Hipster Gets Vapors, Throws Snit

I caught this in the City Pages – as reliable a barometer of the Twin Cities far-left, as well as the attitudes and mores of the wanna-be hipster, as there is.

A Minneapolis hipster was offended by something he saw at the Gopher Bar:

Letter to the editor:

I fancy myself something of a dive-bar enthusiast, and the Gopher Bar was just about the last feather to place in my Twin Cities cap.

No doubt an ironic seed cap.  No,wait – that was hipsters ten years ago.

Whenever hipsters talk “dive bars”, they’re talking “dive bars hipsters go to”.  Which are to “dive bars” what the Disneyland “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride is to having your ship boarded by cuttthroats.

But the Gopher probably qualifies.  It gives off all the signs of being “not upmarket” and “not even a little bit gentrified”.

Click to see full size

Click to see full size


Some signs, indeed, that make one suspect the lad might wet his pants, had he stayed long enough to read all the bar’s “flair”.

Which he did not:

Having spent the entire drive down talking to my friend about how troubled I was with the church shooting and resulting racial insensitivity, it seemed almost surreal to walk into Gopher Bar and see the Stars n’ Bars flying proudly. Upon asking the bartender about it, he replied with an (almost self-aware?) “Man, that doesn’t mean anything.” All I could squeak out was, “I beg to differ on behalf of nine families in Charleston” and walked out.

Confederates didn’t kill those nine people in Charleston.  A mentally disturbed narcissist who’d latched onto racism as his vehicle to fifteen minutes’ fame did.

But I get it.  The Confederate flag was the symbol of a nation that existed in large part due to slavery; the political crisis that led to its forming was over slavery; the economic battle between the North and South was between industry and slavery.  The “preservation of the union” argument leading to the war was over the right to secede…over issues that all traced back to slavery.   I have my misgivings about the Confederate flag.

We’ll come back to that.

The next morning I called and spoke with a woman, simply informing her that she had alienated a customer, to which she replied: “Actually, if you’re offended at that then you’re the racist, and for every one of you that leaves we have ten that come in because of that flag.”
My natural, earnest follow-up question was “Is this a Klan bar?”
That response was met with an expletive and a phone-slam.

And that was better than the earnest young hipster lad deserved.  I wish he’d come into the place and ask in person.

But let’s diverge from our earnest young hipster friend for a moment and look at some history.

Rejection!:  The day after VE Day, in 1945, the Swastika was trayf, worldwide.  Everyone in polite, and most impolite, soceity linked it with world war, with the Holocaust, with millions of dead.  Since then, the Swastika (outside of its traditional Sanskrit context) is only used for history, or to shock people.  There’s never been any ambiguity about that.

Not so the Confederate flag.  Southerners say it’s a symbol of the south’s valor – which is legitimate.  In many ways, the South fought the right fight to defend the wrong cause. One might rightly say that “a wrong cause is a wrong cause”, and there’s a point there.

But most of our society was very slow to get it.  The Confederate flag has been a symbol in pop culture roughly forever:

I mean, big pop culture:

Even popular music:

Lynyrd Skynrd yn thyir heydyy.

Now, a modern hipster might not recognize Lynyrd Skynyrd, but they were kinda PC for their day; how many southern bands today espouse gun control?

PC, hell –  – even artists with impeccable liberal credentials have apparently committed thoughtcrime!

Here’s Tom Petty in 1985.  Check around the 0:17 mark in the video:

It’s from an entire album about being southern and misunderstood by all us damn Yankees that practically jammed the kudzu down your throat

Even back with my father’s father, they called us all rebels

They tore up cornfields, and burned our cities to level

Well I still feel the eyes of those blue-bellied devils,

When I’m walking around at night,

through the concrete and metal,

Hey hey hey!

I was born a Rebel!

And yeah, it’s a great freaking song – one of Tom Petty’s greatest.

So – is he a racist?

Or, for that matter, the Allman Brothers…:

Click it. It takes you to the official Allman Brothers website.

…which wrapped itself in the Confederate flag at times – with its drummer, Jaimoe Johanson.

Now – was Jaimoe Johanson an “Uncle Tom” token, a victim of the Allman Brothers’ corrosive racism?

Or was it just that as of 40-50 years ago, the Confederate flag just wasn’t considered all that corrosively racist, in and of itself, devoid of any further context?

Or even 35 years ago?

Or 25 years ago?



Now – were Bill Clinton, Algore and Goofytooth corrosive racists?

Or has the flag had different meanings to different people over time?

And if Jimmy Carter in 1976, and Bill Clinton in 2002, and the Allman Brothers in 1969, and Hollywood in the seventies, get a pass on that “different meanings” clause, why not the almighty Gopher Bar?

Pick Your Symbols:  Back to the hipster lad:

I realize what a self-righteous, white-privileged Social Justice Warrior I’m coming off as, [Any bets on that?  – Ed] and I suppose I tacitly must support this establishment’s right to display hate paraphernalia if they so choose [Mighty big of you – The Founding Fathers via Ed.]. I just think (especially with the increased foot traffic from CHS Field) potential patrons should be forewarned and take their business to the plethora of less abrasive, ignorant, and bigoted establishments in the area.

The hipster lad – his name is “Matthew Steen” – is certainly entitled to go where he wants.  As someone who goes to the Gopher from time to time – for the cheap drinks and the Coneys, not the racism, which I personally have never noticed – I say it matters not what it takes to make hipsters go elsewhere, provided they actually go elsewhere.

But if I were to meet Mr. Steen, I’d have to ask:  does he have a similar petulant outburst when he encounters this symbol of genocide and ethnic cleansing, which enjoys periodic bits of ironic hipness?

Or this one, which seems to be fairly timeless in hipster circles?

