A chorus of hearty mehs

Next year? You’d best start planning now.

Artist’s Rendering of Local Hipster Serving Thanksgiving Piglet
  • Artist’s Rendering of Local Hipster Serving Thanksgiving Piglet

Dear Hipster:

If pies can be ranked in order of hipness, then what else goes appropriately on the hipster Thanksgiving table?

— Karen

The key to any good hipster Thanksgiving table is balance — balance between absurd one-upmanship on the one hand, and nostalgic Americana on the other. Sure, that free-range turducken may have impressed your cadre of hipster friends last year; but this year nothing short of a full-on suckling pig will elicit anything more than a chorus of hearty mehs from your friends who’ve seen it all. Next year? Who knows!? All I can say is, you’d best start planning now.

The foil to this elaborate showing off is, of course, ironically nostalgic canned cranberry sauce. Break out that lonesome can that’s been lurking the cupboards ever since the week after last Thanksgiving when you bought it secretly intending to eat more, non-ironic cranberry sauce because, let’s face it, you could make your own from fresh fruit, but you like the stuff in the can better. Can’t hide shame you don’t feel!

The remainder of your Thanksgiving menu lies somewhere between these extremes: boxed, instant stuffing augmented with $40/lb wild boar sausage; candied “yams” served with avocado mashed potatoes and a smug lecture about how what we colloquially refer to as “yams” are actually sweet potatoes, and thus biologically distinct from true yams; or green bean casserole, but instead of green bean casserole it’s just a glass of Tito’s vodka with a few of those French’s fried onions sprinkled over the top.

However you do your hipster thanksgiving, make sure you don’t forget the cardinal rule of “no pumpkin spice specialty cocktail, no matter what.”

Dear Hipster:

I would have to have more fingers than I have actually got to count the number of “not having a TV” jokes you’ve made, casual references to hipsters not having TVs, and outright humblebrags about your own TV-lessness. That’s all well and good with me. I didn’t come to cut you down. But, what is the deal with hipsters and not having TVs? Is it cool if you don’t have a TV but you still watch all your favorite shows on some form of streaming media service? Or does one need to neither have a TV, nor partake of conventionally televised entertainment to qualify for hipster points?

— Susan

In hipster-speak, “I don’t have a TV,” or “I don’t watch TV” doesn’t actually mean “I never consume anything that might be categorized as televised entertainment.” Rather, abstention from TV ownership simply signals the unwillingness of the average hipster to turn on the idiot box and watch... whatever the heck comes on. Because I’m phrasing things in terms of spectra today, let’s say Hipster TV Safety exists on a spectrum.

Watching, or re-watching, old TV shows from the 80s and 90s is definitively safe — no risk to your hipster street cred — so go right ahead and familiarize yourself with Twin Peaks, Northern Exposure, and Cheers. However, if you so much as catch more than thirteen seconds of Dr. Oz, or any other daytime TV, you run the risk of having your hipness stripped away faster than a sandblaster peels graffiti off the side of a public building. Exercise your best judgment with contemporary shows, and remember that it helps if you were into a show before it started winning Emmys.

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