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Creating a Simpsons-esque butterfly effect

The tragedy of a donut-less world

McRib: time-travel temptation
McRib: time-travel temptation

Dear Hipster:

It is no secret that culture and counterculture move in cycles, such that ‘old’ is periodically ‘new’ again, whether it’s regarding fashion, tech, or anti-prohibition homebrew in the cellar. Knowing what we do about time travel, how bad of an idea could it be to go back and tweak a few things here and there, hoping the newly wrought future will stay one foot in the past?

— D.

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Well, that all depends on if you do regular time travel or hipster time travel. If you do regular time travel and mess with stuff in the past, everyone knows you either (a) create a Simpsons-esque butterfly effect, leading inevitably to a tragically donut-less world; or (b) fracture the multiverse into infinite timelines.

It may be tempting to mess around with time travel. Would I like it if there was a world where you could get a McRib 365 days out of the year, or where the Black Keys broke up after Rubber Factory? Hell yes. But I know mankind was not destined to live in such a paradise, and creating it would be a fool’s errand doomed to failure.

Hipster time travel lacks this distinct disadvantage, because hipsters were already doing time travel before anyone else thought to do time travel, so if they alter the past, they already altered it before they alter it, and there are thus no ill effects whatsoever. I promise it makes perfect sense, so don’t worry too much about thinking through the details or questioning my logic.

Dear Hipster:

Is it still hip to be a hipster? The Hipster Handbook came out in 2003. Dads are the Original Hipsters came out in 2012. Look at this Fucking Hipster came out in 2010. Even The Hipster Handbook: A Guide for Douchebags: A Millennial Series came out in 2017. It strikes me that a key element of being a hipster is getting out while a thing is still a thing.

— Broderick, la mesa

I think you’re conflating the closely related concepts of “being a hipster” and “being obsessed with hipsters and making fun of them every chance you get.” I have to admit the latter is sooooooooo late-2000s. That’s why we don’t so much make fun of hipsters here at Ask a Hipster, as we cherish the uniquely hipster perspective on queries from the mundane to the truly weird. Mocking hipsters because they’re hipsters simply isn’t funny or clever enough for me.

But being a hipster will never go out of style. As I have said many times, the hipster is an eternal presence. No matter how you change society, there is always going to be a place in the margins for a hipster figure who challenges the status quo and who sets the trends that others inevitably follow.

In any event, there’s no need for hipsters to quit the hipster business. Hipsters took pride in being bashed during the era of peak hipster-bashing, but they never went away. It’s more like the world caught up to them, and now they’re hipstering onwards into the bright, hipster future — whatever that may be.

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McRib: time-travel temptation
McRib: time-travel temptation

Dear Hipster:

It is no secret that culture and counterculture move in cycles, such that ‘old’ is periodically ‘new’ again, whether it’s regarding fashion, tech, or anti-prohibition homebrew in the cellar. Knowing what we do about time travel, how bad of an idea could it be to go back and tweak a few things here and there, hoping the newly wrought future will stay one foot in the past?

— D.

Sponsored
Sponsored

Well, that all depends on if you do regular time travel or hipster time travel. If you do regular time travel and mess with stuff in the past, everyone knows you either (a) create a Simpsons-esque butterfly effect, leading inevitably to a tragically donut-less world; or (b) fracture the multiverse into infinite timelines.

It may be tempting to mess around with time travel. Would I like it if there was a world where you could get a McRib 365 days out of the year, or where the Black Keys broke up after Rubber Factory? Hell yes. But I know mankind was not destined to live in such a paradise, and creating it would be a fool’s errand doomed to failure.

Hipster time travel lacks this distinct disadvantage, because hipsters were already doing time travel before anyone else thought to do time travel, so if they alter the past, they already altered it before they alter it, and there are thus no ill effects whatsoever. I promise it makes perfect sense, so don’t worry too much about thinking through the details or questioning my logic.

Dear Hipster:

Is it still hip to be a hipster? The Hipster Handbook came out in 2003. Dads are the Original Hipsters came out in 2012. Look at this Fucking Hipster came out in 2010. Even The Hipster Handbook: A Guide for Douchebags: A Millennial Series came out in 2017. It strikes me that a key element of being a hipster is getting out while a thing is still a thing.

— Broderick, la mesa

I think you’re conflating the closely related concepts of “being a hipster” and “being obsessed with hipsters and making fun of them every chance you get.” I have to admit the latter is sooooooooo late-2000s. That’s why we don’t so much make fun of hipsters here at Ask a Hipster, as we cherish the uniquely hipster perspective on queries from the mundane to the truly weird. Mocking hipsters because they’re hipsters simply isn’t funny or clever enough for me.

But being a hipster will never go out of style. As I have said many times, the hipster is an eternal presence. No matter how you change society, there is always going to be a place in the margins for a hipster figure who challenges the status quo and who sets the trends that others inevitably follow.

In any event, there’s no need for hipsters to quit the hipster business. Hipsters took pride in being bashed during the era of peak hipster-bashing, but they never went away. It’s more like the world caught up to them, and now they’re hipstering onwards into the bright, hipster future — whatever that may be.

Sponsored
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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