“If I show up at your door, chances are you did something to bring me there.” – Martin Blank, Grosse Pointe Blank
Ever since I wrote my entry about getting involved if you don’t like the changes going on in downtown Detroit, there’s been a lot of conversation about it. Hell, I wound up on Flashpoint with Devin Scillian over it. I’ve had people walk up to me and thank me for writing it … and I’ve also heard that there are people who hate me over it.
I’d like to address that directly.
There’s a very interesting demographic in particular that’s been hating on me for it, and I even had to coin a new word for them to accurately represent them. So let’s take a look at … The Hipstercrite.
And let’s make sure this is getting set in the proper context. This isn’t about everyone. This may not even be about you. But as with all Don’t Be That Guy pieces that we write, if you think it might be about you, then you should probably ask yourself why that is.
The Hipstercrite sits in bars talking about why I’m not involved enough in the city to have an opinion, but ask them where their car is registered, and gee, it’s at their parents’ house in the suburbs so that they don’t have to pay higher car insurance, fees and can skate out on the income taxes city residents must pay.
The Hipstercrite ran faster than they’ve ever run in their lives to go buy a $50 cool red membership card for Slow Roll to “support the city,” but loses their mind over bars starting to charge people who show up to take over their parking lots with cars with bike racks to go riding without ever going into or spending money where they’re leaving their cars and inconveniencing actual patrons.
The Hipstercrite sits three tables away from you telling their friends what a jerk you are because you’re not doing enough for the city … while they’re crashing on their friend’s couch because they don’t have a job, or don’t want to work full time, or decide that it’s everyone else’s fault they don’t have money.
The Hipstercrite hangs out at Eastern Market to be seen by the rest of the skinny jeans wearing crowd, but then heads over to Whole Foods to buy their groceries because, well, “supporting local” stops where things get dirty.
The Hipstercrite launches Change.org petitions bitching about a local business owner making a minor tweak to the kinds of events they host and how they do things … when they haven’t actually set foot inside the venue more than three times in their entire lives, and maybe once in the past year.
The Hipstercrite has also never run a business of their own, and knows nothing about actual profit and loss realities, owning a building or running a venue … but their buddy DJs at an illegal after-hours club in the Russell Industrial Center, and thinks that provides them with all they need to know.
The Hipstercrite screams about saving buildings downtown because of their historical significance, but just can’t seem to donate any money themselves to any causes for it, or talk anyone they know into donating any actual money for it … but they’re raising awareness, man, and that’s awesome enough, right? You can pay bills and contractors and buy building material with “awareness,” right?
The Hipstercrite is the living embodiment of slacktivism. Talk loudly so that people listen, so long as the person you’re talking about can’t hear, or reply. Brag about how easy it would be to do things better, but then never actually do anything.
To paraphrase Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men:
Who’s gonna do it?You?
I have a greater pain in the ass than you could possibly fathom. You rail about events changing the kind of music they play, and you curse having to pay $5 to park in the lot of a place you’re not going. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not dealing with the crap I deal with and knowing what I know. That the owners of The Majestic, while changing a few things,have helped more bands than you’ve ever even heard about in your life, and helps groups like mine help people find jobs.
And my existence, while silly and nonsensical to you, helps facilitate those things.
You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me living in the suburbs, you need me living in the suburbs. It helps define your self image. I use words like “networking,” “connections,” “welcome to our event” and “Don’t Be That Guy.” I use these words as the backbone of a ridiculous amount of time spent actually building something and actually doing something.
You use them as a punchline.
I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who reads just one post under the blanket of the very networking opportunities that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you get the hell off your buddy’s couch, get a job, start paying your share of taxes and actually do something with all that energy you use to bitch about me and people like me.
Either way, I don’t give a damn.”
Phew. Feels better to get that out of my system.