What’s so hipster about being literate?

Filed under i used to be so cool, narcissism

Look at this fucking hipster is basically photos of all my neighbors in Brooklyn wearing their stupid 80s clothes and not brushing their stupid unwashed hair. As much as I love being a voyeur of it, I’m usually glad that I’ll never be featured on it, because that involves looking like this:

So rough and tumble!

and I look more like this:

So sweet and innocent!

But yesterday, the site posted this, which is basically the tattoo I’d get if I ever got a tattoo. Except that mine would include way cooler books, of course.

Yeah, I took honors English, and I want the world to know. My senior year, my honors English teacher told the whole class that I’d be the only one of us to score a perfect 5 on the AP exam. Boo-yah!

And then I got a 4 just like everyone else. But still!


  1. I just realized that in the supposedly sweet-and-innocent photo of me, there’s a giant butt-shaped peach right next to my head. So maybe not quite as innocent as I thought.

    • Karinya says:

      I thought it worked with the wholesome theme – freshly harvested from a family-run organic U-pick farm, no doubt!

      And, yeah, I kind of want (a version of) that tattoo, too. My other idea is some variation* of “Once upon a time…” somewhere on my body cause, uh, I likes me the stories.

      *and by variation, I mean probably the german version of it, because a)I like how german sounds, b)my family is like 110% german, except for that part that’s norwegian, and c)I like the literal translation of the german version of the traditional opening line (Something like, “There was once a woman…”**

      **I have yet to find anyone who is impressed by this idea, but damn it, I still find it clever.

      • No, that idea is actually spectacular. Even if you didn’t do it in German, I love the thought of you having “There was once a woman . . .” on your body. I definitely think you’re the kind of lady storybooks are written about.

        I also appreciate that your family is, like, 130% human.

        • Karinya says:

          Aw, “I definitely think you’re the kind of lady storybooks are written about.” might be the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me. (Definitely top five!) I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy and internet *hugs*-y now. Thank you.

      • Tracey says:

        If you get a tattoo written in a foreign language, just make sure it’s spelled right, or you’ll never live it down:


        • Karinya says:

          Ha! Solid advice, that.

        • I was just talking about her the other day and how I inexplicably would prefer to never look at her again. The tattoo is a good explication, I think.

          Also, that second photo makes it very clear to me that no one looks good in a bikini.

  2. For my own reference, when I linked Kamran to the photo of the tattoo, he said, “That makes me think I should get a tattoo of my publications list. Or maybe just the front page of my most cited paper.”

    • spaghedeity says:

      Call me enthusiastic, but I just spent an hour or more reading some of Kamran’s papers here. I don’t think I’ve seen so many words I don’t understand strung together in so few sentences before.

      Turns out Kamran’s name is splashed all over the Internet.

      • When Kamran and I first started dating, he gave me a copy of his doctoral thesis to read one night, because I’d expressed interest in understanding his 2-D electron fascination. I then had to sit on his couch and pretend to understand a word I was reading for the next hour until he sensed that he needed to take me to dinner or risk losing me forever.

        He now has copies of it bound in leather, if you’d like me to send you one.

      • Also, I’m sure Kamran finds it soooooo hot that you wrote this.

  3. Serial says:

    Wait, isn’t the guy at the top of this page Kamran in disguise?


    • When I think of Kamran, this is honestly what my mind sees:

      A little bit hipster, sure, but mostly sweet, totally unpretentious, and entirely unique. I saw that photo weeks ago on the site and remember thinking about how much of a douche that guy must be. I didn’t think for a SECOND that he looked a thing like Kamran. But now that you’ve pointed out the resemblance, OMG, they’re twins!

      When I talked to Kamran about this, he said, “Well, it’s me if I went to NYU instead of Princeton and lived in Williamsburg since 2000. And also had no self respect.”

  4. damncutekitty says:

    I love that website. I live in the second most hipster-filled neighborhood in Minneapolis, and secretly laugh at them daily. I wish that site had been MY idea!

    • It really is such a great idea. People who hate hipsters can appreciate the hilarious commentary, and narcissistic hipsters can appreciate seeing pictures of themselves everywhere.

  5. Kelly says:

    Where was your picture taken? ‘Cause if that awesome background is in your apartment, then you DEFINITELY need to be on that site.

    • Funnily enough, it was taken in a frozen yogurt shop down the street from me. Which proves my point about my neighborhood.

      It really NEEDS to be in my apartment, though. All we have are pink walls with deer heads stenciled on them above our bedroom doors.

