On 10 August 2012, we republished “KL’s Soulless Hipsters“, an article by Lee Lian Kong originally published in the Selangor Times. The article generated a lot of responses, both in the comments section, and on Facebook and Twitter. The author also sent us a response, which was published on 13 August 2012.
The piece below by Kamarul Anwar was originally published in Issue Magazine.
1. I, Ahmad Kamarul Anwar bin Kamaruddin, hereby solemnly agree to cease calling and labeling you, artistically inclined upper-middle class young adult with far too much free time in hand to discover underground musical acts and quirky printed tees for purposes of cultural superiority, a “hipster”. I have now understood that the term is deemed pejorative and as meaningless as a pair of thick-rimmed glasses with no lenses.
2. As per the first clause, I conceded that you have superior taste in music, fashion, film, visual art and aesthetics and I will immediately agree to lose any arguments I have with you pertaining to the cultural, sociological, linguistic, film and psychoanalytical theories you have learned in your overseas tertiary institution, whereby your tuition fees, living expenses and the bottles you opened on your weekend clubbing sessions during the said time were borne by one or both of your parents.
3. Your purpose for embracing hipsterdom, as I have been led to believe — and will believe so now – is to rebel against the corporate empires, the Man, the Patriarchy. I hereby swear that I will turn a blind eye to your ownership of a Macbook Pro and an automobile, both manufactured by publicly-traded companies, which were purchased by one or both of your parents, who amassed their wealth serving as senior executives at a large corporation.
4. I now understand that your identity has been misunderstood, literally and/or ironically, by your immediate social relations (“everyone”). I am, however, prohibited to understand you because doing so will leave you with nothing to whinge about.
5. Hitherto I will also not question your decision to wear a scarf in Malaysia, a country located near the Equator (id est a fucking hot place). The sweat pooled in the area between the inner circumference of the wrapped scarf and your neck, allows me to verify that you are, indeed, a mammal. That is, if you’re OK with being labeled as such.
6. Under the terms of this agreement, I am also under oath not to disseminate, let alone conceive, any malignant and/or slanderous opinions against the YouTube video made to show “a lively side of Kuala Lumpur from the view of talented KL-ites”, as per doing so, my embryonic career will be a stillborn, as per the case of one now-former columnist for a publication who dared to author the article titled “KL’s Soulless Hip-”.
7. The said YouTube video is, as I have now agreed, the accurate and unbiased image of Kuala Lumpur.
8. I have now also understood that the said YouTube video is merely an artistically-rich video — with divine cinematography and editing clairvoyance — with consumerist purposes: it is a long-ass advertisement to promote the premises of your associates and cohorts and has nothing to do whatsoever with the bigger picture of Kuala Lumpur City. Thus, I hereby admit that titling said YouTube video as it is titled, IS BRILLIANT, because it leads viewers into thinking that the said video shows the side of Kuala Lumpur that most people know, to maximise views.
9. To successfully achieve Clause Number 8′s target, I will purchase at the minimum, TWO (2) items from every premise shown in the said YouTube video, and patronise the premises a minimum of THREE (3) times and I will complete this chore within ONE (1) year from the date this contract is signed.
10. However, I am strictly prohibited to promote any of the premises shown in the said YouTube video to any of my friends, let alone mention their names, as doing so will dilute the ‘coolness’ of said premises and relegate them to ”mainstream” status. And God forbid these premises be let known to my relatives in the kampung. Lagi la tak cool.
11. Additionally, I am free to declare that the tagline ”Conversation as a reason, coffee as an excuse” as the most brilliant conception/formulation since The Beatles (id est the best band in the world signed by a major recording label) and that I wish I had thought of that.
12. Should I see a group of fixie cyclers when I am driving in a tunnel, I will, under all circumstances, slow down to gawk at said group and make an expression of envy to convey the thought of, ”Fuck, why didn’t I think of cycling a fixie like them, just to look cool at the expense of reaching my destination ten times later than I could by driving this fucking car and sweating my balls off?”
I have agreed to adhere to the terms and conditions stated on this contract, valid until the day that you have outgrown hipsterdom for another fad in the indeterminate future. I have also agreed to uphold your self-esteem as it is the most important thing in the world. Yes, I will hold your balls.
Ahmad Kamarul Anwar bin Kamaruddin
3rd September 2012