Posted in music on July 31, 2008


We've reached a point in our civilization where counterculture has mutated into a self-obsessed aesthetic vacuum. So while hipsterdom is the end product of all prior countercultures, it's been stripped of its subversion and originality, and is leaving a generation pointlessly obsessing over fashion, faux individuality, cultural capital and the commodities of style. [Adbusters]



Tags: hipster, hipsters

Comments (90)

fuckin' hipsters...

materialistic hypocrits

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 6:18 PM

This is what I've been trying to tell you people for years. You're a bunch of stupid assholes.

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 6:22 PM

And this is different from past generations how?

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 6:23 PM


Posted by baby genius | July 31, 2008 6:23 PM

As if this is the first time in history an identity has been subsumed and transformed by marketers.

What a bullshit fluff piece. I'm sure half the readers here will eat it up though.

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 6:27 PM

wow they still bother publishing adbusters?

Chicago really needs some new pastimes.

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 6:31 PM


Sensitive, aren't we?

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 6:31 PM

This has been exactly the same since 1913, at least in New York City. Haven't these clods heard of the Armory Show, with William Carlos Williams complaining about Marcel Duchamp? Know your history, professional complainers!

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 6:31 PM

Adbusters just likes to talk. It's the same shit, every generation. Nothing new. Nothing to moan about unless you have too much time on your hands.

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 6:32 PM

Adbusters is from Canada (not Chicago), just like Naomi Klein and the people who made 'The Corporation.' Canada is just the country we've outsourced all our anti-corporate and anti-globalization angst to.

Posted by LL Smooth J | July 31, 2008 6:38 PM

The trendiness of bikes, fixed or not, is a good thing.

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 6:39 PM

Love it

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 6:41 PM

fucking liberals.

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 6:44 PM

Leave it to a hipster doosh rag like adbusters to take on this topic. Talk about fucking Meta...

Don't they see the irony here? Or do they? Ooooooh

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 6:49 PM

i'll fucking own it if no one else will. anti-hipster-ism seems to be made up of people who live in the same neighborhoods, listen to the same music, and wear not entirely different clothes from the dreaded hipsters--they just want to be all "i'm not part of that group" because they care way too much about what strangers think.

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 6:57 PM

Can we all agree that we hate teeny bopper scene kids more

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 7:01 PM

no, anti-hipster-ism is usually by people that were doing this years before and are sick of these losers destroying their music, their art, their history and offering nothing progressive or positive at all.

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 7:01 PM

I agree with 7:01.

But I need to get this issue, and I don't even read Adbusters. Anyone know if it's available?

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 7:14 PM

7:01 so basically hipsters are in disguise and they are killing themselves. ??

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 7:15 PM

i agree with 6:39

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 7:18 PM

broken social scene rules!

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 7:18 PM

'So while hipsterdom is the end product of all prior countercultures, it's been stripped of its subversion and originality, and is leaving a generation pointlessly obsessing over fashion, faux individuality, cultural capital and the commodities of style'
yeah because that didn't happen at all at towards the end of the 60s. not one bit. counterculture did not come highly commercialized, shallow and politically apathetic. nope. didn't were the golden age and we are it's shattered remnants adbusters.

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 7:36 PM

The definition of a hipster is someone who subscribes to trends (fashion, music, etc), but is also self-centered and selfish. They are driven by vanity, materialism, and a lack of self-confidence. They latch on to trends as a way to fill the void of the personality they lack, these trends become their identity. This is why the term has such a negative connotation. It does not have to, though. It could be reduced to simply describing someone who is very up on the latest trends, without all the negative baggage. But then what would BV commenters have to furiously toss around with a spit on the ground?

Posted by SP | July 31, 2008 7:38 PM

so one can only be self-centered and selfish if they're a hipster? hmm i see a flaw to that definition.

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 7:47 PM

Proust is a hipster.

Posted by Nietzsche | July 31, 2008 8:04 PM

originality is overrated anyways.

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 8:13 PM

"originality is overrated anyways."

no it's not.

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 8:32 PM

I used to listen to all the songs posted on this site 7 years ago. Now I am bored because today, my trend cycle as yet again revived to this moment, its full acceleration means that in about 3.47 years all trends will have existed and come to a halt, except cannibalism, cannibalism never did come around in a cyle.

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 8:50 PM

broken social scene does rule! let me change into my V neck now, thanks adbusters! i finally get what i am now...

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 9:09 PM

I'm not sure why everyone focuses on hipsters as the ultimate example of all this stuff. It seems like our culture is all about figuring out some way of getting cultural cache or status, finding a group of people who will engage you in this contest in agreed territory. I don't know if it's just America or some places in America or the whole world. But it seems like everyone engages in empty status contests. At least, I see it in myself. Sure, it's sad, but I'd blame our culture for raising us to be this way.

