These People Seem Rather Cross About Something

I can’t help thinking I’m falling for some meta-textual “I know you think you know what I think you know I mean” post-grad hipster prank, but nonetheless the sheer unreasoning vituperation over at DieHipster.com has got me in its thrall.

DieHipster, in case you haven’t stumbled upon it yet, purports to be a place for “real” New Yorkers to vent their frustration (and their homicidal fantasies) on the ever-growing influx of relatively well-heeled young people who are supposedly driving up rents, lowering the tone, and inflicting shameful indecencies like bicycle lanes on this once-proud city.

Having grown up on the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum, I know what it’s like to simultaneously resent and envy those who are better off than me.  If I’m not careful, I can still work myself up into a teeth-grinding rage at the students who, during my first month at college, made fun of my very un-stylish shoes (well, they were very stylish among the hoodlums, greasers and no-goodniks I’d hung around with up to that point, but not, apparently, with the budding scions of the bourgeoisie at a second-tier state college) and urged me to ditch them in favor of the penny loafers that they all wore.

Without even getting into aesthetics (I thought they and their penny loafers were completely dorky), I pointed out that the 15 or 20 bucks it would cost for a new pair of shoes (needless to say, this was a long time ago) was way beyond my reach, at which point they redoubled their teasing.  “Oh come on, now, don’t try to tell us that you can’t even spare 20 dollars for a new pair of shoes,” was the gist of their argument, and when I said, quite truthfully, that I couldn’t come up with 20 dollars even if the alternative was going barefoot, let alone simply for the sake of making a fashion statement, they ridiculed me for days afterward on the grounds that I had to be lying.  Nobody, in their estimation, could be that poor.  And if I was, what did I think I was doing in college anyway?

And while I’ve been reasonably fortunate in life, to the point where, like most Americans, I have more shoes than I could possibly wear and am almost but not quite satisfied with any of them, I can still feel a little grumpy when some kid from NYU can afford 50 grand for tuition AND a nice apartment in the Village.  Or when a bunch of 20-somethings treat Williamsburg as post-graduate sleepaway camp rather than a place where people actually live and work.  One night I watched three such douchebags take turns jumping onto a metal sidewalk door and laughing hysterically at the loud noise it made, oblivious to the fact that it was 2:30 in the morning and they were directly beneath the windows of several apartments where people, one assumes, might be trying to get some rest before having to get up for work in the morning.

That being said, DieHipster.com is WAY over the top in its reaction to Brooklyn’s most visible newcomers.  If it’s meant as a joke, it can be pretty funny; if it’s meant to be even slightly serious, it’s kind of disturbing, especially the “today’s hipster beating” section, in which contributors fantasize (at least I hope they’re fantasizing) about wreaking mega-violence on “emaciated,” “scraggly-bearded,” and “pasty-white” interlopers.

There’s a strong current of nativism running through all this; the biggest objection to hipsters, apart from their fashion faux-pas, self-absorbed behavior, and having too much of daddy’s money, seems to be that they’re not “from here.”  Practically nobody is, of course; New York has always been a city of immigrants, both foreign and domestic, but this particular obsession over who was born here and who recently arrived from Ohio, etc. (for some reason the Midwest seems to most rankle these would-be hipster-bashers) is evocative of the 19th century Know-Nothing movement.

The same charge has been made – justly, I think – toward the Tea Party movement, which, while it targets different villains (at least I can’t imagine Sarah Palin & Co. having given much thought to the problem posed by the Brooklyn hipster), shares some common ground with the hipster-haters: both are driven by fear and jealousy into clinging to a past that even they in their hearts must know was never all that great in the first place.

Example: DieHipster rages against bicycle lanes and an experimental program to introduce Paris-style rental bikes to New York, as though the only people who would benefit from it are the newcomers, as though “real” New Yorkers would never want or enjoy the opportunity to ride bikes in safety. Frankly, I can’t imagine that anyone with half a functioning brain thinks that there’s anything remotely desirable about old school New York traffic, when every square inch of street and sometimes sidewalks as well was given over to aggressive, pollution-spewing automobile drivers. But hey, if there’s a chance the hipsters might like something, these ugys are against it.

Similarly, someone gets himself worked up into an apoplectic rage at the sight of this “pathetic little hipster douche who is sewing a doll on the L Train was sent to me late yesterday by somebody. Imagine a man moving to a city like New York with its’ reputation and all and trying to sew a doll in public??? This is pussification at it’s finest right here.”

Okay, I don’t know how to sew, and even if I did, I doubt I’d be inclined to sew a rag doll on the subway. But the fact that someone feels free to do so is awesome. Does the anti-“pussification” writer genuinely think New York was a better place when people had to constantly be on guard against random assaults from thugs imposing their idea of appropriately macho public conduct? If he does, I’m pretty sure he hasn’t been around New York as long as I have, and I say that as someone who’s not a New York native at all, and in fact hails from the dreaded Midwest.

Most of my life has been spent in places other than New York, but even when I wasn’t living here, I regularly spent time here, and I’ve had a chance to observe this city in various shapes and forms for 46 years now. Anyone who maintains that New York was better when crime was sky-high and the streets were ruled by the most obnoxious and aggressive probably wasn’t here. In fact, some of the most annoying adherents to this theory are the newly-arrived hipsters (“Man, if only it was like the old days, when rents were cheap and the city still had an edge.” The reason rents were cheap, doofus brain, was that nobody with much sense wanted to live here).

I’m still inclined to think this whole DieHipster thing is itself a hipster put-on, if only because for all its railing against “non-job having” hipsters, contributors seem to have plenty of time themselves to trawl the streets and subways taking photos and compiling commentaries about anyone offending their sensibilities. This whole fixation on “hanging around in coffee shops” instead of commuting into the salt mines like “normal” people is pretty retrograde itself; anyone tech-savvy enough to put together a website knows that productive and lucrative business is as likely to be conducted in a coffee shop as it is in a traditional office or factory. Maybe more so, when you consider all the wasteful and destructive crap churned out by “respectable” businesses, or the devastating consequences of Wall Street chicanery.

