5 Things I've Learned From Admitting I'm A Hipster
I'm pretty sure I'm the hipster Patrick Bateman. I don't mean that I have a fridge full of dead hooker parts. I mean, Patrick Bateman didn't have that, either -- if you actually understood the ending of the film, you'd know that. What I mean is that I'm sort of a cliche, but rather than rejecting this, I more or less revel in it.
Truth told, I'm not really sure what a hipster is. All I know is that every time I write about something I like, I get 250 comments from plebs in stone-washed jeans and cheap fedoras calling me one. I always thought there was some connection with indie rock, which I hate, but I guess not. Maybe it just means "I don't like that guy's pants." Maybe it's just shorthand for "white people who don't like NASCAR unironically," which is fine, I guess, because that is definitely me.
But getting back to the point: I know that I'm basically a cliche, and rather than being bothered by it, I find great pleasure in hyperconformity. I want to be better at being a cliche than every other cliche walking around, and here are five ways I'm doing it.
I Go To The Barber Every Week
One thing you might have noticed about the film American Psycho is that everyone has basically the same haircut. It's sort of a major plot device. Paul Allen thinks that Patrick Bateman is Marcus Halberstram, which leads to Allen's murder. Similarly, if you take a walk around neighborhoods known for men who pay a disproportionate amount of attention to such things, you're going to see a lot of man buns ...
... Hitler Youth undercuts ...
Been there, done that.
... and my personal favorite, '50s dad hair.
The cut that raised the Beaver.
I want to have a slightly better haircut than everyone else, so I go to the barber every week. If it was good enough for grandpa, it's good enough for me. Every Friday, I'm sitting in my chair at Vinny's Barbershop in East Hollywood (sorry guys, but you're definitely not in Silver Lake), so if you want to kill me after reading his article, that's the place to get it done.
More than just the haircut, there are few places where I can quite so nakedly strut around and flaunt my mastery of the rules of the game. I like looking clean and trim, but I also like being the coolest guy among a collection of cool guys. Doing it among you normals just isn't nearly as satisfying.
I Have Seriously Contemplated Getting Beard Implants
Remember when Bateman meets up with Paul Allen at the Mexican place? Bateman just can't deal with this guy. Better accounts, better business card, reservations at Dorsia's ... but there's one thing that just sets him off: a home tanning bed. And so it is with me and beards. Don't let my thick, lustrous, Nick-Offerman-tier mustache fool you: I cannot grow a beard.
My father was the kid who was shaving twice a day by 8th grade. My brothers couldn't grow beards until they were in their mid-30s. Somehow, in my mid-30s, I have less dense facial hair than I did ten years ago, except for the aforementioned thick and lustrous mustache, which I never would have been able to grow until recently.
Not mine, but I wish it was.
Anyway, the point is, I grew up seeing a dude with a Charles-Manson-tier beard in the winter months. And hey, throat carpet is a great look on any man who can actually pull it off.
So I looked into beard implants.
Yeah, beard implants exist. They work, too, so if you're a guy who is all bummed about his facial hair, the good news is they can yank hair out of the back of your neck and stick it in your face. Pretty soon you'll look like every other dickhead with a liberal arts degree and a nebulous job description whose actual duties involve sitting on Reddit all day.
I tried beard supplements for six weeks, which are also a thing.
Yes, of course they are.
I did it "for an article" so that I could have the proper amount of ironic detachment while taking something called "beard supplements." Then I started looking into what the side effects of rubbing Rogaine on my face would be. You think I'm making this up to be "wacky" on a website primarily known for dick jokes, but literally every word I'm telling you is true.
I ultimately decided against beard implants -- not because of pain or price, but because they would have to take hair out of my head, and the hair on my head is pretty much the best hair in the world.
Yes, I Am In Fact Judging You
Think back to the business card scene in American Psycho. It's pretty much the scene people remember the most. The whole point of it is that these guys can see tiny differences between seemingly unimportant objects like business cards.
