Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/14/hipster_survey/
IT'S OFFICIAL: Hipster era is OVER – sorry, beanie boiz...
Scientific study reveals unvarnished truth about ironic PBR drinkers
An automated telephone survey organization based in Raleigh, North Carolina, apparently having nothing better to do or merely seeking publicity – in this case, successfully – put its finger on the pulse of public sentiment and discovered, as they headlined their results, "Americans So Over Hipsters."
Public Policy Polling surveyed 571 voters nationwide last Monday and Tuesday, and found that a mere 16 per cent of Americans have a favorable opinion of hipsters – although exactly what a "hipster" is was left to the respondents to determine.
Commenter "Ken", however, responding to PPP's press release announcing the results, was quite willing to offer his definition, to wit:
A true hipster looks borderline homeless. More than likely, from a wealthy family, college educated, works at a bar or coffee shop, rides a fixed gear, mustached or bearded, Ray Bans lots of Ray Bans, dirty, but not as dirty as a hippy. Pleasant individually, but rather dicky, opinionated, arrogant and condescending in groups, similar to a frat guy. Portrays a "I don't give a f#ck" attitude, however, secretly, is highly competitive in being ironic.
Sounds about right.
Although only 16 per cent of those surveyed had a favorable opinion of hipsters, don't jump to the conclusion that 84 per cent had an unfavorable opinion. Forty-three per cent of those surveyed responded that they were "Not sure" when asked their opinion – but we can't help but think that many of those responses were instead expressing Ken's "I don't give a f#ck" hipster attitude.
Unsurprisingly, Democrats were twice as likely to have a favorable opinion of hipsters than Republicans at 18 to 9 per cent, and voters 18 to 29 were more than seven times as favorably inclined than folks over 65, at 43 to 6 per cent.
As frivolous as you might think this survey is – and we'd agree – it did uncover a few nuggets of worthwhile information. For example, when asked whether Pabst Blue Ribbon "beer" – better known as PBR in the hipster community – was a good example of the brewing art, more than twice as many respondents said it wasn't than the few misguided individuals who said that it was.
Clearly, PPP had the good investigative sense to survey more than a few hipsters – and, likely, non-hipsters – in the überhipster enclave of Portland, Oregon, home to the micro-brewery revolution.
That malty, hoppy finding, in this Reg reporter's opinion, provides hope for the future of America, as does the fact that 69 per cent of respondents understood the following question well enough to voice an opinion: "Do you think that hipsters make a positive cultural contribution to society, or do you think they just soullessly appropriate cultural tropes from the past for their own ironic amusement?"
Survey says? Soullessness, two to one.
While the PPP poll was clearly intended to be light-hearted, some commenters were not amused. "This is so unkind," wrote one. "It's picking on people because of their beliefs and their tastes. That's so unAmerican."
Possibly that commenter was one of the 10 per cent of respondents who considered themselves to be hipsters.
Or maybe not. As another commenter noted, "If you are part of the 10% to define yourself as a hipster, you're not a hipster. If you have a home phone and actually took the survey, you're not a hipster."
And if you're a stats junkie, as is your Reg reporter, and have a well-tuned sense of the absurd, it's worth your while to take a look at the crosstabs at the end of the full report.
But if you're not interested in insights such as the fact that African-Americans are far less likely to have a favorable opinion of PBR than Hispanics, you'll appreciate the words of another commenter: "What is the point of this poll? What a ridiculous waste of time and money." ®