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In defence of: Hipsters

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GODWIN’S LAW IS the premise that every argument on the Internet if drawn out for a long enough time, will at some point reference Hitler or the Nazi’s. As in “How can you find that video of that cat funny, that’s the kind of thing the Nazis would have laughed at.” It’s also often used to end a conversation and also in the hope that the person referencing the Nazis will be aware of how stupid they are. Which after all is what the Internet was designed for, making other people feel stupid.

If you’re an Internet veteran, you may also be aware that Godwin’s law has become a somewhat over-referenced premise. Therefore in some areas of the Internet, there’s a ‘neo-Godwin’s law’ which basically supposes that any online argument will at some point reference Godwin’s law. This is an example of why the Internet and by design the people who use it — humanity — are smug idiots. But just bare these in mind before I go on.

‘Hipsters’. Just the word conjures up negativity for many young people in the western world. But why? Is it the beards? Is it the gentrification? Is it that it appears the hipster population are playing a huge game of inconvenient-mode-of-transport Top Trumps in which the winner will eventually proceed to ride around bare foot in one of those ‘cars’ from The Flintstones? I get the feeling it’s all of those things. It’s the ‘cooler than thou’ aura, which ‘Hipsters’ supposedly thrive in.

I was first aware of the hipster hatred when this video was released:

It was amusing. People put it on at social gatherings quite a lot. It became quite tiresome how often people would use a phrase from it in conversation. Then people moved on. Which just about sums up everything that’s ever happened in pop culture since MTV was invented.

But the dislike of ‘Hipsters’ remained. I’m yet to meet someone who doesn’t at least put up a little bit of a fight when called a ‘Hipster’. No one I’ve ever met actively embraces the term. These ‘non-conformists’, the people not part of the ‘mainstream’, they’re just another group of people who like the same thing. Like Yo-Yo enthusiasts or Ultimate Frisbee players. And just like every adult Yo-Yo enthusiast isn’t always an overgrown child. Not every person with a beard and fixed gear bicycle is necessarily a ‘Hipster’. They won’t always be the one telling you how a certain band has sold out.

Is it not that ‘Hipster’ is just a definition of an ‘other’? Someone who’s different and is doing different things? And by placing a label and categorising all these people under one banner — albeit a new age banner with a vintage feel — we’re effectively segregating people for no reason. And you know who else did that? The Nazis. That’s right.

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