Life After the Hipsters
Still stuck in the hipsters? Sorry, but that stopped being alternative the minute Paul Galvin appeared with a beard and skinnies. As trendsetters look around for the next big thing, our reporter tells you how to change your beard, house, career and clothes to make the grade in post-hipster Ireland. Or, if that seems like a lot of work, you could always escape to a brave new world with a spot of hipster tourism
Never in your wildest dreams did you imagine that your black-pudding and Jonnie Onion Ring cupcakes would end up as global-franchising sensation. Turns out you were right. Not even the Yanks were going to go for that. And they'd eat anything.
This is, of course, good news. There is only one thing worse than failure for a hipster businessman. And that's success. The merest hint that you are in touch with ordinary people is a red card from the hipsters. The buzzword here was to run your own micro-business. The problem there is you make micro-profits. (Even if it's a kale smoothie bar with stuff written up on a blackboard? Yes.) That means you end up with a micro chance of landing one of those hot posh ones who hover around your stall at farmers' markets, staring at your macaroons. (They're a type of small circular cake. Don't be so smutty.)
If you want one of those ladies, you'll need to get something that actually pays. Don't worry, you have great experience. All those internet start-ups around town are mad to hire retired hipsters for their corporate videos. It's a useful way to lure in gullible nerds. Your role will be to sit on your arse for hours on end and do absolutely nothing. Sure didn't you get plenty practise for the role when you opened a shop that sold Cadet Cola and Wagon Wheels?
Who knows, you might even get what's known as 'a career'. That's a way of getting money other than bullying your friends into crowd-funding a pop-up humorous ice sculpture gallery called Ice Lols. Here's some good news on the job front. The fact that you know how to use Instagram means there are at least seven companies in the Docklands who want you on board as their associate vice president for social media leverage, South East Asia. Or as it's known in some circles, 70-grand-a-year and free ice cream. Take it while it's going.
It turns out there is property available outside Stoneybatter in Dublin or Albert Road in Cork. They have these things in the suburbs called semi-detached houses. You know all about these because you grew up in one. That's why you've spent the last 10 years trying to make out that you are edgy and alternative.
Anyway, you might want to move back into one if you have kids. That doer-upper in Stoneybatter was great when you were single, particularly when all the poor old people in the area died off. (They kept saying hello to you. What was that all about?) But it's not really a great area to raise kids. You don't want them exposed to street loads of adults on skateboards. They might form the impression they never need to grow up and then sponge off you for life. Yikes.
A move to the 'burbs should be well within your grasp. Obviously you won't be able to get a mortgage. Even during the boom, Irish banks wouldn't lend to someone who put 'mushroom forager' as their occupation on the application form. Luckily your stupid, square parents had a thing known as a 'job' back in the day and they should be able to cover a deposit.
Some things you should know about the 'burbs. Some of the properties don't have a yoga studio on the ground floor. Imagine! Most of the back gardens have grass rather than a micro-brewery. Your local butcher will not describe himself as artisan so he can put 20pc on the price of a chop. And people will feel sorry for you if they find out that you are eating haggis.
Don't worry, you're not moving into enemy territory in the 'burbs. Chances are that your new neighbour will be a retired hipster just like yourself. Just picture those long nostalgic chats over the fence in the evenings. It won't be long before he says, "Do you know what I hated from day one - pale ale. It makes me fierce gassy." It's like he says what you think.
Two words for anyone who thinks this hipster lark still has legs. Conor McGregor. He's started dressing like you. McGregor in a waistcoat is definitely game over. Unless you want to share a social movement with someone who likes to be known as The Notorious' Which you don't.
He doesn't just use his hands to make a living. He uses his feet as well. It's like a boxer crossed with a soccer player. How working class. He probably watches the darts on telly, just because he enjoys it. It's time to draw a veil over your hipster years. (It doesn't matter what kind of material is in the veil. You can stop obsessing about all that shite now that you're leaving the hipsters.)
You'll need a new wardrobe. Prepare for a culture shock when you go buying new clothes in mainstream stores. Say what you will about the charity shops you shopped in for the last seven years, but at least the people behind the counter were over the age of 15. Step into Gap or H&M now and you might wonder if the world has been taken over by children. You'll also be entitled to feel nervous in case you bump into someone from the old hipster days. You could always wear a disguise. We hear the high-street stores in Dublin and Cork are choc-a-bloc with ex-hipsters in balaclavas. It's like backstage at a Sinn Fein Ard Fheis in the 1990s.
Still, there is so much to look forward to. Like, not getting up at 3am so you can get your jeans on in time for work. (Those hipster skinnies were a bitch.) And not throwing out a pair of perfectly good pair of shoes just because you saw someone wearing them on the bus. (It was the driver. You cried all the way home.)
