Yes, they are misunderstood. No that’s not the set up of a joke, or some irony playing off the fact that hipsters love irony. It’s true. The internet has done to hipsters exactly what it did to cats. No, I’m sorry, no cat has ever asked for a cheeseburger in broken English. And not every mid-twenties white guy with a beard and a hobby is a hipster.
People who live in the mid-west who only receive cutting edge culture years later and through second hand sources like MTV don’t really get eccentricity as much as someone from a big city would. And the concept of a hipster, due to a misunderstanding of people from smaller areas seeing hipsters on the internet, has become a sort of amalgamation. Now anyone with an interest in art and a few odd affectations becomes lumped into the all encompassing stratosphere of the hipster. Ride a unicycle? Hipster. Pickle your own cucumbers? Hipster. Roll your own cigarettes? Play the fiddle? Prune bonsai trees? Play Hearts competitively? If you’re twenty-five, have tattoos, and do any of these things, you will now be perceived as a hipster. When in reality, these activities could be done by anyone from any walk of life. And in a city like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, or Seattle, you’ll find millions of subcultures where you might pick up a little quirk here and there. And after a few years of moving city to city these will combine. And before you know it, you make pizza out of quinoa, draw your own tattoos, and wear corduroy pants. Whereas just a few years ago this made you interesting and traveled, now you’re an object of scorn because some guy from Wisconsin saw people like you mocked on Portlandia.
The guy riding the unicycle and the guy who pickles tomatoes aren’t the same. They might even hate eachother. Wearing a knit hat in June and drinking a latte doesn’t actually mean what it is now perceived to mean. There are true hipsters out there. Mustaches, dollar store neon sunglasses, loafers. They’re real. And they are douchebags deserving of a little mockery. But to assume anyone wearing glasses and holding an iPhone is in this massive group, is about as accurate as seeing a guy driving a truck and assuming he has a Confederate flag above his bed. You might be right, but it’s a total stab in the dark.
This was the first thing that popped up in a Google search, but he’s probably a really nice guy with an interesting story about playing the banjo.