The hipster debate

What’s the point? What sets us apart should not also drive us apart.

Katharine Hargreaves

I never thought it would happen, but it did: I got to relive the movie “The Breakfast Club.” Granted, I’m no Molly Ringwald, but I did have the pleasure of suffering through one of the most awkward parties I’ve been to this year – and how those two are related will be made clear in time.

Let’s dish! It’s a good thing that I was born with Jedi mind powers, because the turf I surfed last night was a minefield of opposing cliques, and a lesser mortal – in other words, anyone not me – would have imploded from the pressure of navigating from room to room.

Why you ask? For starters, we had the bros playing beer pong in the kitchen. The new-wave Rastafarians were outside and the Hipsters were downstairs taking Myspace pictures with their newfound (i.e. 10-minute) best friends. The Self-Proclaimed Hot Girls drifted from the beer pong to the keg and back, and the Abercrombie Indie Rock kids hung out by the front door so they wouldn’t have to take off their fur-lined faux military jackets. It was a party with possibilities; a “festivus for the rest of us” that could have been the pedestal to which we as a collective demographic of 18- to 24-year-olds could have held all other parties. In other words, different worlds collided and barriers could have been broken, friendships – real ones, mind you, not Facebook ones – could have been forged, lessons could have been learned. Did any of that happen? Perhaps – but it’s doubtful.

It’s not that I don’t have hope for my generation; it’s that the message I seem to be getting states otherwise. Although I hate to make a shining example when there are certainly many, the so-called hipsters seem to be sending the strongest.

Let me make it known that I don’t have a problem with those who choose to define themselves as “hipsters” but instead the attitude that always seem to come with it.

Why is it that not watching television is now a defining personality trait? Why is admittance of once having owned Coldplay – or, God forbid, that totally lame, so 2006 indie band – enough to blacklist someone from Urban Outfitters?

Why, as educated adults, are we still so concerned with what clothes other people wear or what music they listen to? Most importantly, why do we judge them because of it?

I could understand if this were still fifth-grade recess and Starter jackets were the only way to make friends on the playground, but seriously, now? When we have better things to do like, I don’t know, get a degree? Debate philosophy? Broaden our minds?

I’ve been to good parties, and I’ve been to bad parties. Sometimes you leave with 10 new best friends, and other times you leave wishing you had stayed home and talked to your Teen Beat posters all night. Leaving this particular one, I realized that I was most bothered by the fact that at the end of the night, nothing had changed. The bros were still playing pong, the hipsters were still twitching to Joy Division, and true to the era: no one cared.

“The Breakfast Club” became a cult classic because it gave hope that maybe we’d all find that we’re deeper than our respective stereotypes. What sets us apart should not also drive us apart – unless of course you’re one of those emos, in which case no one wants to be your friend.

Kat Hargreaves welcomes comments at [email protected]