The Rant recently imagined we had created an analysis of hipsterdom that could be mapped like a Nate Silver electoral projection.1 If you began at Calliope World Headquarters in Tulsa and radiated outward, hipsters would grow increasingly earnest and humorless until they became positively insufferable when you reached the coasts. We once went to a BBQ joint in New York with three solemn, bearded, Brooklynites awaiting our order (We never did figure out what the dude in the middle accomplished. Said nary a word and moved nary a muscle.) When The Rant mentioned our high Okie standards for ‘cue, they looked like we had rubbed habanero pork butt brine in their mothers’2 eyes. Relax boys; The Rant could go door-to-door in Chickasa and get a reasonable facsimile of what you were serving up in seven out of ten households (stats Nate Silver certified. Maybe. There’s a margin of error).
So The Rant was feeling pretty confident about the legitimacy of our Hipster Insufferability Index (RII. Killer acronym) expressed on a scale of one to five local-sourced heirloom beets you can’t afford at the farmer’s market. Let’s apply: bartender with artisan suspenders explaining the nuances of the rye whiskey you’ve been drinking since before his grandfather was still asking for branch water with his Old Overholt: three beets. Brewmaster dripping with condescension as he responds to the harmless inquiry as to what a SMaSH beer is (Single Malt and Single Hop. That’s right: The Rant knows things from our extensive network of informants that feed us information while we can continue looking like we don’t care). This one ranks at four beets, unless the phrase “single terroir” is employed. Rocket to five beets and the right to slap anyone that nodded approvingly.
We had started the preliminary work on our book about the RII, one of those slap-dash affairs that claims to explain Exactly How America Feels/Works Right Now and What We Can Do to Save/Ruin Ourselves with this Transcendent Knowledge based on an idea derived from a Peloton-induced head rush.3 But then our crew at Nothing’s Left Brewing (Yes, please go there. But if you kill the vibe, The Rant will find you) mentioned another brewery in town was a “little too hipster” for their taste. Upon reflection, The Rant realized they were correct and all the hipsters we enjoy aren’t hipsters at all. They’re another species entirely.
The sleeve art, the waxed mustaches, and the ear gauges can throw you off the scent, but these denizens of The Scene want to take you along for the ride. They aren’t so obsessed with their own Authenticity that the joy gets sucked from every moment. These people have their side hustles, and passions, and most of all, curiosity, generating an enthusiasm that becomes infectious and at times even sweet. Since the preponderance of them live here in the heartland, The Rant is dubbing them Midsters. We created a statistical index and named a population in one column. All hail The Rant.
Midsters should fill you with a sense of hope. These people get things done, just not within the usual structures and formalities. You can meet a Midster barista working as a community organizer, or a waitress teaching kids to write. You can read all about it in our upcoming book: Thinking Like a Midster: How this Secret Demographic Can Save America and Transform Our Economy. We got the idea when we pushed a guy off his Peloton.
- Our favorite part of a Nate Silver projection is when it goes horribly wrong, and Nate tries to patiently explain to you how math works, and that he was well within his margin of error and therefore his genius remains unsullied, because you’re the idiot that couldn’t pass stats. Calm down Nate. We want certainty, and you seem to provide it until you don’t. You’re like a religion with bar graphs.
- The Rant would appreciate it being taken down in the record that we formed the plural possessive of mother correctly. We aren’t the grammar police, but in the holy name of apostrophes, have a little pride in forming plurals (no apostrophes), possessives, and plural possessive (apostrophes in different locales). Don’t make us start diagramming sentences, and take that gum out of your mouth
- Could we round up the Peloton and cross-fit junkies and release them on an island where they can act superior to each other by how many coconuts they run up and down a hill with each day? I know we feel better just considering the possbility