I didn’t mean to be like this, my hipness was an accident. Let me explain how this all went down…

So, first, I was born. My parents were yuppies. They had no idea what they’d gotten themselves into, they were basically Generation Zero for the disease known as the current hipster.

I grew up in an “up and coming” neighborhood in Chicago. The area was filled with liquor stores and trendy coffee shops. My parents tell me that as a kid my 2 favorite things were candy and espresso. This was my espresso cup as a kid (before 7 years old)



Of course, since then I had a hipster internship with TV network Adult Swim and I’ve upgraded what I drink coffee out of to this:

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 11.39.49 AM


Nonetheless, as a child, I was drinking espresso with my parents in unique one of a kind coffee shops at the age of around 5 or 6.

Eventually, the liquor store down the street from us was turned into a Starbucks and my parents decided to move to the suburbs.

The suburbs gave me the unique opportunity to see what people my age were doing so I could figure out how to do the opposite and be a hipster.

From there, I started my own trends in clothing

Hipster outfit made from recycled materials

Hipster outfit made from recycled materials

Finally, the last step was learning irony:



It was a complete accident, if anything, I was set up to be a hipster. From 5 years old sitting in coffee shops with my parents drinking espresso, not much has changed except I’m a little watered down as a hipster due to my age. And my espresso is as well since it is an Americano.

That’s why this week’s dream of being hip is to go back in time and show my parents this column so they would reconsider their choice to live with the shame of a 2010s hipster as a son.

Hey Matt, you’re going to be a senior this year! Wow! Time Flies! You should enjoy it! When do you go back?

I’m going back next week, Wednesday.

WHAT?! That’s so early! What will you even do there?

Is there anything to do in Champaign-Urbana? That’s the question I’ve been battling with the last few weeks when I tell someone I’m going back to school early.

No one seems to have any clue why I would possibly want to go back to a college town where most of my friends live, so I guess I’ll explain a few things about why Champaign-Urbana and U of I is awesome… for hipsters

One of my favorite things on campus is the free modern art museum that is constantly getting new pieces. I check it out once a month and I hardly see the same thing twice!

What's going on here? That looks cool!

What’s going on here? That looks cool!

There really is a lot to explore, even if you aren’t supposed to…

Keep out? Good luck...

Keep out? Good luck… Us hipsters got photos to instagram

It’s hard to have a cake and wine birthday celebration without being surrounded by hippies. Try it anywhere else, they won’t be as welcoming or understanding.

Typical Tuesday

Typical Tuesday

B-but Matt, who is even there in the summer? Uh well a lot of people raise chickens in their backyards so I’ll just chill with them.

But they're so qt

They’re so qt

Also there are a ton of nice hippies around who will talk to me, like this guy:

I don't know how I have this photo

I don’t know how I have this photo

Champaign-Urbana is where I’ve done everything the last 3 years. Friends, stand-up comedy, and Pizza FM.

Look at us! That's Pizza FM!

Look at us! That’s Pizza FM!

I’m also pretty close to winning some money back at school

I'm so close, team up with me, we'll split it.

I’m so close, team up with me, we’ll split it.

Speaking of money, everything is so cheap in Champaign-Urbana. I can go out for a night, have a few beers, play pool, have some food maybe and spend at most $25. Try that in Chicago or another big city.

Best of all the $5 all you can party evenings in friends houses leave you with the best stories even if you’re not going out to drink.

Nothing really beats a UIUC party in terms of classic college experience:

College is wacky

College is wacky

Where else can I go night time biking into cornfields at midnight?

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 10.21.57 AM


I’ve got one year left of college and all this wackiness, if I want an extra month back on campus to enjoy it while I can, what’s the problem?

Basically, Champaign-Urbana is where I’ve set up my life for the past 3 years. I’ve made friends, enemies, and memories; it’s become my home. I have to give it up to the University of Illinois, or as I like to call it, The University of Ill.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 10.21.27 AM

And that’s why this week’s dream of being hip is for people to understand Champaign-Urbana is not a dead town and that’s why I’m going back soooo early.

Netflix is really screwing me over right now. I’m trying to be hip, ya know, do things before they’re cool, but Netflix is really making that hard. I should be watching some obscure movie that just hit Netflix and is going to be all over the news so I can later say “Yeah I saw that on Netflix a week ago, it was ok I guess.” But instead, I’m here re-watching season 3 of House MD.

Come to think of it, there’s really a scale of coolness for hipsters. We do things before they’re cool, and then once they’re cool, we back off. We do wait until a certain point where it’s not cool anymore, then start doing it again. Some of these include:

  • Film cameras
  • Ironically wearing 70s and 90s clothing
  • That song “Like a Prayer” by Madona
  • Flannel
  • Thick nerdy glasses

Here is a handy graphic I made after a few years of research on how things that are not cool are cool for hipsters and then once they become cool, they aren’t cool for hipsters. Subsequently, once they stop being cool for everyone else, they are cool for hipsters.

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 11.18.35 AM


Now hopefully this isn’t too technical for anyone out there. Basically, as time goes on (a continuum), something that is not cool is good for a hipster to do. Then, once it becomes cool, it’s not ok for a hipster to do. Finally, the fad wears off, and it’s cool to do it ironically.

At the moment, I’m currently doing a few things ironically because they used to be cool and now aren’t. For example, I’ve been polluting a ton. That used to be cool, then it became cool to not pollute, so I’m polluting ironically as a protest against it.

This is the roof of my apartment (Photo Courtesy of Billy Wilson)

So while I may be doing something bad for the environment, it’s good for the collective culture to see someone polluting ironically or something. Who knows? I don’t have to and neither do you. Just as long as it’s intentionally confusing and obtuse, it’s hip as heck.

I thought that writing about how it’s so not hip to watch House but I should be watching something new… But instead I wrote this article and made a graph in photoshop to justify my watching of House.

So as House would say:

Even a drunk with a flare for the dramatic can tell himself he’s an angel

So that’s basically what I just did, convinced myself, and you the dedicated reader, through my complicated and technical read on coolness over time, that what I’m doing is perfectly hip. That’s right, this blog has become self-aware and now I can create hipness out of thin air and faulty logic.

And that’s why this week’s dream of being hip is for a few of the current TV shows to become not cool so I can finally watch them.