I’m writing this post on a three year-old MacBook Pro while waiting for the water in my friend’s electric tea kettle to finish boiling so we can have some Organic Fair-Trade Rooiboos tea. We’ve just finished a 15km bike ride to and from her anti-squat flat in Utrect, Netherlands (It’s like Amsterdam, but smaller, less tourists and feels like city where people live) to get coffee at the StayOkay café at the StayOkay youth hostel run by Hostelling International (It’s so obscure that until today it didn’t even have one review on Yelp!) on 20 year-old 3-speed bikes to get a cup of good coffee and get into “the only think like nature you can get around here.”
It’s then that I realize, I might have become a hipster. (truth be told, I considered myself a hipster in college, when that meant something like rockabilly with the bowling shirts, dickies pants and two-toned shoes – back then we called the modern day hipsters either “Bohemian”, “Art Students” or “Homeless People”, I guess I’m saying I was a hipster before it was cool? Or is it back when it was cool?)
Before I run through the checklist, I have to say that if true, it will have come as quite a shock. I’ve been going my own way for most of my life. Aside from the social dance community, I haven’t ever really felt like I fit in with a crowd and instead, just did my own thing. Maybe this was the first sign. Who knows? It occurs to me that even the things that I do that aren’t fitting in with the modern idea of the hipster are things I find myself arguing in terms of hipster-logic.
If It Looks Like A Hipster
Right now, as I look at myself, I realize I’m wearing Black Suede Vans I bought in Canada instead of my vintage two-toned Chucks from Minneapolis, my knock-off jeans with thick white seam-stitching from a trip to Shen Zhen, A second hand embroidered shirt, argyle socks, mustard-yellow leg warmers I bought yesterday (As sleeves under my shirt because it’s chilly here, but I’m biking), a matching mustard-yellow Pashmina I bought at an ARC (like a salvation army that helps the mentally challenged instead of alcoholics), and a two-tone yellow beanie that coordinates my aformentioned articles with the vintage leather jacket I bought for 15£ in Manchester this spring. My glasses are semi-retro frames I bought in england to replace my Danish-designed frames and the vintage inspired combination frames I wore before that.
If It Eats Like a Hipster
A month ago I started noticing that I was shifting away from my mainstream life and had been for some time. While there’s nothing wrong with this per se… I liked my life and the things I was doing seemed to work for me. Really, there is NO reason I needed to change this. Well no non-pretentious reason.
I was crashing with a friend and associate Ruby Red who convinced me to start eating Paleo. Not this one. What did this mean? Mostly for me it means not eating Wheat, Legumes or most grains unless I’m going to use them right away. I know this is healthier and I feel a lot better, but it feels suspiciouly like I’m trying to avoid self-diagnosing as Celiac when I tell this to certain people. Particularly people offering me homemade rhubarb pie… (Incidentally, beer is not okay, but hard liquor is?)Awesometarian diet plan in two disturbingways.
- As this change occurred I stopped craving sugar and more than trace amounts of it in my diet are causing me to feel sick and high with a crash right after.
I still haven’t bought into the whole organic food movement (mostly for social justice reasons) and feel
If it Lives Like a Hipster
This part started while I was living with my ex Karen. I started to notice I was itchy when I was around certain perfumes and when we used certain laundry soaps. I started by doing an extra rinse cycle and it’s gotten to the point where I’m using half of the recommended amount of perfume-free hypoallergenic soap in order to stave off the itch. [update: turns out in my travels I had contracted an obscure skin parasite, which has since been dealt with with an even more obscure remedy… You’ve probably never heard of it]
I also found creative financing on a house and have since kept it full of musicians, dancers and other roommates. Why?
So I could quit my well-paying job in construction sales in order to follow my dream of being a commercial photographer. Did I do this? Yes. Am I shooting now? Not often enough to say yes… Why? Because for the last 11 months, I’ve been on the road traveling the world teaching Blues and Fusion dance to whoever wants to learn it from me. (What is fusion? Oh it’s this underground dance, well not a dance so much as approach to life that encourages different people from different dance backgrounds to come together and just, you know, share… so it’s not that surprising if it sounds unfamiliar)
Hipster by Association
One of the best ways a person can determine where they fit in society is to look at the people close to them and see where they lie:
- I know not one, but several people who have studied and had the major “Theater for Social Change”
- I am constantly surprised when I meet someone who not un- or underemployed
- Most of my colleagues are anarcho-communists or anarcho-capitalists (depending on whether they feel guilty for charging for their work). Either way, they deplore the failings of the two-party system and thing that libertarians and green party people aren’t going far enough.
- Many of the men I know have 1890s facial hair, 1970s hairstyles and similar clothes
- Epicuriosities – Weird and wonderful combinations of food unlikely to be found outside of a portland food cart.
- Many friends in Seattle
- Many friends in Portland
- Straight-razor shave revivalists
- More than one person with convertable art cars
- friends with portable geodesic domes
- People with weird-but-awesome hobbies – Canning, 3d-printing,
- More than five friends who use a self-assigned moniker or have legally changed their names
- Friends who mostly shop on Etsy
- Close affiliation with slam poets
- Staying with my dancer-trip-hop seattle musican or portland-violin-dubstep friends when I’m in their cities (they’re really good, but obscure unless you’re a dancer or from those areas)
- People who regularly wear waistcoats, pocket watches and fancy shirts- when they’re being casual
- Fixed gear bicyclists.
There are too many others to list, but you can see where I’m going here.
Worst of all, this post was left unfinished for the last 4 months before I got around to actually posting it, though I’ve been talking about it with friends since then.
It’s time to get this out of my Drafts box and online for all to see my shame…