fashion than he could muster up, I've compiled a list of the 3 classic hipster personality types:
- People who are legitimately hipsters. They have f**king handlebar mustaches, they wear leather jackets, go to shows constantly, have no jobs (or occasionally work in food service) and do a shit-ton of drugs. They refuse to use the term "hipster" in any context. These People Are Rare.
- People who desperately want to identify as hipsters, use the term constantly, try really hard to establish how literate they are, aren't quite dressing properly, have good jobs, and only dabble in drugs. #2s tend to despise each other, because, due to their neurotic hatred of themselves, they think every other #2 is "way hipper" than them, but they can't admit it, so they talk shit on each other.
- People who irrationally hate hipsters, hipster culture and define themselves as being vehemently against it all. They might have a Phoenix MP3 on their iPod, but they will never tell anyone. They probably fancy themselves to be smarter than everyone else, much like your #2 Wannabe Hipster. These are the Joe Mandes of the world.
Pretty sure adorable kitties make you authentically hip...
Only 10% of peer-defined "hipsters" are actually real, #1 Hipsters with a capital "H." The rest are posers and narcissistic nerds. Of course, that doesn't stop Joe Mande from wasting time on a sub-culture that is only fascinating to the truly pathetic and lonely. He actually refers to a "hipster pandemic," as though drinking PBR and being unemployed is some crippling disease rather than a wrong-headed life choice.
It gets worse once you find your way to the photos. The "jokes" are the equivalent of the bon mots you'd find from the gay comedian Mario Cantone in an US Weekly 'Fashion Police' photo spread.
If Mark Twain were alive today, he'd write for US Weekly, right?
A photo of a guy with a Sitar is accompanied by the caption "What am I doing here? I should just go home and play Sitar Hero." In 2010, someone made that joke...and got paid to do it.
At this point, the hipster-bashing pictorial book has become it's own mutant literary sub-genre. Street Boners was at least tolerable, because its author had a bemused detachment from the Youth Culture War and the bookend material surrounding the photos carried with it some self-deprecation to take the edge off. Joe Mande sounds like he is just some bored dude that was forced at gunpoint to write a few pages in a book he even acknowledges as a ripoff in his Introduction. That's right, folks: HE ADMITS THAT YOU CAN JUST GET THIS CONTENT FOR FREE ON THE INTERNET!
In closing, I'd like to leave you with a few words of advice to anyone considering creating a Tumblr blog with "wacky captions."
Take a bowl. Just your garden variety bowl. Dump the contents of a box of shotgun shells in the bowl. Then pour the contents of the bowl down your throat. Wait a few hours before shitting the shotgun shells out. Put the filthy, shit-covered shells into a shotgun. Make sure the fecal ordinance is loaded properly.
Then blow your f**king head off.