Lastly, I’m not so sure the allegedly much put-upon “natives” have suffered so much as a result of the hipster influx – at least not those intelligent and industrious enough to take advantage of changing demographics. My neighborhood alone must contain hundreds of working class Italians transformed into real estate millionaires, and the same is certainly true of the Poles of Greenpoint. The gang of 20-somethings who hung out in front of my old house have never had to have jobs, drive expensive new cars, and have endless amounts of time to make noise, vandalize people’s property, and generally make an unpleasant nuisance of themselves, yet they’re not hipsters, they’re “natives” whose parents have gotten rich in the real estate boom.

Does any of this matter, anyway? People will keep coming to New York as long as it holds out the promise of a better, richer, more exciting life, and people who got here last week or last year or last century will keep bitching about it. It was ever thus, and New York keeps keeping on – better, in my opinion, than ever.

27 thoughts on “These People Seem Rather Cross About Something

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  • April 29, 2010 at 5:13 pm
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    “There’s a strong current of nativism running through all this; the biggest objection to hipsters, apart from their fashion faux-pas, self-absorbed behavior, and having too much of daddy’s money, seems to be that they’re not “from here.” Practically nobody is, of course; New York has always been a city of immigrants, both foreign and domestic, but this particular obsession over who was born here and who recently arrived from Ohio, etc. (for some reason the Midwest seems to most rankle these would-be hipster-bashers) is evocative of the 19th century Know-Nothing movement.”

    Wrong. If you poll the regular commentators on DieHipster, I think you would discover that most of us would consider a Mexican, Jamaican or Russian who’s lived in Brooklyn for just a few years to be just as much a “real” (to borrow your snide quotations) New Yorker as anyone else. The same goes for your Midwesterners, even, provided that they don’t bring with them the same sort of entitled, rehearsed, pseudo-intellectual and ‘creative’ attitude that your favorite group of media-brainwashed Johnny-Come-Lately’s over there in North Brooklyn wears like a badge of pride.

    The reason we often throw out the terms “native New Yorker,” “native Brooklynite” or “born and raised” is not because we are “nativists” who think we are better than anyone who wasn’t born here, but rather because–more than anything else–those terms seem to immediately trigger insecure sneers, eye-rolls and nasal-voiced dismissals among your beloved gentrified-Brooklyn two-dimensional hipster-yuppie lemmings. Like a knee-jerk reaction. The underlying cause of that insecurity, predictably, is jealousy. Jealousy of us because it’s the yupsters who are actually embarrassed of their pampered and privileed suburban roots. After all, isn’t that why they all came here on daddy’s dime after four years incubating at the cloistered liberal arts college–to ‘reinvent’ themselves?

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  • April 29, 2010 at 5:37 pm
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    Die Hipster is not ironic and you know this but it’s ok you’re trying to be cute here I get it. Much like you who, probably frequents the Daily Kos or any other crazy left-wing sites to vent your frustration on the EVIL TEA-BAGGERS we vent our frustration about you guys there. If you actually took the time to read the site you’d see that our #1 problem with you guys is the gentrification of areas that low income families, who actually work hard to support their families and have been there for years so they could seek out a better life are forced to leave so you guys can keep having your post graduation parties well into your 30’s, all on mommy’s tab of course. These poor families are then forced to get their clothes at local thrift shops but oh wait……you guys are there too because you need to get those trendy, old fashion legwarmers from the 80’s even if it means life or death for an immigrant family. I like it how you imply we have some kind of jealousy or self-esteem issues yet your culture is one that prides itself in being different yet you all walk, talk and look the exact same. You are all very desperate to join an established club even though it means giving your identity away and even though it forces you to shun the notion of growing up. Based on that logic I’d one million times over want to be in my shoes then yours.

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  • April 29, 2010 at 6:55 pm
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    I won’t waste much time on the fact that you’re still crying about getting picked on in college, but it’s worth mentioning.
    What I will waste time on is this whole linking to diehipster that all the hipsters are doing all of a sudden. You’re not the first. But you probably read in your yupster handbook that linking to sites that hate you will drive trafic to your site. Steve Lam does it regularly now because he’s never had so much traffic as when he’s mentioned on the diehipster. And now you’re mocking the site or whatever just so you can get a mention over there and get a bunch of new traffic. Unfortunately it’s the wrong kind of traffic. It’s all people who see through your weak ass facade.
    And if you ever bothered to read the diehipter blog and comments, it talks all the time about how some midwesterners are good people and hard-working immegrants can become “native” New Yorkers in no time. It’s not just the fact that they’re out of towners that pisses people off. It is that, along with their incredible arrogance and smugness, and the fact taht you never see any of them working, and the fact that they have unbelievable amounts of money to spend on eating and drinking and thier general forms of douchbaggary. I’m not even from NY but it’s the same in my city. And you know what, everyone in BK is not a landownere. Gentrification HURTS renters and common working people. What is so hard about that to understand?

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  • April 29, 2010 at 11:33 pm
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    Your post did give me a chuckle but probably not for the reasons you intended. It’s the same old text of “we’re better than you and we make this city a better place” promulgated by every hipster. Please!

    You really do not understand what the city was before the great suburbanization/blandification/gentrification era, your claim of age and how often you’ve been here notwithstanding. Well, I am the same age as you and I was born and raised here so I think I know the subject well enough to say that it was way better before. In fact, you’re deathly afraid of those days, aren’t you?

    I knew enough to avoid being a victim to be able to enjoy the real edge and grit. It was the greatest show on earth and just a little street smarts got you a front row seat. New York was like a pair of old boots, looked rough and dirty on the outside but were well broken in and comfortable. It had character. It had people who didn’t stay between the lines, who took risks, who reveled in this vibe and energy. This is where all the real creativity NYC was famous for came from.
    Sometimes you took your lumps but that’s an unavoidable part of life. People who try to hide from this just end up existing but not really living.

    And now comes the invasion of the narcissistic suburbanites. Incessantly parading about, desperate for attention, who want the gritty, edgy trappings of being a “New Yorker” without the risk. Wearing it like a costume with no real idea of it’s meaning or history. Shallow, childish characters in a theme park.
    So when hipster start yapping about changing complexities of urban life as an excuse for the gentrification, they have no ideal how ignorant and uninformed they really are.

