The Difficulty of Understanding Hipsters


“I moved to the United States five years ago, feeling very confident about my English vocabulary, only to find that my meager repertoire of cultural references made lively communication with other students difficult. The word that gave me the most trouble was “hipster”-my fellow freshman used it frequently, and my inability to understand it made me feel horribly foreign. I eventually asked a local outcast (the inevitable companion of the foreign student on first days of school everywhere) to explain the concept to me. He said that hipsters never admitted to being hipsters, but that they could easily be identified by their tight uniform and hatred of everything and everyone. I had just moved from Germany, and hipsters sounded an awful lot like fascists.”