On Hipsters and Hunting


The Trendy Urbanite. He often refers to himself as a "hipster," and is as foreign to our camo-wearing crowd as we are to his skinny jean crowd. Take Matt Stopera, for example. He works as an editor for BuzzFeed.com, a popular and innovative site with such ground-breaking features as the “WTF” button. Stopera, noted for his witty commentary, fits the hipster mold quite well.

Over the course of a road trip from New York to Tennessee (for Bonaroo), Stopera took in the sights, posting his photos and thoughts along the way. One of his first stops was a Cabela’s store, evidently the first he'd ever seen. Here’s how he summed that up:

“Cabela's, otherwise known as the High Temple of Taxidermy, is a GIANT 250,000 square feet camping store 2 hours away from New York City. It's basically the Walmart of camping equipment with A TON of dead animals. I've never been anywhere quite like it.”

He then went on to list “23 Things You Do at Cabela’s.” I read all 75 words (not counting repeats of the phrase "dead animal") and detected a hint of smug smartassery. Click here to read it for yourself. 

In his defense, when hipsters don’t understand something, their standard response is to mock it and feign intellectual superiority. I mean, you can’t expect Stopera to walk out of that Cabela’s, enraged at all those dead animals, and write up a post challenging us rednecks to a week of woodland survival.

But, like a big portion of the many people who commented on it, I didn’t see the intellectual superiority in Stopera’s post. On the contrary, I just saw ignorance.

I really can’t blame him for that. Stopera lives in New York City, otherwise known as the High Temple of Hipsters. I can assign that title because I lived in NYC myself for a couple summers while interning at Outdoor Life magazine in college. My apartment was down in Greenwich Village, and I fit right in. Sometimes, I'd visit the coffee shops (those are sort of like Hipster food plots) and buy myself a latte—minus the caffeinated drink, of course. All I needed was the cup for my tobacco juice. 

I was glad to get home from there, but I did have fun during my stint. And I learned a lot. Seeing Stopera's post doesn’t surprise me much because I know NYC, for all its “culture,” can actually be a very close-minded place. Don’t get me wrong—I met some great folks and made some lifelong friends up there. But I met many born-and-raised New Yorkers who rarely left the city because, “There’s so much to do! Everything I need is right here!”

But they’d never been bluegill fishing or squirrel hunting. Never really seen the stars or a good sunset. Never eaten a meal that someone else hadn’t provided for them—and I don’t mean just cooked. I mean that if the grocery stores were empty and the restaurants closed, they’d starve to death.

Maybe they’d rather make fun of our way of life than experience it. I always thought that was kind of sad.

I suppose at the end of the day, it’s Stopera’s job is to get people to react to BuzzFeed links. Making fun of us rednecks is an easy way to do that. We’re used to being punching bags for the trendy urbanite crowd, and we rarely speak up about it.

But “rarely” and “never” are two different words. Stopera and his peers should know that every now and then, they'll stumble across some of us rednecks who can read and write quite well. And we’ll make fun of them back.