So as I’m sitting at an empty coffee shop with my decaf coffee and surfing the web it came to me that it was a must, a must i tell you, to see myself writing a blog post in this scene. The only piece that was missing was being actually writing a blog post. Try to picture it, small kind of place, relatively “indie” music, a guy wearing glasses with a Macbook and a fanzine in his hands…
So I named this post “Es un mundo moderno, moderno” which would translate as “It’s a modern, modern world”, a name i took from another article published on a spanish fanzine named Mondo Brutto that currently rests in my hands. Indeed it is, and i do have a strong opinion about this subject. It was only last night that I was out with a few friends and we were arguing about what type of place we were going to go. At a certain point, while describing one of said places the following sentence came out: “X is a really cool place but if you want to dance there is also Y but that is a more indie-mainstream sort of place”. Such sentence ended up with an argument about whether who or what, was or wasn’t Indie, Hipster, Alternative, Modern, Post-Modern or just Geeky.
And that is the whole point of this post, what is the bloody difference? What drives a person to say “Hey! Hey! HEY! I AM NOT …” or “Hey, I Am…”. This seems to be the subject these days. Over the past few months and after some field work I’ve had the chance to hangout and meet people who would never mark themselves as Indie or Hipster yet do want other people to mark them as such, since they believe they set an example to be followed by (however that must never be acknowledged). So lets divide our teams:
The Hipster-Indie Kids:
This is the guy who looks cool and seems to be cool, you can identify them by their glasses and their skinny pants, maybe some funky shoes. Their weapons are “Social pressure”, “Influence” and their incredible capacity to drive you to death by spitting out names of band members that don’t really add any difference to the music such band makes. Hipsters never say they are Hipsters.
A funny thing about this kind, even thou their motive is the “Be open minded, be alternative, be original, dont follow the crowd…” They are the first ones to look down on you if you don’t match their criteria when you hang out together. As a group, they must always save face; that is, if you are hanging out with them, it is fine, even if you are not one of them, for as long as you look like one of them. True story. They are slaves of change, they have to transform themselves all the time in order to avoid the trend, the main-stream. But when they do, together at once, they are in fact creating or following another mainstream or trend themselves, this is of course, always masked as just looks. The Anti-fashionists became so themselves. Selective and self proclaimed, grasping the surface of everything and nothing. We could say that they collide with the original concept of indie. They are the result of having access to alternative sources of social influence, design specially for outsiders, for people who crave for more but lack the intrinsic value to obtain such; pop culture.
When you hang out with them, unless you are a hipster, in which case, why are you reading this? Since when do you care? Always remember this:
- You are cool, you are weird, you dont have to explain yourself, but do not forget to look cool. At all costs.
- Always have a plan B, a way out, in case it goes kaboom.
A hipster’s love is trendy.
This is for the most part the opposite thing to the later kind, their arch enemies. You’ve known them for your whole life (at least if you were born later than the 80s). To sum up, we could say that the geek is that kind of person who loves something to its very core. Needless to say it is useless to define someone as geek, since there isn’t such a thing as just a geek. Geeks are always specialised in something. The following picture explains this point in a humorous way a lot better than I could possibly do:
This picture was intended as a joke, so that geeks could laugh at the fact that even though they all belong to the general category of “geeks” they are still different. Geeks adore their franchises for many reasons but mostly for the subjective impression they left on the individual. Note that geeks wear glasses because they need to. Geeks don’t pretend, they don’t care what others might think, in fact, there is nothing they love most than to show the world what moves them, what has become a part of them. The other side of the story is their lack of social abilities outside their group.
Their love is genuine.
Well, here is a classic. It is true that the meaning of this word has changed over the years, but I’m pretty sure this pictures it pretty well:
Yes, those guys we all think of, good grades all their lives, unconditional love towards anything academic related and socially impaired. But they are on the good side, true to themselves, intelligent, usually share tastes with geeks:
The two types of interests that are most likely to be described as nerdy are:
- Intellectual, academic, or technical hobbies, activities, and pursuits, especially topics related to science, mathematics and technology. (See below)
- Hobbies, games, and activities that are described as obsessive and “immature”, such as trading cards, comic books, television programs, films, role-playing games and other things relating to fantasy and science fiction.
Heavy interest in art, formal music, hobbies (i.e., collecting), or other non-mainstream, “obscure” interests is also perceived to fit the stereotype, as is obsession with a topic that would otherwise be mainstream (such as a popular TV show, or sometimes even sports).
These are the guys who own cool multimillionaire software companies, but… they sort of turn into geeks once the company becomes something, but nerds deep down.
This one is just weird, and creepy. You can check this video by The Lonely Island if you don’t believe me:
“Reason is what matters”. The moderns are a well established subculture with their own set of rules. Therefore it has at least some weight. Some say that precisely because of that it is destined to perish. I was lucky enough to come across that chart down there. For a Modern the good age is adulthood, reality is logic, there is a moral code to be followed so that it is possible to difference between right and wrong on a world full of randomness. Consciousness is on the spotlight, it’s real and reality. Knowledge is basic.
These are the guys responsible for the Hipster-Indie kids, their parents if you will. Basically, the opposite to The Modern. Truth is found on TV, Y.O.L.O, forever young. The needs of the flesh and appearances are on the spotlight. Probably the result of Modern wannabes but without their resources. As usual, somebody had to spoil it. Fantasy and grasping to surface of the topic in hand is the idea behind the message.
Having explained the Hipsters-Indie Kids, think of the Post-Modern as an earlier or beta version of the mentioned.
Other guys you might want to check out too that I’m too lazy to cover right now:
- The Alternative: cross between Hipster-Indie Kids and Post-Modern.
- The Dork: friends with the Nerds and some Geeks.
- The Underground: rare kind.
- The Punk: nice people.