November 10, 2011

About That Hipster Barista Meme

That hipster barista pic I took? Well, it's catching on just a bit. With just over a hundred views, it's already scooted on to the first "upcoming" page. People seem to enjoy it. Which is good, I suppose, because I enjoyed taking it. However, if this thing is to become more of a thing, then I ought to say just a little more about the inspiration for this venture.

Or rather, I ought to direct you somewhere else - here, to be exact. Now, having read that, you've probably got something like an opinion gestating. Perhaps you think this fellow takes himself too seriously, or maybe you think he's right to be offended.

I don't really think either of those things, since I don't think the meme really has much to do with coffee at all. Sure, it's called "hipster barista". But look at the original picture again. See an espresso machine? A coffee cup? Anything at all like that? No; there aren't any pictured. The focus, rather, is on the scarf, the chest tattoo, and the "I mean super serious business" face being made.

That, I think, is why our barista is a bit peeved. If coffee were the joke, I tend to think he'd be laughing right along. But since people are making jokes at his expense, well, that's a little harder to swallow. Still, that's exactly what he should have done. Run with the joke, let people know you're in on it, and embrace it. To take offense is to confirm the kind of attitude the picture suggests. And that's a problem.

I realize there are those in the coffee community who will not like my opinion on this, nor will they appreciate me attempting to further the meme. Maybe I'm just exploiting the whole thing for attention; maybe I don't respect the business enough. Maybe, but I don't think so. If this blog were about getting attention, it would have a nicer background, a lot less words, more reviews, and less rambling about running. And if I didn't value coffee, I wouldn't have spent most of my adult life working with it.

Ultimately, this isn't meant to be a statement about anything. It's a joke - maybe a funny one, maybe not. But - as I'm all too fond of saying in real life about supposed drama - it's whatever. Life is serious enough as is, without our taking it as such.

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