Letter from Los Angeles: A Conference on Hipsters Was Held

by Joshua Heller

Dear The Awl,

I was going to write an incredible piece detailing the exploits of a controversial “hipster conference” on an esteemed university campus. No other journalist would have the guts to write this because of the potential backlash from the Hipster Media Elite. This event was to be held on neutral territory to prevent “New York media gang violence.”

I was going to start by detailing the crowd.

In line I saw: three fedoras. one sleeveless t-shirt. Rainbow sandals. White people. Headbands. Dr Martens. More Rainbow sandals. One asymmetric haricut, and Tao Lin spinning around in a circle.

Then I was going to mention that my dad bought me a “burrito bowl from Rubio’s” as a clever way to disclose that my father works at the University and that’s how I was granted access to a student event.

Then I was going to detail the most exciting things that happened:

Gavin McInnes didn’t wear a shirt. He told Tao Lin to tell Steven Wright Jokes. Everyone on the panel said that Gavin McInnes invented hipster culture. He said that women’s eggs have expiration dates on them. To which Brenna Ehrlich responded “women are tired of the shiftless adolescence of men.” Alexi Wasser noted the difference between the Hipster Attitude and the Hipster Aesthetic. Gavin McInnes said that hipsters are the most queer-friendly youth subculture ever and then made fun of a guy’s haircut. Tao Lin announced that he did in fact like the guys haircut. This was the most opinionated statement he made during the evening. Alexi Wasser said nobody on the panel were hipsters, they were all yuppies. Mark The Cobrasnake said he wanted to inspire, and thought it was okay that kids discovered Sonic Youth at Hot Topic as a way to learn about cool stuff from an inauthentic level.

Ultimately the panelists spoke to the merits of “hipsterism” (as coined by Professor Mary Corey) and unanimously rejected “hipster bashing.” I left the panel entertained but wishing they’d talked more about race, class and anti-hipster sentiment. I also wished someone made a big budget buddy comedy starring Gavin McInnes and Tao Lin.

I wish there were more events like this so I could someday write an incredible piece detailing the exploits of a controversial hipster conference.

– Josh Heller

Joshua Heller is well-informed now about hipsters.

Photo from Flickr by Eric Molina.