Exclusive: Hipster Invasion Threatens Inner West
There are many reasons to move to Sydney’s inner west but none of them is more compelling than your girlfriend telling you to.
And so it was that a few months ago I overcame my bitter prejudices and moved across town, upholding a fine family tradition of men doing whatever it is they are told to by their partner, wife, mother, sister or the nearest woman in the street.
The inner west, for those of you who are not from Sydney and indeed the vast majority who are, is a small enclave nestled snugly between the CBD and the real world. People in the proper suburbs have no desire to go to the inner west and people in the inner west don’t want them there. However despite this the people in the inner west have spent the past 10 years campaigning against a motorway that would give both parties the exact result they wanted.
(Likewise residents will hold all night vigils protesting against a new supermarket being built nearby just so they can make the 1.5km, 45 minute journey by car to the only shopping centre built before the Greens arrived.)
It is this sort of paradoxical logic that characterises the inner western mentality and makes the natives such an endangered species.
It only takes a cursory glance at their driving skills, business acumen and footpath behaviour to know that they would not survive long in the outside world.
And yet they are also a fascinating study in contradictions who appear to defy the conventional laws of nature. For example a typical inner westerner is numerically illiterate and works for a council-funded indigenous arts program and yet is able to afford a $1.2 million Victorian terrace that doubles in value every six months. Economists have been studying this phenomenon for years and are still no closer to explaining it.
This is not to say they are a greedy or unkind people, merely that they live in a world cocooned from the realities the rest of us have to deal with every day, such as watching football and not being a vegan.
These people keep to themselves and do not venture far, much like Hobbits. But recently a new evil has permeated their sheltered world: The hipster.
A great deal of criticism has been written about hipsters but none of it appears to have had any impact on them, possibly because as far as anyone can tell hipsters don’t know how to read.
For anybody who doesn’t know, hipsters are young people who wear oversized glasses, ironic 80s windcheaters and skin-tight trousers around their knees. The boys have either sweeping emo fringes or wispy beards with crumbs in them and carry around skateboards because they don’t know how to ride one. The girls wear shirt-dresses, plastic jewellery and hats that make a statement, that statement presumably being: ``Look at me, I’m sitting on a retard.’’
Chances are you have already encountered a hipster and you just don’t know it. You may have mistaken them for a homeless person or a runaway trapeze artist.
They will be the person in front of you at the station trying to buy a one-way concession ticket with nothing but 10c pieces; they will be the person in front of you at the bar stopping you from ordering a beer because they’ve decided the next big thing is whiskey tasting and dressing like a rockabilly; they will be the person in front of you riding a vintage bicycle and wearing six-inch bangs because they believe in saving the environment but not wearing a helmet.
Basically if you suddenly find yourself being incredibly annoyed by someone and you can’t quite put your finger on why, chances are that person is a hipster. And every day hundreds of thousands of hardworking Sydneysiders are forcibly exposed to them, all because the state government still hasn’t built the M4 East.
(It is a well known fact that motorways are the only iron clad defence against hipsters because, while their parents own three cars each, none of them knows how to drive.)
Of course picking on hipsters is not a new thing. If it was it would be being done by hipsters themselves and that would be impossible because hipsters have no sense of humour. No, it is hackneyed, obvious and cliched and thus the perfect subject for a 35-year-old mainstream hate-media journalist having a midlife crisis.
Because that’s the great thing about getting older. Sure, you may be hurtling towards the inevitable cold grip of death and the infinity of black silence that erases your consciousness forever, but at least you don’t have to worry about being cool.
Unless of course your girlfriend tells you to.
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