Pop Culture

Your Guide To Pop-Culture Slurs

Most hipsters don't claim to be hipsters, and most people couldn't tell you exactly what a hipster is or does. Just like hipsters, you know a douchebag when you see one, just like pornography. Juggalos proudly call themselves Juggalos but when a non-Juggalo calls someone a Juggalo out of derision, it stings, and one of you will be the subject of a true crime blog.

One Percenters and douchebags are usually one in the same, and because it takes money to be a good hipster. One Percenters don't admit that they are One Percenters because they don't have to.

Welcome to a brave new world of pop-culture slurs, the distant cousin of the hurtful racial slurs and slang. Real racial slurs are icky and gross and bleh and show ignorance and make you sound like a Neanderthal straight from central casting. But if they come out of Louis C.K. or Chris Rock's mouth, it's game on. This blog goes deeper into the less-cuddly slurs that invade pop-culture as humor or punchlines. Last time I checked there is a slur for every letter in the alphabet.

Sometimes pop-culture takes the reins and makes a hurtful name something cool and fun. A decade ago calling someone a geek or a nerd could possibly start a (one-sided) fight, but these days it's a badge of honor. There is even geek and nerd porn. I'll wait for you to Google it. If you watch shows like The Big Bang Theory you would think that those nerds are hipsters when in fact they are hip nerds.


These seem to be grown-up "scene kids" from the MySpace days who cut off the thatch of dyed jet black hair and got into music with less screaming. Or maybe not. That's just one possibility. It could also mean a kaleidoscopic version of the cast of Friends in the Apple age. Hipster used to mean quirky or wacky, like a cartoon from the '30s, now it means buying stupid shit. As with douchebags, you know a hipster when you see one, and one man's hipster is another man's nerd. It also seems to be a "white" thing, but there I go making rash generalities.


These have never really gone away. I remember being little and seeing "Die Yuppie Scum" bumper stickers around Houston, and since then it has had a bad connotation, personified in my head by the neighbors in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Obscure? Yeah.


Is it attitude or money that makes a douchebag? Some people believe that actions make the douchebag and not wealth. I have never been able to pin down a real consensus without people resorting to bringing up clothes, choice of bar, tan color, or musical taste, but those are usually easy barometers. And it seems too that Db's can come in any color too, making it a delightful catch-all. Personally I prefer dickhead to douchebag, since it is angrier and funnier, and notches up the profanity.


Fans of the Insane Clown Posse seem to me seem like a whole other race and creed of people beyond anything they inherited from a family bloodline. That's not a bad thing really, just curious. I have been to a few ICP shows for Rocks Off and have bathed in their Faygo enough to see that for them it's not just about being into two dudes dressed like clowns. Beyond that, it gets hazy, but they have all struck me as nice enough people, just a little outsized. Of course, there are always exceptions.


Eeek. This is still a racial slur for Italians but shows like MTV's Jersey Shore it reentered the pop-culture lexicon again with little trouble. If you are being cute and just describing Snooks and the gang, it's not offensive. But if you were on a street corner screaming "Guido" while holding a baseball bat, it's probably some sort of hate speech and you will be on the news or in the hospital soon.


DudeBros are a prideful sort, mostly white, learned, and easily angered. They are sort of like douchebags but they aren't smug yet, at least not in the rich and textured way a douchebag is. DudeBros usually haven't made their first 30K yet, so the stakes are smaller for them. YOLO.


I can't adequately describe a foodie without crying, so take it away, Katharine Shilcutt of Press blog Eating Our Words:

Foodie (n.): One who is gluttonous not only in their enjoyment of food, but in their insistence on telling others about it. A foodie is not content to eat a meal, but must share every facet of the dining experience with others via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, their blog or any combination thereof so that each person the foodie knows is aware that the foodie is eating better food at better places and from better chefs (with whom they are "friends") than anyone else. This engagement in "competitive" eating is less about the food itself and more about using meals as tools of socioeconomic stratification, thereby making foodie-ism a very literal definition of "conspicuous consumption."


According to the Urban Dictionary this refers to a "a 20-30 something with really bad taste in food that thinks they can discern the nuances in fine wine and cheese ETC and writes a useless review on Yelp." Sounds pretty cut and dry. So a foodie is a cleaned up Yelpie? Is a foodie to a douchebag as a DudeBro is to a Yelpie? Why is my nose bleeding?


In the Bush era these were called Neo-Cons, and the Rolling Stones even wrote a corny song about them. Today Tea Party patriots are called Teabaggers by the left and even President Obama. Calling someone a teabagger has not only a sexual connotation but it also denigrates the person's newfangled political affiliation. It's easy to say this is a white Anglo phenomeon, but I have been to a few Tea Party rallies for the paper, and it's actually sorta-kinda diverse. Strange, I know. Remember gang, "We didn't land on Barack Obama; Barack Obama landed on us," or so I have heard.


Damn, I guess it's back now since dubstep is the new audio drug of the "kids". The notion of a raver -- a fan of electronic music devotee -- died in the early '00s when everyone woke up and finally finished their community college degree and stopped taking Ecstasy. But with the rise of acts like Skrillex and the like, young people are ready to take molly, fuck, and wear weird shit until too many people die and shame and regret takes over again so the routine can begin all over.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty