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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Damn Hipsters

We can't touch our trust funds until we're 30

        Every now and then a guy in his mid-thirties like myself will take a look at the world around him and notice that some of his tried and tested knowledge and assumptions have become bullshit.  Growing up in Philly, after you knew were someone was from and what they looked like, you knew all you needed to know. That is sadly no longer the case and for people like myself that would much rather judge a book by its' cover than actually talk to them, it's a pain in the ass.  The main culprit in this tragic crime, the North American hipster.

     It used to be the case, not so long ago, that heavily tattooed people fell into a few categories; bikers, ex-cons, badasses and people that just didn't give a shit.  Now every handjob at a Decemberist concert is sleeved up like they just got out of Chino. At one point tattoos represented a desire to be left alone or a long night of drinking across the street from a tattoo shop. Not to the hipster, however.  To the hipster a tattoo has to represent much, much more.  Could be a life long struggle with lactose intolerance or some obscure social cause, like the plight of the Maori tribesman.  Either way asking them about their tattoos, which is exactly what they want, is a big mistake.  Unless you have a half hour to listen to a story about how a picture of an ostrich on their forearm represents the weekend they spent with their dead aunt Florence at SeaWorld.

When having sailor tattoos meant you were a sailor and a badass

      Excessive and elaborate facial hair was once reserved for only a chosen few.   That was until about eight years ago when the hipster commandeered our greatest face décor. Old timey boxers, jihadis, outdoorsmen and Civil War vets have historically worn the most hardcore facial hair.  These days every poli-sci graduate student that fills my beer at Johnny Brenda's (hipster hangout in Philly) looks like fucking Rolly Fingers. This puts guys like me with no upper lip or chin in a real bind.  We can either go facial hairless and look like a lesbian or grow some fantastic face fuzz and risk being lumped in with this asshole.

      Philly used to have some of the great blue collar working class neighborhoods on the East Coast.  Port Richmond and Fishtown were two of the best.  You could literally get your asked kicked for winning a C.Y.O. basketball game at St. Anne's on Lehigh Ave.  I know because it would have happened to me had my grandma not snuck my team out the back door of the gym after a sweet victory in the early 90s.  The guys you once saw strutting around there looked like the cast of The Town  and were every bit as tough.  Those formerly gritty areas have become hipster havens complete with swanky coffee shops, bicycle repair stops and other types of nonsense businesses that would have been bankrupt in two weeks before the neighborhoods was castrated.  Perhaps the worst casualties are the bars.  The shot and beer joints that opened at 6:00 a.m. so the roofers could get lubed up before work and stayed open long enough for the same roofers to get in a fight over some toothless scamp at 2 a.m. when they closed it down, have all been replaced.  The new hipster watering holes only serve "session ales" to clowns in skinny jeans that would have got their shit pushed in, in that same bar ten years earlier, ironically enjoying (the only way a hipster can enjoy anything) the shittiest music on Earth. 

     I think my real issue is I may be accidental hipster.  The hipster frequently dons my preferred uniform of jeans, a tee shirt, work boots and a Jeff cap,  I 'm fairly heavily tattooed and damn it, I enjoy IPAs!



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