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Is “The Rain Song” the best Led Zeppelin song?

There’s something about people who like the rain that makes them seem vaguely suspicious and out there

“Aliens, yes. But the moon landing?”
“Aliens, yes. But the moon landing?”

Dear Hipster:

I have recently discovered that a friend of mine —perhaps really more of an “acquaintance” when you get right down to it — is an adamant moon-landing conspiracy theorist. I’m not talking about a crusty old fart who’s been living without indoor plumbing for a little too long. This is a young-ish, seemingly with-it person who has an Instagram page that’s mostly pictures of coffee, cocktails, and small dogs in cute clothing. At first, I thought this person was doing it as a kind of prank or shtick, as if maybe (s)he tried it on for a joke and then kept it going until it got too late to back out, but there’s been a real show of commitment to the idea “they” somehow faked the moon landing. Is there such a thing as a hipster conspiracy theorist?

— Trent

I’m sure having access to X-Files reruns on Hulu has spurred a trivial number of up-and-coming conspiracy theorists to action, but your garden variety hipsters generally know better. In a way, learning something like this is almost like finding out somebody you know has a secret life as a clown for kicks and self-expression (as opposed to doing it for money or some other reason). You don’t believe it initially, but then you come to accept it, and perhaps even appreciate it for making the person a little more interesting, at least at a safe distance.

Dear Hipster:

Here is a random musing for you. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow. Personally, I’m super excited about it. You could look at the rain as a good reason to stay inside, or as a good reason not to go out; but either way it amounts to the same thing. Most people I know have nothing good to say about the rain. I hear them coming up with everything from “I just waxed my car” to “I don’t own a raincoat” to “my apartment floods every time it rains,” although in all fairness that last one is totally legit and the second one is sort of peculiar to Southern California. Anyways, what’s the deal with being down on the rain? Is it some sort of “too cool for school” thing? Or am I looking at this all wrong and I’m some kind of pro-rain hipster who rejects mainstream weather and I didn’t even know it?

— Amie

You can follow a more or less unbroken chain of rain-loving hipsters stretching backwards throughout recorded history and back into prehistory and myth: John Cusack has played enough hipsters getting rained on that it’s basically a meme; The Jesus and Mary Chain sang about being “Happy When it Rains” in the eighties; “The Rain Song” was and is the best Led Zeppelin song (change my mind!) from the seventies; Gene Kelly skipped his way through rain puddles in the fifties; and if you go waaaaaaaaay back in time there’s this one apocryphal story about a guy who took rain super seriously way before anybody else thought it was cool, built himself a big old boat, and created the world’s first (and only) floating zoo that nobody ever saw.

I kid, at least in part. “The Rain Song” probably wasn’t the best Zeppelin song. Nevertheless, there’s definitely something about people who like the rain that makes them seem vaguely suspicious and out there; but in a cool, mysterious way that’s more than a little on the hipster side.

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“Aliens, yes. But the moon landing?”
“Aliens, yes. But the moon landing?”

Dear Hipster:

I have recently discovered that a friend of mine —perhaps really more of an “acquaintance” when you get right down to it — is an adamant moon-landing conspiracy theorist. I’m not talking about a crusty old fart who’s been living without indoor plumbing for a little too long. This is a young-ish, seemingly with-it person who has an Instagram page that’s mostly pictures of coffee, cocktails, and small dogs in cute clothing. At first, I thought this person was doing it as a kind of prank or shtick, as if maybe (s)he tried it on for a joke and then kept it going until it got too late to back out, but there’s been a real show of commitment to the idea “they” somehow faked the moon landing. Is there such a thing as a hipster conspiracy theorist?

— Trent

I’m sure having access to X-Files reruns on Hulu has spurred a trivial number of up-and-coming conspiracy theorists to action, but your garden variety hipsters generally know better. In a way, learning something like this is almost like finding out somebody you know has a secret life as a clown for kicks and self-expression (as opposed to doing it for money or some other reason). You don’t believe it initially, but then you come to accept it, and perhaps even appreciate it for making the person a little more interesting, at least at a safe distance.

Dear Hipster:

Here is a random musing for you. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow. Personally, I’m super excited about it. You could look at the rain as a good reason to stay inside, or as a good reason not to go out; but either way it amounts to the same thing. Most people I know have nothing good to say about the rain. I hear them coming up with everything from “I just waxed my car” to “I don’t own a raincoat” to “my apartment floods every time it rains,” although in all fairness that last one is totally legit and the second one is sort of peculiar to Southern California. Anyways, what’s the deal with being down on the rain? Is it some sort of “too cool for school” thing? Or am I looking at this all wrong and I’m some kind of pro-rain hipster who rejects mainstream weather and I didn’t even know it?

— Amie

You can follow a more or less unbroken chain of rain-loving hipsters stretching backwards throughout recorded history and back into prehistory and myth: John Cusack has played enough hipsters getting rained on that it’s basically a meme; The Jesus and Mary Chain sang about being “Happy When it Rains” in the eighties; “The Rain Song” was and is the best Led Zeppelin song (change my mind!) from the seventies; Gene Kelly skipped his way through rain puddles in the fifties; and if you go waaaaaaaaay back in time there’s this one apocryphal story about a guy who took rain super seriously way before anybody else thought it was cool, built himself a big old boat, and created the world’s first (and only) floating zoo that nobody ever saw.

I kid, at least in part. “The Rain Song” probably wasn’t the best Zeppelin song. Nevertheless, there’s definitely something about people who like the rain that makes them seem vaguely suspicious and out there; but in a cool, mysterious way that’s more than a little on the hipster side.

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