This hipster gets into a heated argument with a man on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. After being challenged to a street fight, he takes off his backpack ready for the fade when his opponent picks up a chair. The hipster runs and everything went downhill from there.
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The hipster subculture is stereotypically composed of youth and middle aged adults who reside primarily in gentrifying neighborhoods. It is broadly associated with indie and alternative music and has popularised more esoteric genres such as chill-out, folk, modern rock, pop rock and post-Britpop. Hipsters also frequently flaunt a varied non-mainstream fashion sensibility, vintage and thrift store-bought clothing, generally pacifist progressive and green political views, veganism, organic and artisanal foods, craft alcoholic beverages, alternative lifestyles and snobbery. The subculture typically consists of mostly white young adults living in urban areas. It has been described as a “mutating, trans-Atlantic melting pot of styles, tastes and behavior”.
The term in its current usage first appeared in the 1990s and became particularly prominent in the late 2000s and early 2010s, being derived from the term used to describe earlier movements in the 1940s. Members of the subculture typically do not self-identify as hipsters, and the word hipster is often used as a pejorative to describe someone who is pretentious, overly trendy, or as a stereotypical term that has been reclaimed and redefined by some as a term of pride and group identity. Some scholars contend that the contemporary hipster is a “marketplace myth” that has a complex, two-way relationship with the worldview and value system of indie-oriented consumers. In a 2009 article in PopMatters magazine, Rob Horning asserted that the hipster might be the “embodiment of postmodernism as a spent force, revealing what happens when pastiche and irony exhaust themselves as aesthetics.” In a New York Times editorial, Mark Greif states that the much-cited difficulty in analyzing the term stems from the fact that any attempt to do so provokes universal anxiety, since it “calls everyone’s bluff”.
The term was coined during the Jazz Age, when “hip” emerged as an adjective to describe aficionados of the growing scene. Although the adjective’s exact origins are disputed, some say it was a derivative of “hop”, a slang term for opium, while others believe it comes from the West African word hipi, meaning “to open one’s eyes”. Another argument suggests the term derives from the practice of lying on one’s hip while smoking opium. The ultimate meaning of “hip”, attested as early as 1902, is “aware” or “in the know”. Conversely, the antonym unhip connotes those who are unaware of their surroundings, also including those who are opposed to hipness. Zoot-suited hipsters in the 1940s.
Nevertheless, “hip” eventually acquired the common English suffix -ster (as in spinster and gangster), and “hipster” entered the language. The first dictionary to list the word is the short glossary “For Characters Who Don’t Dig Jive Talk”, which was included with Harry Gibson’s 1944 album, Boogie Woogie In Blue. The entry for “hipsters” defined them as “characters who like hot jazz”. It was not a complete glossary of jive, however, as it included only jive expressions that were found in the lyrics to his songs.