Mr. Steen – I’d be more than happy to entertain your reply.

22 thoughts on “Hipster Gets Vapors, Throws Snit

  1. On FB R.T.Rybak (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=732302078&fref=nf)
    is trying to gin up support to eliminate what is being called “racist wallpaper” i.e. Lake Calhoun.
    Lake Calhoun was named after the 7th Vice President of the US who was a slavery supporter from South Carolina. A Democrat he was famous for saying, among other things; ” I hold then, that there never has yet existed a wealthy and civilized society in which one portion of the community did not, in point of fact, live on the labor of the other.” Sound Familiar?
    anyway Rybak believes that Calhoun should be expunged from the city of mpls in order to protect people from the “wallpaper racism” it manifests.
    “Oceania has always been at war with EastAsia, Winston”

  2. I can quite assure that young man that George could literally not care less that his sensibilities were offended. Actually I take that back – George probably cares to the extent that he’s quite happy that he offended Mr Steen.

  3. I have poll at my place regarding potential new names for Lake Calhoun. So far the favorite is “A Lake for a Better Minnesota,” although I am hoping for a groundswell of support for “Lake April Todd-Malmlov,” since her career at the helm of MnSure conclusively demonstrates the superiority of our current sensibilities.

  4. Aw crap, I suppose that means I have to swing by the Gopher Bar to support a local business that’s committed to the First Amendment. Gotta admire a joint where the Menu Board has instructions on How to Order: Sit Down Shut Up and Wait Your F—ing Turn!

    Hmmm, perusing the menu on-line, I see they offer fish and chips, possibly halibut. That settles it. Thanks, Mr. Steen, for giving the place such a good reference. At least, good in my book.


  5. NPR is giving the Charleston story intense coverage, even for a liberal news outfit. Multiple updates per hour. Interviews with specialists on racism and Southern culture, etc.
    The journos don’t seem to realize that they are “otherizing” the South. “We”, meaning the intellectual establishment, is normal. “Southerners” are not normal.
    “We” need them to modify their behavior.

  6. I like renaming things. Lindbergh Terminal….gone. He liked Nazis.
    Floyd Olson Hwy…gone. Hey liked Stalin. And don’t forget the DFL was funded by Stalin (see records discovered in Moscow after the USSR fell)
    Wellstone school…gone. He supported the mass slaughter of unborn African-American babies (60% death rate in NYC).
    Ford Parkway. Gone. He wrote a nasty anti-Semitic book.

  7. I do think we are getting close to the book burning stage. Harmful things must be destroyed!

  8. I’ve been to several open carry breakfasts at the Gopher, didn’t go for the breakfast menu though, I always figured their coney hot dogs were the order of the day. A couple of coneys and a bloody mary or two….mmmmmm

  9. Mingo, not surprisingly the leftist assault is fixin’ to get some blowback.

    The consensus among my colleagues and friends, even those native born South Carolinians was it’s time to strike the colors.

    With the unending barrage of bashing all that is Southern, that attitude is changing.

    This morning, I heard a “Hell no” from a guy who was on board the day before. He was concerned about something like this coming up next:


    The flag is coming down from the state house lawn, that much is sure. What comes next is anybody’s guess. All I can tell you is anger is mounting down here.

    BTW, much merriment is being had at the expense of Kmart and Sears decision to remove battle flag related items (are they still in business?) and WalMart (just gutted their core customer base!)

  10. Yeah, the Wal-Mart thing is goofy. I’m a right winger who goes out of his way to shop at WalMart just to annoy lefties. Virtually no liberals shop there. This decision is almost as bad as Best Buy’s (from about 8 years ago) to ban the word “Chirstmas”, including on gift cards (unless it is written in Spanish).

    Fun fact. Total number of Black elected officials by state:
    Mississippi 849
    South Carolina 554
    Minnesota 17
    Vermont 1 (care to explain that, Bernie Sanders?)

  11. Chuck wrote:
    “Total number of Black elected officials by state:”
    They aren’t really Black if they are Republicans, Chuck.

  12. Self-identification is an anachronism, Night Writer. Whatever identity you have — Black, white, LGBT, animal-curious — was given to you by society. Society is capable of deliberative action only in the form of the unitary State.
    So, basically, the government, acting on the advice of graduates of our nation’s finest liberal arts colleges, is the only entity that can grant or deny to your group identification.
    The state needs to make sure that your self-selected identity is not the result of a disordered mind, or worse, that it will not be in accord with the goals of the State, which are not made known to anyone and which may change at any time.

  13. Okay. The year is 1980. Everyone present who thinks that there will be more freedom twenty years from now than there is now, raise your hands.
    Lots of hands! Great! let’s move on!
    Now it’s 2015. Everyone present who thinks that there will be more freedom twenty years from now than there is now, raise your hands.
    No one? Come on! Someone must believe that progress means more freedom! This is America! Let’s see some hands!

  14. Chuck, I believe that you will find a lot of libs shopping at WalMart. As an example, the largest customer base at the store in East Bloomington is Hispanics, followed by blacks. Shakopee, large numbers of Hispanics shop there.

    Now, they may not identify as liberals per se, but I would bet that at least 95% of them vote Democrat.

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  16. My wife pointed out the liberal hypocrisy (especially northern liberals) surrounding this issue. Liberals constantly tell us that we can’t judge (especially if we find them wanting) other cultures, their actions, symbols or beliefs. Well? What the heck are liberals doing to the South right now?

    “Well the South is part of this country, so it’s okay.” So are all those little enclaves Conservatives are told they can’t judge or even hold a possibly low opinion on, LGBT, Inner City, Immigrants, Academia, Northern Liberal Hypocrite Bigots, etc.

    “Well, these are white people we’re judging.” So it’s okay to judge someone if their skin is a certain color? That’s racist.

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