Doesn’t anyone hate this show?
The more people tell me to watch Tiger King, the less I want to watch Tiger King. Am I being a total hipster because I refuse to watch Tiger King as my go-to quarantine binge watching entertainment?
— Kate, North County
Yes. Totally. It’s Hipster AF for you to abstain from a widespread pop cultural phenomenon purely on account of how insatiable the general public’s appetite for it has become.
It’s also totally valid. I think there’s something suspicious about universally popular stuff. You can’t come up with a thing that doesn’t have at least some enemies. For every 10,000,000 people who like chocolate, there’s some hipster like my brother who bakes chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips in them. If you ask enough people, sooner or later some goon is going to tell you about how OK Computer is “just not that good.” I mean, there are people out there who hate puppies.
And yet, good luck finding anyone who isn’t raving about Tiger King. That kind of unrestrained praise always gets my left eyebrow lifting skywards in the universal gesture of hipster skepticism (the same gesture I taught Stephen Colbert and the Rock at a really weird party in the ’90s). If I can’t find a hater anywhere in the crowd, I start wondering if people are piling on purely because everybody else is piling on. Next thing you know, everybody’s cutting off their hair, wearing robes, and pledging eternal allegiance to some sort of Supreme Leader. Yeah, sure, maybe there are a few intermediate steps in between Netflix mania and full-blown cult status, but these are slippery slopes, friends.
Now, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with Tiger King. I’m sure it’s a perfectly fine docudrama murder mystery about a guy who, I’ll have you all know, I was hyping way before he was cool. Yeah. That’s right. I endorsed Joe Exotic for President back in 2016, before Cardi B and the rest of you were tagging him on Instagram posts by your sponsored cats. I bet nobody remembered that, eh? But, hey, Hipster’s not bitter. He’s used to being ahead of the curve. That’s what makes Hipster hipster. If anything, I’m glad the rest of the world finally caught up to me circa four years ago.
Anyways, let me tie this little old rant up with a bow and get back to sheltering-in-place and endlessly rearranging my vinyl collection in new and inventive ways. I tell you all, you should trust that healthy, hipster skepticism when it gets you questioning whether everyone’s doing something because everyone’s doing it or because it’s worth doing on its own. At the end of the day, your hipster side may well be the only thing keeping you from lacing on a set of Nike Decades and dusting off the old purple shroud.
Or, maybe Tiger King is really all that and a bag of chips (as they might have said had it aired in the ‘90s). I wouldn’t know. Joe Exotic didn’t deliver on his promise to dominate the 2016 election like a hungry tiger dominates the carcass of an unfortunate sambar, and I’ve been over it ever since.