The Essence of Hipsterism


The problem with Hipsters is that everything they love becomes kitsch. Hipsters in Williamsburg NY have so violated the neighborhood that Danny Hoch wrote a play about it.

The New Hipsters are “looking for an authentic experience.” They LOVE “authenticity.” They love to collect stuff, the older the better. Victorian, Edwardian, even old Americana will do. They love Amish shit, as you can imagine. It’s not only authentic, it’s “honest.”

The first time I happened upon a person called Hollister Hovey, I was severely traumatized. (See her living room, above.) I couldn’t even pull myself together to rant about her. It’s not PC to complain about Hollister Hovey, whose very name is intolerable. You have to gush about how chic and wonderful she is, with her eccentric collections of old leather hunting helmets, battered old luggage, vintage military crap, hatboxes, and most annoying, her taxidermy.

Taxidermy is officially kitsch, thanks to Hollister. What used to be creepy and morbidly fascinating is just crap now. There’s probably no hipster apartment anywhere that lacks a mounted animal head or at least some antlers.

Some Hipster in Brooklyn named Sean Crowley collects English and French umbrellas from the 30s and 40s.   His apartment is filled with old heraldic devices and Edwardian portraits. He really needs to learn from Hollister though, since he hasn’t managed to fill every inch of his dwelling with pretentious clutter.


Old medical crap is essential to any Hipster’s very being. Vintage anatomical posters, old dental equipment, a Hipster would kill its own grandmother to get at her vintage dentures.

I remember that someone came up with the term Bobos (short for Bourgeois Bohemians) to depict a certain brand of Hipster.   The New Hipster is different, in that instead of bragging about their Prius they brag about their stuffed flamingo.

If you can’t learn to hate them, I might have to offer a course in Remedial Hatred.   I have to master the video thing first, though.

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33 Responses to The Essence of Hipsterism

  1. Queen Michelle says:

    That house would be a nightmare to clean and polish. I’d be sucking up all manner of shit up with my hoover by accident!

  2. Nephew Wolf says:

    You’re still wrong about this. There have always been odd little collectors of odd little things, usually older things. They happen to be celebrated now in what you insist (for lack of ability or inclination to be more precise, I assume) on calling hipster culture. Ten years ago they weren’t. Ten years from now they probably won’t be. Now they are. It’s just the alignment of the stars, so don’t take it personally.

  3. minzhi says:

    Oh yeah, VINTAGE. Fucked-up grandmama’s Chanel & Prada & LV & Gucci & CD &… And Oh yeah, HIPSTERS. Fucked-up grandpapa’s blankets & fishing rods & panties & fake teeth & urinals… Great. I Love them both.

    [p.s. /the Definition of a Hipster, adapted from

    Hipster – One who possesses tastes, social attitudes, and opinions deemed cool by the cool. (Note: it is no longer recommended that one use the term “cool”; a Hipster would instead say “deck.”) The Hipster walks among the masses in daily life but is not a part of them and shuns or reduces to kitsch anything held dear by the mainstream. A Hipster ideally possesses no more than 2% body fat.]

    Wow, isn’t that deck!

  4. andrea says:

    I think a just threw up a little while reading ms hovey’s blog. She is not hard to hate. Just one of many pretentious hipsters, found primarily in Brooklyn, NY, because Manhattan is too expensive for them. Everything is so calculated these days. No one is cool just because they are, which is how it used to be.

  5. annemarie says:

    The NYT article is a hoot:

    “The sisters are watching their antiquarian interests, which date back to their childhood in Kansas, crest in their hipster-Brooklyn neighborhood, where every act seems framed in quotation marks.”

    It’s somehow a comfort that Hollister seems to think the article is celebrating her.

    I love how they quoted Sean Crowley here in a block paragraph:

    “I like to cook, I like to sew, I can fix things with my hands,” Mr. Crowley said. “There’s so much to learn. I am curious – ravenous, really – about everything.”

    You know the bubble has burst when the NYT runs an article making fun of you.

  6. andrea says:

    If the Hoveys were in their seventies or older, they would just be one of the hundreds of thousands of eccentric characters that live in NYC and its environs. But since they are only “acting” like old ladies, they are considered hipsters. Same thing with living in Brooklyn. Where a cool person would never live, until now. Not because it’s the only thing they can afford, like all the other bridge and tunnel people that populate the cool areas of Manhattan on the weekends, but because it’s hip. How ironic.

  7. HelOnWheels says:

    **Adding a few more c**ts to my “People I’d Like to Shoot in the Face” list** Welcome, Hollister & Sean! You’re with some “magnificent” company, including Kelly Bensimone (sp)! Now, where on the list shall I place you…?

