An Ohio native, Thomas McKenzie, is inspired by anthropologist Dian Fossey’s work with Rwandan mountain gorillas, and decides to devote his life to the study of hipsters. Relocating to deepest, darkest Brooklyn, New York, McKenzie becomes fascinated with the lives and habits of the rare urban hipsters of the Williamsburg jungle.
Appalled by the poaching of the hipsters by locals for their ironic attire, scrawny tattooed hides and novelty sunglasses, McKenzie complains to the city council. They dismiss him, claiming that poaching hipsters is the only means by which some of the Brooklyn natives can survive in a stifled economy. McKenzie rejects this stance, and dedicates himself to saving the rare Williamsburg Brooklyn hipster from illegal poaching and likely extinction.
He mysteriously vanished one weekend shortly after his arrival. What follows are the only remaining fragments of his research journals, rescued from a fire.
May 7, 2010 – I shall never forget my first encounter with hipsters. Sound preceded sight. Odor preceded sound in the form of an overwhelming musky-barnyard, humanlike scent. Peeking through the vegetation-like display of a Slim-Jim rack in a Korean-owned convenience store, I spied a curious phalanx of black clad, tattooed hipsters peering back at me, their eyes darting nervously from behind heavy black-rimmed glasses and the brims of their respective trucker and snap-brim hats as though trying to identify me as familiar friend or potential foe. I was fascinated with the expanse and expense of their tattoos, and wondered how they could possibly afford what appeared to be thousands of dollars of old-school flash which adorned their arms, hands and necks, while wearing what appeared to be common bungee cords through the belt loops of their three-dollar thrift store corduroy slacks. After establishing that I was not a threat, the males went back to a series of actions that included chest-beating, scratching, yawning, and texting each other. The females stood to one side while the males glared at the ground and nudged rocks with the toes of their Chuck Taylor’s, fidgeting with the excessively long chains of their biker wallets, and sharing what I can only assume were skateboard tips and the general lameness of the local music scene.
Research notes: The term “hipster” is cross-applied from the 1930s Beatniks. Hipsters rejects “mainstream” culture while embracing and contributing to an independent culture all their own. They typically live in young, artsy neighborhoods of a major city such as Wicker Park in Chicago; Greenwich Village in Manhattan; or Williamsburg in Brooklyn. A hipster ideally possesses no more than 2% body fat. Yet, they rely on reusable earth friendly Whole Foods bags for carrying their overpriced organic food. Must have no reliable monetary income, and rely on their parents to shoulder the cost of living in expensive metropolitan areas. Hipsters work (or want to work) in music, art, or fashion. They are known for “elitist” musical tastes and listens to nu-rave (i.e. The Klaxons, Cut Copy, Hercules and Love Affair), minimalist techno, independent rap (i.e. Spank Rock, Talib Kweli, Aesop Rock), nerdcore (i.e. YT Cracker, MC Lars, MC Chris), Elephant 6 (i.e. of Montreal, Neutral Milk Hotel, Apples in Stereo), garage rock and punk rock, in addition to all manners of independent rock, the more obscure the better.
June 20th, 2010 – Spotted an unusual specimen today crossing Humboldt Avenue. Far from dominant, this male was attired in crusty canvas shoes, pencil thin jeans, a worn t-shirt emblazoned with a slogan I was not familiar with, multi-colored plastic novelty sunglasses, and a coonskin hat perched jauntily upon his greasy mane, despite the raging summer heat. He seemed entirely oblivious to the oncoming traffic, dragging his feet slightly as he crossed the street, his shoulders slumped forward. Not wanting to spook this magnificent specimen, I averted my gaze but continued scribbling in my notebook as he slumped away down the sidewalk sipping a cup of Starbucks coffee.
And now, a documentary on the athletic habits of the Williamsburg hipster:
Putting “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” to shame, it’s