Let me start by stating that I'm not a good dancer and many (with just cause) categorize me as a hipster. We'll get back to that.
If you've been to any show or live music at all in San Francisco, it's probably become very apparent to you that hipsters don't dance. For the most part, anyway. Beyond that, they tend to make "middle-child face" all night. You know exactly what I'm talking about. That face that consistently says, "I'm grumpy and I want everyone else to be grumpy, too." And this is where I think we're all getting really confused.
It's not to say that you can't go to a concert and not dance. Look, I'm okay with that. Are you joking? I have spent a good portion of my adult life being awkward. Good lord have I been "that guy" before who's not dancing. I get it: dancing for males can be kind of hard. It's kind of like having sex for the first time, but now everyone is watching you. So that's awkward.
To be fair, when I first moved here, I was clinical depression with sporadic facial hair. I was going through a brutal breakup and was a hot mess. Going out with me wasn't exactly a good time. Was I a dance machine at this point in time? No. Was I a crying machine at this point in time (the kind of wheezing crying little children do)? Yes. So I get it. Sometimes, you're just not in the mood. But maybe this isn't the time to go to the "happy dance" building.
What I don't get is more and more, I go to shows in this town and it's a bunch of people who look frumpy standing in the middle of a dance floor not dancing. Isn't that like going to the gym, sitting on the treadmill and looking SO annoyed when people want to run on it? Why do hipsters demand to stand in the middle of the room looking bummed out that they went to a place where everyone wanted to have fun?
I caveat with this, as well: I'm a half-assed hipster. A "stuff white people like" hipster, but not a "look at this fucking hipster" hipster. I'm juuuust enough to barely make it and not enough to BE it. Would a real hipster truly accept me? No, I don't think they would. I'm a J Crew loving wolf in sheep's skinny jeans.
I wear plaid, but it's clean and ironed. I wear ironic black eye glasses (Ray Bans, no less), but that's because I thought they made me look nice and it's fashionable and i'm fully admitting of that narcissism. I own like 43 pairs of Tom's. I'm a music snob, and I can't deny that. I am every bit a product of where I came from and I know it: I'm a kid who grew up in the 'burbs who wanted to live in the hip part of town and play the part a bit. I'm like a rapper who pretends he shot people when he really grew up in Anaheim.
So maybe this is why it discourages me. Because I wanna believe I see the good in the dirty word that is "hipster" in this town. It's an overblown stereotype, but I'm bummed because just like the Marina douchebag stereotype? There's a reason.
And the more I go to concerts, I get it. I get the annoyance. I just went to a show with a few friends last week that featured music that would make a person in a wheelchair dance and people were giving us filthy looks as we bumped into them happily flailing away. You'd think I murdered their dog and then asked if I could sleep with their girlfriend while eating their last bowl of Cap'n Crunch. More and more, you see grumpy guys in tight American Apparel hoodies angered by the masses of people who came to the happy store all happy. Sorry guys: music should make you happy. You're giving your kind a horrible reputation.
So maybe ease up, grumpy hipster. Put the phone down that you're writing Pitchfork band review notes in and enjoy the show, for just one second. Dancing feels good. You don't even have to be good at it to like it. Hell, i'm downright horrific half the time. But I learned that being happy and dancing with attractive girls is a lot better than frowning and having, "totally heard of these guys before everyone here."
Please, hipsters. Start dancing at the shows, or stop coming.
It's getting tough to defend why I act like your little brother, striving so hard to look disheveled and ironic just like the big brother I want to be so bad.
Nobody likes an asshole. No matter what part of town you're from.