Tag Archives: hipsters

Bennies go home, hipsters go to bed

The New York Times over the past two weeks blew up the spot of two linguistic terms many of us in the two-state area hold in various levels of esteem. The two discussions of the words are related, as one reflects a pointed and targeted slight at a specific group, and one has been stretched like an rubber band around a stack of newspapers and no longer has any shape or functionality.

1) Hipster. In a much twote-about internal discussion, the Grey Lady noted that the term has been beaten to an unironic pulp by the paper of record, where it appeared 250 times in the past year. Quoth the standards editor:

In any case, hipster’s second life as hip slang seems to have lost its freshness. And with so many appearances, I’m not sure how precise a meaning it conveys. It may still be useful occasionally, but let’s look for alternatives and try to give it some rest.

You hear that hipsters? Your freshness is gone!

2) Benny. Long a somewhat secret code among locals, the rise of the latest MTV pseudo reality Seaside-Heights-based crap storm (and there have been several already) has taken the term into the mainstream. Long held as a particularly biting derogatory term for a certain brand of petulant North Jersey/New York tourist, “benny” is about as violent a verbal slam you can levy on a passerby on the boardwalk (even the term “Jersey Shore” triggers shockwaves of naseau among the folks from the beach areas, so much so that my friend Kenny, upon hearing it uttered by a should-know-better local, would routinely correct said person, that only stupid bennies called it “the shore” and that they would have to eat by themselves at this mall Burger King to think about what they’ve done for awhile. That was 1996, btw). Our friend Jen’s brother ran a rather successful pre-internet viral campaign around a site called Go Home Bennies (kindred sites still exist). Continue reading

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A decade without meat

Mr. Burns on gelatin dish: "It's made of hooves, you know."

eat my vest

One of the things I’m happy to say most cleanly disaffiliates me from whatever we’re calling hipster culture these days is a fairly long and dedicated streak of vegetarianism. While going veg used to be the counter-culture thing to do, eating meat is really in right now for the fauxhemian, brobo, slackeratti and urban hippie set. And not just eating meat, but getting fetishistic about it, as apparent in these boutique slaughtering classes that some carnivores claim cleans their conscience (and some vegetarians think resembles an Eli Roth movie), the hunt for obscure deli meats (really, gang? You ate zebra before all your friends. Great, you win), and, uh, caveman chic.

And then there are all these trendy spots dedicated to the consumption of creature in some form that have opened in Williamsburg recently, like The Meat Hook, Pies and Thighs, Fatty ‘Cue, and so forth, plus the rise of the word “flexitarian,” which I cannot stress to you enough how many ways that’s not a real thing.

As Flavorwire wrote last week in their guide to throwing a Hipster BBQ:

It used to be that hipsters were vegetarians or vegans or macrobiotic or followed other strange, eco-/animal-friendly diet. But these days, most agree that eating cow and pig is the best way to show you’re in touch with the real America. You know, farms and tractor pulls and such. Designer barbecue spots and boutique butcher shops are popping up in hipster meccas all over the country. And if you still insist on giving a shit about sustainability, “free-range” and “local” is the new meat-free.

I’ve also seen a few friends and associates give up the veg life, some saying they’re doing so because they’re tired of missing out on all the dining options in this great city (though I am happy to say we’ve added a few converts to the ranks recently).

Despite the name of this blogspace, this author doesn’t actually ever get up on much of a soapbox about things, and he won’t bore you by starting now. Suffice it to say I’m generally cool with what you eat as long as you’re conscious of where it’s coming from, and that place isn’t some gruesome foie-gras or veal-cutlet factory. I do think if you’re a carnivore you should be able to, kill, flay and cook a pig yourself without getting squeamish (commit or quit folks). If you eat McDonald’s more than once a week, there’s a good chance I’m making fun of you when you’re not around (as much for health reasons as for ethical ones). If your restaurant can’t offer at least one decent vegetarian option (not the default pasta or default salad, or something off-menu you have to special request) then you’re sorta uncool (looking at you, Hilton Head). You should probably also be aware of the fuel consumption required by the meat industry too, come to think of it, especially considering recent events.

So it was this month 10 years ago that I formally gave up meat, after many years of hemming and hawing and rationalizing myself out of it in high school. In honor of spending more than a third of my years sans-hamburger, I’m going big V for the month.

Continue reading

This Week in Great Sentences

This week’s themes: New York, drinking and drinking in New York.

That has something to do with smart governance but more to do with the gritty culture of the city, its work ethic, its inspiring sense of its own grandeur, its shared knowledge of the personal struggle that goes into a day. A Fuld (Lehman Brothers former chief executive), who never took the subway, never sat in Bryant Park with a sandwich, knew nothing of what makes the city tick.

-Roger Cohen, “A Nation Hard to Short,” NYT 7/26

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look at this fucking guy

look at this fucking guy

The hipsters that will be the “dead end of Western Civilization” are the ones who add nothing new or original and simply recycle and reduce old trends into a meaningless meme. It’s for that reason that when Williamsburg’s hipster playland is in crisis, there aren’t many who are concerned.

-Dan Fletcher, “A Brief History of Hipsters,” Time, which apparently is now in the business of publishing stories that sound like they were written in 1998. This story is dumb, inane, trite blog-bait. The sentence is only great in the sense of spectacular tragedy, much like flames that explode from a car wreck.

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In their scope, both the Internet and New York are profoundly humbling: young people accustomed to feeling special about their gifts are inevitably jarred, upon arrival, to discover just how many others are trying to do precisely the same, with equal or greater success. (For a vivid demonstration of this online, try to invent a play on words, and then Google it. You’ll be convinced that there is, in fact, “nothing new in the cloud” — a joke that a British I.B.M. employee beat me to last November.)

-Bill Wasik, “Bright Lights, Big Internet,” NYT 7/29, about the parity between moving to New York and trying to make a name for yourself online

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“OBAMA: I could pick up the phone right now, get the plane, we could go to Italy for pizza.”

-John Kenney, “Shouts and Murmurs: A Beer With Obama,” The New Yorker, 7/27

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Fox Headline: U.S. Brewers Upset over White House Beer Selection. I guess there’s no end to the controversy over this brewhaha.

-Howie Kurtz, Twitter, 10 a.m. 7/30