Ed Driscoll

Defining Hipsters

In his Daily Quirk column, James Lileks asks, “What is a hipster, anyway?”

I know, I know. If you have to ask, etc. A “hipster” used to be some thin sarcastic guy grinning through the reefer haze of a Greenwich Village coffeehouse, snapping his fingers while some guy reads “On the Road” to a bongo accompaniment. Now it’s a guy with a soul patch, a tattoo and a tongue stud, typing. Conspicuous typing seems to be an intrinsic part of being a hipster now. This is a rather new addition, since the hipsters in the ’50s did not walk around New York City with gigantic manual typewriters slung around their shoulders. Just as well; William Burroughs would have collapsed after a block. [Nahh–he’d be too busy trying to cop a buzz from the typewriter cleaning fluid–Ed]

So what is a hipster, and how do you become one? Simple. A hipster is someone who is aware of something six months before people who work primarily in the insurance industry find out about it.

Does that mean that I’m a hipster since I’m writing and blogging and no longer in the insurance industry myself?

[What do you think?–Ed Yeah, you’re probably right. Oh well!]