By Edmund Mitchell
If you’ve been living in a bomb shelter under your parent’s house since 1990 and don’t know what a hipster is, then go here and read up to get a rough idea. I think they’re Catholics.
Hipster refers to a subculture of contemporary young adults. They like independent music and wearing unpopular clothing styles. Hipsters love things that aren’t mainstream, and they love irony and paradox. They love having their own art, culture, and hipster jargon. They love reading the books no one recognizes and listening to the music you wouldn’t know about.
Lots of people I know have opinions of hipsters. Some flat out hate them. They have been called names like “the embodiement of postmodernism” by critics. Some turn their noses up in contempt, but secretly (or not so secretly) dress like them. In fact, a hipster would turn up his nose if you called him a hipster.
The Word on Fire blog gives some good insight into how to evangelize this subset of our modern culture, but I don’t think we have to be too worried:
Hipsters eventually become Catholic.
This is less of a fact and more of a prophecy. But haven’t you felt the same way deep down?
Aren’t you, as a Catholic, somewhat charmed and intrigued by hipsters?
Isn’t it true that living out the Catholic faith in modern society is the ultimate anti-mainstream life of non-conformity and going-against-the-flow? And the Catholic culture we’ve inherited provides a wealth of uncool topics to chose from.
Eventually all the dingy coffee shops will be places where you can spot a guy wearing skinny jeans, an impractical scarf, and donning a green tattoo of St. Basil on his arm.
The new hispter loves going to daily Mass at his parish, where the pews are filled with no one under the age of 50. He did it before it was cool.
That guy in the corner with the thick rimmed glasses and bowling shoes sipping a chai latte? He’s wearing a St. Benedict crucifix while reading a leather bound copy of “Medieval Religion and Other Essays” with yellowed pages. He’s been on a Christopher Dawson kick these past months. (If you don’t know about him, you aren’t a Catholic hipster and you should really look into him.)
You can tell the likes of the Next Generation of Hipsters by their out of place lingo. They use words like “interretium” when referring to the internet, are known to dance and shout “Veni, veni, veni Locamowae cum me”, and have stickers on their bikes that say “Sona si Latine loqueris”.
Latin is a “dead” language you know. How much more not mainistream can you get?
They form book clubs and meet in the back of the local open-mic cafe to chuckle over G.K. Chesterton – you wouldn’t understand.
They argue about how Tantum Ergo should be chanted, and have Gregorian Chant for all Seasons as a channel on Pandora.
They believe whole heatedly in subsidiarity, and they pick up their vegetables from a local farm CSA program wearing their paradoxical clothing.
They date seriously and are excited to live a life of chastity and monogamy. Being single and sleeping around is so safe and boring and mainstream anyways. It’s a cowardly garden-variety life running from responsibility, never risking rejection or failure, and being too timid to attempt the challenge of choosing the one you will spend the rest of your life loving in total selflessness. And try raising other human persons for 18 years at a time once you are married.
The next generation of hipsters refuse the mediocrity of self-indulgence. The popular existence of floating from one drunken party to another memory-less night, that’s easy. It takes no thought or self-reflection or individuality. What a familiar story. Getting consistently high is too simple – what a lame and bland existence.
Try to make a decision that lasts the rest of your life – get married. That’s risky. Have a child and try to get him to heaven. What a lofty goal. Live through the ups and downs and feel the pains and joys of REAL life experienced to the full with the wide spectrum of human emotion and experience.
These Catholic Hipsters of the New Generation don’t accept the widespread belief that suffering (and therefore life) is pointless. These hipsters have the radical notion that they are in a love affair with a God that is bigger than the universe, knows them better than they know themselves, and longs for them and their perfection like a deer pants for water. Now there is the premise of an outside-the-box life worth living.
Because Jersey Shore and the sex, drugs, and rock and roll of the average has so been done before a GAHJILION times.
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