    Not only are these people annoying and easy to hate but they’re stupid. How can you NOT get that the NYT is mocking you??

  8. annemarie says:

    BTW Nephew Wolf– you are missing your auntie’s point. She’s not saying hipsters invented collecting. It’s the fact that having obscure collections has now become the standard cliche for the soulless white youth of American metropolei. You probably agree with each other, actually.

  9. Kim says:

    ack. I like old things, and sewing, and baking, and putting puzzles together on a Saturday night. I just figured that an old lady died somewheres and then instead of her soul going on, it got trapped in my body. But after reading this, it sounds like I might be a hipster! However, the old lady in me hates hipsters and pretty much everyone in general! I am so confused :(.

  10. Kim says:

    Ew, that horrible Hovey girl is also trying to get a spot on Mad Men, and it looks like she’s in the lead. Vote for my beautiful friend Stefanie instead- she’s true blue and stands a fighting chance I say!

  11. Nephew Wolf says:

    It’s the fact that having obscure collections has now become the standard cliche for the soulless white youth of American metropolei.

    It hasn’t. Trust me.

  12. OMGGMAB says:

    “Hipster – One who possesses tastes, social attitudes, and opinions deemed cool by the cool.”

    Yeah, reminds me of the kids in my 12 year old’s class who call themselves “the pops” since they are the self designated “popular kids.” They are not cool either.

    I think the hipsters and the pops should visit their local taxidermist so that they can immortalize themselves. Now I’d put that on display.

  13. Sister Wolf says:

    Queen Michelle – They probably use a Victorian feather duster.

    Nephew Wolf – Yes, people have always collected things, but when people seek attention for their collections and an entire group of a certain age go around admiring and competing for the same crap, it’s not the alignment of the stars.

    I love nothing more than a genuine eccentric. These acquisitive hipsters are not that, though.

    minzhi – YES, and not only that, as I’ve complained, they now turn perfectly good stuff INTO kitsch by association!

    andrea – Thank you for your facility for Hating!

    annemarie – Can we start saying “I’m ravenous, really” all the time??

    andrea – HAha, acting like old ladies, bingo!!!!

    HelOnWheels – God you are a good hater, I love you!

    annemarie – Brilliant. He won’t listen, though.

    Kim – Your inner old lady has a good grasp on things. I don’t watch Mad Men but I will go vote for Stefani.

    Nephew Wolf – You are the last person to trust on this issue! It’s too close to home for you.

    OMGGMAB – HAHAHAHAH! Would you want Hollister or Porter?

  14. hammie says:

    Count on me for some snide ridicule inspired hating.
    Of course, the only thing better than laughing at these people would be making a fortune selling them stuff I didnt want that they were too stupid and too rich to collect creatively.
    I hate dentist stuff – I was a dental nurse in the 80’s, could have made a mint stealing old stuff from the back room and selling it now . I also hate taxidermy. Mr H found a dead falcon on the roadside in the 90’s and had it stuffed and mounted on a branch. I fecking hated it! (gave it to my dad) Now if I only had a portal to take me back in time so I could get all that stuff back and use it to make money out of annoying hipsters.

  15. Nyx says:

    Um… I am not a hipster and love old medical stuff, old clothes, and taxidermy. I don’t brag but I liked the stuff since I was 5, 11 years ago I was (and am) thought of as a freak so this hipster BS is just in certain areas I think.

  16. Nyx says:

    Is Edgar Allen Poe hipster shit? What about panda nesting dolls, old japanese cork landscapes, old camras, plastic birds, glitter, plastic horses, stuffed blowfish, old pewter containers, faries, old furnature, an old tv, or vintage clothes? I don’t think I’m a hipster but I may be I’ve never seen a hipster are there fat hipsters?

  17. Susan says:

    I didn’t have to scroll far at all to see fucking antlers at Holly Hobbie-Handjob’s. And plese tell me, how have I missed a steampunk rant here? Isn’t that the most hipster dipshitsterist crap of all?

  18. I live in a moist hole in the ground with a simple thatched covering. You want post-apocalyptic pathos/bathos and gravitas in interior design ? This is IT, Baby ! Crawl down in here with me, there’s room for 2 down in my little fox-hole. We can squat, rock ourselves back and forth and gibber as much as we like. To hell with all of these ephemeral fads. I want the final fashion !

    …and some fresh snacks, mind…


  19. Bevitron says:

    I’m so far from all this — living in the stix like I do, it just makes me think, Gilbert & Sullivan-like, Let the Punishment Fit the Crime. The youtz with their mummies & derringers & trepanning tools will be hanging out in whole ‘nother kinds of cabinets of curiosities in their decrepitude — surrounded by collections of stuff they actually need…glasses…canes…enema bags…support stockings…back braces…

  20. Problem is, this poseur-character stuff will only get worse. These poor kids all look the same, all get the same tattoos, and all believe they are special. It’s tough now trying to stand out in the hipster crowd. We noticed recently that suddenly there are all these boys with long hair roaming Brooklyn. Could they be getting weaves??

