OTTAWA—As music festival season comes to a close, a certain faction of Millennials known as “hipsters” are being called out for cultural appropriating the long-standing traditions of lumberjacks, skateboarders, and bicycle enthusiasts.
“They’ve been right under our beards the whole time,” says Glen McDonald, member of the Lumberjack Association of Canada, and one-time festival-goer, “but this summer really proved that they’re getting out of hand.”
McDonald states that, while walking through the Coachella festival grounds in Indio, California, he spotted dozens of bearded hipsters donning the traditional lumberjack garb of black and red plaid flannel and blue jeans.
“The beards were one thing, but our clothes too? I was shocked, bro. When I got back to Canada, my best friends started calling me a hipster. I couldn’t even look in the mirror. Waking up every day was a struggle. Eventually my wife was forced to throw away my flannels and go out and buy me sweaters. I mean, they are comfortable, but not the same.”
Skateboarders on the other hand appear to be slightly less incensed by the hipster phenomena, though, arguably for more innocuous reasons.
“Dude, Pabst beer was ours first. Everyone friggin’ knows that,” says Kyle Robertson, amateur skateboarder and Pabst Blue Ribbon enthusiast.
He relays that, during a music festival in Guelph, Ontario, he endured “totally brutal” line-ups at a Pabst beer tent. This, he claims, was largely due to a predominately hipster crowd clogging the line.
“Like, don’t they have all that micro-brewery stuff? Why steal our cheap beer? I’m too old to switch brands,” says the 22-year-old.
When it was mentioned to Kyle that Pabst was founded in 1844, long before skateboards and skateboard culture existed, he insisted that, “you can’t trust history books, dude.”
Meanwhile, bicyclists have taken a much stronger stance concerning the hipster epidemic. According to bicyclist and part-time yoga instructor, Glen Packard, it began with a lack of available road bikes at music festival bike rental stations.
“My girlfriend and I were looking forward to strolling the festival grounds and maybe taking a tour up the valley on the last day,” says Packard, “but when we got to the bike rental spot, there was nothing available!”
Soon after this terrifying experience, Packard witnessed a bevy of “kids with beards," riding recklessly around the festival grounds on Schwinn bicycles.
“I was shaken and disturbed. They weren’t wearing any of the regulation gear and refused to use the proper hand signals when turning. I’m surprised there weren’t any serious accidents, to be honest.”
Packard insists that, despite the horror witnessed, he won’t stop bicycling. Instead he has begun working with the police department in his hometown of Stratford, Ontario, advising them on the dangers of hipsters on bikes.
“If these so-called ‘hip’ kids think it’s ok to commandeer someone else’s way of life with little-to-no knowledge of the implications, well they’re in for a big surprise. The Stratford police force will be on them like flies on sherbet. Our children deserve that.”
For McDonald, as a way to distance the LAC from the plaid-wearing hipsters, he has revealed plans to introduce knitted argyle sweaters as the preferred uniform of Canadian lumberjacks, noting that, “They’re actually pretty comfortable. And people think I’m a teacher, which is a hell of a lot better than looking like a hipster.”
When asked what would happen if hipsters appropriated the argyle look, McDonald curtly replied, “My axe.”
Kyle Richardson appeared to be the least worried of a possible hipster takeover.
“It’s cool, man. I’ve done my research and there’s actually so much more to this world than Pabst. There’s Old Milwaukee. There’s James Ready. My buddy Ryan just hooked me up with something called Colt 45. I’ve yet to crack into it but I’m stoked. I’m stoked for the future, dude.”
As of today, no class action suits have arisen from hipster cultural appropriation but according to Packard, only time will tell
“We’re constantly waiting for a slip-up. Maybe their beards will get caught in their handlebars and they’ll crash into a park full of children. Of course, I would never wish that to happen. But, believe me, it’s a strong possibility based on the way things are going.”
Joe Fitzgerald is a Professional Writing student at Algonquin College, a waiter, an annoying music know-it-all, and a friend. He currently resides in Ottawa's restaurant-heavy Centretown district, where he plunders half his paycheques and wonders almost every morning where the heck he left his sunglasses the night before. His favourite Backstreet Boy is Brian.