  6. natalie says:

    i smucking hate hipsters. seriously. they are so annoying because i secretly long to be one and am so far from one that it’s not even funny.

    as for a tattoo, the only thing i can think of to get is a tiny ant tattooed on the backside of my ear (so nobody can see it.) significance? ant is what i call anthony. getting a name is tres cliche and someone once told me people are more likely to break up with a person if they tattoo the name on his/her body.

    • I know, right? Even though I think of hipsters as mostly wannabes who didn’t fit in as kids but are now rejoicing that there’s a nerd clique, I secretly am pleased to live amongst them and get lumped in with them because it means that I’m young, childless, and have great taste in music. Which would make you a hipster, as well, pending information on your favourite bands.

      I love the ant idea! Your calling your husband that never confused me, although I was surprised to meet him and find out that he’s not Mexican, as the pet name Husbandito had led me to believe. Someone told me the other night that a lot of tattoo shops won’t tattoo people’s names anymore, so I guess I’m out of luck when it comes to getting Natalie scrawled across my butt.

  7. caropal says:

    I had the exact opposite situation with my AP test – my AP Literature teacher walked around, telling everybody who would definitely pass (not even get a good score, just PASS) the AP exam, and she really obviously and awkwardly paused in front of me, and then moved on.

    And then I got a 4, and I wanted to SHOVE IT IN HER DOUCHEY FACE. (But I’m not bitter about it or anything.)

    • I read this out loud to Tracey when it came in on my BlackBerry this weekend while I was home in Ohio purely for hilarity’s sake, but it turns out that she had a similar experience. I didn’t remember this, but apparently after telling me I’d be the only person in the class to get a 5, our English teacher told Tracey that he didn’t expect her to do as well as her brother did. And then she got a 4, while he’d gotten a 3. Boo-yah.

      Why are English teachers so unnecessarily full of hate?

  8. Todd says:

    But no one reads anymore. In his infinite power, Kanye West banned it. He said, “Sometimes people write novels and they just be so wordy and so self-absorbed. I am not a fan of books. I would never want a book’s autograph.” See. No more books allowed. Of course, you can always just eat your books instead of read them:

    • Oh, Todd, thank god you linked to that cake entry to make up for Kanye’s idiocy. The cakes are amazing. They make me feel so good about the world and being alive, even though they’re not readable at all and will just make people fat.

      With comments like Kanye’s, it seems like the book tattoo is even more necessary. When books stop being printed in a few years and everyone forgets that they ever existed, my body will serve as a living history museum. And then I’ll die.

      • Todd says:

        Cake makes everything better. Even that stupid book tattoo.

        • Please don’t belittle my tattoo wants just because you’re still upset about getting drunk and getting your mom’s name tattooed on you that one night.

          Hey, maybe we should get drunk next time I’m in Ohio and get cakes tattooed on us!

          • Todd says:

            Did you really just make a your mom joke? Are you Wilmer Valderrama now?

            And yes, cake tattoos are awesome. I call dibs on a tattoo of the Naked Mohawk-Baby Carrot Jockeys. You can get this one cause I know how much you like excessive punctuation marks.

            • OMG, did we seriously break up before every other sentence out of my mouth was a mom joke? I’m sooooo sorry you missed out on that. Especially since my mom being dead makes people feel to guilty to retort.

              The mohawk baby cake is truly masterful.

  9. Mark says:

    That tattoo is also drawn really shittily. For heaven sakes, if you do get a “books” tattoo, get someone who can draw (well) to design it.

    Also, you look kind of a little two-parts-crazy-mischievous to one part sweet-innocent to one part hipster-ish in that photograph.

    What’s the rationale for migrating from livejournal to here. What’s the benefit(s)?

    • Agreed. I really like the person’s handwriting (except on “Brave New World”, which strangely looks different from the rest), but honestly, just “Perks”? You’re officially my consultant when I start to develop my own books tattoo.

      There is no mischief in that photo! That gleam in my eye? Just a ceiling light. My dad confirmed for me just this weekend that I was an insanely well-behaved child, and I’ll get that in writing if you need it.

      I think LJ is awesome, but most of my friends weren’t on it and felt really alienated from my journal. LJ seems like a closed community to people without LJ accounts, apparently, since you have to leave comments anonymously instead of being able to just type in your name and URL like on a blog.

      I like that I have complete control over how my blog looks (although everyone seems to agree that it looks horrible (sad face)) and that WordPress has a million plug-ins for whatever you might want your blog to be able to do. Up until a couple of weeks ago, I was mad that my commenters didn’t get my replies e-mailed to them, and then when I actually thought to Google the problem, I found that there’s totally an easy solution. Also, I’m a big voyeur and love seeing how many people are visiting my blog, what keywords they’re using to find me, which pages are most popular, etc.