  21. ambika says:

    I just can’t stand clutter (looking at the pics alone makes me itch) so there’s no way I can understand this — dead animals or beanie babies, too much stuff is too much stuff.

  22. marie says:

    i love you, sister wolf.

  23. Nephew Wolf says:

    This will be new to some of you, but it’s a little Internet tradition that whenever a tired and unimaginative online discussion of “hipsters” occurs–and this one is about as tired and unimaginative as they get–somebody is required to post a link to this Cat and Girl comic. The requirement remains in force even when only a few of the participants in the discussion are crypto-hipsters, as is obviously the case here (the rest just don’t seem to get out very often). Today I volunteer to be that somebody. Enjoy.

    Incidentally, if a young trend-conscious urbanite on this Earth ever used the word “deck” as an adjective, it didn’t happen within the last ten years. I am convinced that the author of that book was trying to force a meme.

  24. ellio100 says:

    hipsters suck. but i used to work in a museum which had a stuffed flamingo and it was the most amazing thing. so puce and dead and sort of friendly. and it was in a box i had to wheel around the office. i miss that job.

  25. nic says:

    my hubbie and i have always collected old stuff, his family has sold antiques for years.
    i’m hoping we don’t qualify as hipsters as basically we’re not cool and we know it

  26. nic says:

    >>>> i have just perused her blog… i thought she was british (like me) she reads as being what we would call “abit jolly hockeysticks” which would be funny and endearing …… if it were not for the fact that she lives in NY, and seems all-american, it’s as serious a case of anglophilia i’ve ever seen

    dear god the womans mad!

  27. Sister Wolf says:

    Hammie – If only!! The dental stuff would get a fortune on ebay!

    Nyx – Sounds like you just like to collect. Fairies and glitter = no hipster value, and therefore a nice area.

    Susan – Oh, will you help me with steampunk?????

    Sardonique – I would say ICK, but if you’re there….

    Bevitron – BINGO! xoxoxo

    fashionherald – Maybe they were hibernating?

    ambika -One would think!

    Marie – In small does, I am great, aren’t I?

    Nephew Wolf – “This will be new to some of you, but it’s a little Internet tradition ….” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Spoken like an incorrigible Hipster who
    can’t resist telling the LAMERS how un-hip they are! HAhahahahahha! You with the hip “memes!”

    ellio100 – That’s quite a job. I’d miss it too.

    nic – Collecting and selling antiques is perfectly respectable. This is different!

    nic – SEE?!

  28. osiris says:

    So, does that mean the all the redneck hunters from my hometown in rural Louisiana who mount deer heads, stuffed ducks, and large fishes on the wall were on the cutting edge of chic decor? In that case, I’m thinking that “gently used” upholstery will soon be de riguer for NYT readers who want the most stylish outdoor rooms-nothing classes up a porch like a recliner. This news will give them a thrill at the Moose Lodge on the Old Kilbourne Road in Oak Grove, LA. Maybe I should see if the NYT would like to shoot their taxidermy collection? On a side note, it’s nice to know that Wendesday Addams finally found a friend.

  29. kate says:

    i love edwardian clothes, i have a vintage glass eye and tintypes of creepy children and an old typewriter. also a stuffed duck. i live in the mission in sf. art school grad student. hipster hipster hipster. i collect what i collect because i’ve always loved that kind of stuff, i’ve been a morbid creeper since i was a kid, but you know what? i always knew it was “cool”. i’m not an idiot. i call myself a hipster because i embody so many of the annoying traits of hipsters and i’m cool with it, i embrace it and i call my hipster friends on it. they hate it when i do that, especially my ultimate hipster friend steve (names have been changed). i’m one of the few people i know who can look at myself and see exactly what i’m doing, exactly what i’m buying into, exactly what image i’m trying to project. tight jeans look terrible on me so i switched to vintage dresses. hipster hipster hipster.
    one time my friend (musician, artist, hipster) told me i was the ultimate cool girl. i almost laughed in his face. i almost told him i was trying my hardest to fit in, and that i was happy it worked. almost!
    no one’s going to buy my stuff if i don’t walk the walk.

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  32. StevenBaxter says:

    Can we talk about how utterly arrogant that Hollister Hovey character is? She seems to have eaten way too many of the animals she collects. Skipping the meals couldn’t hurt and, hell yeah, she’s easy to hate with that pompous, hollier-than-thou ‘tude. Try working in a soup kitchen, lady. Maybe you’ll grow a heart.

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