Hipsters 101: Their History, Bleak Future
Their main enclave is threatened, but no one seems to care
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2009 11:12 AM CDT
Hipsters are "the people who wear T-shirts silkscreened with quotes from movies you've never heard of," writes Dan Fletcher.   (©ret0dd)
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(Newser) – Hipsters. They “sneer when you cop to liking Coldplay”; they “sport cowboy hats and berets”; they’re “the only ones in America who still think Pabst Blue Ribbon is a good beer.” But they’re certainly not a new phenomenon, writes Dan Fletcher for Time. The first jazz-loving hipsters emerged in the 1930s; after World War II, Norman Mailer “painted hipsters as American existentialists, living a life surrounded by death.”

The first generation of hipsters was replaced by hippies, and yet another crop emerged in the early 1990s to recycle trends past: “Take your grandmother’s sweater and Bob Dylan’s Wayfarers, add jean shorts, Converse All-Stars, and a can of Pabst and bam—hipster,” Fletcher writes. They have been described as “the death of Western civilization,” and as “hipsterdom's largest natural habitat”—Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood—is threatened by squatters, “there aren’t many who are concerned.”