I think that hipster culture is pretty much anything but ironic. In fact, in offering me something that is simply too tempting to resist mocking (I mean really, look at that fucking hipster) and sitting outside the gates of my building smoking American Spirits, talking as loud as they want to be earnest on their smart phones, picking at their “skinny jeans”, caressing their fixie bikes and staring longingly at the Queen Bee Hipster Bitch that runs the Buffalo Exchange downstairs from me, they are pretty much the least ironic thing going. I mean, by definition irony means the opposite of what is expected, or incongruous. These people are the most predictable humans I have ever seen. Their sense of style my be incongruous, but in saying that I am being euphemistic. I am aware that the Hipster Nation is really endeavoring to be sardonic, rather than ironic and that they would sardonically tell me that I am being pedantic. But they are so irritating that given the chance to get pedantic all over their asses, I would.
With all that said, let me explain (as if my proximity to the most heinous Buffalo Exchange ever did not already make this plainly obvious), I live in the middle of the SF Hipster universe. Yup. They are everywhere. Now, THAT is ironic.
However, the building I live in seems to be a mostly hipster-free zone. We are pretty diverse, but, there doesn’t seem to be an over-abundance of people throwing their misplaced disdain around in too-tight jeans. And I am adjusting to the whole SF apartment-living scene, clearly it is not the same as the Hong Kong apartment-living scene, but it’s cool. It is noisy in my hood, above and beyond the yacking hipsters downstairs, but this is not a big problem for a girl who can sleep like I can. Until about a month ago, the only things that had kept me awake were the SF Giants winning the World Series and the first night I used the radiator.
But that was then.
It turns out the people who live downstairs from me are a few of Jerry’s Kids. Now, those of you who know me at all should know, I too am one of Jerry’s Kids. Legitimately. Love him and the band he rode in on the whole lifestyle surrounding it. I’ve got the bootlegs (from the soundboard because I am cool like that), the backstage passes, the artwork, the shit. You know.
Really, we should be, like the most compatible neighbors ever. So you can imagine my surprise when it turns out that their constant – and I mean for 38 straight hours – looping play of a singular Dead show (circa late 80s early 90s by the sounds of it) nearly drove me to the brink of insanity a couple of weeks back. I heard the music when I came home from work and smiled… “Isn’t that cute I thought,” as I walked through the aromatic cloud emanating from their front door. “What a nice vibe, Jerry and the Boys in the afternoon.” I even tweeted about it. It was okay even when I came back from yoga four hours later and things were still rocking (and smoking) downstairs. I was pretty focused on the huge amount of work I was trying to get done and the knowledge that I had a crazy week of work coming up.
I had, categorically, the WORST night of sleep I have ever had. When I woke up at 3, then 4, I was so confused. I am one of the world’s most champion sleepers. I sleep through anything, anywhere, anytime. I couldn’t work out why I felt so edgy and uncomfortable. It was like the residuals of a bender in which I did not partake. It was awful and I was so discombobulated it took quite some time for me to realize that Scarlet Begonias was STILL emanating up through my floor boards.
Are you serious?!
I tried to go back to sleep, something I am really good at. Really. It was not happening. Jerry, what did I ever do to deserve this, I thought. I love you, man. Help a kid out. No help came, but 5 a.m. and the irritatingly perky tones of my alarm clock did.
I got up. Went to work. Dealt. Came home. The music was STILL playing. Want a little more irony? This was the song:
I went downstairs and knocked on their door. I was not going to be *that* neighbor who just complains and shit, I was going to be cool like Chili Palmer and make it work. But, as luck would have it, they were too stoned, or the music was too loud and after nearly five minutes, no one came to the door though I could hear them inside talking and coughing. So, I had to be that lady. I went up to the building manager’s apartment and explained the situation. I was appropriately apologetic and empathetic. But at the end of the day I pay a shit ton of rent and I love the Grateful Dead and these facts are not mutually exclusive but they are totally fucking my shit up. Right now. This Jerry Situation was beginning to seem a lot like the Bonnie Situation.
Whatever my manager said or did she seemed, in the tradition of The Wolf, to solve the problem.
Until this Friday. Back again. Same show. Same same same. NOT different. I tried to rethink the scenario. It is Friday night. It is unlikely that other people are as tired as an English teacher who just had to post grades, which involved reading hundreds of essays and getting no sleep.
By three a.m. I no longer cared. I got my broom and banged on the floor. It had to stop. I am that lady, in spite of the fact that I still love Jerry.
Now THAT is irony.