Late Night Open Thread: Speaking of Self-Owns…

Per The Register, “Hipster whines at tech mag for using his pic to imply hipsters look the same, discovers pic was of an entirely different hipster”:

At the end of February, MIT Technology Review emitted a pithy rundown of a 34-page research paper from maths-modelling boffins at Brandeis University in the US; the paper essentially posited that in a bid to make that all-important “countercultural statement”, hipsters can end up looking alike…

Accompanying the article was an edited stock image of a generic millennial chap in plaid shirt and standard-issue beanie, or “trendy winter attire”, as Getty put it.

The MIT journal’s editor-in-chief, Gideon Lichfield, took to Twitter to tell a “cautionary tale” about what followed the article going live:

“We promptly got a furious email from a man who said he was the guy in the photo that ran with the story. He accused us of slandering him, presumably by implying he was a hipster, and of using the pic without his permission. (He wasn’t too complimentary about the story, either.)”

… The stock photo giant checked the model release and lo! The guy in the image wasn’t even the same dude who was complaining. “He’d misidentified himself,” Lichfield said.

“All of which just proves the story we ran: hipsters look so much alike that they can’t even tell themselves apart from each other.”…

As my old man used to say, “There are times when ‘deny all knowledge of the incident’ is the wisest choice.”

39 replies
  1. 1
    JustRuss says:

    What hipster? I see Seattle grunge, circa 1995.

  2. 2
    smike says:

    Wow. I have a beard and sometimes I wear a beanie (I always thought they were stocking caps). I’m shocked to learn that I am a hipster. I shall now extrapolate the essence of this information.

  3. 3
    Yutsano says:

    Okay…what fuckery is Professor Levenson up to now?

  4. 4
    NotMax says:

    Know thyself, indeed.

    Isn’t it about time for zoot suits to make a comeback?

  5. 5
    Wapiti says:

    @smike: Yeah, I call that thing a stocking cap or watch cap. I thought beanies were cloth or felt. Like what Brownies (the girl cub scouts) wore.

  6. 6


    What hipster? I see Seattle grunge, circa 1995.

    Grunge was hipster before it was cool. //

  7. 7
    Keith P. says:

    Bleh….up with post-surgery pain. I had a bad fistula cut out of my arm yesterday but haven’t gotten my painkillers yet. And my car is across town. Its gonna be a long night.

  8. 8
    northquirk says:

    Loooong time lurker from Seattle to thank you for the lulz. This is just too good to be true. And one of the reasons why I love this blog even if I’m too awkward to comment more than ~ once every few years ❤😘

  9. 9
    SRW1 says:

    Well, ya gotta admit the headline of that article alone is kindda gut punchy to the sensitive souls of hipsters.

    Anybody got a hanky, perchance?

  10. 10
    oatler. says:

    “Hipsters! Flipsters! Lend a lobe and dig this gig!”

  11. 11
    NotMax says:

    First thought was who photoshopped a picture of Tyrone Power?

  12. 12
    NotMax says:


    All hail Lord Buckley. Can you dig it? I knew that you could.


  13. 13

    Well, I read about this somewhere else, but now having seen the actual picture I gotta say, it’s worse than I thought. That guy doesn’t have such a big beard and the shirt isn’t particularly generic either. You mean to tell me some dope doesn’t even know what shirts he owns?
    Whatta maroon.

  14. 14
    NotMax says:


    Real men eat quiche while wearing a propeller beanie.

  15. 15
    Wapiti says:

    @NotMax: We wore these at Georgia Tech. No propellers. There were grits to eat.

  16. 16
    NotMax says:

    Too good a joke not to repeat if it turns out have shared it here previously. The scene: late at night, a flying saucer silently glides to a landing on the outskirts of town, in a not quite totally deserted area. Hatch opens and two aliens stroll out.

    “Hail, Earth creature. There is nothing to fear. We come in peace.”

    “Wh-wh-who are you? Wh-where do you come from?”

    “We come from Mars. Have you any other questions?”

