Justin Smith decodes the hipster phenomenon at 3 Quarks Daily:
Hipster irony has to do with taste, not truth, and it only makes sense relative to a certain context of commitments and preferences, while what Socratic irony strives for is a contemplative detachment from all partis pris. In an absolute sense, there is nothing more in Death Cab for Cutie or Arcade Fire that commands one’s earnest and straightforward appreciation than there is in Boxcar Willie, Juice Newton, or Perry Como. From a certain perspective, it is all garbage, and from another it is all fascinating. Hipsters still hope to draw a distinction between the genuinely good and the merely humorously good, by means of a bivalent logic in the end no more subtle than the ‘cool’/‘sucks’ dichotomy through which Beavis and Butthead filtered the world.