A Grapevine service announcement Be patient: That eruption is expected to last until 2015

You Read This Article Before It Was Cool

Published August 15, 2012

In the last issue of Grapevine, self-identified hipster Atli Bollason recounts in his article, “Confessions of a Hipster,” his discovery of hipsterdom and then defends hipsters everywhere. I agree entirely that bickering and in-fighting between different social groups is incredibly immature behaviour reminiscent of high school, and that hipster hate in particular has grown tiresome—if for no other reason than the word “hipster” itself has been thrown around so much that it has lost nearly all meaning. But hipster does have a definition, and Atli is quite fortunately wrong about both what being a hipster means and why people don’t like them.
Atli cites ‘The Hipster Handbook’ by Robert Lanham as his basis for what defines a hipster. Although Atli admits that the book was “meant to poke fun at hipsters,” he seems to have missed the point of hipsterism. Hipsters are not just people who like art films, or obscure bands on vinyl, or are vegetarians—these are all fine, wonderful things that many, many people enjoy. Rather, hipsters are defined by a kind of sneering elitism for enjoying these things; that their particular tastes set them apart from the common rabble. Rather than taking part in a particular lifestyle or engaging in and with certain forms of artistic expression for their societal benefit or just for their own sake, hipsters take part in these things as a sort of badge of superiority. It is this distinction that defines what a hipster is.
And this is why people dislike hipsters. Art is meant to be enjoyed by and be of benefit to everyone. Liking certain forms of art does not make you a better person than someone else, yet it is precisely this attitude that is synonymous with hipstertude, and is what people take issue with. It is not, in other words, enjoying obscure art and lifestyles that makes someone a hipster or causes people to dislike them; it’s pouring scorn and ridicule over anyone who does not.
I agree that hipster hate has unfortunately made it so practically anyone who likes the things hipsters are known for liking gets called a hipster—an unfair appellation that is not without its own elitism. This is why I think it’s too bad that Atli has seemed to fall for the semantic trap of believing that anyone who likes these things is a hipster.
I said earlier that it was fortunate Atli got it wrong, and I mean that. Atli strikes me as a sincere appreciator of the arts who does not consider himself better than anyone else for liking the things that he does. In other words, he isn’t a hipster. He’s just a really cool guy.


Mag
Opinion
<?php the_title(); ?>

Lost In Mucous

by

The first time I heard it, I did what all good girls do and politely ignored it. The second time, I shot him a look of disgust. By the third time, I couldn’t handle it anymore. I felt like I was going to be sick. I cast a crazed eye around the room, but to my shock nobody else seemed bothered by the fact that a certain member of the Grapevine team, let’s call him Bill (because we have a Bob), has a penchant for sniffling and snorting large globules of mucous down the back of his throat. HAD HIS MOTHER

Mag
Opinion
<?php the_title(); ?>

Audiomilk And Book Mafias

by

In short: Only the privileged few A large number of Icelandic books are available as audio books at the audio books library. Available, in this case, however, means available to those who need them rather than those who would merely enjoy them. The audio book library is publicly funded and to some extent exempt from copyright restrictions, to serve blind and dyslexic audiences. Last week saw a mild debate involving non-blind and non-dyslexic readers who would nonetheless like to be able to buy these audio editions; the manager of the library who explained how absolutely nonsensical and futile not to

Mag
Opinion
<?php the_title(); ?>

Accidental Iceland

by

I don’t have the sharpest social skills but I know when someone is making a joke at my expense. My travel agent was clearly making a joke at my expense: “I know you won’t fly through Heathrow or JFK and I know you will ‘never get on another Delta plane as long as you live,’ but of course you want the cheapest fare possible. The cheapest roundtrip ticket from New York to London is Icelandair with a slight layover in Reykjavík.” I had several pertinent questions for my travel agent and she answered with an exaggerated patience that made me

Mag
Opinion
<?php the_title(); ?>

You’re Wet, And You’re Cold, And You’re Miserable

by

You’ve just come in for the day. Your clothes are strewn across the radiator. Your anorak is hanging in the bathroom. It’s creating a giant puddle on the floor. Oh, and you’ve just stepped in it with your last pair of dry socks. It’s cold. It’s wet. It’s gray. It’s late October in Reykjavík. You’re kicking yourself for not choosing to visit during the summer, but as some Pollyanna told you, at least this way you’re getting the authentic Icelandic experience. Well, you should know that it wouldn’t have made much difference if you had come during the summer. It

Mag
Opinion
<?php the_title(); ?>

So What’s This Men’s Only UN Gender Conference I Keep Hearing About?

by

On Monday, September 29, the Icelandic Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson gave a speech to the United Nations General Assembly. In between talking about things that few present cared what Iceland thinks about, he mentioned that the governments of Iceland and Suriname had decided to plan a conference on gender equality only open to male political leaders. Because what is needed to achieve gender equality is men with political power telling others what to do? It is hard to do justice to what he said without quoting his speech in full: “Iceland and Suriname will convene a ‘Barbershop’ conference in

Mag
Opinion
<?php the_title(); ?>

Undisputedevil.is Removal Disputable

by

It’s another Monday and time to review last week’s debates. Briefly. In short, people kept debating that milk-thing. The dairy mafia. Some like it, while, as tends to be the case with protected businesses, others don’t. Let’s move on. Let us move on to an upcoming debate, because … there’s ISIS. Or ISIL or IS. On the contrary to MS, no inhabitant of Iceland has been heard voicing any sort of support for the ruthless wannabe state. The militant group was not known to have any connection to Iceland until last Friday, when Pirate MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir pointed out that

Show Me More!