NPR Takes on Williamsburg, and Very Important Things Are Revealed


Subversive culture thermometer NPR has uncovered a trend over the weekend, and boy oh boy, is it subversive, all covered in ironic mustaches and plaid!

In the grand and cringe-worthy tradition of old people talking about young people as if they know what young people are actually doing, and young people responding by generally being idiots, we are granted a kind of perfect storm in this weekend’s NPR Report: “New York’s Hipsters Too Cool For The Census.”

Before you vomit in your own mouth (well, if you really want to, go ahead), may we just say that we reported the vital stat (yes, Williamsburg comes in dead last in returning the census out of all the New York neighborhoods) last Wednesday. And also, sometimes something is so breathtakingly terrible that it’s actually kind of beautiful. Right?

ROBERT SMITH: The biggest census procrastinators in New York City happen to live in the most self-consciously hip neighborhood: Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Williamsburg is a magnet for kids just out of college, home of indie bands and ironic mustaches, wacky bikes and skinny jeans, and honest to goodness record stores like this one, Academy Annex.

Also, people Tweet a lot in Williamsburg! Because Tweeting is subversive!

Among the record-store-bound “hipsters” and other Williamburg residents (some of whom not only don’t Tweet but also don’t listen to radio or talk to radio reporters), the reasons for not completing the census are:

1. Laziness/ennui/fuckin’ bureaucracy, man.
2. We don’t get paid for it.
3. We don’t get in trouble if we don’t do it.
4. We don’t count, so why be counted? (Awww.)
5. “I do not know about that.” (aka, I’m Hasidic and not going to talk to some NPR reporter who says “honest-to-goodness record stores.”)

In the end, like most of the problems of our youth and the Hasidic people, it all comes down to peer pressure, decides our intrepid journalist:

SMITH: And maybe that’s what these two parts of procrastinating Williamsburg have in common: susceptibility to peer pressure. If you see your neighbors doing it, if it actually becomes cool to fill out the census, then maybe Williamsburg will be counted.

Because that’s totally what happened with marijuana, right?