In which freshman Bwog contributor extraordinaire Dan D’Addario gives you a guide to being, at least superficially, a cool kid.

Columbia is full of those of us (myself included) who listened to Sufjan Stevens in high school and thus considered ourselves far too cool for those who listened to Dave Matthews Band. Well, karma has struck in the form of a school riddled with actually cool people who know a lot about music – and your well-worn copy of the Arcade Fire’s Funeral is yesterday’s news. What follows is a guide to making yourself part of the in-crowd in four steps. Think of it as one-third of the twelve-step program for Lameaholics Anonymous.

Disclaimer: I love hipsters, and I am the lamest person I know (I could present my most-played-songs list off iTunes as proof), so no malice is intended towards either group.

LL1. Get rid of any music from a major label.

It’s an empirical fact that music produced on a major label is inferior to true indie music.* Note that Transatlanticism was beloved by every cool person you know, but Plans was universally ignored. (Death Cab’s appearance on “The O.C.” certainly didn’t help matters). I
OMdon’t know any cool music, either; I suggest asking the person on your floor with the loudest stereo and the thickest horn-rim glasses what he or she is listening to, then going on and finding anything tangentially related to it. Or just buy the first five records you see on Pitchfork. (I know. I secretly love Lindsay Lohan’s first album too. If we’re strong, we can get through this process together. On to step two…)


JJs2. Change your scene.

Hanging out at JJ’s? Why not try getting into Don Hill’s or Bungalow 8? They may not serve chicken fingers and smoothies of questionable nutritional content, but you will learn to love New Wave music and the dancing (or, at least, the sweating) will help you fit into your skinny jeans – more on that later.

art3. Stop watching bad TV.

The walls in the dorms are thin (as you may have found out already). All your neighbors know about your “Flavor of Love” habit, and they’re all judging. (By the way, who do you think Flav will pick? Really? Deelishis? But she… sorry, I got side
housetracked). We’re unsure what it is hipsters watch. Just to be safe, don’t use your television for anything other than screening Godard films and “The Office” – but for the love of God, not the American version. If necessary, allow yourself one thirty-minute block of House of Carters a week – but NO MORE than that.

skinny4. Burn your boot-cuts.

Skinny jeans. Skinny, skinny, skinny jeans. If you’re not in skinny jeans, I suggest leggings – which are apparently for men now, if the linen-shorts-and-leggings-clad he-hipster sighted on College Walk a few days ago is any indication.

*The one exception: Justin Timberlake, whom everyone, hip or lame, loves.