    And this criticism bothers you doesn’t it? That’s a common trait among hipsters that if any aspect of their lifestyles, (which they take great pains to compulsively display in public)it’s always the same snarky reply that essentially says: “I’m better than you! New York sucked before we got here!” Of course, this furthers the obnoxious “authentic urban lifestyle” and “urban pioneer” memes I see frequently used that I personally find the most annoying.
    It sounds like you people found this city, abandonded and uninhabited, in a remote jungle and you’re bringing *life* to it.

    Finally, if you’ve lived here your entire life, family here for a couple of generations, you might get a bit touchy if someone drives up the cost of living around you and sneeringly suggests that you be the one to get out. Is it any wonder that hipsters are the target of derision?

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    • April 30, 2010 at 8:21 am
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      1. I’m 62 years old and would almost rather die than be seen in public with unshaven facial hair, so I find it at least mildly bemusing to be lumped in with the 20 and 30-something hipsters.
      2. I’m not “still whining” about being picked on in college. I was pointing out that I know what it’s like to envy and resent those who are more fortunate than me, which is the sentiment that seems to motivate many of the DieHipster posters.
      3. I am not “deathly afraid” of the days when New York was basically a failed city, with crime out of control, with over a million people abandoning it for the suburbs; I just think that anybody who romanticizes those days is either extraordinarily naive, oblivious, or just plain hateful. This macho bullshit about “I knew enough to avoid being a victim” neatly avoids the fact that for millions of New Yorkers during those times, “knowing enough” would not help you if you were old, weak, too poor to live in the marginally safer neighborhoods. Before Giuliani, nearly 2,000 people a year were being murdered, the great majority of them belonging to the poor and working classes whose interests these “authentic” New Yorkers claim to be protecting. Is that a worthwhile price to pay to keep your rents low?
      4. I linked to the DieHipster site because I found it interesting. If doing so results in more people reading my blog, well, OMG, that would be terrible, because of course I wouldn’t want more people reading what I write. I guess from now on I should only link to sites that nobody reads.
      5. New York is a great big city, with all kinds of neighborhoods, all kinds of people, and if you can’t cope with where you are, get over it and move. Yes, I said it. I like where I live, a lot, but I’m not naive enough to believe I’m entitled to live there forever or to have it always remain the way I like it. I can’t afford to live in most of Manhattan, and it’s very possible that some day I won’t be able to afford to live where I do now. My choices then will either be to earn more money or live somewhere else. The same applies to neighborhoods when they go bad: I remember staying in what had been a pretty solid Jewish neighborhood in Flatbush back in the late 60s at the time it started degenerating into a crime-ridden ghetto. Most of the families who’d lived there for generations ended up having to leave, but hey, rents went way down!
      6. Anybody who still thinks that New Yorkers who were here “first” are entitled to some kind of special privileges or recognition should tell it to the Indians.

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  • April 30, 2010 at 4:43 pm
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    “This macho bullshit about ‘I knew enough to avoid being a victim’ neatly avoids the fact that for millions of New Yorkers during those times, ‘knowing enough’ would not help you if you were old, weak, too poor to live in the marginally safer neighborhoods. Before Giuliani, nearly 2,000 people a year were being murdered, the great majority of them belonging to the poor and working classes whose interests these ‘authentic’ New Yorkers claim to be protecting.”

    That’s bullshit. It wasn’t nearly as bad as you’re making it out to be. I ran around these streets as a kid from the early-80s on, when the crack epidemic was at its crescendo, and it was the same as anywhere else: if you weren’t involved with drugs, mafioso, or some other shady dealings, your risk of being killed was not much higher than any other decent-sized city in the country. Random killings were a miniscule fraction of those figures. Muggings and car break-ins may have been a slightly different story, but those are still every day occurrences as gentrification-skirmish-line neighborhoods like Crown Heights are seeing ridiculous mugging and assault increases that the police don’t even bother reporting. And as for the White Flight of the 1950s-1970s, that had just as much to do with the ‘American Dream’ of owning a house in the burbs with a lawn and a garage as it did with any sort of crime.

    Thinking back to the NYC I remember barely 20 years ago–the summer nights where the stoops in every neighborhood were filled with regular everyday people from zero to 100 years old, grandmothers in mumus looking out the windows, a true community–and then reading your cries of how the city was unlivable, it’s actually comical to me. You make it sound as though people had to run from place to place like a combat zone. But that’s nothing we haven’t heard already from your type–I mean after all, you ‘saved’ our neighborhoods, didn’t you? I realize that to the average hipster-yuppie robot, a lack of wine stores, gentrification watering holes, overpriced organic markets and pretentious coffee houses = “ghetto,” but the rest of the world doesn’t share you priorities.

    In sum, you’re full of shit. We’ve called you on it. This whole “NYC was a crime-ridden shithole and now it’s better in every way, shape and form” line you’re running with may win you accolades among your fellow long-term-tourists among whom you’re an ‘old vet,’ but you’re talking to a bunch of guys who were here the whole time and grew up looking at the city with honest eyes (as opposed to the preconceived media-influenced lens you’ve apparently been operating with). The bottom line is, the city traded a relative increase in safety for its soul. If that’s your idea of a great city, then that says far more about you than I can say.

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  • May 1, 2010 at 3:59 am
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    PART 1: AGAINST YOU

    Wow, man I don’t know whether to laugh or cry about what a shitheel this burned out old fuck is. Lets see, some how he’s supposed to have cred cuz he spawed part of Green Day..PUNK LITE???…..hahahahaha…(I’ll pass…).AND, lets not forget he needs his pat on his bald wrinkled head for visiting us here and there over 46 years…well, well …We got us the OG hipster day tripper himself on the line…..Jump back y’all….

