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March 17, 2012

Weekend reviews: True hipsters don't try to be hip

Daily Star

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The newest epidemic that seems to be affecting our nation's youth is one that may surprise and perhaps even disturb you. Yes, folks, teenagers all across the country are becoming hipsters.

What is a hipster? According to, a staple for all things hip, "the modern hipster is a composite of individuals with a certain bohemian life situation and lifestyle. He or she rejects 'mainstream' culture and embraces and contributes to independent culture, and prides him/herself on this."

This fad doesn't seem like it should even be a fad at all, does it? It appears as if it should be a type of lifestyle people don't actively attempt to live, but just seem to fall into. However, that is where we encounter our problem.

Much of our culture nowadays is dominated by mainstream media, whether it be music, fashion, movies, TV, you name it, there's a blog about it.

So naturally, there are those spirited individuals who want to break away from the norm and be different. Hence, the birth of the hipster.

Let me differentiate for you the two separate types of hipsters for you, as I can assure you that they are very different.

We have the first type, which I do not begrudge at all, who are actually hip and unique individuals.

These people have a tendency to … be unable to be classified because they are their own people and do not feel the need to play into a certain stereotype.

And that brings us to the other hipsters: the fake hipsters.

These people like to wear baggy clothing, oversized glasses, grungy shoes, and listen to indie music because they like to be different. So what is the difference, you ask?

While our first group of hipsters is in fact original, they are not making a conscious effort to be so. It is an integral part of who they are to stand out from the crowd, and that is what makes them hip. The second group makes a constant effort to be "weird" and "quirky" and I just find it really obnoxious.

When I first heard about the IFC show "Portlandia," I didn't really know what to think. But once I learned the premise, I couldn't stop myself from YouTubing some clips, and it just spiraled from there.

I then spent the first day of my winter vacation watching the entire first season on NetFlix.

"Portlandia" is a sketch show created by SNL member Fred Armisen and Sleater-Kinney's Carrie Brownstein that pokes fun at hipsters.

The show is called "Portlandia" because it is set in Portland, Ore., believed to be the epicenter of the hipster trend.

To truly appreciate the show, you have to have an understanding of hipster behavior. For instance, one sketch portrays a couple eating out who question their waitress as to the origin of the chicken they are going to be eating.

The couple appear truly concerned whether their chicken was free-range, and eventually end up traveling to the farm that raised the chicken to inspect the quality of life it had.

Another sketch demonstrates the hipsters' endless need to know everything, and portrays it through a ridiculous way.

Two friends fire questions back and forth as to whether they've read an article in publications from The New York Times to Spin Magazine, and they eventually race outside to read every newspaper and even phonebooks attached to payphones.

While some of the instances in "Portlandia" may seem a little over the top, it is truly hilarious and makes for some great laughs with friends.

Oh, those hipsters.

Maggie McVey is a senior at Oneonta High School. 'Teen Talk' columns can be found at