I thought “Fear and Loathing at the Olympic Trials” was a pretty funny blog post - the comment about the letsrun message boards being a “haven for the seriously unwell” alone made it worth reading. I like HST, but it didn’t cross my mind to compare the post to HST’s writing. I took the post for what it was, I guess – a light blog post about the trials.
There’s something really depressing to me about the negative comments in this thread, though, which are typical of the comments on many other letsrun.com message board threads. Presumptuous generalizations that may not be based in reality follow, but I suspect some of them are valid.
I assume that at least some of the negative comments on this thread were not written by the same person. Maybe not. In any event, if these comments are indicative of your “real life” personalities, you must be pretty fun to hang with. In fairness, I guess I was probably overly-critical and sarcastic when I was in high school too, but I cringe to read such overly-critical and sarcastic comments now. You guys really thought that “Fear and Loathing at the Olympic Trials” – a f’n blog post - was “gadawful [sic],” a “snooze fest,” and “[l]acking in original thought”? “[T]wo minutes of my life I’ll never get back”? “F*cking hate the writing style with a passion”? Please. I’m sure your HS or college essays are brilliant. Or they would be if you cared or tried, right? After all, most of you have IQs and SAT scores in the 99th percentile. Is it accurate to assume that you are the same poster (or posters) who consider a “bicentennial” or “triple century” - with “real” beer only, of course – to be a laudable and worthwhile goal? And that troll threads about joggers, dating advice, and race-baiting are the pinnacle of comedic and intellectual achievement?
To me, this comment sums up pretty well how a lot of you – your internet personas, anyway - probably view the world: “[t]he writer is your quinessential whiny hipster . . . . [who] would probably tell you he liked the Olympics before you did, before it was cool to like the [O]lympics.” The prevailing view on this board seems to be that a “hipster” is anyone who is perceived as doing anything “to be cool” in a non-mainstream way. Probably because most of you lack the confidence to deviate from the norm (the norm for HS or college runners, such as it is) or try your hand at anything creative, that definition also encompasses anyone who actually is doing something cool in a non-mainstream way. I have my doubts that any hipster – let alone a “quintessential” hipster – actually would admit to liking the Olympics. Don’t hipsters attempt to mask their deep-seated fear of being judged by others by only liking things ironically and never actually coming out in support of anything? But I also have my doubts that Jeff Edmonds qualifies as a “hipster” under any definition of the term outside of letsrun. As an aside, I’m curious, when did it become cool to like the Olympics anyway? 776 BC? 1796? 1896?
Other than the hipster shield of irony, another obvious work-around to the fear of rejection is to take the approach of letsrun bashers and criticize everyone else’s accomplishments, taste, and efforts that don’t conform to a very narrow set of standards. Maybe that’s another flavor of “hipsterness,” only not as fun because no one tries to emulate it or considers it to be cool. Let’s face it, bros and golf shirt-wearing HS and college runners aren’t creating any art or literature (othen than uber-clever Tucker Max) or sparking any fashion movements or music scenes. Yes, hipster irony is passé and grating. Not even hipsters like it. Good luck finding a so-called hipster (your definition or the Portlandia definition) who will admit to being a hipster, other than in an ironic way. Okay, yes, that was an irrelevant tangent. The fact is, however, that hipster irony is far less grating than the destructive and negative attitudes and comments on this thread. I assure you most “hipsters” - as well as the rest of us - don’t spend too much time worrying about you.
I f*n love the song “Subdivisions.” I’m sure this has been said before, but the letsrun message boards are a complete car crash, and I’m just another rubbernecker.