Posted by M | July 31, 2008 9:19 PM

They sell Adbusters at the checkout counter at Whole Foods.So the magazine itself isn't very subversive anymore. It is a mainstream publication masking itself as a subversive magazine, being sold in a supermarket that sells "organic" food which has been shipped cross country thousands of miles to get there (not exactly what they had in mind when "organic" was originally coined as a phrase.

So talking about hipsters as lacking subversion and originality is a bit hypocritical in this case is it not?

Posted by Kurt C. | July 31, 2008 9:23 PM

man now that adbusters made an article about the scene im apart of, i gotta act like i dont care and then secretly follow a new trend.. hmm i think Metal or something along the lines of Faux Hiphop should do me good

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 9:23 PM

adbusters = boring

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 9:41 PM

seems about right to me

Posted by howard p. flochango | July 31, 2008 10:14 PM

"The trendiness of bikes, fixed or not, is a good thing."

No, fixed gear bikes are just retarded. Unless you are in a velodrome, they have no purposes except to be a trendy pack follower.

Like at me! I'm different! I look like everyone else!

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 10:20 PM

fixed bikes are fun! accelerate.

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 10:32 PM

Some truths exist in this article: we are culturally bankrupt/living on fumes with no 'new' cultural identity on which to hang our collective hats. Ultimately, you cannot define a 'hipster' because a hipster will not self-define. In the 60's, a hippie acknowledged he/she was a hippie. In the 90's, a yuppie acknowledged he/she was a yuppie. Quite simply, the only way to recognize a hipster is by hearing one call out someone else as such: the fact that any self-realization/identity does not exist proves the point of emptiness, vapidity, and a lack of a national/cultural identity.

I blame the MTV Video games.

Posted by greg | July 31, 2008 11:04 PM

i had to be taken to the hospital for irony overdose when i saw this on the shelf in whole foods.

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 11:33 PM

All this talk about hipsters is making my woody droop.

Posted by Boner Stabone | July 31, 2008 11:39 PM

d.i.y. or die

Posted by cassie | July 31, 2008 11:42 PM

I am sorry wait actually I am not fuck this article and anyone who tries to label people who are just doing their shit as hipsters. Fuck the title and anyone who feels to strong desire to explain classify, and codify youth culture. I think that it is really gross how unoriginal some parts of our culture is but who really gives a damn. Every generation is a product of the one before it. Yes I must say there are so truly dumb fuck people who you meet on lines to get into a concert and whatnot but there are stupid people everywhere. And as far as Western civilization ending: its about fucking time. Look at our motherfucking environment; look at the fact that THIS country produces the most waste in the world. Sadly, Western civilization has been exported all around the world, and one of the reasons why some people consider the emerging generation as a mash-up and mix of confusion is because its a combination of many things, many people, many different cultures. I find it very pretentious for people who used to be into these current things to suddenly declare them cliche or passe just because others are now doing it. Life isnt a damn contest about who is the coolest and can set the most trends. And as far as kids wanting more street cred and to seem real, why the fuck wouldn't you want to be more real in this mass hyped over-produced world, where the fucking presidential candidate has to parade himself and his family in a cheap gossip magazine. this essay is so poorly written and has no merit whatsoever. I completely understand that some parts of the culture are really ridiculous and if some dude walked up to me and told me to take a picture of him I would ask him to suck my cock first and then maybe I would consider it. The last paragraph is the worst. With the random terrorist euphemism. Douchebag. Terrorism is a subjective thing. If we are so lost what the fuck are we supposed to find?

Posted by King King | August 1, 2008 12:01 AM

Hipsters are probably no more shallow and materialistic than the flappers, hippies, ravers etc. etc... But I agree with greg, what seperates them is that this counterculture is entirely counteractive in that they refuse to acknowledge themselves apart of said culture. This is what makes it really annoying. People aren't spending time proving how much of a hipster they are but constantly defending why they're not hipsters which, arguably, makes them more of a hipster. Go figure. Ultimately, I'm sure that some people in the v-necks and -insert other stereotypical hipstrocities- may feel happy in their faux individualism just as those who constantly rank on them take pleasure in that. So, to each his own. Lets all get over ourselves.

Posted by retspih | August 1, 2008 12:11 AM


Posted by Boner Stabone | August 1, 2008 12:14 AM

also, go fuck yerself!

Posted by Boner Stabone | August 1, 2008 12:15 AM

7:01 is correct. I love that people are getting all worked up about this article. Feel free to shoot the messenger or make baseless counter claims if you can't handle the truth. He makes valid observations and criticisms about the culture.

Posted by Adam Curry | August 1, 2008 12:55 AM

so being a hipster is cool again? i don't get it.

