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Stories by DJ Stevens

A Star Wars nativity scene with Baby Yoda

How to chase off the Yuletide chill

Dear Hipster: You have told us winter is basically here, and we should all be drinking warm, alcoholic beverages to chase off the Yuletide chill. I would challenge one of the basic assumptions underlying your ...

The hottest drinks of winter

Step beyond warm Keystone Ice Lager

Dear Hipster: I think the hipster love of winter has been fairly well established at this point, and we can pretty much take it as a given that, for every person who falls back on ...

More than one point of view on Thanksgiving

Reader writers weigh in

The ideal hipster Thanksgiving As I’ve pointed out before, no holiday lacks the potential for a hipster makeover. Thanksgiving is no exception. Not only is it nestled comfortably between epic Halloween costumes and ugly-Christmas-sweater parties, ...

Thanksgiving dinner at Denny’s

After all, there’s a lot less cooking and cleaning up after an evening out

Dear Hipster: I have been preparing elaborate Thanksgiving dinners at my house for and with a core group of friends and family for some time now. I think this would be my fifth or sixth ...

Elliot Smith, Death Cab for Cutie, and an obscure, Milwaukee-based alternative hip-hop artist walk into a bar...

Make me laugh, or groan

Hey Hipster: I haven’t heard a good hipster joke in a dog’s age. Make me laugh, or perhaps groan as the case may be. — Bernie I don’t know about all-out laughs, but if you ...

Serious San Diego table grapes Foodies

I only want to attract people who are just as “serious” about grapes as I am

Hi Hipster: Having grown table grapes in San Diego since the 1980s, and having rejected all the boring ones, I now have some forty-odd vines producing exquisite fruit. I have, of course, diligently combed over ...

Mickey Mouse hats for adults

Adults already have their own version of Chuck E. Cheese

Dear Hipster: So, I guess hipster-themed Mickey Mouse ears for adults are a thing now. I for sure have a handful of adult friends who will for sure be ordering themselves a hipster Mickey Mouse ...

Ironic Justin Trudeau Halloween

Hipsters have the private belief they could have been stand-up comics

Dear Hipster: I read where you gave the wise advice, “Anytime you want to try blackface - DON’T.” But what if you want to go as Justin Trudeau in blackface? Isn’t that meta enough? — ...

Halloween costume rundown: Scoops Ahoy to Downton Abbey

Will you be the one to dazzle with a First Photo of a Black Hole costume?

Yo Hipster: Share with me a few clever ideas to wow my friends (costume-wise) at any or all of the raging Halloween parties I will attend this year. — Shawn Dear Hipster: Is there a ...

Finding dandyism in Simon Winchester’s The Map That Changed the World

Geologists think about and describe things in terms of “gigannum”

DJ: Have you read the Wikipedia article on Dandyism? Certain parallels… Is there a history of Hipsterism? Does society always have one version or another of hipsters? Just Western society or Eastern, too? Are the ...

Kale smoothies: too much of a good thing?

None of these categories reflect those irritating Buzzfeed listicles of “26 Hipsters Who Went Too Far!”

Dear Hipster: Unlike many of your readers, I will not write to complain ad infinitum about hipster stuff. I actually like a lot of hipster things. Sign me up for the fancy coffee, minimalist design, ...

Predating Charlie Parker

Origins of the word “hip”

Dear H’ster: One qualm I have, and it predates your column and the last however many years the term Hipster has been in the popular vernacular, is that 99.2% of our population do not know ...

Mocking minimalism from Dwell magazine

We vigorously defend our stuff; its existence becomes a point of pride.

Dear Hipster: You made me LOL at your August 29th article where you said most people do not have room to park in their garages that are filled with boxes, many untouched for over ten ...

Discover the affordable glory of malt liquor

Back to reality. Time to make sense again.

Dear Hipster: I’ve recently moved into San Diego, and into my first apartment post-college that’s really mine. At least, it’s mine and my roommate’s because there’s no way I could afford a 1BR spot for ...

Bringing up baby with a six-figure salary and a 529 plan

Step Three: Avoid Children

Dear Hipster: I’ve recently moved into San Diego, and into my first apartment post-college that’s really mine. At least, it’s mine and my roommate’s because there’s no way I could afford a 1BR spot for ...

Scratchy Goodwill rag, or Egyptian cotton from Bed Bath and Beyond?

You don’t need a Tempurpedic mattress to sleep at night

Dear Hipster: I’ve recently moved into San Diego, and into my first apartment post-college that’s really mine. At least, it’s mine and my roommate’s because there’s no way I could afford a 1BR spot for ...

