Hipster may not be a term all readers are familiar with. But in case you were wondering, the typically liberal subculture is now reportedly abandoning the president, too.
Urban Dictionary defines hipsters as a "subculture of men and women typically in their 20's and 30's that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter." They can typically be spotted wearing skinny jeans and faded T-shirts from Urban Outfitters and American Apparel, with messy shag cuts and asymmetric side-swept bangs on the streets of Brooklyn, Chicago or San Francisco.
Hipsters usually don't care too much about politics, but the group was particularly enthused in 2008 for the biracial, young, and Facebook "Likeable" Barack Obama. However, The New York Observer (NYO) now reports that the president has become a punchline in clubs and art galleries, with hipsters having trouble seeing how they can throw the same support towards Obama in 2012:
"It is hard to remember now, but the summer and fall of 2008 in the city were as if an old-timey party convention had met Burning Man, and it seemed like all the political clubs in town had been swept aside in favor of open-mic nights from a generation of supposedly apathetic and skeptical hipsters. They passed around Obama speeches like they were bootlegged concert tapes. They carried around dog-eared copies of The Audacity of Hope. They quoted the 2004 convention address like it was poetry. Even supposedly blasé Williamsburg sported a Shepherd Fairy two-toned Obama poster, with the word “Progress” stenciled in bold font below.
But now the progress posters have begun to wither. A new poster, featuring the president’s image superimposed over Frankenstein’s monster’s face, has been spotted around the neighborhood."
NYO's David Freedlander was able to infiltrate deep into the grungiest corners of Brooklyn to find that from the New Kings Democrats to The Barack Obama Democratic Club to Brooklyn for Barack, the drumbeat from the Oval Office just doesn't get Hipster juices flowing like it once did:
“'That time we felt that Obama was more or less this outsider, this new young proponent for change, and he really engaged the younger, 20-something crowd, and we felt that this was someone very different, someone that was kind of an intelligent, amicable leader that we could get behind.'
'It’s hard to get everyone to rally back around him this time. We see mild victories here and there, but it’s not the complete overhaul we were expecting.'”
One political analyst told Freelander that while the excitement may have declined towards Obama, he sees the hipster base perhaps being reinvigorated depending on who the Republicans nominate:
“'The newness and the excitement is gone, and it would be hard to rekindle just because of the historic nature of the election,' he said. 'But it’s definitely still there. Talk to me if Michelle Bachmann is the Republican nominee; then you’ll see how fired up everyone will be.'”
Or they could just go back to being apathetic about politics. Time will tell.