Look at This Fucking Hipster

Look at This Fucking Hipster

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by Joe Mande
     
 

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A hilarious send-up—and ironic celebration—of hipster culture based on the hugely popular website

Look at this Fucking Hipster (LATFH.com) was born in April 2009 as a way to help author Joe Mande help his dad answer the question, "Is that a hipster?" Months later, with millions of followers and dozens of parodies, it has become a cultural

Overview

A hilarious send-up—and ironic celebration—of hipster culture based on the hugely popular website

Look at this Fucking Hipster (LATFH.com) was born in April 2009 as a way to help author Joe Mande help his dad answer the question, "Is that a hipster?" Months later, with millions of followers and dozens of parodies, it has become a cultural phenomenon, referenced in media, newspapers, blogs, and more.

Look at This Fucking Hipster is a collection of photos, snarky captions and short essays exploring—and, let's be honest, poking fun at—the wide world of hipster culture, from Williamsburg to Silver Lake and points between. Chapters cover types of hipsters, celebrity hipsters, hipsters through the ages, hipster love connections, and the next generation of hipsters (AKA hipster babies).

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Wholly addictive…. A brilliant, era-defining blog.” —New York Magazine

“There have been many Tumblr-to-book deals… [LATFH] may well be the awesomest of all.” —Gawker

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312624972
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
03/30/2010
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
886,260
Product dimensions:
6.44(w) x 6.08(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

Look at This F*cking Hipster


By Joe Mande

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2010 Joe Mande
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-312-62497-2



CHAPTER 1

What Is a Hipster?


If you're reading this book right now, there's a good chance you yourself are a hipster and don't even know it. (Either that, or you're just wasting time at Urban Outfitters, waiting for your girlfriend to buy overpriced drapes or whatever.) Some of the biggest fans of LATFH.com also happen to be some of the biggest hipsters in the world. I've always found this a bit confusing. Do they like my Web site because they think it's funny? Do they like it because it feeds into their own sense of narcissism? Or do they actually hate the Web site, but are pretending to like it ironically? Are they being ironic ironically? Is that even possible? No one knows. That's the problem.

People are often surprised/disappointed when they meet me to learn that I'm not a hipster. They assume, because of my vast knowledge of the hipster world, that I must be deeply entrenched in that world, that I'm some trust fund baby with asymmetrical hair, trying to open my own art gallery and/or vegan unicorn cupcake shoppe. I suppose, in a way, that's sort of a compliment; only it's not at all.

I am not a hipster, and I say that with certainty. Just take a look at what's on my iPod; all you'll see is stuff like Earth, Wind & Fire, Prince, Chaka Khan, Luther Vandross–if anything, I'm a menopausal black woman.

I know I'm not a hipster, because being a hipster is a choice. Sure, I'll admit it: Like many people my age, I may have experimented a little bit in college. I vaguely remember nights sitting outside on a couch, drinking too much PBR and listening to the Libertines. But that's all ancient history now. I've seen the light since then. I've made the choice not to be a hipster. (Not that there's anything wrong with that! Honestly! Some of my best friends are hipsters!)

But what is a hipster, exactly? Well, the word "hipster" originated in the 1940s as a term to describe jazz enthusiasts who enjoyed smoking opium. (The same definition could apply to modern hipsters, only you'd have to replace "jazz" with "dance party" and "opium" with "salvia.") The term started to be used again about a half century later to describe a new batch of young people trying desperately to appear outside the mainstream.

Modern-day hipsters are unlike other youth-oriented countercultures of past generations–such as hippies, goths, and beatniks–because they don't really believe in anything. Hipsters have no overarching philosophy; there's no movement to the movement. In fact, a vast majority of hipsters refuse to admit that they're hipsters. Most consider the term an insult, the equivalent of a racial slur.

The only current event a hipster is concerned about is the "best new music" section on Pitchfork.com. The only human rights issue they can agree on is the inalienable right to act like a teenager well into your thirties.

Being a hipster is all about apathy. To belong, all you need is to show how little you care. But showing how little you care takes a lot of work, you guys! There are Girl Talk concerts you must attend, vintage clothes you have to buy, gallons of cheap whiskey and tasteless beer to be ingested. But, if you do it right, you'll be putting on airs of universal dispassion and nonchalance like a pro.

