To tell you the truth, I’m not entirely sure what constitutes a hipster. I think that they really like flannel and glasses with no lenses. I also think that I sometimes dress like them because I can’t actually tell if they’re being serious or “ironic.” (Did you like the quotation marks? Now you can’t tell if I was being ironic about being ironic. Mind games…) What I do know is that they only like things that no one else likes, like going to the dentist and poking their eyes with mascara wands and getting pooped on by seagulls. Or I’m assuming they like those things because no one else likes them. Isn’t that how it works?
Ok, maybe I got that wrong. Maybe they only like things before everyone else likes them. Which is usually their excuse when it comes to music, because then they can use the “sell out” label on any band or artist who actually started making money and could afford new clothes after getting pooped on by seagulls.
Since I only listen to country music and Celine Dion albums from my dad, I’m not very hip to the music scene. I don’t even buy music; I just listen to it on the radio, so by the time I learn the melody it’s already climbing the Billboard Charts. (There is a Country Music Billboard Chart, but we have to wait for the paint to dry on the side of the barn before we can change it for the next week.) So when I found myself singing along to a haunting tune on my friend’s iPod just before New Years, I felt pretty cool. I was ahead of the game!
Obviously, it was a new song that no one has ever heard of because this friend is into “indie” music– anything that I don’t listen to which also contains words. (See also: Classical music– anything that I don’t listen to which occasionally contains words in other languages.) The only other times I ever heard the song were at his house, thus reinforcing that I was now privy to some up-and-coming fringe band. It was like a secret that I never wanted to share. With anyone. Ever.
Imagine my surprise when the song was performed on Glee.
So now every high school drama class in America knows my song, singing it to the bathroom mirror as they try to rock the comb a la Danny Zuko.
Doesn’t it take, like, months of preparation to get the rights to a song, arrange it, record it, shoot it, edit it, and then get it on the air? They must have sped up the entire process once that new hipster kid joined the cast. You know, the one with the dreads and the flip flops who may or may not have won a Lifetime channel reality TV show, earning him a seven episode arc on the award-winning series. (I wouldn’t actually know if that happened because I didn’t watch said reality show every Wednesday at 9 pm last summer. Nope.) They’re trying to be hipster because they think they can represent hipsters. Psh. That’s so corporate.
Righteously indignant, I could still live with that. True indie peeps don’t watch popular television because it’s popular and therefore tainted with glitter and Katy Perry’s hair dye. I could still be a part of this crowd if I didn’t mention that I had seen it on primetime TV and if I never used the word “peeps” again. But then, any pretense I may have hidden behind was shattered.
The band– whose name I will not reveal– played the song– whose name I will not reveal– on The Today Show.
(I will not tell you the name of the band or the song because I know what you’re all going to say: “Jillian, that band/song/album has been out for ages. You should have known from the beginning that you were just becoming a part of a trend and not standing out as an individual idealist with an ear for lyrical genius.” I don’t want to hear it, people.
The only effect that response would have on me is to increase the one thing in this world that makes me a hipster to the core: Outrage.)
The Today Show. The ultimate symbol of mainstream taste, as evidenced by Ann Curry’s neon yellow rain boots. A show which I only watch approximately three out of five days a week in order to keep up on national weather patterns and the well-being of starving children around the world. (It is best to be informed of these things so that we can inform others and make them aware. Awareness is vitally important.) A show that thinks that I, an independent, strong-minded female, would possibly care that Matt Damon has been named the Sexiest Family Man Alive.
And now I’m pissed.
Oh, sure. The band had “made it big.” Whatever.
They totally sold out. Just a few months, that’s all it takes these days. One day you’re sitting in the car with a cardboard box leaking grease from a pepperoni and sausage pizza, listening to some sweet new music that no one in the world has ever heard except you, and the next they’re all getting buddy buddy with Matt Lauer. What’s next? A TLC special?!
What is this world coming to?
That’s why I felt the need to share my feelings with you all, to express myself using the power of the written word to aggressively but non-violently convey my distain for popular culture and the decaying values it hoists upon the younger generations as well as little old bitties who oogle over Al Roker.
Now, if you’ll excuse me. I’m about to go congratulate myself for forcing my mother to record every episode of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers when I was seven. For the record, the Red Ranger never gets enough credit. Never.