What Do You Call a Hipster That Goes To Church?
Refuting a bogus trend piece (cc: Jack Shafer) like today's "Holy hipsters flock to church," from the New York Post, is like dunking on a 6-foot basketball hoop. It's too easy to be satisfying, but it's hard to fight the compulsion to do so. Mostly we're disappointed in the paper's lack of puns or a punchy headline. Maybe the story itself is the joke. It begins: "On Sunday evenings, a Hispanic Lutheran church on the gritty south side of Williamsburg transforms into a hipster religious revival with plenty of fashion but no irony." The gritty south side of Williamsburg.
It's not that we're suggesting this phenomenon doesn't exist -- though if you attend this church, tell us a story -- but just that it's a bit difficult to take seriously:
Worshippers with full-sleeve tattoos, skinny jeans, stocking caps and square glasses pack the pews of Resurrection Presbyterian Church on South Fifth Street.
"The fellowship with everyone here is amazing," said Shaun Lee, 30, a skinny, scruffy East Village bartender who sports a skullcap and cargo jacket to service.
The aisles are full of artists, actors, fashion stylists and musicians.
Thankfully the overblown statements are relegated to the headline, which proclaims that "hipsters" are "flocking." To the Post's credit, they stop short of making any broad pronouncements about the larger implications of this particular brand of misguided youth. Instead they keep it brief. But that also means we get almost nothing in the way of exposition. As in, Why is this happening? Because really:
Live jazz accompanies the collection, and church suppers include plenty of red wine, but the holy hipsters are serious about Christ. During services, parishioners raise their arms in prayer and confess that God saved them from "the power of the devil."
But the real takeaway here is that "holy hipsters" isn't going to cut it. Beyond the debate about the use of the h-word, it's just not a catchy enough name. That said, it seems like a waste of mental energy to think of a snappier alternative because it's a safe bet we won't be hearing from this sub-sub-culture again, but isn't that what commenters are for? Wasting mental energy? Do have at it if you're feeling inspired...
Holy hipsters flock to church [NYP via Bucky Turko]