Discounts on kale smoothies and Miller High Life

Step One: Achieve Insider Status

Dear Hipster: I’ve recently moved into San Diego, and into my first apartment post-college that’s really mine. At least, it’s mine and my roommate’s, because there’s no way I could afford a 1BR spot for ...

Kyle takes a crack at kale chips

I think I could have gotten 24K gold at the same price per ounce!

So, here’s the thing. I know I impliedly promised a swift return after investigating the prison-themed hipster bar supposedly selling artisanal pruno in decidedly poor taste. Terrible idea, but, hipsters will hipster. If I may ...

Caught between Chernobyl and the slaughterhouse

“If a frog had wings, he wouldn’t bump his butt a-hoppin”

Well, the rumors of a Pavement pre-reunion reunion proved unsurprisingly false. I regret nothing. Unfortunately, my return to “Ask a Hipster” will be delayed yet another week. You see, before I even made it halfway ...

Pinterest-worthy artisans

Are there any rules for throwing snarky shade at somebody’s Instagram?

Note: a friend of mine, whose name I cannot reveal, from a city somewhere in the United States, the location of which I cannot reveal (but I assure you, wherever you’re thinking, you’re wrong), heard ...

The new James Bond

Are we really proving anything to ourselves by putting 007 in a dress?

Dear Hipster: What the heck? When will the hipsterfication end? I check my phone first thing this morning, and what do I get on the news feed? The new James Bond is going to be ...

Luxurious Charms

Liberate those marshmallows from the starchy cereal bits to achieve their true, teeth-rotting potential

Dear Hipster: My friends and I were having a very tipsy Fourth of July this year, drinking and playing lawn games as one does on a midweek summer holiday. And, as people tend to do ...

Sex on the Beach, Pousse-cafe, and other incongruous beverages

Just what we need to keep the world in perspective

Dear Hipster: A while ago, I went to a bar that has a reputation for divey-ness. I won’t say which one, because I get the sense that would be unhip, but suffice to say the ...

No point of market saturation for housing or craft beer bars

As a famous economist once said,”If you book them, they will come.”

Dear Hipster: I’m no economist, but I think I have learned a thing or two about markets merely by watching the world around me. For instance, I was not surprised to hear housing prices have ...

David Bowie? Too soon. Tupac? Too soon. Buddy Holly? Still too soon.

Bono or Kanye West? Go right ahead.

Dear Hipster: In the world of perpetual hipster irony, what, if anything, is sacred anymore? — Dave B. You might be forgiven for thinking that our cultural moment, which in its time has boasted such ...

Founding a new nation like Sealand

The work is probably disproportionate to the reward

Dear Hipster: You’re probably too young to remember Sealand. Back in the late Sixties and early Seventies, these kooks had seized an old oil rig (or something to that effect) off the coast of England, ...

Mitigating climate change with more than #NODAPL protests

Do you care too much... or too little?

Dear Hipster: How do we make mitigating climate change hip in the sense of people actually doing something about it? Yeah, they may post a few things on Insta or RT, but how do we ...

The inexplicable reason people keep eating at the Cheesecake Factory

Why do people hate the word “moist”?

Dear Hipster: Is it ever the case that somebody might want to impersonate a hipster? If so, why? — Darren One might think, given the general opprobrium towards hipsterkind on behalf of the general public, ...

Enthusiastically endorsing Drumstick ice cream breakfast cereal

Should be more appealing to adults with a healthy sense of ironic humor than it should to little kiddos

Dear Hipster: I get how things normally work. Hipsters are into hipster stuff before it’s cool, then, after the hipster stuff attains mainstream popularity, hipsters are “over it” because it’s too mainstream. That’s old news ...

Is old school cooler than modern when discussing 8-tracks, laserdiscs and Betamax tapes?

Por que no?

Dear Hipster: If old-school is cooler than modern, and if obscure is cooler than common, then why aren’t hipsters stockpiling 8-tracks, laserdiscs, and Betamax tapes? I would think these various media, so much more obscure ...

“Hey, Mexican Cavalier with US plates. Neat!”

Isn’t doing things that don’t make good sense the most hipster thing of all?

Dear Hipster: So, I was reading the letter from the guy who apparently read a seventeen year old Reader article about buying cars in Mexico, went to TJ to get himself a 2019 Cavalier, and ...

The Indiana Jones of the local Salvation Army

Picking the right ironic t-shirt is part science, part craft

Dear Hipster: As a second (but not third) generation fashion iconoclast — though I do have a great-grandparent who made distinctly eccentric sartorial choices in his day — I feel welling up in me a ...

Instagram cat influencer or guest spot on Ellen as a parrot who can sing renditions of Beyoncé songs in Spanglish?

Imagine the possibilities!

Hey Hipster: Would it be better to get reincarnated as a cat who’s famous on Instagram or a parrot who gets to be on Ellen (but only for one day) because it learns how to ...