    Are you really trying to argue FOR GUILIANI???? HAHAHAHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaa
    See Lar, you don’t know shit…cuz defending Giuliani is a Tea Party/Con/Sarah Palin Mucca Fergson argument. Crime was higher before Giuliani because of the recession and the wrecking of the nyc economy when manufacturers abandoned the city so they could exploit cheaper labor abroad. But it wasn’t like everyone was getting murdered in the streets or had to carry a gun to go to work. People lived here just fine…before you fuckfaces showed up. Really, you have no idea about what it was like….just being a day tripper and all…so excuse me if I don’t believe your exaggeration.

    What Giuliani *did* was wage war against homeless people, poor people and minorities. HE MADE being homeless A CRIME. Guiliani also cut public benefits and at the same time demonized poor people for taking them. Your channeling Guiliani is even more hilarious when you consider the very people you defend brag about spending their food stamps at Whole Foods…HA! His term as mayor was marked by police brutality lawsuits, racial profiling and the notorious stop and frisk policy….He saw immigrants, minorities and poor people as a disease. His pubic policy was part of a national revanchistic trend that made poor people, immigrants and minorities scapegoats. In Rudy’s case, he was out to take revenge against the people you are displacing and that never seem to make it into your gentrification. What was their crime? In his eyes, they took NYC away from the white middle class…. Ever hear of “Police Strategy No. 5” ?

    Giuliani’s plan—defended by shit talking apologists who know squat about this city—was to LOCK UP huge numbers of the minority community EN MASSE. And the more direct cause of the change in NYC wasn’t Rudy Rughead but Willam Jefferson Clinton, who created a bubble that let the country and Wall St GET THAT MONEY. All Rudy did was put an outer boros white supremacist face on somebody else’s accomplishment. He led Archie Bunker’s revenge against the change to a more multicultural NYC that srpouted out under Dinkins. This is just like tea Partiers today having a honkey hissyfit against our black president. Go look up some news stories about Rudy’s Gestapo rallies before his election, where thousands of drunken white cops stormed City Hall wrecking public property threatening to hold the city ransom (by continuing their well planned tactic of selectively enforcing crime rise to undermine Dinkins). So you better check yourself before you start with those scary buzz words….you just got moded, grandpa.

    And, about those crime stats…funny thing how they are so untrustworthy…constantly manipulated to suit the RE interests and Gov. scumbags. I don’t believe your crime stats, but in any case attributing a lower crime rate to Guiliani is wack because whatever kinda dip there was…it was part of a national trend. AND THAT, has been well settled for everyone save the crusty hate monger set. Also what *has* come out over the last few months is that NYPD actually *under* reported crime under Rudy and now under Bloomturd…Recently NYPD has changed their policy for taking police reports as well…if you’re NOT WHITE, not bleeding or horribly maimed, they can’t be bothered…go figure…

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    • May 1, 2010 at 4:39 am
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      Could I very politely ask you to work on your reading comprehension skills? I didn’t say anything for or against Giuliani. I merely referred, as commentators frequently do, to the dramatic change in crime rates and public order that began around the time he became mayor. Some people argue that it had already begun before he became mayor, and there is some evidence to support this, but most people associate it, for better or worse, with Giuliani.

      The one thing it’s impossible to deny is that this dramatic change did in fact happen, and that it began to become obvious around 1993, which, coincidentally, is the year Giuliani became mayor. So I could have simply said “pre-1993” instead of “pre-Giuliani.” Would that have made you happier?

      As I said, I never meant this to be a Giuliani-pro-or-con debate, as he’s been gone for over eight years and this is about hipsters today, not hipsters in the 90s. But as long as you feel it necessary to go off on a patented “Giuliani was a racist” rant, perhaps you could explain what was so racist about enforcing the law in minority neighborhoods, which his predecessors had largely failed to do, when the result was that thousands of minority lives, were saved?

      How so? Think about those 1,500+ people a year that were getting murdered every year in New York City who are not getting murdered today? What color are most of them? (Hint: not white). See, the difference is that you think of minorities as criminals who have something to lose from police enforcing the law. I think of them as normal, everyday citizens who, when the law is not enforced, become victims of crime. So who’s the real racist here?

      Also, if you’re going to make a statement like “Crime was higher before Giuliani because of the recession and the wrecking of the NYC economy when manufacturers abandoned the city so they could exploit cheaper labor abroad,” you should be prepared to back it up, because it’s wildly illogical on at least a couple counts.

      First off, crime started rising in the 60s and continued to do so up until the 90s. Are you going to try and tell us that there was a recession lasting the better part of 30 years? How did the rest of the country manage to not notice this? Also, when I first lived in New York during the late 1960s, a time when neighborhoods began to be abandoned (why, for example, do you think there were so many squats available in the East Village/Lower East Side?), the economy was totally booming.

      Secondly, if crime was caused by manufacturers “abandoning the city so they could exploit cheaper labor abroad,” how come crime is low now? Are you seriously going to suggest that manufacturers have stopped exploiting cheaper labor abroad? Or that they’ve come back to the city? The fact is that New York’s economy has been booming for most of the past 15 years, even allowing for the economic shock following 9/11 and the current recession (P.S. if your theory is correct, why didn’t crime go up in the post-9/11 recession or the current one?), and that one of the main reasons is that businesses, both large and small, are more inclined to invest in a city where they can be reasonably sure they and their employees will be safe from violence and crime. Which in turn is a big part of why New York City has suffered a lot less from the current recession than most other American cities.

      Let me guess, you’re still mad at Reagan, too, aren’t you? I’ll bet it’s his fault all these blankety-blank hipsters moved to New York City. After all, weren’t most of them born when he was President?

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  • May 1, 2010 at 4:22 am
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    PART II: I FUCKING HATE YOU

    And guess what? Poor people, minorities and immigrants are still crime victims…even after you “saved” NYC…since under Giuliani and Bloomturd, the cops have an official policy of not reporting most crimes that happen in poor communities, suckers like you believe the horseshit claims of a drop in crime.
    Take a hike in the hood one Sat night and see if its safe enough for your pearly white ass. I doubt *that* has changed, but we’ll never know.

    Now, if you think I want Guiliani time back you are one crazy ass bloated old fuck.