    “Are all Martians short and have green skin like you?”

    “Yes, of course.”

    “Do you all dress in silvery jumpsuits?”

    “Affirmative, Earth person.”

    “Couldn’t hep but notice. Do you all have antennae?”

    “Yes. Anything else?”

    “And do all Martians wear those little beanies?”

    “Only the orthodox.”

  17. 17
    NotMax says:


    Cruel and unusual punishment.

  18. 18
    different-church-lady says:

    The problem with hipsters is that when they’re finally gone, they’ll be replaced by something even more annoying.

  19. 19
    smike says:

    Looks kind of like a cult gathering.

  20. 20

    @smike: sounds a bit like one too.

    All freshmen were required to wear the caps every day until the end of spring quarter unless Tech beat UGA in the fall quarter’s freshman football game. Freshmen caught without their RAT cap were subjected to punishment including what is known as the “T-cut”, which entailed a student’s hair being shaved into the shape of a “T”.

  21. 21
    BlueDWarrior says:

    @different-church-lady: it’s endemic to culture I reckon. It’s a more banal version of “evil always lives in the heart of man” trope.

  22. 22
    Just Cindy says:

    Mr. Lichfield must be a South Park fan; today’s hipsters are yesterday’s goth kids

  23. 23
    NotMax says:

    Hell, bearded and wearing a flannel shirt was my daily attire for a good chunk of the 60s and all of the 70s. My wardrobe has gone in and out of style probably six times. No hat, though. Never cared for ’em.


    Better picture of Power with a beard in progress.

  24. 24
  25. 25
    Quinerly says:

    @Keith P.: so sorry to hear this. Feel better soon.

  26. 26
    smike says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Shakes head, “Sweet baby spaghetti monster…”

  27. 27
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @NotMax: I myself wear spats on casual Fridays

  28. 28
    Sab says:

    @Steve in the ATL: I do not believe this for one second. Falls into the “nobody knows you are a dog on the internet” category. But I know you are a dog.

  29. 29
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Sab: woof!

    Also, to the extent that I am not a dog, I work from home, thus everyday is casual. Spats every day! Or never. But definitely one of those two options.

  30. 30
    NotMax says:

    @Steve in the ATL

    Spats ‘n’ Crocs or spats ‘n’ Birkenstocks?


  31. 31
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Steve in the ATL: with lederhosen?

  32. 32
    Bobby Thomson says:

    I still say those are watch caps, not beanies. A beanie is supposed to have a bill, if not a propellor.

  33. 33
    Bobby Thomson says:


    Yeah, I call that thing a stocking cap or watch cap. I thought beanies were cloth or felt. Like what Brownies (the girl cub scouts) wore.

    You’re right. These kids today are stupid and need to get off our lawns.

  34. 34
    What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    @JustRuss: @Sister Golden Bear: @NotMax: Seriously. I’m almost 50 and have been dressing like that in winter for pretty much my entire teen age and adult life, when off duty.

    The issue with hipsters is everyone has their own definition, and generally uses the term “hipster” as a pejorative for whatever white sub culture annoys the labeler most.

  35. 35
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @smike: Wouldn’t that be a Spaghettini Monster? The Only-Begotten Starch?

    And the archangels as farfalle, no?

  36. 36
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    Quit laughing at that poor ‘hipster’! I know exactly how he feels!

    Every time I wear my full length fur coat and skimmer, I get misidentified as Bigfoot.


  37. 37
    chopper says:


    i have this bespoke handkerchief i got in williamsburg at OH DAMMIT

  38. 38
    Penn says:

    What he is wearing is clearly a toque.

  39. 39
    Gex says:

    When I was in highschool all the anarchists wore the same leather jacket with the same Anarchy sticker adhered to the same location on the back of the jacket. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    People have trouble with the “we are all unique and we are all the same” concept because we are bad at “both and” and prefer “either or”. Those most inclined to loudly declare they are unique, unlike all the rest of us, have a lot in common with each other.

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