      The only drawback is that it takes a lot more work to set up a blog than an LJ, and not everyone cares enough about their blogs to spend the time on it. For me, though, it was totally worth it.

      I told my best friend about this comment earlier today, and she actually suggested that I write a whole post about it, so I just may.

      • Mark says:

        About eight years ago, I drew this:
        It’s one of the better drawings from my year at art school.

        Most of my IRL friends are not on LJ, but they aren’t blog people either, and they’re definitely not THAT interested in what I write/post about. So if I branched out to my own site to do something like this, no one’d show up. You’re lucky you’re interested in writing in such a way about such topics that engages people enough to follow you.

        If you’re interested in how I got here, her name is Tessa. I have no idea if you have any idea who that is. Her name is aquilinum on LJ; it used to be platyfrog. She was talking about how she enjoys following ordinary-people-in-NYC’s exploits and so she mentioned you and how you left LJ for your own blog and she linked and I’m here.

        I’ve often been derided for being long-winded (or whatever the text equivalent of that is). So ain’t no thing about the length of the comment.

        • Much better! Although I only read hardcovers, so my book tattoo would never have any bent corners. Why only a year at art school?

          My boyfriend read your first comment and asked if you were this other guy Mark I used to hang out with but then decided that no, your journal is “too cool” for you to be him. So you’re more engaging than you think you are, champ. Plus, if you link to your entries on Facebook or in your IM status message, I think people just click out of boredom; or at least that’s why I assume anyone reads me.

          I love Tessa! It’s funny, though–I was just telling her the other day that even though I’m not on LJ much anymore, I still read every word she writes, but I seriously don’t remember seeing her link to me. Was it recently?

          • Mark says:

            Why only the one year at art school? I was all set up for a 2nd, then July 24, 2001, decided I wasn’t going back. A few things influenced the decision. (1) I couldn’t conceive of myself as a career artist. I was skilled, not creative. I was encouraged by others, not so much myself. I enjoyed doing the work, made good grades, but couldn’t see how that’d fit into a career. I’ve just never been dedicated to produce good work every day (or even every week or every month). So that’s the big #1. (2) Art school costs money (even with scholarships, with room & board, it’s > $10K/yr). (3) And finally, a couple things I heard at art school bothered me. A teacher told a student, “If you have to question why you’re doing art, you don’t belong here.” (All I ever did was question.) Then, the dean or president (I forget which) responded to a question about the (poor) quality of the English classes by saying that the kids at the school I went to weren’t interested in academics; if they had been, he said, they wouldn’t have made the decision to go to an art school. (I disagree with that.)

            It seems you’ve got one thing I don’t got: consistency. Also, I don’t write a bunch. Many times I just post other people’s YouTube stuff. And many times I’ll get into detailed statistical analyses or overanalytic political mumbo jumbo that all of two people in the world are interested in. I didn’t think about the Facebook linking; that’s intriguing. I created a blogspot blog months ago with a single entry, but updating would mean just writing to myself— unless I linked on FB. Hmm—

            Why is WordPress > Blogger/Blogspot? (You’ve mentioned the control of the design & voyeurism; I do pay attention, sometimes.)

            Tessa didn’t link to your journal through hers; we were talking on gchat when she linked. So, you have no record! :)

            • “I was skilled, not creative. I was encouraged by others, not so much myself. I enjoyed doing the work, made good grades, but couldn’t see how that’d fit into a career” is so good. I think I feel the opposite about myself as a writer, though; I see absolutely no reason why my blog hasn’t transferred to a job as a newspaper columnist or something along those lines. It bothers me that all of the skilled people so easily fit into careers as reporters and technical writers, while being able to write about anything hasn’t given me a thing but personal satisfaction and maybe a few Internet friends.

              The thing about the non-interest in academics would really bother me, too. I went to a school where athletics were the main reason a lot of students were there, and my not having any interest in them at all meant that I had plenty of time left to wonder why the largest school in the country was ranked #34 in English.

              So what are you doing now?

              I don’t think writing is necessarily key at all–it seems like everyone’s favourite sites are the ones that just spit out cool stuff to find on other sites–but posting often enough to keep people checking back for more probably is. I just happen to like to talk about myself a lot, which makes things a little easier. Clearly, you need to be more narcissistic.