    Also, you got this whole thing twisted up…Its never EVER been a question of high crime /low rent vs. low crime/ high rent. Somehow, you missed the step where you explain *how* you hipster fuckface gentrifing shitheels made the CRIME GO DOWN FOR ME or MY PEOPLES and *why* I should be happy to pay higher rent behind it…cuz *that* just isn’t the case. What I see instead is that *I* get hassled a lot for being a brown dude, by the cops and by the fuckfaces that moved into my neighborhood….But down my block there’s a lot of shooting, a lot of poor, hungry people, old and sick people who made a better contribution to NYC that you ever could. Also I see a lot of yups getting jacked for their toys and cash…And, speaking of crime, ever think about all the coke and shit they move over in WB? (That shit is still illegal right?) WHERE DO YOU THINK IT COMES FROM? So to me crime didn’t go DOWN the law has been selectively enforced based on race and class.

    But, enough about crime. You fuckers NEVER EVER seem to address the mass displacement or the effect gentrification has on poor people.

    “New York is a great big city, with all kinds of neighborhoods, all kinds of people, and if you can’t cope with where you are, get over it and move. Yes, I said it. I like where I live, a lot, but I’m not naive enough to believe I’m entitled to live there forever or to have it always remain the way I like it. I can’t afford to live in most of Manhattan, and it’s very possible that some day I won’t be able to afford to live where I do now. “

    This is your answer?????? FUCK YOU I GOT MINE???? Really? Cuz in the neighborhoods we’re talking about people were at or below poverty level. How are they supposed to get money to move? And, WHERE TO? This is yet another thing you don’t consider, NYC is segregated and redlined. RE brokers and LLs steer *us* to certain neighborhoods…..But, see you’re a WHITE YUP you wouldn’t understand…

    On the other hand, I’m not so broke ass any more I could move but fuck it. I *like* my neighborhood. I DON’T LIKE SHITHEELS. For me, I’ll just wait til daddy’s retirement account is drained or YOU get hit upside the head by an angry homeless brickman. In the meantime know that Brooklyn considers you so fucking hideous and wretched and undesirable that we regularly post our murder fantasies of YOU SHITHEELS. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE REJECTED BY AN ENTIRE CITY?

    Now, about the Know Nothing movement, I think you got it twisted again…sure you took your medicine today? THAT shit was an anti-immigrant movement. Your tired, stupid-ass retarded analogy is a common tactic made by only the most desparate of the shitheels. YOU are not immigrants.
    YOU ARE COLONIZERS, TAKERS, SPOILERS……..
    If you read the site as you claim to have, you would know that the posters on Die Hipster are pro-immigrant. We respect anyone who comes here to work hard and to make a better life for themselves and is respectful in turn, to the people of Brooklyn. YOU SMUG FUCKFACES ARE MERELY ON VACATION.

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  • May 1, 2010 at 4:23 am
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    PART III: YOU SCRAGGLY OLD FUCK

    And, this is like the 500th time I’ve said this too, but you only shame yourself by trying to describe yourself as such. Soon, YOU’LL all be on to the next trendy thing and will have forgotten all about your edgy time in WB…Immigrants on the other hand are committed to Brooklyn and build us all up. YOU SHIT FACES want to suck the life out of everything you see.

    Lastly, you couldn’t be more wrong in asserting that you make the City better….HOW? By magic? By your whiteness? HOW???????????? YOU CREATE GHETTOS and CRIME its not the other way around. Look at the kinda retarded shit you said:

    “if you can’t cope with where you are, get over it and move.”

    The reality of that kinda thinking means concentrating poor people and POC into a smaller and smaller area as rents continue to rise and *our* space gets usurped due to gentrification and hipster/shitheel tourism.

    Lastly, “Anybody who still thinks that New Yorkers who were here “first” are entitled to some kind of special privileges or recognition should tell it to the Indians” Too bad you don’t think it applies to you. I AM SICK AND TIRED OF BEING STARED AT, GETTING SCORNFUL LOOKS LIKE I DON”T BELONG AND OUT RIGHT TREATED LIKE A CRIMINAL IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD BY SCARY-ASS MAYONAISE EATERS THAT NEVER SAW A BROWN PERSON BEFORE.

    Please go back to Detroit…maybe you can save it instead.

    Reply
    • May 1, 2010 at 4:56 am
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      I see you’ve added some more “arguments” since I began my reply.

      Once again, this is not about Giuliani. However, before you get on a delusional tip thinking that you, by virtue of your skin color, are empowered to speak for all “brown” people, please bear in mind that a significant part (30 to 40%, at least) of the Latino population supported and voted for Giuliani.

      Secondly, I never claimed that “I” had done anything to improve or un-improve the city. I’m just a guy who lives here and who takes an interest in what goes on here. I commented on the hipsters vs. anti-hipsters conflict because it’s something that goes on here. I’m neither a hipster nor an anti-hipster myself, I pretty seriously doubt that I have ever stared at you, given you you scornful looks, or treated you like a criminal, and I never eat mayonnaise. So save your abuse for someone who needs it.

      Reply
  • May 1, 2010 at 8:37 pm
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    PART IV: WHY YOU ARE A MINDLESS TURD DUMPLING

