Not to be confused with scenesters. Hipsters are pretty cool besides their snobby pretension, but scenesters are vain idiots. If you're not sure if someone is one way or the other, ask them if they have a MySpace. If they excitedly give you their address and go on and on about it, it's a scenester. If they stare blankly it's a hipster.
60's Hippie: Not as unique as 'we' were
80's Me gener: What's so special about unique?
They believe that because they dress in thrift store rags, took a few political science classes, and enjoy modern art (aka: $1000 finger paintings) that somehow this makes them better than the rest of society. They often have an extremely lofty opinion of themselves and their opinions to the point of unbelievable arrogance.
Hipster: Shut up man, I'm deck.
Guy: Wait...what bands do you listen to?
Hipster: Arcade Fire and Animal Collective, man, doubt you've heard of them.
Guy: Yep, you're a hipster.
The guy next to you who wears his headphones around his neck and blasts some obscure band that he will claim you don't know about is a hipster. Notice his skin tight V neck shirt. Vintage clothing ensues. A hipster will most likely never associate him or herself with the word hipster. In fact, he or she may raise their cigarette scented voice in anger in the fact that you are calling them a hipster. This shouldn't scare you because they are, of course, all pacifists and wouldn't dare lay a finger on you. That would dirty up their brand new self designed Toms.
I will be as old fashioned as I want to be, and I'm going to change your life, in ten days or less."
The Beat Generation and then the Hippie movement tried to pick up this stand of thought and way of life in the mid twentieth century. The existential hero who is cool and detached, not caring what anyone else thinks of him is also a mid century fashion that picked up on this theme.
The cool hipster assumes a persona of crass selfishness, irresponsibility, mindless rebellion, cynicism, ironic mocking of anything meaningful or noble, cold reserve, uncaring indifference toward others while paradoxically advocating a politics of compassion toward certain groups favored by leftists, a dull, dumb countenance, and most of all, being constantly out of sorts--a real sour puss. They usually take on a studied disheveled appearance to further the affection of not caring what others think of them. They also prefer to dress in black.
Of course, most of these folks are as phony as you can get. They look as though they are dead on the inside--enthusiasm or being earnest or being genuine are completely missing from their emotional repertoire. They shun kindness,loyalty, spirituality, or empathy as uncool.