H4H Mailbag: helmets of the nerds


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Sit down children, because it's time for everyone's favourite segment (all three of you!), Helmets for Hipsters Mailbag! Yeah! Today's letter is from the redoubtable Leanne. She writes:
It has come to my attention (last night actually as I was riding up Swanston Street), that there is another class of people not wearing helmets. They are people who are already so unbearably dorky that to wear a helmet would be adding insult to injury. They are so nerdy that if they were to wear a helmet it would tip them right off the edge into Steve Urkel territory. If they were real nerds that wouldn’t even be self-aware enough to make the decision to ditch the helmet, so maybe they are Aspirational Hipster Non-Helmet Wearers. However I haven’t really put in the weeks of observation to know if these are isolated sightings or whether such a class of people exist in any great numbers. I will keep you posted.
Truly these are questions for the ages and the sages. The thing is that the line between nerd and hipster is so blurry. Just look at such key hipster texts as Napoleon Dynamite, Rushmore and Revenge of the Nerds, and nerdy hipster celebrities such as Wes Anderson, Demetri Martin and Natalie "I Went To Harvard and then rapped on SNL" Portman. In Melbourne there is even a hipster club night called Geek.

But I agree with Leanne that in order to be a true nerd, you must be unaware of your nerdiness, rather than being hyper-aware and trying to celebrate it ironically in order to make yourself okay with it. And it is these True Nerds that Leanne is talking about when she asks us to take pity upon them and exempt them from the disapproval of Helmets for Hipsters.

But I say ... NO.

Here's why. Because although it's paradoxical, it's a given that hipsters celebrate the coolness of nerdiness. If they see nerds cycling along without a care or a helmet, they won't feel pity, as we normal non-hipsters might feel. No - hipsters would think to themselves: "Fuck, that's awesome! That nerd says no to society's feeble rules! Yeah! Nerd uprising! Plus I really like his jumper, I wonder if they've got one at Savers."

Indeed, if hipsters were to see nerds wearing helmets, their inevitable ironic love of nerds will begin to encompass an ironic love of helmets. So I believe that this campaign must harness NERD POWER! Here are a few images I found to illustrate my point.



GO GO NERD POWER RANGERS! You mighty nerdy power rangers!



Come on! This guy is frickin awesome! Who wouldn't want to don a helmet after seeing this picture?



This guy is like fucking catnip to hipsters! Look - he even has a milk crate strapped to his bike, and those handlebar tassels! And a moustache! Why don't we just put him on a poster on various telegraph poles around Brunswick Street, right now?


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About Helmets For Hipsters

  • I grew up riding my bike without a helmet, feeling the breeze in my hair. Then that darn government made helmet wearing compulsory. It still is. But you try telling that to fancy-free young urbanites. So in the interest of safeguarding the well-coiffed craniums of my generation, I decided to launch a community service project… Helmets for Hipsters.

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