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Everything will be fine at Coachella

When everybody is looking at you like you’re Steve Urkel walking through a doorway without knocking

Coachella: a long way from Disneyland.
Coachella: a long way from Disneyland.

Dear Hipster:

For many years, faithful readers have come to you for help in identifying hipsters and their hipster behaviors. But nothing lasts forever, and even the coolest hipster may one day wake up, look in the mirror, and hardly recognize the face of the total square staring back at him. How does one go from hipster to has-been? Is this a one-way journey, or can a washed-up hipster regain his former glory? Perhaps most importantly, how does one recognize The Signs that indicate one has passed from hipness to lameness?

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— Grandpa Steve “Don’t Call Me Grandpa” McNab, Crown Point

Imagine this nightmare scenario: you’re out with friends at a trendy restaurant, which turns out to be pretty good, but your friends all agree the menu has too many caper berries on it, and caper berries are so last year. The problem is you didn’t even know caper berries were a thing, and what’s more, you were loving the caper berries. Later, the talk around the table turns to Goldenvoice requiring proof of coronavirus vaccination for all concertgoers, which won’t be a problem for your friends attending Coachella, but is almost certainly going to ruffle some American-flag printed jorts at Stagecoach next year. As long as they don’t cut back on car camping, your friends all agree, everything will be fine at Coachella. “It doesn’t make any difference one way or the other for me,” you interject. “I’ll be at a digital marketing convention that week, then I’m taking the kids to Disneyland.”

One of your friends slowly lowers his third beer of the night down to the table. He notices you are still on your first, which you have barely nursed beyond the halfway point. He regards you across the table with what can only be described as suspicion, as if you had just announced an intention to vote for Caitlyn Jenner in the recall election because of her thoughtful, detailed, comprehensive policy platforms.

“Dude…” he says, trailing off as if his ability to include you in conversation has faded in tandem with the frostiness and effervescence of your neglected beer.

Every hipster with an ounce of self-awareness fears this day. The day when you realize, in the midst of some random conversation, that you are no longer up on things, and perhaps you haven’t been for a long time. You didn’t realize it until just now. In fact, before you started this disastrous conversation, you would have described yourself as hip, perhaps even with it; but in this moment when everybody is looking at you like you’re Steve Urkel walking through a doorway without knocking, you realize that, if you have to describe yourself as hip and with it, you’re in the same boat as Dr. Evil trying to reconnect with his estranged son.

You wish to learn how to recognize The Signs of fading hipness? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all be aware of having lost our edge before stepping into some terrifying moments of doubt and shame. But the great irony of losing your edge is you’ll never know you’ve lost it until it’s too late. But you’ll know when it’s happened, and you’ll wonder, briefly, why you didn’t see it coming. The silver lining is that you won’t care all that much. You’ll be too busy worrying about whether you forgot to pick up the dry cleaning.

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Coachella: a long way from Disneyland.
Coachella: a long way from Disneyland.

Dear Hipster:

For many years, faithful readers have come to you for help in identifying hipsters and their hipster behaviors. But nothing lasts forever, and even the coolest hipster may one day wake up, look in the mirror, and hardly recognize the face of the total square staring back at him. How does one go from hipster to has-been? Is this a one-way journey, or can a washed-up hipster regain his former glory? Perhaps most importantly, how does one recognize The Signs that indicate one has passed from hipness to lameness?

Sponsored
Sponsored

— Grandpa Steve “Don’t Call Me Grandpa” McNab, Crown Point

Imagine this nightmare scenario: you’re out with friends at a trendy restaurant, which turns out to be pretty good, but your friends all agree the menu has too many caper berries on it, and caper berries are so last year. The problem is you didn’t even know caper berries were a thing, and what’s more, you were loving the caper berries. Later, the talk around the table turns to Goldenvoice requiring proof of coronavirus vaccination for all concertgoers, which won’t be a problem for your friends attending Coachella, but is almost certainly going to ruffle some American-flag printed jorts at Stagecoach next year. As long as they don’t cut back on car camping, your friends all agree, everything will be fine at Coachella. “It doesn’t make any difference one way or the other for me,” you interject. “I’ll be at a digital marketing convention that week, then I’m taking the kids to Disneyland.”

One of your friends slowly lowers his third beer of the night down to the table. He notices you are still on your first, which you have barely nursed beyond the halfway point. He regards you across the table with what can only be described as suspicion, as if you had just announced an intention to vote for Caitlyn Jenner in the recall election because of her thoughtful, detailed, comprehensive policy platforms.

“Dude…” he says, trailing off as if his ability to include you in conversation has faded in tandem with the frostiness and effervescence of your neglected beer.

Every hipster with an ounce of self-awareness fears this day. The day when you realize, in the midst of some random conversation, that you are no longer up on things, and perhaps you haven’t been for a long time. You didn’t realize it until just now. In fact, before you started this disastrous conversation, you would have described yourself as hip, perhaps even with it; but in this moment when everybody is looking at you like you’re Steve Urkel walking through a doorway without knocking, you realize that, if you have to describe yourself as hip and with it, you’re in the same boat as Dr. Evil trying to reconnect with his estranged son.

You wish to learn how to recognize The Signs of fading hipness? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all be aware of having lost our edge before stepping into some terrifying moments of doubt and shame. But the great irony of losing your edge is you’ll never know you’ve lost it until it’s too late. But you’ll know when it’s happened, and you’ll wonder, briefly, why you didn’t see it coming. The silver lining is that you won’t care all that much. You’ll be too busy worrying about whether you forgot to pick up the dry cleaning.

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