The trouble with hipsters

Well, they have plenty of problems, but nobody’s perfect. The thing about hipsters that most concerns me, however, given the fact that we often end up at the same parties, is that they have no dance moves. Lord knows they dance—wildly spasming to Animal Collective, clutching red wine in Ball mason jars—yes they do.

But they don’t have moves. There’s no hipster equivalent to the Charleston or the jitterbug, no jit or hustle. Hipsters can shake their bodies with as much spit and fire as anyone, but aside from the basic Thriller gestures and a few ironic parodies of electrodance, they have no communal dance steps. They lack a language of movement.

I’m spending the summer working with a group of African American teenagers and someone gave a speech to the group tonight about Detroit music and dance. As she was talking about hip rolling duels in dance halls, I realized that the problem with hipster culture is that it has no dance steps. Now, I like hipster dance parties, but what kind of a culture has no dance steps? That’s no culture at all.

What they’re missing.

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5 responses to “The trouble with hipsters

  1. Shoulder shimmying is a patented hipster dance move! It’s like swimming without arms and it’s all theirs!

    Peace.

    *weekend*

  2. There’s something deeply ingrained in hipster culture that practically disallows it from having a well-defined culture at all. I realize that’s paradoxical, or rather, an oxymoron, but I think it’s true. The essence of hipsterdom is parodic irony, and that doesn’t really leave much room for a culture to take root.

  3. for hipsters to create a communal dance step is to ruin the avant-garde of “free form” dancing that encourages the independent hipster-ly growth and mode of expression within its culture.

    slagathor–to create a dance step is to ruin our independent forms of expression while turning them into commercialized, kitschy formulas that ANYONE would be capable of repeating. anyone. indie, punks, bros, goths, plastics, post-apocalyptic crust warriors, etc.

    as a hipster, i just can’t live with myself if my individuality was disrupted due to such “rule and formula” centered expression. ew. gross. disgusting.

    now that i’ve given my two cents, i’m going to go to my friend’s basement (mason jar in hand) and appear to be suffering from a severe form of epilepsy while listening to sleigh bells.

  4. Mag, you are the greatest.

  5. i wish i was cleverer in person.
    if my comment was clever at all.

    hahaha.

    and no, emma.
    YOU are the greatest.

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