Hipsterism is no longer just an irritating fashion fad, it’s undermining staple foods and is intellectually inconsistent. So why is it so popular?
I hate hipsters.
Quinoa. We get it. NASA reckons it’s top shit, as far as astronaut fodder goes. But as one of Bolivia’s staple foods, it’s losing its nutritional power through reduced consumption. Consumption was reduced by a third while the global price trebled in five years. This has resulted in obvious income increases for Bolivian farmers, but a massive reduction in the accessibility of the crop to a population who have now had to revert to cheaper highly processed foods which have nothing near the level of nutrition supplied by their crops, which were domesticated locally thousands of years ago. Problems occur when farmers start excessively amplifying their quinoa production, putting stress on other crops and alpaca, which have to be moved or sold to make room for the quinoa. Due to increasing demand, supply has been sluggish to respond, increasing prices without any hint of plateau.
Kale is an interestingly similar case at home, although competition between Australian producers has led to a price reductions as demand in July last year sored to over 1 000 percent of what it was in 2013. Bruynen Farms, a Victorian producer of vegetables, including kale, told Landline that they had to stop growing red cabbage and leak because they need the space for kale. The narrowing base of production is a commonly understood narrative when any new product reaches a new and massive height in demand. Kale takes 10-14 weeks to grow, which is relatively quick. Despite this, the massive surge in demand has led even the Dutch seed producers to exhaust their supplies.
Quinoa and kale are only the tip of the iceberg (lettuce). Food is only a part of the spuriously new(ish), rebooted subculture known as Hipster. Hipsterism is also associated with ‘ironic’ t-shirts, supping obnoxiously conflated flavours of latte and wearing trendy, ‘unique’, unwashed clothing.
Cursory Wikipedia research (what? This is a blog, you weren’t expecting academic-standard sources, were you? And yes, I donned my deerstalker and monocle for the investigation, ironically assuming the characteristics of a hipster to really know my enemy) has revealed a number of enigmatic idiosyncrasies about the origins of the movement.
Conflating a number of probably-more-qualified-than-me authorities, I have discovered that hipsterism is associated with dirty clothes (mostly chinos and bow-ties), ‘man-buns’, gluten-free diets, facial hair, hemp and/or canvas everything and snooty-sounding foods (like quinoa and 3/4 caramel latte with 5-spice nonsense).
Ironically (get it?), the movement so hell-bent on individuality acquires intellectually inconsistent status by also associating with expensive mainstream consumer products, like iPhones and Macbooks (although I did hear about a scandal where a few batches of organic Apple products were found to contain gluten, causing a number of severe cases of absolutely no ill health effects whatsoever). Turns out, most hipsters are upper-middle class unemployed university students who are trying to cleave an individual identity for themselves by literally burning society to the ground and conforming to the same dress and consumer pressure as everyone else.
Mostly a pejorative term, few actually self-identify as hipster. However, unfortunately, after doing thorough and rigorous empirical research, I feel that I must now diagnose myself as a potential hipster-lite. I don’t regularly eat kale or quinoa, and I use a Windows computer. But I have an iPhone. I wear long ties and serious t-shits, but I also own two pairs of chinos. I don’t drink stupid-sounding coffee, but I do fancy me an almond chai-latte. I sport a trimmed and maintained five o’clock shadow at times other than five o’clock. Sometimes I can be a little too snarky.
And I often pretend I know what the word ‘ironic’ means when I actually don’t have a clue.
Well. That’s not how I anticipated this piece turning out.