The tattoo says so much about a man. Like, my body is a canvas and I don't care for convention. Or, I got pissed on a stag do in Amsterdam and now I have West Brom tattooed on my todger. (Of course, you tell the ladies that it's West Bromwich Albion. Dishonest.)
Tattoos have a chequered history in Ireland. There was a time when they meant you either spent some time in England or in prison. That ran up to about 2005. Then the hipsters came along and we got a peculiarly Irish slant on things. There was a lot of Celtic imagery and symbols. As a result, most Irish men aged between 25 and 35 look like an Enya album cover. That probably wasn't the intention. Let's face it.
The hipster backlash means the next generation of Irish blokes will stick with their clear, pale white skin. In 10 years' time, your tattoo collection will say 'I thought I was cool once and now I'm 45'.
That has a number of implications. You having an affair with the hot Italian one in account support isn't one of them.
You could be looking at laser removal. Yes, it's painful, but still better than a stranger spotting that you have 'I love Nationwide' inked on your arm. (And it seemed like such an ironically good idea at the time.)
There is one other alternative. Wear your clothes all the time.
This might seem crazy. But if you had to pick one country where you might never get a chance to take off your shirt again, then you're living in it. You see, Ireland is the best little country in the world to be post-hipster.
It doesn't necessarily have to go. (Unless you're a woman. Seriously, what were you thinking?) One popular choice is to let it grow wild. This transforms you into what's known as a 'neckbeard', which is a hipster insult. (Along with 'square' and 'gainfully employed'.) The beauty of being a neckbeard in Ireland is people might mistake you for a trade-union official or a poet. Either of those could be enough to get you a seat in the Seanad. Kerching!
Still, we strongly recommend you get rid of your facial hair. It hasn't been a badge of coolness since Gordon D'Arcy, above, went to town with one a few years back. You know you're not killing it on the alternative lifestyle front when you could be confused with a rugby player. (Unless he's French. All the laws of cool are inverted when it comes to the Frogs, as you might want to call them to show you're more relaxed about life since you stopped being a hipster.)
So it's back to shaving. Great news. Most guys are allergic to the notion of the morning shave. But a narcissist like yourself will just love guaranteed mirror time every day. (We were amazed you gave it up in the first place.)
The only issue now is what kind of razor to buy. There was a time when the only answer to that was an ivory-handled, cut-throat beauty that you picked up in a virtually unknown part of Antwerp. Luckily all that old crap is behind you now, and you can just pick up a bag of disposables the next time you are in SuperValu.
You could even get your beard shaved off for a good cause. Blatant self-promotion dressed up as a meaningful gesture. It doesn't get much more hipster than that. What a way to go.
THE BOOT SALE
Your resignation from the hipsters is a great chance to declutter your home. You will feel the need to hire a decluttering consultant. (Look, you're a hipster and therefore inclined to make some poor life choices.) A decluttering consultant will usually issue a four-step guide to clearing some space in our life.
1: Make a list of things you'd like to get rid of. 2: Show the list to a decluttering consultant. 3: Now write a cheque for €1,500 and hand it to the decluttering consultant. 4: Say goodbye to the decluttering consultant.
The truth is you don't need a decluttering consultant. Getting rid of your all your retro tat is a lark. Hipsterdom is basically a Ponzi scheme. It works as long as there is an influx of new eejits who are willing to pay good money for a disposable camera from 1987. The bubble hasn't burst yet on that front. It's true that every hipster in Dublin and Cork has a full house. But hit the motorway any weekend and it should be a cinch to find an upcycling market full of gullible culchies who will take that retro Hoover off your hands.
Alternatively, you could just put all your junk into a pre-distressed trunk. (We know you have one.) Farewell East German camera, leather manbag and all those jam jars you used to serve cocktails. Tie up the trunk with an old belt and put it on DoneDeal as a hipster starter kit. This won't just free up space, it should raise enough money to buy a few pairs of socks. You'll need them now that you're re-entering polite society.
At least people won't leave a space around you on the Dart any more. The bang off your feet. Jesus.
THE NIGHT OUT
OK, so it's your first night out of the hipsters. Now what are you going to do? Here's an idea. You can go to a restaurant that you've been to before. Imagine!
Gone are the days when you can't be seen in the same place twice in case people think you're an accountant. Or the restaurant isn't there anymore, because it turns out there wasn't a market for a place serving Crispy Pancake vol-au-vents, and it closed after a week. So now you can go back to that Italian place that was amazing, even though it didn't have a concept or a large blackboard. You can go there again next week if you like, just because you like the food.
Obviously you will post photos of your meal up on Instagram. Old habits die hard. Bear in mind your old hipster friends will stop following you the minute they spot you've been in the same restaurant more than once. (There isn't a setting on Instagram to do the unfollow automatically. That's a surprise.) You should continue to share photos of all your meals. You are not just showing family and friends that you are doing very well for yourself above in Dublin, eating out three times a week. You are also showing the Californian nerds who control our lives that we Irish still buy into their view of the world. That's important, because those guys are billionaires. They might decide to stop employing Irish people to sit around in funky offices playing with their space hoppers. Bye-bye, all the restaurants. Hello, eating toasted specials in pubs once more. And not ironically either.