Along those same lines, I think your jeans are horrible, and would rather be buried in a potter's field than ever be seen wearing them in public.
Pictured: three generations of failure.
I'm constantly judging just about everyone and everything around me, and it goes way beyond mere appearances. Like Bateman, I'm not content to look a certain way. I'm trying to cultivate a total lifestyle aesthetic that encompasses my clothes, the car I drive, my home furnishings, the way I walk and talk and carry myself -- everything. I mean, I bought three $75 pens to put in three different $400 work shirts, because they have pen pockets and I wasn't going to stick Bics in them.
I'm not an animal.
I don't just negatively judge. I also kind of freak out when guys are doing something better than me. Example: I was down at the expensive jeans store yesterday picking up some expensive jeans I had hemmed. The guy working there had better cuffs than I do, and I spent most of the rest of the day stressing about it. Even remembering it right now has me running for a mirror to check out how my jeans are breaking and how my cuffs fall.
But when you roll up at the dive bar in a pair of Levi 505's your girlfriend picked up for you at Target, you're damn right I'm judging you. Harshly, I might add. It's cool, though, I'll still let you buy me a drink.
Related: Nicolas Cage: 'I Am A Goth'
I Have Extremely Detailed And Specific Opinions About Music
Of course I like Huey Lewis and the News. Who the fuck doesn't, is the real question. The difference is that I can tell you exactly why I like what I like, when I started liking it, why I prefer one period of an artist's work to another, and so forth.
I've played in bands in the past. I even got to open up for one of my favorite bands at the Viper Room in West Hollywood. But one day, I realized that I like talking about music way more than I like playing it. So I quit my band, sold my gear, and focused on the part of my life where I get paid to have opinions about music.
Besides, being in a band is kind of kid stuff.
Get a couple drinks in me and I'll expound at length on the topic, evangelizing for whatever band is catching my fancy at the moment, telling you when they got good and why you ought to like them. In fact, when I go out to a bar, the first thing I do is pump $20 or $30 into the jukebox so that I can DJ for the entire bar, starting conversations with total strangers about my picks for the evening.
So if you see me out sometime, here's hoping an extended reverie about Gordon Lightfoot gets you as "in the zone" as it does me, because that's exactly the kind of shit you're in for.
I Work Out Because It's What Other People Do And I'm Incredibly Vain
One of my favorite bits in "Hip To Be Square," the world's greatest ode to the pleasures of conformity, has Huey belting out "I'm working out most every day / And watching what I eat / They tell me that it's good for me / But I don't really care."
That's a pretty good description of me as well. I eat paleo and I've lost a ton of weight doing it.
I lift four times a week and I try to never skip leg day. And while I like how I look and feel, I have a much more important reason for working out: It's just what everyone else does. At least, high-powered media professionals (ahem) such as myself.
When I head down to the bar on a Friday night, I want to talk about my workout routine as much as I want to talk about the clothes that I'm wearing. It's just one of those things that guys do. So I do it.
You'd think that I'd work out because as a guy with a semi-job, I'm worried about the health impact of sitting on my ass and doing nothing all day. You couldn't be more wrong. I guess I sort of care about my health, but the main physical benefit I get out of it is my clothes fitting me better. I specifically selected a weight-lifting routine that didn't cause muscle gains so I wouldn't have to replace the ten grand worth of Japanese "work wear" I have hanging in my closet.
You hate me so much right now.
And by this point, basically everyone who read this hates me. That's fine with me. Because I know that if we met you'd shake my hand and we'd made eye contact. I'd start bantering and bullshitting and you'd be laughing at my jokes and buying me rounds. You'd tell me how much you love my mustache and ask me if I knew what was playing on the jukebox. But I would simply not be there.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to return some video tapes.
For more on hipsters from Cracked, check out How a Conspiracy to Raise Beer Prices Invented Hipsters and 7 Reasonable Explanations For Looking Like a Hipster.
What the Hell Did I Just Read: A Novel of Cosmic Horror, the third book in David Wong's John Dies at the End series, is available now!