The hipsters you shall always have with you

Phoebe Maltz says:

A hipster lives in the world of irony, and as such hates sincerity, not global warming. Hipsters look with scorn upon student activists, politicians, and, of course, those bastard trust-fund-having, Williamsburg-colonizing hipsters. Al Gore's sanctimonious An Inconvenient Truth is quite possibly the least hipster cinematic production of all time. So much so that if pressed to define "hipster," I would point to that movie and say, "Something not like that."

That said--and this is the real point of this post--if "hipster" is being used in "Newsweek," maybe the phenomenon is finally over and the women of New York will at last trade the leggings in for the long-abandoned pants.

I have no idea how old Phoebe Maltz is . . . but she can't be very old if she thinks that the hipster phenomenon is going to be over soon.

Somewhere in the past few years, I crossed the threshold at which I m now old enough to remember how it used to be. Which makes it very hilarious to hang around people who think that they just invented sex and drinking binges. I was recently amused to be informed by a 28-year-old friend that, unlike the fogies I went to college with, people in his generation, frequently have friendly flings with buddies they do not actually intend to date seriously. No, really? Tell me more. And is it true that the people of your tribe slice the bread before you make the sandwiches?

Hipsters have been around at least since I was in college, which, as any fogey can tell you, is when the universe began, anyway. To be sure, we did not have iPods, and without cell phones we had to engage in rather elaborate signalling mechanisms so that people would know what bar you were likely to be at on Saturday nights circa 11 pm. But the ironic cynicism, the clothing rumpled with exquisite care, the chain smoking, the obsessive competition over who could discover the obscurest band, all these we had. We even had the habituating of coffee shops, though I'm not sure one could then procure a triple chai latte with soy milk. We used to write in them, you see; we had this stuff called paper that was very useful for creating parodic autobiographies of Karl Marx penned in the style of John Irving.

It will never be over, Phoebe. It will never be over. Only the players will change.