Colonel Sanders as a Coachella-bound influencer?

After all, they call it a “fortune” because luck has more to do with it than anything else.

Dear Hipster: What the heck do I have to do to become a multi-millionaire hipster Instagram influencer with lucrative contracts from big companies? I want free hotel stays, toys for my kids, treats for my ...

Is Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” a country song?

A battle between the hipster mentality and the establishment

Dear Hipster: Is “Old Town Road” a country song or not? WTF?! — D., Normal Heights At least a couple of times a year, somebody sends me what looks like a throwaway question, little more ...

Ferdinand de Saussure’s semiotics filtered through a few generations of abstract thought

Language conveys meaning only through a relational process

Dear Hipster: I have a meta-question for you this week. It seems to me that you receive a tremendous number of messages along the lines of “is such and such a thing hipster or not ...

Rick and Morty space-time conundrum

We’ll pass on Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft worlds, thanks.

Dear Hipster: What would be the ideal, alternate universe in which a hipster such as yourself might be trapped after falling through a tear in the space-time continuum? Before you answer, I have some ground ...

What’s a sixer of Tecate worth? Engelbert Humperdinck Christmas album?

The barter system is making a quiet comeback

Dear Hipster: I own a moderately beat pickup truck, which I do not really drive all that much on account of not wanting to pay for the gas. I call her Delores, and, before anyone ...

Which came first in the MIT Technology Review?

Do nonconformists look the same?

Dear Hipster: I’m sure you’ve heard of the old mimesis v. anti-mimesis imponderable, i.e. does life imitate art, or does art imitate life? It’s the kind of thing one could go back and forth on ...

Curling sport fandom: Ironic or genuine appreciation?

The rules for when people just throw the term out arbitrarily

Hipster: My daughter laughed at me when I said I didn’t like to watch curling because everyone else seemed to be into it. Whenever it’s on TV, the announcers always have to explain the rules ...

Did Fox News call Kamala Harris a poser?

Her viability as a presidential candidate may well hinge on her credibility as a connoisseur of both primo ganja and vintage hip hop

Dear Hipster: Do we put 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful and current California Senator Kamala Harris in the hipster hall of fame for apparently having been into both Snoop Dogg and Tupac before either rapper had ...

Wasting my life away reading McSweeney’s and the San Diego Reader

Will anyone remember me ten years after I’m gone? Twenty? One hundred?

Dear Hipster: For about a two weeks now, I have found myself lying asleep at night, staring up at the ceiling, watching the fan twirl around, listening to the night noises, and pondering the universe. ...

Original innovation or moustache imitation?

Interesting contradictions, and not just for hipsters

Dear Hipster: Sometimes I get confused about whether it’s more hipster to be an innovator or a clever imitator. On the one hand, it seems to me as if the most hipster thing you can ...

Target and Urban Outfitters: out on the bleeding edge of culture

What corporate America calls ironic t-shirts

Hipster: Are places like Target and Urban Outfitters bona fide hipster destinations or a mass marketed version thereof? — David Much of the outcome here depends on your personal definition of hipster. If you think ...

Hep to the jive

How “hep” and “hepster” worked their way into the American lexicon courtesy of jazz and swing culture

Dear Hipster: Growing up we used the term hep instead of hip, as in I’m hep, a real hep cat, or hep to the jive. So, shouldn’t it be Hepster? Asking for a very hep ...

The cachet of clever

It seems unfair to scorn a hipster for merely wanting to be loved

Hipster: Usually, I feel like YouTube gets me pretty well, recommends the right videos and whatnot, but every now and again I see some unsolicited, random video about things I don’t care about. The other ...

The overpowering nature of ketchup

A food calculated to titillate every taste bud

Dear Hipster: I was visiting people in Chicago over the holiday season. As you may well know, Chicago has a rich tradition of eating hot dogs, and I saw “no ketchup” signs at each and ...

Cheeky imponderables

Should I stay or should I go?

Let’s get the New Year rolling with some cheeky imponderables, shall we? Dear Hipster: What is the difference between cashing in and selling out? — Dan It’s like the difference between making your dreams a ...

What our dear friends in Corporate America know

I’m risking the Jon Snow treatment from my fellow hipsters.

Dear Hipster, Going into 2019, I’m contemplating a change of perspective. Throughout my life, I have tended to take a “close enough for rock and roll” attitude towards a lot of stuff because life is ...

Crossing an invisible line

These days, it’s Forged in Fire marathons and conspriacy theories

Dear Hipster: Although you’ve always made it abundantly clear there is no one-size-fits-all definition of hipster, we can all agree that hipsters are largely identified by what they do, whatever that may be. Some magic ...

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