    “I didn’t say anything for or against Giuliani. I merely referred, as commentators frequently do, to the dramatic change in crime rates and public order that began around the time he became mayor. “
    “As I said, I never meant this to be a Giuliani-pro-or-con debate…”
    Everyone who lived through Giuliani time has already heard your drooling babble before. You aren’t saying anything that hasn’t come out of the mouth Satan Giuliani himself. So, why not man up and cop to what you said. See that’s some weasely mess you all do…talk shit then try to twist it when you get cornered. Sorry gramps, but your post is up there for everyone to read, you in fact are ARE making all the old time Giuliani arguments. Or, don’t you know the history?
    “ perhaps you could explain what was so racist about enforcing the law in minority neighborhoods, which his predecessors had largely failed to do, when the result was that thousands of minority lives, were saved?”
    “How so? Think about those 1,500+ people a year that were getting murdered every year in New York City who are not getting murdered today? What color are most of them? (Hint: not white). See, the difference is that you think of minorities as criminals who have something to lose from police enforcing the law. I think of them as normal, everyday citizens who, when the law is not enforced, become victims of crime. So who’s the real racist here?”
    First your making a huge assumption that the crime was solely committed by minorities in minority neighborhoods.
    Second, now, because I don’t like YOU and gentrification, or Giuliani time (which you did in fact bring into this) I don’t want crime enforced and I am a racist,? Really? Hahahahhahahaaaaaaa Sorry Uncle Fester, what I AM calling into question is police brutality, racial profiling, criminalization of homeless and poor people, demonizing of poor people and SELECTIVE, RACE/CLASS BASED CRIME ENFORCEMENT that happened to coincide with Giuliani time. To put it simply I WANT the fucking cops to do their job FOR EVERY BODY IN NYC…NOT JUST WHITE PEPOLE. TAKE MY POLICE REPORT, AND DON’T ARREST ME BASED ON THE COLOR OF MY SKIN. DON’T SHOOT ME or BRUTALIZE ME. What part of that is hard for you? WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO PAY DOUBLE THE RENT AND PUT UP WITH ASSHOLES LIKE YOU FOR THIS SHIT? I ALREADY PAY TAXES….THIS has nothing to do with my rent.
    Plus, ABNER LOIMA, AMADOU DIALLO, PATRICK DORISOND, DANTE JOHNSON, THE RAID ON MALCOM X’S MOSQUE, etc.. (common info you can get from NYT) In the end, all the damage Rudy did to innocent people does not justify his method and we’ll never know for sure how accurate the crime stats were.

    Reply
  • May 1, 2010 at 8:39 pm
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    PART V: WHY BROOKLYN REJECTS YOU

    The net effect of all this shit however, is white people “feel” safer at the expense of a lot of unjustly incarcerated, murdered and brutalized minority people. THIS DID pave the way for the shitheel onslaught and these policies are carried over by Bloomturd. For example the stop and frisk policy targets POC, yet results in little arrests compared to the number of people stopped, and on top of it…ANYONE stopped gets their name in a police data base regardless of whether or not they were arrested. Giuliani’s brilliant crime strategy targeted poor, POC communities with a military bulldozer that sent a significant chunk of an ENTIRE generation of people into the prison system. (Helping to fee up RE for shit face bloated fucks like you).
    “I am not “deathly afraid” of the days when New York was basically a failed city, with crime out of control, with over a million people abandoning it for the suburbs; I just think that anybody who romanticizes those days is either extraordinarily naive, oblivious, or just plain hateful”
    New York pre Rudy was a failure?? Really? But you never lived here…by your own admission you have only been a visitor and spent the majority of your life somewhere else…So how can you say anything about whether or not NYC was a failure and out of control crime…And, why should I have to choose between YOU/gentrification and crime anyways? Why do you keep associating and justifying your bullshit with lower crime rates? See that’s some bullshit Rudy scare tactic kinda argument….
    Also, if you’re going to make a statement like “Crime was higher before Giuliani because of the recession and the wrecking of the NYC economy when manufacturers abandoned the city so they could exploit cheaper labor abroad,” you should be prepared to back it up, because it’s wildly illogical on at least a couple counts.
    This is already well settled. Please see for starters: Moody, K., From Welfare State to Real Estate: Regime Change in New York City, 1974 to the Present (New Press, 2007) ISBN: 1595580883); Fiscal Crisis of American Cities: Essays on the Political Economy of Urban America with Special Reference to New York. ISBN: 978034721934; Tabb, W., The Long Default. ISBN: 9780853455721.
    “Once again, this is not about Giuliani. However, before you get on a delusional tip thinking that you, by virtue of your skin color, are empowered to speak for all “brown” people, please bear in mind that a significant part (30 to 40%, at least) of the Latino population supported and voted for Giuliani”
    And, YOU do speak for us? HAHAHAHAHAHA. Even if your figures are real, the majority (60%) DISAPPROVED. Why not look at some REAL data taken toward the end of Guiliani time: http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1302.xml?ReleaseID=631.

    Wow, Lar for someone who is a down, OG Brooklyn resident you don’t know shit. I suggest you remember that you have something vaguely to do with journalism next time and do your background research. My advice is to stay out of it if you don’t know the City.

    *RESIT THE SHITHEELS* RESIT THE SHITHEELS* RESIT THE SHITHEELS*

    Reply
    • May 1, 2010 at 10:52 pm
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      Did I not say that these people seemed rather cross about something?

      But seriously, go ahead and rant all you want; I won’t censor you, and I’ll let you hang yourself with your own slogans, because basically that’s all you’re speaking in. You think I haven’t heard all this tired and clichéd rhetoric a million times? I’ve been hanging around with punk rockers for the last 33 years, remember, and self-styled hippie “revolutionaries” for another decade before that.

      And yes, I did live in New York pre-Giuliani, in both the late 60s and early 70s, just not for the long term. So I don’t claim to be an expert, but I definitely saw what it was like at the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum.

      You do know, don’t you, that about 98% of Latinos never use expressions like “POC,” which are primarily the discourse of white suburban anarchists? So you’re straining your own credibility if you’re going to portray yourself as a “brown” person.

      There’s probably no point in my commenting further since you apparently don’t bother reading what I say anyway. But just on the off chance it will penetrate this time, I’ll try once more: I’m not a hipster nor am I an anti-hipster. I didn’t write this article about Giuliani or his law enforcement policies, I wrote it about a website where people like you denounce hipsters. I didn’t even take a position on the website itself, I just wondered whether the people who contribute to it really hated hipsters that much or if they were just engaging in an elaborate put-on. Everything else you just made up so you could have an argument with me when in fact you’re only having an argument with yourself. But by all means, carry on screaming. I’m sure somebody will find it entertaining.

      Reply
  • May 1, 2010 at 11:47 pm
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    “You do know, don’t you, that about 98% of Latinos never use expressions like “POC,” which are primarily the discourse of white suburban anarchists? So you’re straining your own credibility if
    you’re going to portray yourself as a “brown” person..”

    Really, we all sound alike? HAHAHAHHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. ?Sabes que viejo? Tu hablas de su culo.

    As for the rest of your wack response, you’re runnin like diarrhea. You can keep on weasling, but your words ARE up there.

