By Emma Silvers
By Gary Moskowitz
By Alee Karim
By Ian S. Port
By Ian S. Port
By Derek Opperman
By Emma Silvers
By Alee Karim
Last week I had to sit through Happy Feet. Thems the breaks when you work with retarded people. Anywho, as I was suffering through another avian dance number to the tune of "Boogie Wonderland," I began to ponder the film's theme. There was the obligatory "Man Vs. Nature" thing, with the idea that commercial fishing is killing artic wildlife and needs to be stopped (who, I ask you, truly are the "animals"? Kelp for thought, people). But the main idea of the movie is the predominant theme in all children's movies: It's OK to be different. Mumble, the main character, is different. While all the other penguins sing Chicago, Grandmaster Flash, and Queen songs to attract their perfect mates, Mumble can only tap dance. He is therefore duly rejected, just like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, or the elf that wanted to be a dentist, or Cinderella. We of course cheer for him, because America always cheers for the underdog. Well, that is, we cheer for the underdog in children's films. What really became apparent to me is that in real life, this place is downright hostile to people who are "different." Gays, Imams on airplanes, immigrants, and bigamist Mormon sects. Intellectuals, poor people, nerds, and people who don't own TV sets (OK, they are a little freaky). The elderly, the mentally retarded, the physically disabled. Life sucks for all of these groups once they try and step away from their peers and assimilate. Yet time and time again we are told to be open-minded and accepting of all kinds. It's bullshit.
Then there are those who think they are different, but are really just conforming to nonconformity: The San Francisco Hipsters. It's a bit of a status symbol in our fair city, as it is just another facet of fashion, though most self-respecting owners of Big Star bootleg collections would scoff at the idea that they are dedicated followers of fashion.
Whenever I get hate mail for this column, an admittedly rare and isolated occasion of course, they cannot help but fling the "hipster" appellation at me. "Shut up, you goddamn hipster," or "thank you for the informative hipper-than-thou piece of shit you wrote last week." Recently I got a letter from a guy telling me to stay away from the bars that "real" San Franciscans like him hang out at and stick with the "hipster" places, the implication being my kind wasn't wanted. He suggested I go to Doc's Clock in the Mission. So I did.
The gentle reader who told me to scram to Doc's Clock had a point, though this place truly is the hipster default setting. Too busy at the Casanova? Well, let's head over to Doc's Clock. Ex boyfriend at the Attic? Well, Doc's Clock is just around the corner. It's never anyone's primary destination. As for me, a supposed hipster, I find the place a bit uninviting. It's not very cozy and it sort of smells like Fred Sanford's recliner. It's your basic long and narrow old-school dive bar with a few pink lights and some babes behind the tap. And, being a true hipster, I am not interested in hanging out with hipsters, because once a place is hip it's not hip, and new experiences and places must be discovered before everyone else.
I am so hip that I don't need to dress hip. I am so hip that I don't need to go to hip places. I am so hip as to be beyond hip, having come full circle back to being a total dorkwad. I have evolved, people. Try and catch up.
So there I sat, wearing my Hanging With My Gnomies T-shirt, Old Navy chinos, and clogs, hair in a bun (remember, I am post-hip), drinking PBR. Another thing about hipsters still stuck in the Old Ways, not evolved like myself, is that they will not talk to strangers. Once they open their mouths you might find out that they aren't as well versed in Wong Kar-Wai as they should be, and everything will go to hell, you see. So they sit quietly and drink their ouzo (that Fernet thing is so over) and hope that no one will find out. Trying to elicit a conversation in these places is hell.
I was with my friend Fred, who, as loyal readers may remember, is a total wackjob who believes that he was abducted by UFOs. Talk about marching to your own drum. He is pulled toward the hipster bars because he likes to sleep with cute girls who look like extras from Breakfast at Tiffany's; yet another idea that loyal readers may recognize from my first-ever Bouncer, wherein I posited that people basically dress like and gravitate toward the cultures that have people in them that they want to fuck. You think metal guys are hot? Well then, dress like a metal slut. You dig women who wear glasses and have cute little '60s haircuts? Well then, roll out those cords and iron that Joanna Newsom T-shirt.
I looked down at my outfit. Just who on God's green Earth was I trying to attract with this ensemble? Perhaps a TA in the Classics Department at Cal? Or perchance the night manager at A Change of Hobbit?