Oh...braying neighbors

Don't let assholes ruin your life

Who the #%*@ parked in my spot??!?!
  • Who the #%*@ parked in my spot??!?!

Dear Hipster:

Ugh. My neighbors on Nextdoor are such pricks sometimes. I’m obviously not going to say where I live, but it suffices to say that any issue related to parking or pets (among other things) kicks half a dozen smug know-it-alls into gear at the slightest provocation. I don’t mind all the watching out that goes on (even if the “crime watch” element seems a bit alarmist to me), but some of the things that people generally rant about include me by implication, at least indirectly. I feel like it’s only a matter of time before someone is getting all up in my business. Like, what if my dog barks in the night and my neighbors gripe openly about it? Am I okay to just tell them to politely fuck off?

— Anonymous

The interwebs runneth over with germane, friendly blogs, and thoughtful fluff about not letting assholes ruin your life. I refer you to any of those for the necessary pick-me-up when, faced with the onslaught of human assholery, you would retreat into a misanthropic world where nothing means anything and everybody sucks. The hipster thing to do is quite obviously this: rise above the tide of petulance through ironic detachment.

But, your observation strikes at my hipster heart, which believes technology, opportunity, and increased social consciousness will buoy us toward brighter tomorrows filled with kind, cooperative people. Now, look at me, I’ve gone and labeled a bunch of people “assholes” because they care too much about the parking situation in their neighborhoods.

Don’t get me wrong, the people who would throw a fit over shit that bothers only them — those people are total assholes. But their biggest flaw is thinking they know what’s good for everyone else, and what do we do with people like that all over the world? We elect them to public office and promote them to supervisory roles in sinister corporations.

Being a responsible hipster in the 21st Century may be 98 percent pour-over coffee, skinny jeans, and Apple products; but it’s at least marginally founded on owning your shit. Maybe a hipster buys fair-trade coffee beans because, without harming anyone, it furthers his idea of what is right. Contrast that with someone trying to force his narrow ideas of right and wrong on everyone around him, and I think you’ll see why ranting about unleashed dogs in your neighborhood is not very hipster.

The fact that we hipsters find the latter position extraordinarily distasteful explains in large part why hipsters (and the “youth” in general) aren’t rushing out to join community planning groups. I think, Anonymous, you would probably agree that hipster notions of community revolve around shared interests (e.g., fermentation clubs, homebrew contests, and monthly ironic karaoke sessions), rather than making sure nobody in the neighborhood tries to paint his house an “ugly” color.

Does this go way beyond the scope of your question? You bet it does! I really don’t think there’s an “answer” for you in there, so I’ve tried to provide some perspective. Maybe it helps you to know that there are about a thousand things in the world more important than whether Fluffles the syphilitic chihuahua howls at the ambulance, even if some people consider that tantamount to war crimes.

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"Choose your battles wisely. Fight only the most, most, most important ones, let the rest go." --C. JoyBell C.

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