    YOu stuipid old fuck of a burnout….

    Reply
    • May 2, 2010 at 12:02 am
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      No, all Latinos don’t sound alike. Some are left wing, some are right wing (I personally know three, one Puerto Rican, one Mexican, and one Ecuadoran, who vote Republican and LOVED Giuliani), and most are somewhere in the middle. I do know with some certainty that almost no Latinos use wack-ass expressions like “POC,” but that a whole lot of white suburban anarchists do.

      Yes, my words are “up there,” and anybody who bothers to read them can see for themselves that I never said most of the things that you’re arguing about. It’s nice that you can spew mindless insults in more than one language, though. Very multi-culti of you. Adds a little sabor to the discourse, no?

      Reply
  • May 2, 2010 at 12:16 am
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    What better way to stop blacks from becoming the victims of crime in New York than to get rid of them altogether? Suffice to say the trend described in this article has only intensified since it was published in ’06. But let’s not forget that for every black or Hispanic who leaves, New York becomes “better, in my opinion, than ever.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/03/nyregion/03blacks.html

    “New York City Losing Blacks, Census Shows”

    New York has a net loss of blacks to all but five states, and those net gains are minuscule.

    “This suggests that the black movement out of New York City is much more of an evacuation…

    “Many blacks are leaving for economic reasons. Jacqueline Dowdell moved to North Carolina last year from Hamilton Heights in Upper Manhattan in search of a lower cost of living. Once an editor at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, she now works as a communications coordinator for a health care company in Chapel Hill.

    “It was a difficult decision, but it was a financial decision,” said Ms. Dowdell, 39, adding that the move also gave her time to research her family’s roots in Virginia.

    “I just continued to spend so much money trying to live without thinking about the future,” she said. “I was focused on surviving, and I wanted to make a commitment to more quality of life.”

    Reply
  • May 2, 2010 at 2:30 am
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    If you *don’t* think we all sound alike, what the fuck does this mean?

    “You do know, don’t you, that about 98% of Latinos never use expressions like “POC,”

    What a back peddling asshole!

    Reply
  • May 2, 2010 at 2:32 am
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    “I do know with some certainty that almost no Latinos use wack-ass expressions like “POC,” ”

    Really????
    HAHAHAHHAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    So now in addition to being a Giuliani appologist, you’re also a linguist???? You forgot to put *that* one on your wikipedia page……

    Reply
  • May 2, 2010 at 2:59 am
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    Bye, Lar, its been fun pulling your rusty old chain.

    Reply
  • May 2, 2010 at 7:43 pm
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    Hey there, I’ve been lurking on the diehipster blog for a while now, and had a couple of thoughts/observations for whatever they’re worth (don’t worry, this isn’t a “flame”):

    1) Nope, it’s not some kind hipster meta-joke satire, this is legitimate.
    I’m assuming you’ve figured this out by now. The “daily hipster beating” is obviously hyperbole, but aside from that, yeah, hipsters really can/do invoke that kind of resentment in people.

    2) “the hipster-haters…are driven by fear and jealousy into clinging to a past that even they in their hearts must know was never all that great in the first place.”
    Sorry, but that explanation way, way too over-simplified, and sounds more than a little condescending. If I’m walking home from work and pass…oh, let’s just say a drunken pseudo-Bohemian yelling and flailing around in the street while his buddies tape it in the name of “performance art,” I don’t think “fear and jealousy” would be the emotions to come to mind. Annoyance? Yes. Aggravation? Probably. But no one is “scared” of these people, and they sure as H aren’t envious of their lifestyle (which is viewed as a kind of privileged-n’er-do-well existence, and that seems to be accurate in A LOT of individual cases).
    When hipsters do the whole “they hate us because they’re jealous of our outside-the-box lifestyle” argument, it reminds me of when I got picked on in kindergarten, and my Mother would tell me that “the other boys are just jealous of how intelligent/clever/advanced you are.” That’s perfectly fine for when you’re a child, but when people well into adulthood write-off everyones’ criticisms as “jealousy” (they’re all haters!), you start to wonder how in-touch they are with the world around them. [See George W. Bush / War on Terror, Re: “They hate us because of our freedom.”]

    3) The Bicycle Lane thing. Personally, I think it’s a good idea to have safety measures in place for bicyclists – ALL bicyclists. Here’s the thing: for all the broo-haha that goes on about this, I can’t help but notice that these bike lane initiatives are SOLELY in neighborhoods like Williamsburg, Park Slope, etc. If bike lanes are supposed to be for the benefit of ALL New Yorkers (a main platform of the lanes’ proponents), why aren’t they fighting for these things to be put in Jamaica Queens, Spanish Harlem, or anywhere else besides their (the “hipsters”) own little cliquish enclaves? Are the “Paris-syle bike rental” places going to be available in any, *cough*, less economically-developed neighborhoods?
    That’s a pretty big factor in the hipster-antipathy, IMO: lots of high-minded rhetoric about this stuff that should “benefit the city as a whole,” when it’s really only catering to them. The sad thing is this might be taken seriously if there was a REAL city-wide coalition to do this, but these guys don’t seem to be making any attempt to endear themselves to their fellow-NewYorkers – or get to know them at all, really. That’s not exactly effective “activism.” It hurts, rather than helps.

    4) “There’s a strong current of nativism running through all this; the biggest objection to hipsters, apart from their fashion faux-pas, self-absorbed behavior, and having too much of daddy’s money, seems to be that they’re not “from here.” ”
    No, I think it has much more to do with the self-absorbed behavior, and DEFINITELY the money thing. I doubt I need to elaborate on the self-absorbtion, but you are really understating the economic factors (to be honest, diehipster’s arguments would have a lot more weight if he focused on that instead of the “hipster beatings” stuff).
    No matter how you spin it, the influx of “hipsters” to these places is undeniably gentrification. Yes, the land that the neighborhood sits on is now safer, but the crime/poverty/desperation isn’t really reversed – it’s simply swept under the rug. The working poor who had lived there aren’t helped, they’re priced into more “affordable housing” where they can become another neighborhood’s “problem.”
    Of course gentrification is not at all limited to the hipster types; most gentrified neighborhoods contain “normal” people (ex-frat boys) rather than the folks you see in Greenspoint. But what (in my opinion) really gets peoples’ goad is that not only do hipsters seem extremely oblivious to the above concept (ie: their carelessness with their family’s money is making the lives of the poor and disadvantaged even more difficult), they’ve in large part convinced themselves that they are some kind of vanguard of a socially-concious utopia; a better New York, that – despite the municipal benefits they tout – they seem to be constructing only for themselves. It all comes off as arrogant and self-masturbatory, and it’s hard to make the world a better place when you…well, come off as arrogant and self-masturbatory. And it’s REALLY HARD for people NOT to dislike you when you carry yourself as such. I don’t think that is unreasonable.

