Something profound is happening to this generation. Just as generations before have been formed by the global events of the time, the Millennials are starting to define themselves. The Greatest Generation is full of Great Depression and World War II survivors. The Baby Boomers were split: half were supporters of free love and contested just about any form of violence, and the other half were the capitalists who saw and respected what their predecessors fought for. Each generation is driven by the events of the time. But this generation is different. This generation, our generation, has decided to morph into something completely different: the hipster.
Before I start breaking down what the hipster really is, I feel compelled to divulge a little about myself. I am, in a sense, the anti-hipster. I am the equivalent of sticking a modern day trust fund kid in the middle of a depression. I was born in western Texas to an upper-middle class family. My dad is a business owner and my family is very Republican. I wear designer clothing, cowboy boots, and so on. I went to school at Texas Tech University, which is one of the most conservative schools in the country, and I was in a fraternity. Now I work as a landman for an oil company in Midland, Texas, the childhood home of George W. Bush. I have also interned for Fox News and a Republican member of Congress in his D.C. office. My life goal is to one day run on the Republican ticket for a major office, whether that be Congress or maybe even Senate. I am the antithesis of everything hipster.
Back to the breakdown. The hipster is a fairly new trend which seems to have branched from the emo scene in the mid-2000s. They often claim to be liberal or nihilists, although very few partake in actual politics, as that would be too mainstream and also require too much work. They base much of what they do on irony and vilify people who do what society deems normal–i.e. going to college for something worthwhile, getting a job after graduating, and building a 401k. You can find the hipster wearing copious amounts of plaid or ironic t-shirts depicting alien abductions, classic book covers, or random sayings that bear no actual meaning. They drink craft beers, they move to big cities like Austin, Los Angeles, or Denver, and they grow facial hair that might as well have a sign on it begging people to look at them. When they do have a job, it is usually in a coffee shop, a local restaurant, or some kind of low-level entertainment job. They are a movement with no direction.
Hipsters usually have no ambition, contribute nothing to society (besides the few actually talented “indie” bands–looking at you Fitz and the Tantrums) and, most importantly, are capable of causing a certain hatred so deep in the guts of people like me that it makes us sick. This isn’t an unwarranted prejudice–they actively make the decision to be this way. I do not hate the specific hipsters I meet or know (except one, but that’s a long story). I merely despise their culture.
Hipsters have become the poster children for our generation and there is nothing the hard-working, young professionals can do about it. We are constantly being grouped with them as the problem with this country–not to mention the reason America could very well drop to the second most powerful country in the world. Or worse. We, the select few left who chose not to work for minimum wage our entire lives, are sitting on the bench while the coach puts in the hipsters to try to score that game winning goal. The problem is, sports are too mainstream for them. They won’t shoot.
Now, you are probably wondering what inspired this tirade. I am in love with a hipster. Yep. Me. Hipster. Love. We met in college and instantly became a couple of sorts without the title. I was too self-centered in college to tie myself to one girl, so we were “unofficial” for about two years. She is a year older than I am, and upon graduating a year before me, moved to Austin to write for a magazine. To be fair, she wasn’t a hipster in college, although she did show signs of heading in that direction. Now, she works and lives in Los Angeles and is surrounded by the very people who hate everything I stand for. I am in love with her and that means I must face the hipster hoards every day I am with her, which is a task I am more than willing to take on.
I didn’t always hate hipsters. Remember when I said there was one in particular who is the only one I hate? Yeah, you see where this is going. My girlfriend and I took a break one semester while she was working in Austin and I was working for a congressman in Washington, D.C. The break was my idea, and it sent her into a spiral of depression that ended with her hooking up with a hipster. Gauged ears, tattoos, beard, tight jeans–the whole nine yards. On top of that, she lied about it for more than a year and, unbeknownst to her, I also happen to know she may have been in the process of forming a relationship with him. To top it all off, he had the exact same name as me. What are the chances?
So yes, my hate does stem from an individual hipster. But that one guy opened my eyes to the wave that is engulfing this generation and causing us to be the children of nothing. They represent nothing, do nothing, and want nothing. If a change isn’t made, this generation will be forever known as the generation that sat and watched as their country plummeted into debt, war, handpicked coffee grounds, and handlebar mustaches.