Fancy cursing your head clean off? Try getting a baby into the back of a two-door Vauxhall Viva from 1986. That car has to go. Unless you want your toddler to go around repeating the c-word. (It's all a great laugh until someone calls social services.)
So, what are you going to buy? Dealers all over the country are offering incredible finance deals to help you get a new car. Easy access to credit after a massive crash would be a worry in any other country. But this isn't any other country. So buy yourself a people carrier with a long warranty, whether you need it or not.
You'll still need a music-festival car. The golden rule for hipsters is that, while they are all for sustainable living, their favourite cars are about as eco-friendly as Texas. (Ironic, innit.) A 1993 Volvo station wagon should hit all the right notes here. This will ferry you en famille to a field in the midlands, where you'll spend the weekend with other lapsed hipsters watching shite Arcade Fire tribute bands. There will be lots of agreeing that you're all still very cool. (It's not as tragic as it sounds. It's far, far worse than that.)
And then there's the bike. You probably haven't noticed all those middle-aged men in Lycra whizzing around on racers. Sure look, you were probably trying to get a glimpse of your reflection in a shop window. Narcissists are always the last to know what's going on around them.
Anyway, long story short, you'll need to go down the Lycra biker route to keep the man boobs at bay. It's not cool, it's not alternative. But then neither is cycling around Dublin on a retro racer wearing a tweed waistcoat. So you're not really giving anything up on the cool front.
Some hipster notions are hard to shift. (As are hipster women apparently. A lot of them are more interested in talking about the arthouse cinema scene in west Brussels.) The main hipster notion is that craft beer is always going to be cool. There's only one word for people who believe that. Satzenbrau.
You probably know it as a retro beermat you bought for 20 quid at an auction for gullible hipsters. But before that it was a beer aimed at 1980s women who wanted flavour and sophistication instead of a dirty old pint. Sound familiar?
The wheel is already turning on craft beer. We'd give it two years before it's about as hip as 2fm. The question is what are you going to do about it? The answer has been touched on already. Dirty old pints.
And we don't mean pints of plain. A lot of post-hipsters are already going for Guinness with auld segosha Dublin accents and making out like they were involved in the 1913 Lockout. That's a halfway house. You need to go for broke. We're talking Budweiser here. Pints and pints of it. Or maybe Coors Light if you're on a diet.
Come on. There is only one place to go if after 10 years of micro and retro. And that's big and American.
You won't be able to go to America, because Donald Trump won't let you in. But you can always stay here and irritate stubborn hipsters with an homage to middle America. That means lots of pints of Bud. (Call them suds.)
And we're also thinking white runners and a red sweatshirt with USA emblazoned across the front.
You can wear them to the Springsteen concerts in May. Can you picture it? Yes, you can.
Here is what will happen if you don't deal with your hipsterdom. You'll be so passe that you'll end up like Jerry the Mod. He's the 53-year-old guy you'll find in every town in Ireland. His hairstyle is the kind of thing you'd expect to get when you walk into a rural barber and say, "Give me a Paul Weller." It's not a great look. (It's not a Paul Weller either.)
If you feel you can't change your ways, we recommend you go on the Hipster Trail. That's where you trawl the world looking for places where hipsters are still considered exotic. First things first. People in the Third World aren't too gone on zealous, bearded Irish men in sandals. The Catholic missionary priest thing left its mark.
A lot of so-called cool cities are infested with hipsters. Berlin is over-run at this stage. Who would have thought the Germans would embrace a fanatical movement where everyone wears the same clothes? Again. Anyway, it's gone so bad now that they host a thing called the Hipster Olympics. (Really.) That sounds like a ridiculous spectacle. (But enough about all the horn-rimmed glasses.) They hold events like vinyl record spinning and skinny-jeans tug-of-war. That sound about as cool as Tommy Fleming. Which means they'll probably have him playing there next year.
There wouldn't be much for you to do on the career front in Asia. The last time we were there it was already full of pop-up Asian street food restaurants. It's like they are on every street. We can't see you breaking into that market.
Large swathes of America remain untouched by the hipster curse. Judging by the support for Donald Trump, these parts might soon pass laws making it compulsory for folk to have sex with their gun. There's also a sense that these folk don't take to strangers, particularly when that stranger has a beard.
So that leaves Australia. (Antarctica is cool, but not in way that you could show off a tweed waistcoat.) Bad news. There is only one sub-species more numerous than hipsters Down Under. And that's pissed up Irish culchies in GAA jerseys. You'll end up envying Jerry the Mod.
It's that bad.
Sunday Indo Life Magazine