It’s Hip To Be Square…Right?

That guy from Revenge of The Nerds is probably considered ironic now.

I’m having trouble getting a handle on the “ironic” style.

Near as I can tell, it involves hipsters wearing (or doing) things that would normally be considered old-fashioned, childish or even nerdy.  But there’s some sort of wink-and-a-nod involved that makes it clear to others that you are not serious; on the contrary, you are making fun of those who wear or do these things for real.

How do I tell what is ironic, and what is just plain nerdy?  Here are some of my questions:

Does it matter what you’re doing when you wear it?
            Pocket protector:
                         – enlarging your ear gauges – ironic
                         – using a graphing calculator – not ironic

Does it have to do with location?
            Used bowling shoes:                                            
                       – worn at a coffee shop – ironic                  
                       – worn at the bowling alley – not ironic, slightly icky

 Does the rest of the outfit matter? 
            White gym socks: 
                       – with painted-on, unisex jeans and artfully waxed hair – ironic
                       – with work pants and a mullet – not ironic

 Does your career choice matter?
           Speedy Oil Change shirt with “Gene” embroidered on the pocket: 
                        – you are a barista at Starbucks – ironic
                        – you are a mechanic at Speedy Oil Change and your name is “Gene”  –                          not ironic

Does your age matter?
            Playing dodgeball: 
                         – 20-somethings playing for shots at a club – ironic
                         – 10-year-olds in gym class – not ironic

Does it matter how long you’ve had the item?
            Big, black eyeglasses from 1960:
                         – Just bought for $199 online – ironic
                         – Purchased new in 1960 and worn every since – not ironic

Is it a matter of attitude?
            Farah Dad ‘N Lad slacks, white socks, black glasses (w/taped bridge):
                         – worn with a supercilious smirk – ironic
                         – worn with an earnest, sincere expression – not ironic

Looking over my questions, I have a sinking feeling I know what the answer will turn out to be: 

                If you have to ask if something is “ironic” – nerd.

About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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20 Responses to It’s Hip To Be Square…Right?

  1. bigsheepcommunications says:

    I’m pretty sure there’s no ironic way to wear a pocket protector, but then again I’m not the hippest person in the world so I could be wrong….


  2. misswhiplash says:

    To me it matters not one iota, fashion or non fashion ..if I am happy that is what counts. At 72 years of age I really care? Nope


  3. Big Al says:

    I consider myself out in front of all the latest fashions, but I had no idea about this. How ironic.


  4. Tori Nelson says:

    I think the whole idea behind hipsterdom is listening to weird music, wearing weird things, and acting superior for starting trends before they were even trends. Maybe snobbery is a better word for it?
    I think Hipster Bichon says it best :


  5. Sandy Sue says:

    Everything comes full circle in time. Remember those gawd-awful neon mini-skirts we wore in junior high (or equivalent grade)? Now considered cool. And I saw some perky teenage girls wearing stretch knee socks (shudder) with their Daisy Dukes. I say, let the kids believe they discovered cool. We know we own it.


    • pegoleg says:

      There really isn’t anything new under the sun, is there? I’m just waiting for the day hoop skirts come back in style.

      My mom would never let me wear those mini-skirts because they weren’t modest. Now I can’t wear them because I’m over 50 and don’t have the legs for it.


  6. I think a barista wearing Speedy Oil Change shirt is more icky than than ironic.


  7. ahahaha workpants and a mullet 🙂


  8. missumerica says:

    I like your angle on this. Don’t 4 right angles constitute a square? You presented 7 theorems and assuming only 4 are RIGHT then you are indeed SQUARE. If all 7 can be proved true, then you are NOT square. I may be totally wrong, but I’m going on what I can vaguely remember Sister Monica teaching me in high school. Gosh, if you mentioned “square” & “right” in your blog post title and didn’t even realize it would conjure up geometric images then that’s ironic maybe, right??? You just blew my mind!


  9. I love it. Thanks for clarifying some distinction between hipster and nerds as well. I’ve been misinformed over the years.


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