    EXHIBIT A: This was on DH’ blog a couple weeks ago: two girls (“hipsters,” if you will) from the Atlantic Northeast move to a “ghetto” neighborhood in east LA, and start a blog chronicling their impressions of their surroundings (mainly snarky quips about how weirded out they feel as upper-middle-class caucasians in an exclusively Hispanic neighborhood). They somehow got a “new media” journalism organization to fund this. This is their blog. This is the blog of an Hispanic LA Times reporter, who talks about how “the authors are wasting an incredible journalistic opportunity, in the service of their own vanity.”

    While this is just an example, it largely exemplifies the “hipster”people that DH and others (myself included) are nauseated by: young adults (and sometimes older) stuck in a state of arrested development and floating through life in a bubble made from money they haven’t earned, exuding condescension and undeserved self-importance.

    diehipster.com is over-the-top, and pretty hostile, but I understand the sentiment. Has any of the above shed some light on the topic for you?

    Thank you kindly for reading.

    Reply
    • May 2, 2010 at 11:17 pm
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      Re bike lanes: you need to hop on your own bike and travel around the city. Bike lanes definitely aren’t limited to hipster neighborhoods. In fact, they go just about everywhere, and for that I assume we can thank Mayor Bloomberg, not the hipsters.

      Re gentrification: I’m glad you acknowledge that it’s “not limited to the hipster types.” No doubt they’ve had a big impact on certain neighborhoods, but housing prices have been soaring all over the city, including those areas where there’s scarcely a hipster to be seen. Over a million people have moved into New York City since 1990, and given the limited space in which to build new housing, the law of supply and demand is obviously going to drive prices up; it’s just basic economics. And I don’t think anyone would seriously argue that all or even most of that million-plus is made up of hipsters.

      Gentrification is a knotty problem: everyone (well, almost everyone) wants their neighborhood to improve, i.e., be nicer, safer, cleaner, prettier, but no one (or again, almost no one) wants their rent to go up. But there you have a conundrum: the nicer the neighborhood gets, the more people want to move there, and the only way you can provide housing for everyone who wants to live there without rents going sky-high is by building sky-high, i.e., filling the area with high-rise apartments which, of course, destroys the ambiance that made the neighborhood desirable in the first place.

      So, the problem ultimately becomes, how do you decide who gets to live in a given neighborhood? In the old Soviet Union, Communist Party bureaucrats assigned people to apartments, but I don’t think most New Yorkers would take kindly to that system. Rent control helps preserve neighborhoods to some extent, but anyone who knows their way around the city knows that the system is widely abused, with people subletting their rent-controlled apartments for five and ten times what they’re paying for them. Essentially, New York is a victim of its own success: because it’s become such a desirable place to live, everybody wants to live here, and many of those people are able and willing to pay far more for the privilege than the current residents can. How do you solve this? I don’t know. Some people argue in favor of destroying the quality of life so that the newcomers won’t be so keen on living here anymore, but that’s kind of like cutting off your nose to spite your face, as the old saying goes. Possibly the economic recession, if it continues or gets worse, will sort things out, but in light of the pain and suffering that’s likely to cause the weakest and most vulnerable, it doesn’t seem like a good solution, either. In my opinion, one thing to be hoped for is that other American cities get their acts together so that people who want to enjoy a full-fledged urban experience will feel they have other options besides New York.

      Reply
  • May 3, 2010 at 5:50 pm
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    Fuck all hipsters – Fuck the big cities!

    Reply
  • May 6, 2010 at 7:19 pm
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    Your own words…

    Both. Sometimes California gets to be a bit much. I don’t know if I want my kids growing up the way I did. I’ve thought at times about moving to the Midwest. So I don’t know. Do I see things getting better or worse? Downtown Oakland is sort of rebuilding itself, and it’s hard to figure out whether or not that’s a good thing…

    Jerry Brown, the mayor, says, “What’s the alternative? Leave it a slum?”

    Well, I definitely don’t want that. But I also don’t want people to be chased out of affordable neighborhoods. Hopefully there’s a way of building up a community in what are so-called slums but without chasing people out of them. A lot of artists are moving out to Richmond because they can’t even afford Oakland anymore. Which sucks. Who the hell wants to move to Richmond?

    True. And once upon a time, it was like, “Who the hell wants to move to Oakland?” Poor old artists. It seems like wherever they go, the gentrification quickly follows. It’s like they’re the shock troops, they go in and make the neighborhood safe enough for the bankers and the stockbrokers. It’s got to where if you see artists moving into your neighborhood, you might start thinking it’s time to get out…

    Yeah, here come the suits… As soon as I see a paintbrush, man, I’m gone…

    You are full of sh*t and a part of the problem.

    BTW people who say “Frisco” are so obviously not from there, and trying to be local…

    Reply
  • August 6, 2010 at 10:26 pm
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    Thank you Larry for writing what I was trying to express. If you check out the posting on DieHipster about the Mast Bros. video I shot – I too was trying to express my belief that their frustrations go deeper than just hipsters. You hit the nail on the head – a place gets nicer and the rent goes up. There is a lot of deep-seated anger on that blog and I was so curious to figure out why. Thank you for existing. Also the editor of Die Hipster is supposively Robert Lanham – the writer of “the Hipster Handbook” and the editor of FreeWilliamsburg. I don’t know if that’s true, but it would fit the story well of his “self-loathing journey.”

    Reply

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