Have people accused you of being a hipster when, in fact, you know that you’re just a regular bro?
Ever since I woke up five years ago to the sound of the rooster crowing in my urban chicken coop, I realized that I might, in fact, have accidentally become a Catholic hipster. As I ground my home-roasted organic coffee beans and heated up the water for the french press, I considered my plight.
I’ve long been fascinated by the overlap in the two cultures. Catholic and Hipster. Hipster and Catholic.
At it’s heart, I’ve always understood the hipster project as being concerned with living an authentic life. In pursuit of that goal, they reject – and I realize these terms are being employed sloppily, but you get the drift – corporatism, commercialism, suburbanism, and all forms of mediocrity. To this end, hipsters obsess over high quality-coffee, make unique clothing choices, practice environmentalism and modesty in personal consumption, and never, ever live in the burbs.
Now, compare that to a certain type of Catholic that I’ll call the Benedict XVI Catholics – full disclosure, I am one – What are their concerns? Authentic, ancient forms of worship, environmentalism, Distributist-style socialism that focuses on local economies, and rejecting mediocrity. Benedict XVI Catholics are tweed-clad and bow-tied. They lurk around ancient Churches and reject suburban-style rock music Masses. They’re open to big, messy families that they home-school. Their dream is to have an organic farm near the Benedictine monastery.
Lot’s of similarities, right?
I’m not sure the two cultures are flip sides of the same coin, but my thesis is that Catholicism is actually the completion of everything hipsters are seeking but may not know it. The one, stark division that keeps hipsterism from finding it’s proper end in Catholicism is irony. Hipsters are trapped by it. Catholics are not. To wit: I’ll gladly let people label me a Catholic, but I’ll deny hipsterism ’til my dying breath.
We need to be honest with ourselves, though. So Dappled Things* has developed a tool to identify through scientific, measurable methodology if you are, in fact, a hipster.
*the Dappled Things editorial board is not responsible for results.
Take the quiz and find out (write down your answers. scoring is below)
1. Do you live in the city?
B) I live in the burbs but tell everyone I’m trapped in a middle-class hellscape
C) I’m homesteading deep in the country near a monastery
2. Do you ride a bicycle to work?
A) No, I just walk to the barn
B) Yes, I cycle everywhere
C) I commute
3. How long is your beard?
A) I’m female and this question is oppressive
B) I shave all my facial hair off with an antique cut-throat razor
C) As long as possible
A) Hand-roasted and french-pressed
C) local coffee shop roast with a pour-over
D) Mr. Coffee
5. How do you brew your beer?
A) Wild yeast with homegrown hops
B) I actually drink Bud Light ironically
C) I only drink wine
D) Whatever kit the local shop has on sale
6. Is your patron saint so obscure that you have to explain who it is?
C) Blessed Virgin Mary 4eva
7. Do you attend Xform Mass?
A) Yes and it’s not even a dialogue Mass
B) Yes and it is a dialogue Mass
C) Ordinary Form but all Latin
8. Do wear a bow tie at least once per week?
A) I’m a female and this question is oppressive
B) Every Sunday, obviously
C) Nah, double windsor knot all day!
9. Do you read physical books?
C) Does The New York Times count?
10. Do you read books at all?
A) I get all my info from NPR podcasts
B) Fiction bores me, I only watch Netflix documentaries
A) No, I’m not in high school
B) Yes, but I don’t like to talk about it
C) YES I’M NOT A SAVAGE
12. Do you make your own jewelry?
A) Yes, but it’s, like, just for me
B) I don’t wear jewelry
C) When I need something, I hit the local mall
D) I’m a man and this question is sexist
13. If you score enough points to be labeled a hipster, will you reject the results?
C) I can’t be bothered to tally the score
14. How many chickens live in your backyard?
B) whatever the local ordinance limits me to
C) it’s none of your business, but I can totally sell you eggs
15. Do you eat more than one box of micro-greens per week?
A) what are micro-greens?
B) yes, obviously
16. How many birds are embroidered onto your sweater right now?
17. How many mason jars do you have in on your cup shelf in the kitchen?
D) It’s all mason jars
18. How tight are your jorts?
A) Kind of tight
C) I don’t use the word “tight”
D) I don’t wear jean shorts
19. What’s on your turntable right now?
D) A local band no one else has heard of
- A) +1 B) 0 C) +2
2. A) +1 B) + 2 C) -1
3. A) 0, sorry bout that B) or C) +1, either way is rad
4. Any answers yield +1 except for keurig, which nets you a sweet -3
5. A) +1 as long as you don’t instagram it constantly B) 0 this isn’t as cool as it seems C) 0 this isn’t as cool as it seems D) +1 do your thing
6. A) +1, upgrade to a +2 if the saint lived in a tiny house C) +1, all saints are awesome D) +3, there’s a reason the original homegirl so popular
7. A) +2, you might be a legit malcontented youth B) +1, it’s a bit liberal but hey the Church is a big tent C) + 2, these are actually the rarest of all masses to find in the wild since summorum pontificum
8. A) +1, women, please don’t wear bow ties B) +1 C) -3, I cannot emphasize enough how bad this is
9. A) -1, you ain’t hip if you ain’t reading the real thing B) 0, I affirm you, but really we should all be doing this C) -1, No it does not count. It’s weird that you think it does.
10. A) or B) both earn a -1 for pseudo-intellectualism. +1 if you refused to answer
11. A) -1, English class was the only good part of high school. B) or C) both get a + 1. It’s good to be modest but it’s also good to yell
12. A) and B) are equally fine and earn +1 C) is less good but gives you the chance to check out the Lego store, so 0 D) -1 Wrong. Men can wear jewelry. It’s called cufflinks and you should be wearing them right now
13. A) and C) are both respectable answers, +1 B) Don’t be vulgar. -1
14. A) -1, Do you even paleo, bro? B) 0, Having 4 the legal limit really should be standard C) +1, now you’re urban farming!
15. A) -1, you don’t have to be an all-out foodie, but micro greens are an essential grazing item for hipsters B) +1, just keep telling yourself your superfood diet will make you live forever.
16. A) 0 B) +1, although by the time I publish this it probably won’t be cool anymore C) -1, this is actually too many, unless you’re a member of the local sporting club
17. A),B), and C) are all unfortunate, -1 D) is the only solution, +1
18. A) -2 for trying too hard B) +1, +2 if you match with a jean jacket C) 0, I get it, but a little pretentious D) wut? -1
19. A) +1 he’s not as trendy as he used to be but it’s still good B) +2 the most authentic of all resistance music C) 0 a true Catholic hipster doesn’t waste time with the symphonic form D) -1 for becoming a parody
19 or above – You’re a hermit monk. The most legit of all hipsters, and the very idea from which all particular hipsters in their various urban localities emanate in their various sartorial splendor. If you haven’t already, go to the nearest Carthusan monaster and beg admittance.
17-18 or above – You are Pope St. John Paul II, the hippest of hipsters, a saint who lived the most authentic life possible and still had plenty of time to chill with bros while kayacking.
12-16 – You are Oscar Wilde, a bit obvious but still a legit talent – and a surprisingly Catholic one.
6- 11 – You are William Shakespeare. Entry entry-level Catholic hipster but the signs of greatness are all there.
5 or below – You’re actually an Emo. Sorry.