The Urban Dictionary defines a hipster as follows:

Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.

Well, I’m all for independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art, creativity, intelligence and witty banter, but I draw the line at “indie-rock”. Don’t make me listen to that shit.

I wouldn’t have quoted this except that the BBC clearly regards the Urban Dictionary as definitive. The definition goes on:

Hipsters reject the culturally-ignorant attitudes of mainstream consumers

— because hipsterism is about what you consume, not how you think or what else you do —

and are often be seen wearing vintage and thrift store inspired fashions, tight-fitting jeans, old-school sneakers, and sometimes thick rimmed glasses.

Yikes. The whole definition amounts to a mini-article in itself, and is a hoot, not least because no hipster could possibly subscribe to such a thing.

Back when I was a teenager, the mainstream teenage look for young guys consisted of white or cream baggy jackets, similarly-hued baggy trousers, highlights in the hair, and grey suede pixie boots. If you google ’80s style guys’, you will not find pictures of anyone looking like this, because it looked absurd. However, if you wanted to signify your rejection of the culturally-ignorant attitude of mainstream consumers, you did so by wearing black and bleaching your hair:


I have no idea what that band sounded like. Back in the day, as far as I was concerned, Birdland was a nightclub named after Charlie Parker.


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