I've been wondering lately what the difference is between a male hipster and a lumberjack. I think this all started when I was contemplating what to buy my brother for Christmas, as he is a hipster who currently resides in Portland, OR. I'm not sure if it is ironically uncool to be referred to as a hipster, because hipster-ism has become mainstream (just walk into any Urban Outfitters) which is against the countercultural values of the hipster, but hopefully he will forgive me for the categorization for the purposes of this blog. As I began to think through the potential go-to presents, I soon realized that all the items I was listing were simultaneously all of the ingredients for a lumberjack. This got me thinking. What was the difference between a hipster and a lumberjack?
Just look at the things they have in common:
1. Both wear flannel shirts and woolen hats
2. Typically have thick facial hair or full beard. "Scruffy" may also be an appropriate adjective.
3. While we are on the subject of wardrobe, they tend to both wear heavy leather boots with deep treads, whether for climbing mountains or not slipping on rainy pavement.
4. Drink lots of coffee and/or ale out of mugs. May or may not swing mugs back and forth while singing a lively song--this is because their mugs are most likely filled with Christmas cheer.
5. Live in places with a lot of trees (a.k.a. Seattle and Portland).
6. May eat pancakes (though some hipsters may prefer vegan flapjacks, or perhaps they may forego the bacon if they are vegetarians)
7. Both MAY need showers. Lumberjacks after working in the forest all day, hipsters for various reasons (or am I confusing "hipster" with "hippie"? This is not representative of the entire hipster population, but I have met SOME hipsters who have smelled like a vintage shop, cigarettes, and/or a hallucinogenic plant known as "Mary Jane"...so...??). It stings the nostrils.
For me, the difference really resides in the fact that lumberjacks cut down trees, while hipsters may be trying to save the trees (Again, perhaps I am confusing "hipster" with "hippie?" Though, there does seem to be some overlap between the subcultures. Hipsters might be apathetic, as this is their M.O., but if you live in Seattle or Portland, I anticipate that one's love for the environment is directly correlated to your location to the epicenter of the city, i.e. the closer you are the stronger the tree huggery, as these are big parts of the city's culture). Also a hipster is less likely to own a blue ox or an ax.
Of course we are operating out of stereotypes. Not sure what a "hipster" even is? Check out the definition here. Not sure what a lumberjack is? Read the story of Paul Bunyan, and also make sure not to discredit lumberjacking as a viable career option, as you may be told on a high school career test that this should be your career of choice (well, the more "professional" term is "logger") Yes. That is a real story that happened to yours truly. It's ok to be jealous.
On the left we have a picture of some "hipsters" (when typed into google images). On the right we have the lumberjack (also typed into google images). Differences!?