Reevaluating Biases

If there’s one group of people in this world that I’ve given more grief to than Justin Bieber fans, it’s hipsters.

Far too often, I encounter them and immediately rule them as pretentious snobs who are more about virtue signaling than anything else. To be honest, I stand by that assessment.

But then I think about how society is fragile, how civilization is a delicate glass construct that could shatter at any given moment. Should that happen–and I’m not saying it will, mind you, or that I want it to, just that it might–do you know the one group of people that will probably help civilization return more than any other?

It ain’t necessarily the preppers. It’ll be the hipsters.

So what am I going on about?

Well, I came across a comment about how people using hand tools for woodworking weren’t necessarily hipsters, and I started thinking about whether that was actually a hipster thing. Were they embracing hand tool woodworking?

That led me to an exploration of hipster hobbies because, well, it’s the internet and I like going down rabbit holes.

Anyway, I started seeing more and more so-called hipster hobbies and recognized something.

You see, in their attempt to be edgy and buck the normality of today, most are going backward in time. They took obscure hobbies and, apparently in their attempt to not do things that were mainstream, resurrected crafts that were likely in danger of dying out.

Woodworking is just a part of that, of course, but they also do things like soap-making, knitting, blacksmithing, bookbinding, brewing and vinting, pottery, beekeeping, and foraging, just to name a few.

All of those could be quite handy if society took a tumble, don’t you think.

Oh, I know damn good and well that a lot of this is a brand of virtue signalling. It at least started as a way to show off how superior they were to the consumerist culture that surrounds us.

But you know what? I don’t care.

You see, as a capitalist at heart, I don’t care if industries die out. If they’re replaced by something better, that’s fine. That’s the nature of the beast, after all.

What I don’t like to see are crafts dying out. Especially when they’re valuable crafts like making soap or creating the tools of everyday life.

For a while, though, it sure looked like that was going to happen. People weren’t interested in making soap. They weren’t interested in forging things, or shaping wood, or even learning what plants are edible.

Today, that’s changed. Those skills are out there, now, and they’re becoming surprisingly common. Maybe not to the extent of everyone having one of those skills, but they’re still common enough that they can be called upon in time of need.

Some who learn these crafts are trying to monetize it. For some skills, that’s easier than others. A skilled knitter can usually find a market for his or her wares, but not everyone is interested in artisanal books.

Doesn’t matter to me. I’m just glad people are learning these skills, that while we may never see the day that we actually need these hobbies to become professions so we can survive, it’s good to know that they’re still bouncing around in case we do.

One thing I never would have thought, though, is that Barbarians would have anything to learn from hipsters.

It seems that I was wrong, and that means taking a moment to reevaluate my biases on that front, which I’ve done.

I may not particularly like hipsters, as a whole, but I do have to wonder if there are any other groups I’ve ignored who I dislike for whatever reason but have much I can learn from.

Author: Tom

Tom is a husband, father, novelist, opinion writer, and former Navy Corpsman currently living in Georgia. He's also someone who has lost almost 60 pounds in a safe, sustainable way, so he knows what he's talking about.

2 thoughts on “Reevaluating Biases”

  1. Thanks to the hipsters, I’ve bought and learned how to use an old-fashioned safety razor. I’ve been using it for a year now, and it’s been fun. You make some good points here.

    1. I’ve been using a double-edged safety razor for a few years now, but it wasn’t so much the hipsters that convinced me, but the steampunk crowd, believe it or not. But yeah, they’re kind of awesome to use and, other than the increased upfront cost, a whole lot cheaper over the long haul.

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