3030 Grape Street, South Park
(No longer in business.)
Hello Mr. Hipster:
I am not very big on hipster culture, but I do know that hipsters tend to act very anti-corporation. I live in South Park, and the whole area is fighting Target from coming in where the old Gala grocery store used to be by displaying “Not In South Park” signs with the Target logo crossed out, because it is a corporation. Yet the 7/11 right across the street is packed 24/7, and if I go into the Starbucks in North Park (or any Starbucks, for that matter) I am in there for 20 minutes waiting for coffee. Both are corporations. What is the difference between Target and Starbucks? Please make me understand!
Some hipsters reside in South Park, but not every South Park resident is a hipster, so there can’t be a sweeping deduction about all of hipsterkind based solely on observations of the South Park residents opposed to the installation of a Target Express at the corner of Fern and Grape.
Initial caveats aside, imagine a hypothetical hipster. Let’s call him, “Clement Abernathy.” Clement lives in a cute, Craftsman bungalow looking out over Juniper Canyon. He works part-time for design firms to pay the bills, but he pursues his passion in presiding over a local fermentation club that meets every third Thursday to swap recipes for organic kimchi. He always rides his bike to the Whistle Stop, where all the bartenders know him personally, but he still owns a car, because his biggest employer has offices in Orange County, and he attends compulsory meetings there.
Clement strongly opposes the South Park Target, yet he often stops for a Slurpee at the 7-Eleven. How, you want to know, can Clement patronize one corporation while opposing another?
With the rich picture I’ve painted in your mind, it should by now be obvious that Clement, and other hipsters, make concessions that facilitate their being able to live in the real world. What practical person can live in the society and at the same time stand on a principle like pure anti-corporatism? Lines have to get drawn somewhere.
If you think drawing those lines between Target and Starbucks, per your example, is arbitrary, and that it shows hipsters can be flexible with their morals, you’d be right. It’s part of what makes hipsters so versatile, able to thrive in the most fast-paced modern environments, often by paradoxically holding on to choice antiquated values that provide a counterpoint to the endless crush of living in the 21st Century.