David Infante has some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the Hipster is dead. The bad news is that he has been replaced by another intensely annoying type of millennial wussy, what he refers to as “the “Yuccie” (pronounced “Yucky”), i.e., young urban creatives.
[T]he hipster has to be dead, killed by a contradicted identity. When everyone is rejecting the mainstream, no one is. When everyone is a hipster, no one is a hipster. Hell, saying â€œthe hipster is deadâ€ is, itself, pretty much dead, a late-aughts victim of thinkpiecery and primetime cable namechecks.
And anyway, â€œhipsterâ€ doesnâ€™t line up culturally with who yuccies are. To use myself as an example again: I have no tattoos. My credit is good. Hell, Iâ€™ve got dental insurance. My basic, unwaxed mustache, like the rest of me, wouldnâ€™t have rated in the heady days of hipsterism. Hipsters themselves might have scorned me as a yuppie. But that isn’t right, either. â€œYuppieâ€ conjures Sharper Image catalogs, clean condos and piles of new money pulled from the pre-recession stock market. It doesnâ€™t capture the sense of creative entitlement that defines the yuccie.
Yuccies are the cultural offspring of yuppies and hipsters. Weâ€™re intent on being successful like yuppies and creative like hipsters. We define ourselves by our purchases, just like both cohorts, sure. But not by price or taste level; we identify by price and taste level: $80 sweatpants, $16 six-packs of craft beer, trips to Charleston, Austin and Portland. How much it costs (high or low) is immaterial if the material bought validates our intellect.
Weâ€™re a big part of the reason that 43% of every millennial food dollar is spent in restaurants, instead of at home. After all, what product is more fraught with the politics of money and creativity than dinner? Itâ€™s gotta be Instagrammed.
You cross the yuppieâ€™s new money thirst for yachts and recognition with the hipsterâ€™s anti-ambition, smoke-laced individualism, sprinkle on a dose of millennial entitlement, and the yuccie is what you get.
We are what we hate
The Young Urban Creative. The yuccie. As far as trend-naming goes, this is on the punnier edge of the spectrum. Yuccies are yucky. Why?
Letâ€™s use me as an example again. Almost by definition, yuccies possess enormous privilege. My professional drift towards a creative field (writing) is an implicit statement of privilege. Being a yuccie is synonymous with the sort of self-centered cynicism that can only exist in the absence of hardship. Itâ€™s the convenience of being unburdened by conviction; itâ€™s the luxury of getting to pick your battles. In this context, cynicism is maybe the yuccieâ€™s most defining trait.
To wit, of all the reasons I enjoy being a writer, the single driving force behind my career trajectory has been validation. I write for validation: of my peers, of my parents, of the followers who retweet me, even of the commenters who say cruel things in my general direction beneath every piece Iâ€™ve ever published.
Donâ€™t get me wrong â€” I need the money, too, as much as any of my peers. But if I hadnâ€™t insisted on majoring in English, writing professionally and â€œexpressing myself,â€ I probably could have chosen a more lucrative path. But
I need to be told, repeatedly and at length, that I have valuable ideas. That my talent is singular. That Iâ€™m making a dent, the size and location of which is less important than fact that itâ€™s shaped like me.
Thatâ€™s the cynicism of privilege. Thatâ€™s what yuccieism is. Iâ€™m not ashamed of it, and you shouldnâ€™t be either if this sounds like you. But Iâ€™m not proud of it either. Like I said â€” itâ€™s a bit yucky.
Read the whole thing.