Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Hey New York Times...

It's OK if you don't know what a hipster is. You're known as "The Times," so you feel this burdensome pressure to keep with the times. Sometimes, you are on the money (hipsters like Williamsburg, I must confess). But between last week's black hipster article and this week's "hipsters love JT" article, I'm left with no choice but to question your knowledge of what a hipster is.

Where the Old Gray Lady Gets All Its Hipster Knowledge

In the black hipster article you mentioned something about how some black kids love The Killers and Coldplay. Neither of these bands get hipster love. Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy is not a hipster - or indie rock - authority either but you used him as a source to prove that hipsters love Justin Timberlake. Speaking of evidence, aren't newspapers supposed to, like, have statistics or polls to back up their arguments? Neither article has them.

There are some subcultures which you are completely ignorant of. Maybe it's latent racism. Here is my coverage of a subculture which you have inexcusably overlooked. (Full disclosure: I am Egyptian).

Walk Like an Egypster: Egyptian Hipsters are All Over Astoria
by Mo Diggs

Tariq Mustafa works in a hookah shop on Ditmars Street. Union's been on strike, he's down on his luck. It's tough, so tough. He has a white ironic t-shirt with a red ringer and Buddy Holly specs. He listens to Peter, Bjorn and John on a white iPod. "In a time of war this music is peaceful," said Tariq.

Tariq is one of many Egyptian hipsters, or "egypsters" (a term submitted tofound on living in Astoria and Long Island City. Usually you expect Egyptians to fuck goats, deny the Holocaust or blow themselves up. But these Egypsters are nice people who like electro hip-hop like Egyptian Lover and smell just as bad as their cocaine-white Williamsburg brethren.

When I ask the Egyptian man selling gyros and kebabs on Steinway Street whether he listens to TV on the Radio, he nods and smiles. I get the same response from every Egyptian street vendor I ask.

"I love Peter, Bjorn and John," says Tariq. "That's all that's on my girlfriend's iPod." When asked whether we can speak to his girlfriend, Tariq says "OK, she's my ex, but I'm holding her iPod hostage so she can come back."

This reminds one of the old Carl Sandburg poem about Egyptian jazz hipsters from the '20s called "Egyptian Finger Popping Daddy! Yes!":

Egyptian finger popping daddy, yes!
Broad shoulders, cat-like feet
Play that jazz, eat that shawarma
Tough, finger popping muscles



Tony said...

A few years ago, I wanted to start calling Japanese hipsters "Nip-sters" but it never caught on.

Mo Diggs said...

Sad thing is, I think it actually would catch on. Anything catches on these days with the web aggregating people with the worst taste. For example, all the people with the worst looking web pages got together and created MySpace.