In Defence of the 'Sofa Hipster,' the Latest Target of the Internet's Anti-Hipster Rage

We've all been tired and hungover and confused by a sofa before.
April 5, 2016, 12:00am
Photo via Reddit user ZombieBait1

Not for us, the complex worries of the Panama Papers. Not for us, the real news, with its grit and heft. No. We – you and I, a tribe unto ourselves – we are not ready for the real world, with its corruption and its money, with its paper trails and its deceit, with its lies and selfishness; with Vladimir Putin. Putin's a bit much, isn't he? We are absolutely not ready for Putin.

No. This is more your pace. This is more my pace, too. Here is someone the internet has roundly labelled "a hipster" trying to fit a sofa into a car:

That sofa is not going to go into that car, buddy! Ha ha! What the heck are you thinking! Pal! Have you never put a sofa in a car before! Come on. Come on!

A succession of questions: the first step we have to take here is to explore the complex contempt we have for those who present themselves as and identify with the term "hipster", because the blood is rising already, isn't it? Your back muscles are prickling with a sort of distant and unexplainable anger. Mine are too. This hipster, with his long hair tied up into a man bun, with the trendy cut of his trousers, with his relaxed casual-wear, how dare he.

The reaction from the rest of the internet has been much the same. Like: even The Sun invoked the term "hipster" in its headline, pushing some classic Sun word like "romp" or "Rooney" out of the 100-word pre-approved Sun editorial vocabulary so "hipster" could take its place, the headline "Sofa so good! Optimistic hipster idiot thinks he can fit a massive couch on the back seat of his car" a fitting eulogy for me in the end – like, when I die before you, I want "optimistic hipster idiot" etched on my grave. Please do not let me howl my way into the void without those words marking the exact place where I eventually fell. Thank you in advance.

The collective "we" seems more offended by hipsters doing things ineptly and/or wrong than we do normal people – normal people, of course, without their affectations and their subscription to the Urban Outfitters e-mail newsletter; normal people with their aversion to moustaches; normal people, who eat in restaurants instead of out of a Citroën H van; normal people, who don't have more tiny cactuses than they know what to do with, who do not attach gravitas or weight to keeping a tiny £3 succulent alive for more than a month, who do not have teeth-chattering 4AM conversations at house parties about their succulents: "It just feels very important," normal people literally never say. Normal people, who go to sleep at normal times, who don't consider septum piercings or prism tattoos every waking moment of their lives; normal people, with their Coronation Street and their Adele albums and their mild-to-weak opinions about how coffee should be prepared.

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I can tell you with pretty solid certainty that your boy the Optimistic Hipster Idiot (or OHI) is on a pretty massive hangover in this photo and did really not remember arranging to buy a sofa off of Gumtree at 3AM on a Friday night. Look at the stance: this is a man who woke up to five missed phone calls and a series of increasingly angry emails from an anonymous sofa seller he had no recollection of agreeing a £30 fee with the night before.

"I've been waiting for four hours, please give me a time," these emails are saying. It's getting curt now: "Other sellers interested please respond ASAP."

This is a man who has not showered. This is a man who hopped in his car without thinking it through. Does this man have bungee chords or rope in the boot of his car? Look at him: he does not have bungee chords or a rope in the boot of his car. This is a man who is really starting to feel those last three cans of Red Stripe. Who is really feeling those four hours of fitful sleep. A man who has not had breakfast yet. A man who is alone, with a sofa, nobody to hold the other side, nobody to pivot with. We laugh at the Optimistic Hipster Idiot, but we fail to notice he is alone. Who is the real idiot: the man who, in a moment of exhausted psychic desperation, foolishly attempts to push a sofa into a Nissan? Or those who sit back at him as he toils relentlessly against a world designed to be cruel to him?

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Let he who has not foolishly tried to get a sofa into a hire car cast the second.

@joelgolby

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