Every day, my news feed alerts me of some extremely presumptuous GoFundMe or other. If it isn’t, “Help, I can’t afford to get my cat neutered,” it’s “Donate money so I can buy new turntables for my grimecore outfit,” or even, “I want to go to Europe for a music festival, but I can’t afford the plane ticket!” Under what fallacy live all these hipsters that they think it’s somehow okay to stand there, palm out, asking for money? If you need more money, maybe rethink that lucrative “career” as a part-time barista/full time amateur DJ, rather than asking me to open my heart and wallet to the hipster cause. Why are hipsters always begging for my loot?
Whoa, there, Sour Stan. Last time I checked, nobody compelled you by dint of force or the threat thereof to give anybody, hipster or otherwise, a single cent. It’s hard to justify raging out over a situation in which you have no obligation to involve yourself. Long story short, you are free to express your disapproval by giving nothing.
But let’s think about this for a second.
Since crowdfunding became a thing, insane campaigns periodically arise, whip up a delightful frenzy of vitriolic backlash, then either quietly die, get taken down, or get themselves outed as publicity stunts/trolling. But, for every white supremacist looking to fund a hate-speech program, a thousand regular people just want some random generosity to help their dreams come true. If there’s anything hipster about the whole thing, it’s that you can’t always tell whether the crowdfunders in question are sincere, or devastatingly ironic.
A hipster might wear those sweet thrift-store Keds and slouch socks because she thinks they’re funny or because she can’t afford anything else, but there’s always the chance that she (gasp!) just likes them. It’s hard to say which option bothers you more, and the same goes for ignoble crowdfunding. You want to believe that the kid trying to Kickstart $8 for a burrito is doing you a fun, but what terrifies you most is that he might just want a burrito and want you to pay for it.
More often than not, the only thing people hate worse than hipster irony is shallow sincerity. Now, that’s funny.