A Letter of Complaint to the Sydney University Hipster
Dear Sydney University hipster,
You are making me feel uncool and frankly I’ve had enough.
As someone who once spent an entire pay packet on flared jeans the week before Kate Moss spread-eagled the side of every bus in Sydney in skinny legs, no-one was happier than I to observe increasing displays of outfit unorthodoxy, heralding a progression into a post-cool era. Anything goes in this blasé new world, where even the most obnoxious displays of individuality are more warmly received than Oprah by the Australian tourism industry: mentally unstable politicians can don cowboy hats in parliament; women can dress as men (Ellen Degeneres); men can dress as women (Justin Bieber); Gaga can adorn herself in a dress of rotting meat or mutilated Kermit The Frog dolls and still inspire twenty-seven “official” fan sites; Prime Ministers can have red hair.
But thrift-store-browsing, Warhol-worshipping, right-brain-using hipster, your insistence on the continuing existence of “cool” imperils our society’s progression. Your androgynous army, assaulting the law lawns in identical hair cuts presumably sculpted by the rim of the same bowl, sacrificing fertility for ball-smothering skinny jeans and making sure the rest of us can’t get our hands on a Campos coffee without a forty minute wait in line, is selfishly imposing a universal standard of cool. Your growing conscripts are robbing the rest of us of the rare opportunity to feel legitimate in glasses worn for vision correction rather than to make an ironic statement, or a hat worn for sun protection rather than in imitation of a codeine-addicted dead guy from the sixties, in what would otherwise be a post-cool era.
Almost as confounding as trying to discern the gender of one of your waifish, over-sized-shirted specimens from the behind view, is the reality that your movement began as a counter-culture, a rebellion against the vacuousness of mainstream fashion and out to promote independent thought. Maybe it’s a coincidence that your asymmetric fringes all fall at the same 45 degree angle (from left to right, of course), and perhaps there was a special on thick-rimmed tortoise shell glasses the same day you all happened to stop by American Apparel. But you seem to be struggling a little with the practical side of being alternative in unison with the rest of your clan, thus inevitably ending up the same.
I’ll concede that your movement has not been an utterly unqualified strain upon the advancement of our society; your obsession with “eco-chic” may have turned a few minds to the issue of sustainability. But like the US ridding Iraq of Saddam Hussein and then marching the country into a new era of violence and ungoverned pandemonium, what’s a stingy splash of good in a sea of oppression? One can only imagine the new heights of tolerance and social inclusion our post-cool society could be reaching if it weren’t being besieged by a sub-culture-turned-mainstream insisting that buttoned to the lymph nodes is the only way to wear a shirt. If you really value freedom as much as the message on your vintage tee proclaims, disband and liberate Eastern Avenue from this fashion autocracy once and for all!
But since one of the most widely recognized qualities of the hipster is a spectacular lack of self-awareness, you’re probably chortling along at “them hipsters” right now, so I won’t be holding my breath.
Hipster Hater Number Four Thousand and Sixty-Three, who may or may not tend an entire shelf of Penguin Classics, most of which she hasn’t read.