Home » A+E » Commentary: Who’s hip and who isn’t hip?

Commentary: Who’s hip and who isn’t hip?

Photo courtesy of MCT

I’ve noticed an increase in comments that suggest arts section writers are pretentious and condescending. I can’t disagree; I tend to be terribly condescending and I know my successor as arts editor is equally pretentious.

However, I thought back to my early high school years and how I used to listen to Metallica all the time. Nowadays, I gravitate toward music that is a tad (a lot) more sophisticated, but I could never deny the greatness that is “Ride The Lightning.” I realized that there are plenty of awesome non-pretentious things to match all the hip (and pretentious) things I enjoy. I find everything on the following list awesome, regardless of what scene it “belongs” to.

So bros, take a hipster’s hand and get ready. Here are the best of both worlds.

High Street Ice Cream Joint

Hip: Jeni’s. This ice cream defines exotic and eccentric. When you order Queen City Cayenne, you know it was made with real peppers. Of course, it also costs more than $9 a pint, so like my designer skinny jeans, it’s more than I normally like to spend.

Unhip: UDF. United Dairy Farmers is great for any occasion: midday snack, cheap dates and the resulting maternity cravings. Is it as awesome and creamy as Graeter’s? No. But the monthly dollar-deals are well worth that buck.


Hip: Gibson ES-330. This guitar allows you to walk the line, Johnny Cash style. It’s plugged in but its hollow body gives you that pseudo-acoustic tone. Put on a flannel and play this in your band, and the chicks will be all-up-ons.

Unhip: ESP Scythe. This guitar shows you like to live fast, but not as fast as this guitar’s fretboard, which allows you to tear off indulgent solos after every verse. Plus, the body design is equally over-the-top. Play this in your band, and the ladies will also be all-up-ons.

Political parties

Actually, I’m not going to touch this one.

Spring professional sports playoff series

Hip: The NHL. Does it matter that you can’t find many of the teams’ home cities on a map? No. It’s got guys with foreign names, ambiguous team names and defense that still matters. Wearing hockey gear from a team outside your home city is always hip.

Unhip: The NBA. This league involves absurd scoring and salaries, but it also produces by far the best highlight reels of any sport, and it’s only getting better. Every year, the league becomes even more dense with ESPN Top 10-worthy talent.

Film scores

Hip: “There Will Be Blood,” by Johnny Greenwood. A) “There Will Be Blood” is already an incredibly hip movie starring Daniel Day-Lewis and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. B) Johnny Greenwood is in Radiohead. Boom. Hip.

Unhip: “Pirates of The Caribbean,” by Hans Zimmer. A) “Pirates of The Caribbean” is an incredibly unhip movie starring Orlando Bloom and directed by Gore Verbinski. But if “He’s A Pirate” doesn’t yell “swashbuckle,” I don’t know what does.

Modern authors

Hip: David Foster Wallace. When I say “I like cookies,” Wallace can say the same exact thing in a combination of words and footnotes that pushes 40 pages. The only difference is that he is an articulate genius and I suck.

Unhip: Michael Crichton. Yes, he bent scientific laws to make it fit into his action-adventure novels, such as “Jurassic Park.” But at the end of the day, you still learned more from his books than you did in Bio-chem. Admit it.

Computer games

Hip: “SimCity 2000.” This game is virtually impossible to beat. It’s not “Roller Coaster Tycoon” where you can just put up any feat of engineering you want. You need a master’s degree in Urban Planning to pull off a successful city, but hey. Kudos for the attention to detail.

Unhip: “SimCity 2000.” Frustrated by bad zoning choices and inability to raise funds for the zoo your city so desperately needs to bring in population? Just open a supplied, pre-made metropolis, revert to your caveman ways and have an alien spacecraft destroy it! Instant catharsis.

Hip-hop label

Hip: Definitive Jux. The rappers on this New York City label really don’t care if you can’t dance with freshmen at Charlie Bear while it plays. The lyrics are fast and oftentimes bizarre, and the beats are dense and oftentimes bizarre, hence why it supplies much of Adult Swim’s soundtrack.

Unhip: Roc-A-Fella. Between Jay-Z and Kanye West, this label sells roughly 60 percent of all hip-hop records (exaggerated, albeit slightly). Jay, please realize I’m just saying being huge isn’t indie; this isn’t a statement on your level of talent. Please don’t send the Illuminati after me.

And those are just 10 examples. I encourage all of you to look into your own interests and embrace your underground side and your mainstream side. If we can end clique-based conflicts, how far behind can religious and political conflicts be?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.