Where Is Hipness Occurring in America Today?

The first rule of hipness is that hip people talk about "hipness" a lot. When you're around someone who uses the word "hip" a lot, well, you know that hipness is in the air, because nothing is hipper than bandying about the word "hip" as it relates to "hipness," in both writing and casual conversation.

That's how you know that large national newspapers are our most trustworthy repositories of hipness: they just cannot stop talking about hipness. A sure sign of hipness! So where are the hip people today? Let's turn to our nation's leading newspapers to find out!

The hip people are Mormons now.

But the boundaries of Mormon style are expanding. The highly visible "I'm a Mormon" ad campaign (the subject of a major push on television, billboards, the subway and the Internet) seeks to quash strait-laced stereotypes by showing off a cool, diverse set of Mormons, including, besides Mr. Flowers, a leather-clad Harley aficionado, knit-cap-wearing professional skateboarder and an R & B singer with a shaved head.

Knit cap????? I just felt a wave of hipness sweep me away, and I am gone now. Where else are America's hip hiding out now? They are, of course, in Washington DC, well know for its young, hip vibe. Don't take the word of some unreliable internet blog; take the word of the US Census, as filtered through the Washington Post's MTV Video Music Award-winning hipness desk. Why are more young people aged 25-34 moving to the DC Metro area, I wonder?

"It's the economy and hipness," said William Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution, who analyzed the census data comparing the 2005 to 2007 period with 2008 to 2010. "Young people are going to places that have a certain vibe."

Oh, I bet I know which vibe: a young, hip vibe. Take it from a Brookings Institution demographer. He said "hipness."

[Photo via Laura Padgett Flickr]