Our third small book, What Was the Hipster?, became available for pre-order last week, inspiring a rapid series of articles and announcements and hundreds of comments. London–based fortnightly Snipe was one of the first to the scene: “It’s about time that a scholarly analysis of hipsters was taken . . . This final report may possibly be the most divisive publication since the report of the Warren Commission.”
More moderately, the Guardian called the book “the most comprehensive examination” of the hipster phenomenon and the most critical too: “a more withering assessment of youth culture is hard to imagine.” The Guardian couldn’t have anticipated its own comments section, however, where several hundred people called hipsters “dicks,” “twats,” and “pricks.” Some though were more forgiving: “secretly a lot of people think all that gaudy, fancy-dress, twatting buffoonery must be a lot of fun.”
On Twitter, people said hipster analysis was boring.Tweet
Most people so far have determined that the book is either too hip or not hip enough, which amount to the same thing. “Intellectualizing hipsters is the new hipster intellectualism,” wrote the Village Voice‘s Foster Kamer. On Twitter, people said hipster analysis was boring (“I AM SO OVER THIS”) or implied it was a lazy hipster project (“not much to do over there?”). In Toronto’s Globe & Mail, Leah McLaren wrote about the book as part of a backlash against hipsters, and was attacked, practically abused, for being late to the backlash and consistently too square: “We deserve more from you than your ceaseless effort to lash out at kids younger than you who know where the good parties are.” “The funny thing about this article is that a true non-identifying hipster would not be caught dead reading the Globe & Mail.”
Meanwhile, Johannesburg’s Daily Maverick worried that hipsterism has reached South Africa. (“There are plenty of hipsters in South Africa; you just have to know where to look.” “Joburg is brimming with them.” “Oh dear I think I might be one.”) And the book went on sale at Amazon. People who looked at it also searched for Roland Barthes’s Mourning Diary, Frederic Tuten’s Self Portraits, our Diary of a Very Bad Year, and Judd Apatow’s I Found this Funny. At Amazon, What Was the Hipster? is currently sold out.