Everything they do is ironic; from the clothes they wear, to the TV shows they watch, to the stupid facial hair they grow–it's all an endless joke. There's no substance behind any of it. Hipsters rebel against a shallow, materialistic, directionless society by being shallow, materialistic, and directionless. It makes no sense. It's fighting conformity with conformity, not fitting in by fitting in. It just so happens that their specific type of conformity involves looking very silly. It's a community of unfocused people trying to out-silly each other. At the same time, however, they want to be taken seriously. Like I mentioned, hipsters all went to college and took Advanced Placement courses in high school, so they have strong opinions about books, art, politics, etc. They're philosophers and intellectuals who camouflage themselves as complete buffoons. As my comedian friend Hannibal Buress says, "It's cool if you have a handlebar mustache, but don't try to talk to me like you don't have a handlebar mustache."

Basically, hipsters are clowns–terrible, postmodern clowns who don't know any magic (except the old "disappearing eight ball" trick) and who get all upset and insolent when you point at them and laugh.

CHAPTER 2

What Makes a Hipster a Hipster?


The choice to become a hipster doesn't happen overnight. It's a gradual process, triggered often by loneliness, a fear of maturity, and/or emotional trauma. Becoming a hipster is kind of like joining a street gang, except there's no risk of violence and you have to pretend that you've read Infinite Jest. Typically, the metamorphosis into a hipster starts off slowly and with clear warning signs. However, if left unchecked, the sickness will begin to fester and metastasize rapidly. Soon, the victim will be almost impossible to recognize from his former self.

I know this for a scientific fact because I watched a friend become a hipster in front of my very eyes. One of my best friends from college, Josh, moved to New York shortly after experiencing a painful breakup (i.e., emotional trauma). Obviously, I was thrilled to have such a good friend suddenly living so close by. I couldn't wait to hang out with him, show him the city, get his mind off things. But as soon as Josh arrived in Brooklyn and settled in, I started noticing changes in his behavior. He suddenly–and for no good reason–became a vegan, a far cry from the Atkins-diet meat-eating maniac I knew in college. At the time, I rationalized the decision, thinking maybe he'd found a new appreciation for healthy eating. I didn't say anything. Within a matter of weeks, Josh stopped wearing contacts, instead preferring to wear comically large wooden-frame eyeglasses. He grew a blond Larry Bird mustache. His jeans seemed to get tighter and tighter. A couple of months passed. Josh started smoking marijuana for the first time in his life, which was great, except he kept trying to get everyone to go on high adventures with him. He bought a rusty bicycle at a flea market and rode it around town wearing clothes he made himself. He recorded a two-disc concept album alone in his room using only toy instruments.

Again, despite my concerns, I said nothing. He was still mending a broken heart, I thought. He'll shape up anytime now. He must see how ridiculous he's being. A few weeks later, Josh got fired from his dog walking job for being stoned, which he saw as a blessing, as it gave him more time to work on his art. His art, of course, being the crude, primitive tempera paintings of small forest animals that he applied directly onto the walls of his sublet apartment. To make money, Josh decided he would sell greeting cards on the street; these cards he made himself by tearing out photographs from old encyclopedias, gluing them onto note cards, then typing original poetry on the back using a typewriter he purchased at another flea market. He spent hours making his own peanut butter (when he wasn't in the midst of one of his frequent spicy lemonade master cleanses). By this point, Josh had been living in New York for almost a year. Things had gotten out of control. But just before I was able to sit Josh down and stage an intervention, he borrowed money from his parents and moved to Japan, where he now lives and plays in a diaper ukulele band. (That's a band wherein he and a bunch of Japanese dudes wear diapers and play ukuleles.)

This is an extreme example, but it's true and could just as well happen to someone you love, too. The following chapters will explore typical hipster lifestyle choices (aka "warning signs" or "symptoms"). If you suffer from one, or maybe two, of these examples, that doesn't automatically make you a hipster, but it definitely means you're flirting with disaster. Any more than that, you might as well pack up your ukulele and move to Japan.