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2008 12:58 AM

hey, yeah... don't blame the hipsters. blame the capitalists. the big, bad, capitalists. seriously. i totally laughed when i read this. yes, there are some problems with hipster culture. like, most of them (us?) are assholes. but look, things like a false sense of individualism and commodities of style are exactly what capitalism thrives on. and oh yeah, "obsessing over fashion?" has no one been paying attention to, um, anything? ever?

Posted by Sam | August 1, 2008 1:19 AM

A good way to tell if you're a hipster: you get defensive over an adbusters article claiming hipsters are a deadend. Why are people anti-hipster, or to rephrase, why is being a hipster culturally vapid and void of originality? Because it was hijacked by the corporate mainstream, exploited, sold, branded, packaged and re-packed and sold again - for profit, for personal gain - sold to people who have no imagination, who have no sense of self and have to go buy their culture and identity from american apparel and urban outfitters or some other "indie" chain. Hipster is an idea, a concept, a trend piece that was picked up by capitalist entrepreneurs and has entered the corporate marketplace and is sold like a McDonald's oriental chicken salad. People buy it because it's trendy, not because they have some personal manifesto or creed - or even a reason for doing it except that everyone else is doing it and it makes them look and feel "edgy" when they're bland and boring.

Posted by JC | August 1, 2008 2:02 AM

I'm still just shocked to hear that adbusters still exists.

talk about a blast from the past!

and um, who cares what they think?

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2008 2:06 AM

Is this all that irony I hear so much about? Posting this the same day as the headline "Arcade Fire has more members than Wolf Parade".

Honestly, when do you hear about anything real from anything. I can tell you I force people to listen to Rage Against the Machine and the Vengaboys on a regular basis because per fact both those bands make more enjoyable music that is integral for living than almost everything on this site (though the Dirty Projector plugs are starting to come in more and more). I mean guys, it actually DOES have to start somewhere and it DOES have to start sometime. What better time than here? What better place than now?

Posted by Josh Brown | August 1, 2008 2:07 AM

There are some people that don't need a watch to know what time it is.

As funny as making fun of the greatest generation is, my grandma does pay my car insurance and most people I know don't know how to mend a fence or fix minor plumbing problems.

Posted by Josh Brown | August 1, 2008 2:11 AM

Pitchfork now receives an audience of more than 240,000 readers per day, and more than 1.5 million unique visitors per month, making it the most popular independent-focused music publication online.

Zs - Arms : 7.8/10
Dirty Projectors - Rise Above : 8.1/10
...Trail of Dead – Source Tags & Codes : 10/10
Miles Davis - Kind of Blue : 10/10
Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot : 10/10

Note: Occasionally, a Pitchfork reviewer awards a 10.0 rating to an album's reissue despite its initial release being awarded a lesser rating.

Posted by Josh Brown | August 1, 2008 2:52 AM

I'm glad I'm not a hipster.

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2008 6:56 AM

@Josh Brown - Vengaboys?!?

Posted by blackhat | August 1, 2008 7:36 AM

I honestly wonder what hipsters will be several years from now... that awkward 50-year-old barista at the coffee shop?

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2008 7:49 AM

anti-hipsters are the new hipsters

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2008 7:59 AM

This is the best story to be posted on the BV ever.
Adbusters is great cognitive dissonance for us north american scum.

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2008 8:15 AM

I thought hipster was someone with hair like that guy in the picture...

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2008 8:50 AM

@ 7:14 - Adbusters is available on the shelf of your local Borders at the least.

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2008 9:13 AM

hipster - a person who likes contemporary music, art, and trends that is not you or any of your friends.

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2008 9:20 AM

Proust was certainly not a hipster. He spent half his life in bed, was a painfully closeted homosexual and achingly longed for his mother.
Wait a second...I guess he was a hipster!

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2008 9:26 AM

Douglas Haddow was typing this article so fucking hard he broke his fucking Mac book Air!!!!!!!!

Suede thinks this article sucks.

Posted by Suede | August 1, 2008 9:29 AM

Oh girl I'm just a hipster for your love

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2008 9:29 AM

I'm boycotting the mainstream hipsterism but burning my skinny jeans and start going to Lotus..

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2008 9:35 AM

there is good in all people. hipster does not equal inherently evil just like pop culture does not equal inherently bad. the only thing we should be revolting against is everything but ourselves.

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2008 9:36 AM

i think the article does make some valid points. what troubles me is that despite the aura of independence and individuality that dressing a certain way and listening to certain music confers upon people, most of them are no more creative, intelligent, or countercultural than the average joe wearing dockers and a golf shirt. it's a kind of false advertising. i noticed this a lot in the 90s, when "alternative" culture was being marketed--lots of people looking a certain way but not truly embodying the spirit of the style. basically, there were a lot of normal people wearing cool clothes. conversely, i think it's true that many of the most interesting, intelligent, and creative people don't in any way "look the part."