              WordPress.com allows you to sign up for a free blog like Blogger does, but there’s also WordPress.org, which you download and self-host. So all of my files, all of my source code, is stored on my own webspace instead of Blogger’s. And I think I mentioned the WordPress plugins earlier, which are my main motivation. Whereas Blogger is more plug-and-play, WordPress is entirely customizable. Right now, I have plugins running to e-mail comments, to entirely wipe out spam, to help search engines find me, to show you those related posts at the end of each entry, and so on and so on. If you don’t want to put any work into it and you already have an LJ following, stay on LJ. If you like messing around with a project and seeing how far you can take it, go with WordPress and run an LJ syndication.

              • Mark says:

                “So what are you doing now?” You might want to look into journalism. These questions are really simple but are encouraging me to write long paragraphs. I suppose you just ask people about themselves and they vomit information. Not terribly tricky.

                When I decided not to go back to art school (in Brooklyn), I decided to stay home (in New Orleans). I got a degree in Psychology (in 3 yrs) but didn’t do anything with it. I worked for a riverboat-cruise place till the hurricane hit. Then a New Orleans grocery store after the hurricane hit. Then I came back to Brooklyn and have been here 3 yrs. I should have a masters in educational psychology in Sept if all goes well and I do what’s expected of me. I should work at my school’s library if I get the position I interviewed for. I should be teaching 6th-8th-graders if I get the teacher certification I’ve said I’ll look into. I should become a policy analyst/researcher years down the road if everything follows these vague plans I’ve outlined.

                “Clearly, you need to be more narcissistic.” I started journaling so that I could learn and grow— think, write thoughts out, be challenged, discuss, read what others think (mostly political, but philosophical, sociological, psychological, as well). I only began to write about myself some of the time because that is what the culture of LJ seems to dictate. My life is generally pretty not-intriguing.

                I have a few dozen friends through LJ. I don’t know if that’s considered “a following.” I have 80 mutual friends listed; realistically probably only 40 read.

                I am not a tech person. I don’t get certain things about web development. I know the basic html one picks up through LJ, but designing my own site, while interesting, is a little intimidating, and so that means I likely will not do it— though if I were more tech savvy/knowledgeable/interested, I certainly would. Maybe, maybe I’ll fool with this WordPress thing— months from now. Maybe.

                • My best friend was just suggesting journalism to me the other day. But, like, the Chuck Klosterman style of journalism where you say you’re writing a piece on Val Kilmer but basically just use the space to write about yourself with Val Kilmer as the backdrop. Which is right up my alley.

                  I’ll be so jealous if you get that library job. I was working for the Columbus library when I moved here from Ohio and figured I could slide right into an NYPL position, so I was dumbstruck when I found that you need either an MLS or to be in college. If I liked the smell of old books more, I’d go for my MLS, but it’s a life of software of wishes for me, I guess. You should really use that riverboat experience to get a boat or bus tour job around here, though. I mean, unless you were actually serious about having career goals, unlike me.

                  I don’t know how your life can be unintriguing, living in Brooklyn. Unless you live in Windsor Terrace or something. But yeah, a blog is perfect if you don’t necessarily care to talk about your personal life. I don’t think LJers care much for politics. (Except Tessa.)

                  If you’re not into the tech side of things, it’s probably best to stick with LJ for the comment-replying aspect. If you want broader appeal and don’t care about becoming BFFs with your commenters, though, a simple WordPress.com blog is for you. I’m going to add you on LJ, though, until you decide to make the switch.

        • Tessa says:

          Hah. Scrolling slowly down this page, I just thought: “She better damn well know who I am. I AM ME.”

          My own little Sienna Miller moment.

          • “I have no idea if you have any idea who that is” seemed so funny to me when I first read it. As if.

            You’ll have to explain the Sienna reference to me, though. You’re much more famous to me than she is, apparently.

            • Tessa says:

              Oh, she made headlines when she was in Pittsburgh, didn’t have ID, was subsequently refused entry to a club — then uttered the one thing any celebrity should know to never, ever, EVER utter:

              “Don’t you know who I am?!”

              To the gossip columnists’ delight, she apparently added, “I am a famous actress!”

              Oh, Sienna.

              • In Pittsburgh, of all places. I’m so glad that we continue to acquit celebrities of murder and such so they continue to think they’re important.

    • Oh, um, sorry that was the hugest comment in history.

  10. You Incite Me says:

    The choice of books in this tattoo made me so frantically angry that I have read every comment in the hope of some similar passion. Sadly, I am alone. These books are horrible. They suck. This tattoo makes me angry. I hate tattoos.