[Editor’s Note: Joel Murphy is out doing uncool things, so today we bring you a special guest column by confessed hipster Nicole Alexandria.]
I know we just met, but there really isn’t any diplomatic way to skirt around the issue so I’ll be blunt. I am what people commonly refer to as a … hipster.
I am so sorry. I assure you it wasn’t a decision I made consciously. I didn’t wake up one day and say, “God damn I look good in giant glasses without a prescription. I think I’ll toast my aesthetically pleasing genius with a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer!”
My realization didn’t come with a look in any mirror as to what mistakenly horrible fashion choices I made. (Although I have to say in an effort to maintain full disclosure, I look pretty damn good in a good pair of skinny jeans and I rock a pair of Samba Classics while riding my vintage Schwinn to the local coffee shop with the best of them). No, my epiphany was far, far worse. I recognized an abnormally high level of pretension within myself. Not only was I pretentious, but that it was specifically targeted towards the mainstream world and how it distorts all that is great into an over-commercialized watered down version of itself.
To be fair though, mainstream culture really isn’t giving me much to work with. It astounds me that a little boy who can’t sing also has one of the highest grossing movies of the year in which he doesn’t act either. Apparently you can become rich and famous for having cool bangs. And if you see two poor crazy women fighting on the street most logical people would call the cops, but if you said women have money and hair extensions you can make a television show out of it and call it “Real.”
Prior to this jolt in my self awareness, I had just assumed that I was intolerant due to my long lineage of being born and raised in the great city of Philadelphia. Anyone who has watched sports in the last few decades would agree that Philadelphia takes the concept of “hating” to a near professional level. It’s just who we are. We take your town’s amateur heckling, and we vomit all over you adolescent daughter with it. (To be fair, that fan was from Jersey. There is nothing good about you or what you do, New Jersey.)
I can pinpoint the entire basis of my inner hipster on one thing and one thing alone. I don’t have cable. I can’t afford it. I stream just about everything on the Internet, and when you have to put in an effort to search and pirate you become far more selective in what you watch and don’t. The remote control makes settling for whatever crap cable station tries to pass for entertainment far too easy. A simple click of a button in a weird way earns the less then mediocre quality and warrants it passable. Every week when you post those great lines from the latest episode of the Jersey Shore on your Facebook walls, I just assume the Apocalypse is near. The few episodes I’ve seen appear to be a loophole in it being politically correct to point and laugh at mentally challenged people who have a rare skin deformity that make then orange. Too many carrots maybe?
Does this mean that you can actually stream radio stations that play music that isn’t Nickleback? And there are books written by people not recommended by Oprah? Just how deep does the rabbit hole go?
One day you wake up reading a book called Confessions of an English Opium Eater because modern stories of heroine addictions are so cliche and find yourself saying you miss the old music of a band people that’s just starting to be able to feed themselves off the money they make playing music. Or worse, you only like the original versions of great songs, which seemingly always in a six degrees of Kevin Bacon way can be traced to the old great Blues artist on Cadillac Records like Billy Holiday or Howlin Wolf. How’s that for pretentious?
I would welcome cable back into my life completely if it became affordable in the future, however I have to tell you, once the withdraw subsides, it’s really very nice to not be sold everything I buy through commercial advertising. I’m not brainwashed into seeing a movie with glittery effects like dramatic montages, or snippets of humor, or explosions and boobs. Which leaves more money for beer.
And I don’t care what you say, PBR is delicious.