While debating which social subculture I would rather immerse myself in to: a colony of bees or an urban realm of hipsters; I immediately eliminated bees based solely on my fatal allergy to their pernicious sting. Though the social hierarchy of a honeybee is quite ferocious as any human culture, it is the assimilation that is key. Wikipedia defines a hipster as a "character who likes hot jazz", a term used in a jive glossary published in 1944. Although it is midtown to reference a definition from an encyclopedia, it is appropriate to quote a website data base, as long as one recognizes it as being a bit cliché. Hipsters seem to have been a recent manifestation, but Kerouac, Ginsberg and other worshipped icons, allotted the beat generation as an individual who is in the know, and thus will shun any and all that is mainstream. Much of this culture is attributed to their over all sense of entitlement, which basically means if you complain about the world we live in, but don’t set out to make any changes at any given time (or ever), you are well on your way to becoming a full fledged hipster. Now I may seem crass to make such assumptions, but you see, to the outside world I could easily be described as your average hipster, but I would never proclaim myself to be one, and if asked I will immediately deny such a blasphemous accusation. This is also a common trait among the hipster elite, deny and accuse. Oh hypocrisy. I often like to get the stereotypes out of the way, for some of them have actual merit, while others are obviously presumptuous, all of them are essential in learning about this culture. Most hipsters derive from upper middle class families in certain cities or suburbs, for instance Wicker Park is notorious for having their fair share of what is considered deck, woven with Record stores, i.e. Reckless Records, vintage clothing boutiques, used bookstores, i.e. Myopic Books, dive bars, and various coffee shops and smoke shops. This is hipster paradise, to roam free in a land of moth odorous sweaters and rare vinyl. There is also the notion that a hipster must not possess more than 6% body fat, which has caused a number of criticisms and accusations of anorexia, in women and in men. For instance, hipster chicks, often will be seen wearing the “skinny jeans”, which will make even the largest stems seem petite (at least that which is considered large in hipster land), these pants when worn by a Cronkite, sends mixed messages to those out of the loop. It is quite easy to be presumptuous when witnessing a Cronkite in what seems to be painfully tight pants, especially if they are extremely skinny to begin with. This trend baffles me, and only lately has it irritated me to the point where I throw up a little in my mouth when I see a guy with a giant head and torso and these pencils for legs. Many hipsters felt the need to become rebellious at a young age, due to their lack of an unhealthy or indigenous upbringing, and hey, we all want to have a great story to tell, right? The outlet that one chooses coincidentally labels them under the following personality type cast categories: 1. The Polit: one who is always philosophizing and indulging in metaphysics, politics and romanticism. They often are the ones you see alone in a café, reading Carl Marx and sipping espresso. They are the least sociable except when it comes to long diatribes on current events. 2. The Schmooze: Hipsters obsessed with their careers, and therefore preach from a very technical diabolical soapbox. 3. The Neo-Cruncher: Post Garcia Hippies who don’t bathe regularly or at all, grow out their hair, and listen to folk artists such as Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Devendra Banhart, and even Wilco. 4. The Tweekers/clubbers: Similar in manner, young at heart 24 hour party people who do a little more then dabble in drugs 5. The WASH: (Wait-staff And Service Hipster); these are the hipsters who have jobs, and Surprisingly the most common type of hipster. You can always identify them if they have the following: piercing, brooding sarcasm, tattoos, apathetic disposition. They usually have an aversion to fluorescent lighting due to their omnipresent hangover. 6. The Loner: Introverted, anti-social, obsessed with work/hobbies. Identifiable by pale skin, bitten nails, Elvis Costello Glasses (with or with out a prescription), flinching. Their aversion is scratched vinyl records (which they collect compulsively), and muscles. They prefer sickly skinny mates; mix tapes, and hypochondria if they ever summon the courage to be gregarious. 7. The UTF (Unemployed Trust Funder): These hipsters are sneaky and mysterious, but obvious to those of their pedigree. They hail from an upper class family, don’t have jobs (unless weekly allowance up to the age of 30 counts as a career), and are art school students for several years, for a “philosophy PHD”. They try to hide their wealth by wearing second hand thrifty attire. They exude Bohemian-like, hobo sheek fallaciousness. They love NPR and debating on politics, yet rarely ever vote. So the question is, are you a hipster? Well here are a few obvious signs: 1. You roll your own cigarettes, or just smoke cigarettes in general. 2. You listen to bands, artists, labels, that many non-hipsters haven’t heard of. Although, if you find that one of those “unknown” artists sold their soul to a major label or a car commercial, you toss out any evidence, vinyl mainly, that indicated you ever supported such a terrible band. 3. You go to liberal arts college, wearing the walk of shame messenger bag and a smug apathy on your strut to pottery class. These personality types and assimilation guidelines are only the bare basics. But if these ring true to you, it is time to deny any and all accusations, and reply with “You Fascist”. Grrr. We don’t know why, how, or when it all began, but it has become a large trend turned into a way of life for many. Ironically every one wants to be different, yet they all look, act, and embrace the stereotype, which in my opinion, is not deck, but pretty midtown.