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2008 10:23 AM

fixies are skateboards for fat boys in tight pants.

except without the radical.

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2008 10:29 AM

does this article mention the Vivian Girls?

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2008 10:34 AM

"anti-hipsters are the new hipsters"

basically. hipster hate is so strong now though that it's almost cool to be a hipster again. it's like some neverending cycle.

on another point, where i go to school there are like 6 hipsters so it's cool to be a hipster there because when the midwestern people with their stupid accents and faces say they hate hipsters it doesn't matter because they're lame anyway. here it's not at all cool because everyone is on some sliding scale of hipster and about 90% of the people you're around are in someway cooler than you. and we always pretend to hate people who are cooler than we are. (see; Wisconsin)

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2008 10:38 AM

SEX AND THE CITY was right: new york IS over.

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2008 10:44 AM

10:44 I assume you're joking, but just in case I'll call you an idiot anyway.

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2008 10:55 AM

Postmodernism doesn't lament the idea of fragmentation, provisionality, or incoherence, but rather celebrates that. The world is meaningless? Let's not pretend that art can make meaning then, let's just play with nonsense.

Posted by me | August 1, 2008 11:29 AM

Non-issue. "Hipsters" don't even exist as such. For what would that mean? What would that entail? Whose identity could be implicated?

In our neighborhood, any young person can be deemed such. Therefore it is meaningless. Few would self-identify as "Hipsters" for few can adequately define the term and if it were adequately "defined" it would necessarily be an abstraction and not, as Aristotle once phrased it, a mimetic act of holding the mirror up to nature.

Furthermore: live and let live. It is immoral, unjust, and incorrect to group together all sorts of personalities, interests, experiences, goals and attitudes into some "aesthetic" buzzword paradigm. That sort of labeling is all false and smacks if not of fascism, then of the same sort of simplistic thinking about communities that can get you quickly from A to B. Bugger off.

Posted by Allen Wilcox | August 1, 2008 11:43 AM

haha the term hipster has been around for what...100 fucking years! This article makes little to no mention of how the term has evolved and where it came from. There were hipster, are hipsters and will always be hipsters in new york. read up on jazz in the early 20th century, ginsberg and the beats on the lower east side, warhol and his crew in the 60's/70's, etc, etc.

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2008 11:48 AM


Posted by corey | August 1, 2008 1:11 PM

i am a hipster and i'm not too cool to admit it.

Posted by heygurrl | August 1, 2008 2:34 PM

can we wipe brooklyn off the map?

Posted by toby keith | August 1, 2008 3:42 PM

keep it short, assholes. I'm sure I'm not the only one who skips any comment longer than 3 lines. Conserve your energy folks!

Posted by Joe Merrick | August 1, 2008 6:03 PM

i say we start a new word for hipsters: norom.

Posted by i buy my clothes on long island | August 1, 2008 6:57 PM

what's with all the meatheads on BV?

All a bunch of neck pussies.

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2008 7:07 PM

"what's with all the meatheads on BV?"

yeah seriously? and you never see this kinda anger at the show...

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2008 8:55 PM

Whoa... I can't decide whether to feign disinterest with an ironic comment or fake genuine concern with an unironic comment. Being an elitist is hard work!

Posted by Nona Yubiznes | August 2, 2008 1:20 AM

what is hip? Tell me, tell me, because I need to know.

Posted by AgroKrag | August 2, 2008 1:38 AM

holy shit can we just stfu with all this hipster shit already? FUCK

Posted by Anonymous | August 2, 2008 2:53 AM

a little late, but:

suede, you fucking rock it.

Posted by Anonymous | August 2, 2008 8:58 PM

"Rise of the Idiots" anyone?

Posted by Anonymous | August 10, 2008 12:14 AM

I hate hipsters about as much as I hate vegans.

Mad chicken fried bacon for breakfast this a.m.,
sasauge gravy, butter 'n' biscuits and a big
ol glass of milk.

Posted by MKULTRA | August 21, 2008 9:54 AM

I wish I was a hipster, but don't have enough money to buy cool clothes, since i spend it on instruments because I play in a band and practice and try to convince these people to go to a show. But if I was I'd probably get laid more. And have money. And get laid (and have money).

Posted by Mayor McCheese | August 21, 2008 10:19 AM

I do not guess that every student all over the world has a passion of argument essay composing! However, people ,which do not have writing skills have to utilize a support of professional media essay service and enjoy a success.

Posted by POKONNIE | February 17, 2010 3:41 PM

Leave a Comment