The Field Guide to North American Hipsters: Reader Mail
A few people were so fed up with their local hipster idiot populations that they took it upon themselves to write up their own additions to the field guide. I’m not going to post all of them, because some of them sucked, some of them were too short or too long, and some of them were things that I already planned to address in volume two. I was tickled by this discussion of art-school dorks though:
Type: Art School Art Fags
Identification: Most art fags fall into "indie" fashion, but they set themselves apart by buying hip graphic design and illustration shirts from places like threadless.com, Giant Robot, Black Market Gallery, or directly from the artists themselves. Sometimes they make the shirts themselves, and wear them with pride. They avidly attend gallery openings and group shows by illustrators around the city and pick up postcard flyers to other art shows on the way. They hang out at coffee shops, their favorite graphic design company is Brand New School, they can identify fonts with the blink of an eye. They love to ask pointless questions like "What is art?" and go on redundant ramblings about it and art's relation to culture and communication. They're either really rich or really poor because art school is private school and therefore extremely expensive. Their cliques tend to be separated racially since most of them are trying to identify with their own respective cultures in order to enrich their art. They always bitch about art school and frequently stay overnite working on projects for design class. When not in school, art fags are at home customizing trucker hats or out on the street creating useless ambiguous street art.
Hey, look, it's the world's two biggest idiots.
Musical Taste: If you go to art school, you like Radiohead and Bjork. Everyone in art school has a Radiohead bumper sticker on their car. It's one of the requirements before anyone is accepted into art school. Art fags are usually into whatever pop nerds or indie kids are into, but the new school art fag is over rejecting rap music and fully embraces the culture. However, none of the art fag's rap music is ever played on the radio - they won't allow it. Art fags listen to left wing political and college radio stations and electronica.
How to Tame an Art Fag: Go to one of their art shows and say "Hey - I like your piece in the exhibit." Offer to look at their 'zines and maybe even contribute. Buy them a hip vinyl toy designed by their favorite designer. Talk about the latest "Director's Label" DVD.
Benefits of Friendship: They'll design your website or make you clothing for free if you're really good friends. Plus they're usually so busy with art school that they're conveniently avoidable the rest of the time.
Drawbacks of Friendship: They get boring if you're not into art yourself. And along with studying art comes extreme emotional misbalance. Never make friends with lesbian or bisexual female art fags. They never shut up about Ani Difranco.
The preceding item was written by one Isis Jara. Thanks, Isis! I must make a correction, though: you might as well just say “never make friends with female art fags” and leave off the qualifications; they’re all “bisexual.”
Next, let us lament the loss of the North American Raver, who is rapidly disappearing from the wild. Justin writes this study:
Perhaps you were going to cover this particular scenester in your next volume, but just in case I wanted to bring up the endangered Raver before he completely disappears from existence.
That had better be sweat.
Identification: The Raver is most likely a 18-19 year old boy who just finished high school and is coasting on the "I'm trying to figure out what to do with my life" gag so they can milk off their parents for one more year with a "valid" excuse. Either their parents are well to do enough to be able to throw a nice car decorated with LED lights or the poor sap just invests every cent he makes down at the Taco Bell into light sticks and turbos. Contrary to popular belief the Raver is not some fast paced elite that travels rave to rave breakdancing and downing ecstasy but rather more like a person with a closet fetish like someone who attends gay porno theatres.
The Raver is an awkward individual at best with a rather awkward sense of musical taste. He is probably not all that bad looking, has money to spend, and is polite, but totally devoid of conversational skill, personality, or a range of hobbies that another person could relate too. Like a vampire all of his powers are only available to him at night, as he is hard pressed to find a person to race with on Sunday at 9am in his suburbia neighborhood.
Musical Taste: The Raver has a tough time making any sort of decision in general including picking his favorite band. If you were to bring up a band or singer the Raver would either claim to not ever have heard of them or half-heartedly say they were good. Maybe the Raver might have a favorite DDR song but mostly his CDs and Computer are full of recommended songs or songs he heard at the club.
How to Tame a Raver: Easy, just invite yourself to the next club with him. Ask if you can come and when he agrees give him your address so HE can pick YOU up. The dude has nothing better to do anyway. When you're riding with him claim you haven't been to a rave since you were in California, and if you're in California, say Florida. The poor guy has probably never left his home state. This will make him think you are a serious raver and overall he is probably very excited to meet someone new when the same 10 regulars show up at the under 18 club. He won't question your seriousness but if he asks if you can dance or do whatever it is they do with glowsticks, just claim they didn't do that at raves where you were from then make up some word and claim you guys did that. If he asks what it is just claim you can't do it without a pool noodle or without a cape. How the hell would he know?
Benefits of Friendship: On the outside the Raver looks like a social elite with a nice car and a decent look; this association could help you if you're desperate. The Raver has no sense of monetary value so he doesn't mind paying for the Burger King, gas, or glow sticks before a rave. To him this just fits his character. The guy also is the only dude around who goes to a place like a club just to dance and therefore knows a shitload of hot chicks that he is just platonically friends with. Lastly the dude has nothing to do all day so it's very easy to "invite" him to a movie but then make him pick you up and pay for movie, popcorn, candy, and maybe more food on the way home. The Raver thinks it's a treat to pay for this girl he knows, her boyfriend, and her kid sister.
Drawbacks of Friendship: The Raver's only social outlet is raving and activities closely related so be prepared for him to bring up raving at every social outting. If you happen to make the mistake of inviting him to your birthday party he'll seem very out of place and bored the entire event and then he'll bust out his mixed CD and glow sticks much to your embarrassment. Expect a lot of calls at 5 in the morning asking if you want to attend this awesome rave in the backyard of the 14 year old you've never met. When a year passes and his parents kick him out for wasting money and time guess who he'll ask to live with? He'll still expect to live the exact same way he did before so you know even if you take him in he'll just spend another year taking money from you for raves, gas, and taking girls to movies he was "invited" to.
Actually, maybe we shouldn’t lament their loss. Shoot them for their neon pelts! Steamroll their habitat!