20-Something, Pop Culture

The Hipsterfication of NPR


NPR’s “The Hipsterfication of America“.

Dear God.

What happened?

I wanted to write about this last week when the article first came out but my mind was so blown, I had to spend the weekend recuperating.

NPR! I love you, but did you write this back in 2008 and forget to post it until now? Was it a slow news day? Did an 88 year-old man who has been living on a remote island out in the Galapagos write this? Or do you think that your viewership is strictly 88 year-olds, because I have news for you NPR, hipsters listen to you and we’re severely confused by this article.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading this article yet (it’s a short one), NPR decided it was time for America to know about hipsters.

“In case you haven’t noticed, hipsters — and those who cater to them — are everywhere. And that really galls some hipsters,” the author Linton Weeks (sounds like a James Thurber character!) stated. The article goes on to state that hipsterdom is an omnipresent culture- a word they use twice!- and that’s it’s no longer the alternative but the mainstream.

I have a couple of questions for you NPR.

First of all, what in the name of all that is holy is the point of this article? This extremely informative article- this article I couldn’t possibly live without- has just told me two very important facts a.) hipsters exist and b.) hipsters exist outside of Brooklyn.

Did you guys, or rather, Linton- Mr. Weeks- did you just realize this? Did you take a stroll around your city of Washington D.C. and notice for the first time that every kid looks like a fucking hipster these days? Does NPR keep you chained to your desk?

Secondly, and the part that really blew my mind, the article begins with the author listing a bunch of places hipsters frequent such as Aloft Hotel, Which Wich and American Eagle.

Did you choke on your extraordinarily hip submarine sandwich when you just read that? I did too.

Aloft is part of the W Hotels chain. Last I heard hipsters couldn’t afford a room at a W Hotel. I thought hipsters rented flea-bag motel rooms to create inspiration for their music or writing? Even if they could afford a room at a hotel like this, if it’s any indicator of how not-hipster this hotel is, the Aloft Hotel located in Austin, Texas- a city known for its high population of hipsters- is located in a very un-hipster location called The Domain– an outdoor mall with stores and restaurants like American Eagle and McCormick and Schmick’s.

But wait, you say that hipsters shop at American Eagle, Mr. Weeks? We buy “cool-cat snuggle clothing” there? I’m not even sure what the hell that means, but I can tell you that the only people you see shopping in American Eagle are 14 year-olds from the suburbs. Did you maybe mean American Apparel? Though I would have chastised you for not being creative and equating hipsters with American Apparel like every publication/human being on the planet does, it would have at least made more sense than a store that sells clothing that is outsourced with fat logos printed on them- two things I thought that hipsters didn’t like.

According to Mr. Weeks, we also hang out in and eat at Which Wich. I’m sorry to tell you but whatever town you made these observations in- let’s see, it looks like a place called Franklin, Tennessee- is obviously not ahead of the curve when it comes to what is trendy. Is Which Wich the only place that is not McDonald’s there or something? I can certainly say that in Austin, Texas that hipsters enjoy independently-owned restaurants, vegetarian cuisine or ethnic cuisine. Not a place that is a step up from Subway.

I’d also like to point out that Mr. Weeks suggests that hipsters wear “longboard shorts” and eat “gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches”. Coincidentally I ate at a gourmet grilled cheese restaurant last night and I can tell you, there wasn’t a hipster in sight. Except for maybe me, but I certainly wasn’t wearing longboard shorts. Hipsters wear Dad shorts, duh.

Maybe I’m being too mean, I don’t know. However, I will leave this last quote from the author with you so you can make up your own mind about this article:

“What’s funny is that people who aren’t hipsters generally express distaste for them and those who appear to be hipsters hate to be identified as such. Everybody hates hipsters … especially hipsters. And the ironic part is that hipsters’ opposition to pop culture has become pop culture.”

No shit. Really?

Mr. Weeks, but you forgot to mention a very important aspect of hipsters in this article- that we were going to criticize the living hell out your observations of us.

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  • Reply Chelsea November 22, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Oh my lands…Which Wich is too expensive to hang out at. DIY sandwiches, all around! Saves money for our hipster drinking habits.

  • Reply seamus November 22, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    great article, silly NPR, so out of touch

  • Reply Stefani November 23, 2011 at 3:22 am

    What I find most nauseating is his “those people” tone. Like hipsters are a fungus, or a diseased people that should be required to use separate bathrooms. He sounds THAT old-fashioned. Oy.

  • Reply Natali November 23, 2011 at 4:06 am

    I was genuinely shocked at the article as well. First of all, why did they even bother reporting such a subject, and so late in the game? I do have to say that the comments were a lot more enjoyable than the article.

  • Reply Cathy Benavides November 29, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    First of all, that NPR article makes me laugh out loud….. or LOL if you will. See, I’m about as non-hipster as you can get….. and I love Which Wich and Aloft. So I’m going to go out on a limb here and say those things are definitely not hipsterish. What an amateur and pointless article. If I need info on hipsters, I go to Bouldin Creek Cafe or read Hipstercrite. I recommend Mr. Weeks do the same…..

    • Reply hipstercrite December 1, 2011 at 4:06 pm

      HA! Cathy, you’re too funny!

  • Reply Ngawang Gyatso September 2, 2012 at 2:47 am

    Hi Beautiful,

    I too read Linton Week’s article a while back, and as you mentioned it took you upto a week to finally pen your thoughts. Well, for me it took uptill now. ha! Linton Weeks coming into his “Hipsterfication of America” does possess a strong preconceived mindset which is fully reflected in his article. Anyway, if you have the time check out my take on hipsters at http://www.jamandbutter.com, as I believe i could definitely learn a thing or two from you Ms. Hipstercrite
    Great blog, and Great Article by the way!

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