National Public Radio: A Hipster Staple
Elitist hipsters abhor commercials. Even on those occasions when a television ad prominently features the music of some indie band or another, those in the know merely roll their eyes and feign indifference, too complacent and otherwise preoccupied to lob the sellout grenade. Indeed, apathy is–if not to be striven toward outright–undeniably a more flattering posture than belligerence.
But I digress.
Hipsters disdain commercials because they fancy themselves tastemakers not lemmings, early adopters not trendspotters. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth: hipsters are the most notorious recyclers of fashion, music, and lifestyle around. As a people who do not want to be pandered to, the true elitist hipsters listen to a lot of National Public Radio. Not only does it give them something to discuss which makes them sound worldly and intellectual, but it is also “listener supported,” which hints at a vaguely communist/communal tendency the elitist hipster finds admirable (although they cannot explain quite why). This phrase has resonance and a neat logic–aren’t anti-establishment insurrections “working class supported”? In short, there are no advertisements to dodge on the left-leaning frequencies.
To allay any possible confusion, it should be noted that the elitist hipster does not provide any of said financial support but is rather a freeloader riding high on the donations of others. Any pangs of guilt are assuaged by the hipster’s imagined caricature of those proffering cash to keep the station afloat: oafish aristocratic types motivated more by tax incentives than a commitment to quality programming. Whether or not this stereotype is true is of little concern to the elitist hipster snob; so long as the fundraising drives don’t interfere too much with their listening routine, the money may as well be provided by the gracious hands of Rupert Murdoch.
The wide berth of issues covered by NPR and its various programs offers the time-constrained elitist hipster a shorthand for staying informed of global events while providing convenient, quirky talking points that make them seem fascinating at parties. The elitist hipster listens to these programs not to become smarter and more in the know, but rather to give the appearance of being smarter and more in the know. For instance, did you know that 25% of all bottled water sales in theare for brands that repackage tap water from large municipalities, i.e. that a bottle of Dasani contains the same water that your home spigot does? You would, if you had tuned into June 28th’s and listened to their segment on bottled water as a symbol of American commerce and culture.
Did you follow how that device worked? By merely exposing oneself to an interesting array of programming, one consequently becomes more interesting. Better yet, there is no insight required, no need to probe independent thoughts or feelings. A statement concerning the economic ramifications of self-perception and convenience was made simply by decontextualizing one statistic and dropping it nonchalantly into a conversation–another reason why elitist hipster snobs enjoy listener supported radio.