Saturday, February 16, 2008

Let's Talk About.....Hipsters

When I used to live in Richmond, Virginia I always heard about a mythical land of hipsters. It was a land where irony and cynicism flowed from every faucet, where bangs were on every head, and where young lads could roam the streets in tight jeans without nary a question of, "sir, where have you placed your  man parts?"

This mythical land was called Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

But there I was in Richmond, surrounded by hipsters, drinking PBR, and pondering getting a tattoo myself and I thought, nah.....we can take 'em. I often called for a reality tv show pitting Richmond hipsters vs. Williamsburg hipsters- And I thought Richmond would have, not only more hipsters, but more dedicated hipsters.

You see- Richmond hipsters are tough. Many have grown up in rural regions, can handle guns (that's why they prevail at Buck Hunter) and can live on a cheap you and I can't really imagine. But alas, dear readers, although Richmond hipsters are tough, they are simply outnumbered by the masses congregating unchecked like nutria in the canals of Williamsburg's streets.

By day, on the L train, you are surrounded by young, creative, urban professionals- but at night they flock to you in huge cackling hordes-arms out, covered in tattoos, neon tights, odd boots, and zaggy haircuts.When George Romero makes his next film, he should shoot it on Bedford street at night and call it Night of the Living Turd. They go arrrrggghhhh as they head to the watering hole of Union Pool and arrggghh as they round the corner to Bushwick Country Club. But Williamsburg hipster zombies don't feed on blood. They feed on their need to feel cool. Specifically, cooler than you.

It was one night not so long ago at Bushwick Country Club where I was ambushed by a pasty little fellow with a tight white shirt pulled taut over his burgeoning beer belly, tight black jeans, and little white shoes. I'm 5'2 and could look him straight in the eye. There is a very high chance that every morning he scours his pillow case ( an old one with New Kids on the Block on it) every morning to see how much hair he lost overnight. And, your honor, I solemnly swear I had no problem with him until he provoked me.

You see, I love a juke box, and Bushwick Country Club has a fairly awesome selection. The Police, Fleetwood Mac, Carly Simon, songs I love to love and love to hear. Despite the already present sign that said, "No Hank Williams until after 3AM" (How quaint, I thought, How funny!) I didn't recognize this as an ironic jukebox. With musical selections present only so the low self-esteemed and heavily coiffed can make fun of you, thus feeling better about how they will never write a great novel on their antique typewriter. So, I, drunk on fun, pop on over and put on the following songs: "Don't Stand So Close to Me" by the Police, "Call Me" by Blondie, "True" by Spandeau Ballet and maybe a Marvin Gaye song, I really can't remember.

I was about to play Buck Hunter when the little balding troll of a hipster giggling to himself with glee put the above pictured post-it note on the jukebox.


And I rolled my eyes. If it keeps him from killing himself one more day to think the Police suck, go right ahead. I've got God and musicians everywhere backing me up on this one. Sting probably commits his tantric sex in big piles of money every night and that image alone verses this little guy feeling twitchy while perusing vintage Playboys in his closet made me happy enough. But then after Blondie they cut off my songs.
Repeat: They simply cut off my music.

So I poked Mr. White Shirt, "Can I have my dollar back. You cut off my music." He laughed. "Well, I just bought 23 songs- you can have two of them," he says.

This is no laughing matter. Did he think I would be shamed into accepting them cutting of my songs?
"No, " I replied, "I want my songs. The ones you cut off. Or my dollar back."
I've got fire in my eyes and he hands me back a dollar. Then they put my songs back on. And I try to hand him back his dollar. Which he refuses. Awesome. I freaked out the hipster. Not only did I freak out the hipster, but I forgot to mention this was the BOUNCER at Bushwick Country Club.

But I do actually like the bar BCC, and they have Buck Hunter and cheesy-poofs so from now on instead of finding another bar I will make it my personal mission to put $20 into the ironic jukebox everytime I'm there. I will play Rhiannon, De Do Do Do, and who knows what I can dig up from Hank Williams- and I will play it and sit back and invite them to mess with me. I'm willing to take this to court if they take my money again. I'm willing to ask the tough question: Why put music on a jukebox that you don't want to hear? I'm willing to invite their pansy pants to go to Richmond where I will have real hipsters who dig through garbage and wear white shirts only because they are cheap beat the every loving shit out of them, if not bodily, then at least at Scrabble.

So go back to American Apparel Bushwick Country Club bouncer dude. I'm sure they make an XXS deep v-neck t-shirt that you can sell all the live long day until you, like the hippies in their heyday, fade into cultural oblivion. But hey man, twenty years from now when you are looking back at pictures of yourself at least you'll look like the true individual you are. At least you'll always have that.


Meade Skelton said...

Richmond is indeed the hipster capital of the world. Whats more neater is that Richmond hipsters maintain all that irony and cynicism while throwing Southern Charm in your face. So that you can go to PLAN 9 and still get a "hows it goin"', while behind your back they look in disdain when some guy in a sweat shirt and dockers purchases a Dave Matthews Band record.

SlipperyPete said...

i'm heading to richmond on business. any tips on how to avoid hipsters. or has the infestation reached some point where i won't be able to escape the irony?

Anonymous said...

pete, its pretty much everywhere downtown. you cant avoid them and their self rightous attitudes. Ive just come to accept them as hollow but whatever.