The UK uni hipster machine: where did they all come from?!
In order to begin the battle against the hipsters, you have to be able to first identify their different breeds. Don’t worry, it’s as easy as coming across creepy in a club
Hipsters. Taking pride of place alongside TV paedophiles and old Etonians in power in two main respects: they’re everywhere, and they make most people sick a little bit in the back of their mouths.
Unis can try closing down Itchy Feet, try making vinyl obsolete, even try banning smoking in the street (yep, that was just for the hipsters), but nothing’s changed.
After 3 years, a perfectly ordinary student still somehow becomes as edgy as that girl dancing in her own world to Deep House crossed with the guy who struts into one seminar a term but still gets a first.
They’re still destined to spend the next few years on the dole smoking rollies in Shoreditch or raving about the latest unknown band while browsing vintage markets in Camden (no generalisation or exaggeration whatsoever). So where did it all go wrong?
In order to begin the battle against the hipsters, you have to be able to first identify their different breeds. Don’t worry, it’s as easy as coming across creepy in a club.
First off, and perhaps most obviously, we have the ‘Attention Seeking Hipster’. Uni is big (not you, St. Andrews), and most people are desperate to stand out more than Gove is desperate to fuck up secondary education.
But if you don’t have a religion, a sport, or even a personality, how can you possibly rise to your destined BNOC status? Answer: join the biggest club of wankers there is, where the only membership card is knowing the names of 5 bands that the others haven’t heard of.
Don’t get me wrong, most attention seeking is fine by me. I mean, almost everything is attention seeking in some way. But while being good at Ultimate Frisbee shows you’re really great fun and playing triangle in the uni orchestra shows you’re kooky, imposing your ‘cool’ self-image on other students who might just be stupid enough to join you just shows you’re a twat.
Having said this, one 4th year Durham student said they liked ‘how hipsters’ balls look in their tight jeans’, so at least you have some fans.
Round 2: the ‘Secret Hipster’. They’ve always known deep down that there was something different about them, that they didn’t like songs with any actual lyrics and didn’t understand why kids got bullied and not worshipped for dressing like tramps (fashionable tramps, I’ll allow).
It wasn’t until uni they truly realised the answer: they’ve been an undercover hipster all along, and now they want to whisper it to everyone they meet in the library (they’re hipsters, not anarchists).
Sure, that’s probably cause people would have beaten the shit out of them at school were they to turn up and say they only liked Progressive Funk Metal, but their newfound anonymity at uni (how can you know all 150 million students at Leeds?!) has brought an arrogance that they embrace as they claim their birthright as Hipster royalty. Cunts.
Next up: the ‘Financial Hipster’. Much more knowledgable of their crimes against humanity than the other, they just choose to ignore them cause they’re more skint than the Vice Chancellors who refused their pay rises (lol).
Realistically, they could still afford to dress like a decent human, but they choose instead to save the little money they have for MD, taking on the hipster lifestyle as an economic choice.
While they’re at the core of hipster culture and a tad more legit than others of their kind, they’re still unfortunately pricks.
As you join me in our analysis of the hipster kind, you may feel a certain sense of superiority, a certain security in your own self-worth as a normal student. But beware, at any moment you could be hit by your ‘hipst-epiphany’, only to emerge as a ‘Born Again Hipster’.
You’ll renounce your previous life of mainstream-ery, vowing to devote your waking days to the almighty in-deity forever more.
Having seen the light and, guided by your ever-willing flock of fuckwits, you slowly move away from your previous life, friends and wardrobe to pursue your rightful hipsterdom. You thought religion could be scary.
Finally, and perhaps most pitifully, we have the ‘Identity Crisis Hipster’. This student didn’t ever set out with the intention of becoming a hipster.
Like you, they dismissed the smug ways of ‘the alternate’, focusing instead on the holistic delights of the ‘university experience’. They carried on, so young and carefree until final year, mid-dissertation with stress levels at an all time high, the thought hit them: what have I actually achieved at uni? Do I actually have any friends who aren’t drinking companions, any identity beyond ‘the one who’s always carried home’?
So they fall to the depths of ‘hipster hell’ and take on the music taste, fashion sense and self-righteous attitude so they can feel a semblance of self worth. They come so close to graduating clean but are tragically taken down at the last moment. I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.
There are many reasons one might become a hipster, but unfortunately they all result in the same thing: a hipster. With so many different routes, there really is nothing any individual person can do to stop this ever-growing onslaught.
Besides, according to a 2nd year Leeds student, ‘hipsters are too mainstream now. It’s not edgy to be a hipster. Cyber punk is the new hipster’. If you do want some advice though, make sure you’re selfish and look after yourself against the ever-present allure of being a dickhead.
And if you catch yourself eyeing up a ‘tramp coat’ because it looks ‘kind of cool’, or Googling ‘best new indie small bands 2014’ at 2am, close your laptop and go see a therapist. Now.