CHAPTER 3

Types of Hipsters


The way I see it, hipsters are a lot like cilantro. Personally, I don't enjoy the flavor of cilantro. I think it makes food taste like dish soap and the thought of eating dish soap is disgusting to me. Obviously, I'm not planning some massive crusade against cilantro, I'm just saying cilantro is not welcome in my kitchen (because my kitchen already has dish soap).

Now, I know some people love cilantro and that's fine. Why anyone would choose to eat something so undeniably unpleasant is a mystery to me, but I don't have a problem with it. We live in America, a country where people are allowed to ruin their food however they want.

Even so, my biggest problem with cilantro is that it keeps becoming more and more popular. It's a very trendy herb. The number of idiots who convince themselves that this dirty, tinny form of parsley is actually delicious and sophisticated grows exponentially every year. It's now gotten to the point that I can't buy a fucking burrito anymore without it being totally polluted with handfuls of these awful, metallic Palmolive flakes. And it's not just my precious burritos; cilantro has started creeping into the chili, the pad thai, even the pesto I eat at restaurants. I just wish we could go back to a simpler time, when cilantro was a shitty novelty for dum dums and not the ghastly norm that everyone suddenly has to deal with.

The same goes with hipsters. Get these hipster burritos out of my face!

What's my point? Well, sometimes people think my definition of a hipster is too vague. For example, let's say I post a picture of this person:


I guarantee you that, within a few hours, I'll get fifteen nitpicky e-mails telling me, "Hey, that guy isn't a hipster, he's a scenester!" First of all, that's a guy? Second, fine, whatever, he's a scenester. Are you happy now? Of course you're not, because that's just giving a different name to the same thing. It's the same people who take off their plain white daytime V-necks and put on their glittery black nighttime V -necks. Hipsters are scenesters, scenesters are hipsters, and cilantro is coriander. Case closed.

But I don't mean to generalize. The truth is, there's a lot of diversity within the hipster/scenester/monster community. It's important to know all these subsets. Here are all the various types of hipsters.

CHAPTER 4

Is This a Hipster?


Pop quiz, hotshot! Now that we've come this far, I think you're ready to take this thing to the next level. It's time to play my favorite game, "Is This a Hipster?"

The game is simple. You will be shown a series of pictures of human beings. Using your newfound knowledge of what makes a hipster a hipster and all the different types of hipsters, you must now try to correctly identify which of these humans are indeed hipsters. (Answers are located at the bottom of each page.)

Good luck! Readers who identify all twenty pictures correctly will win $1,000.

CHAPTER 5

They're Just Like Us!


Though I give hipsters a hard time, it's important to remember that they too put on their jumpsuits one leg at a time. They are really no different than you or me. Just because their rent is usually paid for and they sleep through most of the day, that doesn't mean that the complications and minutiae of everyday life eludes them. Not at all. Hipsters are people, too.

The following is a fun collection of candid photographs that capture the ordinary, day-to-day existence of hipsters in the real world. You'll be sure to see that hipsters really are just like us!

CHAPTER 6

Celebrity Hipsters


Imagine being a celebrity in the twenty-first century. Sure, the fame and fortune sounds nice, but it comes at a price. It's a lifestyle fraught with difficulties and pressures. Your every move is tracked and documented by a pack of blood-hungry, ever-vigilant paparazzi whose objective is to discover your secrets, expose your frailties, and destroy everything you've worked so hard to achieve. You can't escape it. The despicable tabloid media, with its twenty-four-hour news cycle, is devoured on a minute-by-minute basis by the very same celebrity-obsessed society that put you in this position of recognition and acclaim in the first place. You can't trust these people. Sure, your fans might be fine for the most part, but there are those twisted few who love you so much that they want to hurt you. So you hire bodyguards; you build a fortress: you use your material wealth to insulate yourself from a cruel and bitter world ... only to get lambasted by the press for being paranoid and out of touch. Then there's the entertainment business itself, with all its pitfalls and the snakes who go after your money, all of them lying to you, inflating your ego, warping your personality. You feel the pressure to stay beautiful, keep skinny, and look young forever.

