Pictured Above: A baton never passed.
I've done a bit of reading on how to define Hipster, and when this sillyness started, and was surprised that I didn't agree with most writers on the topic.
Most of them acknowledge the original use of the term Hipster in the 1940's to mean 'a hip cat who likes hot jazz.' If that were still the definition you could mark me down as one. These were usually blacks, who were then accompanied/co-opted by whites(the term morphed into beatnik and hippie, on and on). Many people write that the same thing happened again between 1999-2003 or so, only this time it was whites co-opting 'white trash' culture. They all point to the trucker hat, tattoos and cheap beer and suppose that the modern Hipster evolved out of that.
That makes no fucking sense. It's a bad accident that Hipster was first used in the jazz age and again to refer to the modern Hipster. There's no connection. Modern Hipsters emulate 'white trash' culture about as much as the emulate any or all other cultures. Most writers mention that Hipsters are creative types, but don't make an obvious connection-
The way I remember it, in the 90's, the new subculture was Raver. In the early 00's there were Art School kids, then Emos, then a brief Hardcore monstrosity. You get it? Ravers thought they were onto onto something with their P.L.U.R. screed and art school makes the most sense if you love drugs. They attend art school and morph into Emo when a few of them are on a bad Ecstacy crash and make some music about it. Hardcore was a sort of aggressive mutant emo/art school/raver that could never have sustained life on earth:
So what the hell is a Hipster? Look At This Fucking Hipster, and see for yourself. For me this website may as well be called "Look at this fucking confused youth." The truth is the subculture collapsed when it ran out of tattoo space, drugs, and thoughts. Hipsters are what arose out of the rubble.
And what did arise out of the rubble? Snobbishness, nostalgia for stupid time periods, bad writing, some passable art, and meaningless fashion choices. It's about what you'd expect.
It's weird to say it but I think the Ravers were onto something. Their music sucked; but everybody got laid and the drugs were pretty good. It was sort of a bizarre futurist hippie movement. Yet they failed to turn the world onto their drugs, and do the progressive social campaigning the hippies did because well, it was the 1990's and people were just saying no. I know there are still self-identified 'ravers' but the ship has sailed.
The Hipster is the living hangover of that missed opportunity.