Hipsters Are Dead, Long Live Hipostates!

by phil on Thursday Jul 12, 2012 7:04 PM

There have been many articles over the years about the death of the hipster, but now I think it's for real. Or rather, I think the hipster has gone into hiding. I don't think it happened overnight, but rather it's like the guy in High School who always wore trendy clothes, but then got stuck in a time capsule and didn't evolve, and is now viewed like an oddity in a museum of natural history.

So onwards and upwards. Maybe you were—or still are—a hipster, and are trying to figure out what's next ... how very "hipster" of you. Here's what I propose. It's called the "hipostate". It's a mix of the words "hipster" and "apostate". An apostate is a term usually reserved for someone who has abandoned a religious affiliation (Think apostate vs. apostle.) But I think it has relevance for the New Hipster.

hipostate (n.) (hih-PAH-stayt) - a person who likes things un-ironically.

Being a hipostate is all about liking things for their own sake. It's about liking things un-ironically. It's about going to McDonalds not because you're slumming, but because you think the food is tasty, reasonably priced, and a great delivery vehicle for calories. This is in distinction to the hipster whose motivation is about stealing a whiff of something, re-fashioning it, and wearing it like a badge. Hipsters sometimes eat at McDonalds because it's funny. Hipostates eat there because it's good.

Now, let's make another distinction. A hipostate is different than someone who just so happens to eat at McDonalds. There are billions of people who love Big Macs, but they don't deserve to have "hip" attached to any aspect of their being all of a sudden. What distinguishes the hipostate is their awareness. They know that the thing they're into may be un-cool, but they do it anyways. They seize it, wear it nonchalantly, and that unabashedness is the new way forward.

In a way, it's very similar to willful philistinism, a term I coined to describe the behavior of the 1980s British upper-crust who didn't have time to read books, and so they proudly celebrated their dislike of opera, poetry, and all things intellectual. But hipostates are better than that, because they could be into opera and the finer things if they wanted to. They're just not "for" or "against" any broad categories like that. And they're smart.

It should be noted that you can't create an awesome new cultural category without pissing off the Old Guard. And hipsters will definitely be annoyed by hipostates, because they can't neatly categorize or label them. Whereas hipsters are into the whole slew and general patina of cool tastes, hipostates do them one better by being extremely specific in their tastes. The hipostate has time to delve into specific sub-cultures and then dice them up to suit their individual tastes. Hipsters, on the other hand, are too busy going out every night, leaving them with only enough time to throw on a Burberry scarf or some gender-bending eye-shadow.

I, for one, welcome our new hipostate overlords.

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