Stuff Biolans Like: a look inside Biola’s hipster culture

Hipster culture is trending on campus.

James Tilton exposes the nuances of the hipster sub-culture. | Austin Ranson/THE CHIMES

James Tilton exposes the nuances of the hipster sub-culture. | Austin Ranson/THE CHIMES

James Tilton exposes the nuances of the hipster sub-culture. | Austin Ranson/THE CHIMES

James Tilton and James Tilton

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Perhaps the only Biola trend more popular than wearing hipster clothing is that of making endless jokes regarding those who do. That is indeed the purpose of this article, which may be regarded by some as offensive and by others as cliché. To those who regard this article as offensive, I ask you to remember that this article is satire and therefore is not grounds for anonymous online comments questioning my salvation. To those who regard this article as a rehashing of easy jokes made far too often already, I ask you to remember that I enjoyed bashing hipsters far before it was cool.

You're probably a hipster if you…

For those who do not know, hipsters are those people on campus who are pedaling around on colorful fixed gear bicycles in pants so tight they threaten to rip with the flexing of each imaginary muscle. They watch “Portlandia” during lectures and Wes Anderson films on the weekend. They shop at farmers’ markets and thrift stores.

Even those who have never been on a boat still own several pairs of Sperrys, which they wear whenever they need to wash the smell out of their TOMS. They often sport aviator sunglasses, the rims of which always correspond to the color of the ironic V-neck T-shirts they bought at American Apparel or Urban Outfitters. They wear scarves, headbands and beanies — even in the warm Los Angeles spring. They visit McClain’s Coffeehouse in Fullerton at least three times a semester and attend the latest possible Sunday service at Reality LA. And, in case you haven’t noticed, they are everywhere around campus.

Hipster culture at Biola

They are so prevalent, in fact, that Biola was recently declared the most hipster Christian liberal arts university in Southern California with a student population under 10,000 and a 30-foot painting of Jesus. This newly conferred title has given Biola a reputation that many of its most influential voices are eager to contradict.

It is rumored, in fact, that Biola’s ban on alcoholic beverages is in reality a disguised attempt to prohibit the threatened presence on campus of PBR, a cheap beer which is irrevocably linked with the hipster stereotype. Similarly, the school’s ban against tobacco has prevented many hipsters from indulging in their favorite summer pastime — the smoking of five-dollar foreign cigars while reading Huffington Post articles on their iPad. This activity, though frequently denied during the application process, is thoroughly evidenced on Instagram.

Perhaps the most recent example of hipster repression is the recruiting of Relient K as the headlining act in last month’s concert. This choice, according to one mustachioed source, seemed to alienate the more eclectic members of the Biola community — many of whom viewed the choice as far too mainstream and thus refused to uncross their arms for the entire performance.

When pressed, however, one such hipster unfolded his arms just long enough to roll up his denim sleeves. His tattooed forearms demonstrated his support for bands that he considered more suitable for a campus concert — namely, Local Natives, The National and Belle & Sebastian. He claimed that he liked all of these bands “before they were cool,” a claim that might just been unintentionally ironic when one considers the still relatively unknown status of the three bands listed.

Liking everything before everyone else

This “before-it-was-cool” mentality seems to be the defining obsession of hipster culture, a constant comparison of an individual’s discovery timeline. Within hipster culture, it matters little if you like the right bands, the right movies or the right coffeehouses; what matters is that you like them before anyone else liked them. One would perhaps think that an entire subculture of college educated neo-hippies would realize the logical disparity of a scene where the only way for something to be cool is for it not to be cool yet. The fact that they have not reminds me of the joke going around Facebook right now.

“Why did the hipster burn his tongue?”

“Because he drank his coffee before it was cool.”

Chances are, the coffee was from McClain’s.

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Stuff Biolans Like: a look inside Biola’s hipster culture