Just imagine that weight on your shoulders — all the angst and suspicion you would feel. What would you do? Would you go crazy and start dressing up like a complete jackass? Because that's what these people did. Here's a list of Hollywood's biggest hipsters.

CHAPTER 7

Hipsters Through the Ages


Through my extensive research for this book (i.e., getting stoned while reading Wikipedia) I discovered that the hipster aesthetic is really an amalgamation of styles that could be traced back decades, even centuries. Hipsters try, and fail, to capture the looks and personalities of times gone by. It's sort of sad, when you think about it.

There are certain historical figures who, if they used a time machine and found themselves at an Echo Park pool party tomorrow, would fit right in. These are those figures.

CHAPTER 8

Look at These Fucking Love Connections


Mother Teresa once said, "If I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love." Coming from a woman with her hymen intact, these are wise words indeed. It's true: Everyone deserves to be loved, even hipsters.

I don't want to brag, but I must admit I have a special knack for matchmaking. What can I say? It's a gift. I'm able to find people with unique, often strange compatibilities, and I bring them together. Granted, I do it using Photoshop, but it's the same principle.

Here are some of the people I've brought together. For the sake of mankind, let's just hope they use protection.

CHAPTER 9

Beeeeeaaaaaaans


Personally, my favorite thing about the LATFH experience (after the whole "getting paid" thing) has been the saga of a man named Beans.

It all started on April 29, 2009, when I posted this picture:

"Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen. I'm sorry to interrupt whatever kind of stupid street fair this is, but I need your attention for one moment. I've lost my little brother. I was over there buying a gyro and, while my back was turned, he simply disappeared. So, if everyone could please just keep an eye out for my brother. His name is Russell, but everyone calls him 'Beans' for short. He kind of looks like me, but with longer hair and a bigger beard. Oh, and he doesn't wear glasses. Actually, he doesn't wear much of anything. Basically, you should all be looking for a big fat dude wearing little boy's underwear and high-top sneakers. Beeeeeaaaaans! Beans, wheeeere aaaaare yoooou?"

I found myself mesmerized by this photograph. I stared at it for hours. However, the longer I stared, the more questions I had. Who was this magical Beans character? What was going on inside that big hairy head? Where are his clothes? Is he braiding his chest hair?

Needless to say, Beans was an instant Internet celebrity. Within hours, readers started sending me e-mails, recounting their own personal Beans experiences, attaching photographic evidence of Beans sightings for me to analyze.

Beans became something like a hipster Bigfoot, only hairier and way more photogenic. Fans of Beans wrote to me frequently, aggressively demanding more Beans. Paradoxically, the more pictures I posted of Beans, the farther away he seemed from me. I knew I needed to find Beans myself, become Beans's friend, and publish a book about him.

So that's exactly what I did. I found Beans on Facebook and invited him to take part in a tasteful professional photo shoot. Beans said yes, and showed up at the studio that Saturday with a bag full of costumes. I told Beans he could do whatever he wanted, and he did just that. The following are pictures from that extraordinary event.

I'm not even sure if Beans is a hipster. But it doesn't matter. He's so much more than that. He's majestic.

CHAPTER 10

Conclusion


Well, that's it. You've come to the end of the Look at This F*cking Hipster book. I trust you've enjoyed yourself and let out a few hearty laughs in the process. What's most important, though, is that you've come away knowing a great deal more about hipsters and hipsterdom. Just kidding! You have learned absolutely nothing from reading this book! (And, honestly, if you're upset about that, you should ask yourself why you were trying to learn anything from a picture book with the word "F*cking" in the title. Dumbass.)


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Look at This F*cking Hipster by Joe Mande. Copyright © 2010 Joe Mande. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

JOE MANDE lives in New York City, where he works as a writer and comedian. He was named "Best New Comedian" by Time Out New York, appeared on Vh1's "Best Week Ever," and participates in Comedy Central's "Live at Gotham." He is a graduate of Emerson College with a BFA in writing.

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Look at This Fucking Hipster 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
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Take a look at the website www.latfh.com You should definitely get this book if it makes you laugh. I've already bought 3 copies as gifts.