Stop stealing all our best ideas, hipsters! Mennonites don’t want to be “hip.” We’ve made concerted efforts over the last few centuries to be the most uncool people you can imagine, so we’d appreciate if all the hipsters would immediately cease and desist from the following activities:
- Organic Food: Hey! Mennonites have been eating home-grown food, “heirloom” tomatoes, free range eggs and all the rest for centuries. We don’t need a seal of approval to know the rhubarb grown in Mrs. Yoder’s garden is free from pesticides and more-or-less safe to eat.
- Primitive Transportation: Apparently it’s “cool” now to get around in the most primitive means possible. Hipsters don’t drive in cars or even multi-geared bicycles. Instead, the hip thing is a fixed-gear bike or just walking around with their own two feet and a pair of headphones. What’s next: a penny-farthing? These hipsters are so unoriginal. The Mennonites have been eschewing modern transportation for centuries. We’ll know you’re a real hipster when you’re willing to schlep horse shit around and hitch up the buggy.
- Yerba Tea: Russian Mennonites brought this from South America and now because of apparent “health benefits” it’s become trendy. Back in my day, there was nothing more unhip than sitting on your front lawn in Blumenort, sipping on some yerba, and gawking at the neighbours as they walk by. Apparently, this practice is now the epitome of cool.
- Beards: Ever seen a picture of Menno Simons? Come on, people, beards and dad moustaches are the trademark of Mennonites. In order to survive the harsh Canadian winters in a sod hut, you’ve got to have something covering your face. Who are you kidding, hipsters? Certainly not this angry Menno.
- Second-hand stores: Hipsters love to buy “vintage” clothes because it makes them feel authentic or something. Well, I hate to break it to you, my hipster friends, but your entire wardrobe of “vintage” cardigans and “old school” skirts are the leftovers from the post-funeral clean-up at Grandma Wiebe’s house. Even the smallest and most uncool Mennonite town has a “boutique vintage clothing store”: we call it the MCC.
- Knitting: Hipster women are all about knitting. It’s a huge trend. I’m all for grandma’s hobbies being carried on by the next generation, but not if it means I’m going to have to pay $200 for a hand-knitted Arcade Fire doily. Thanks, but no thanks.
- Shunning: You can be shunned for all sorts of things in the Mennonite community: going to the city, drinking in public, espousing an improper understanding of gender roles. If you don’t do what the others Mennos think is right, you’re gonna get the stink eye and possibly worse. This sense of superiority and self-importance is one of our defining characteristics and we’d appreciate it if the hipsters didn’t ride on our coat-tails. In hipster places like Williamsburg, if you wear the wrong band’s T-shirt or buy your coffee from last week’s hottest grinder, no one will speak to you for months. Steal all our other ideas if you want, hipsters, but please ditch the shunning. It’s unbecoming.
(photo credit: Michael Krabbenhoeft/CC)