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When Hipsters Invade

Posted in Features on February 22, 2019
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You see them at Starbucks. Waiting in line outside gourmet food trucks. Riding unicycles at the skate park. Shopping online retailers who will accept Bitcoin payment for V-neck tees and super-skinny pants. Frantically looking for an outlet to charge their iPhone XS Max. They’re millennial hipsters. And they’re everywhere—even in my garage.

People who travel in my circles (me included) often make millennials and hipsters the butt of jokes. “What do you call a manual transmission? A millennial antitheft device.”

“Why do hipsters hate rivers? They’re too mainstream.”

“Who was the first hipster? Oh, you’ve probably never heard of him.” And so on.

While there’s a kernel of truth in some of these, I’m finding it’s not exactly fair to paint this entire generation with the stereotyping brush of incompetence, decadence, or apathy. Much like Dian Fossey or Jane Goodall, I’ve been exposing myself to their society and observing their ways. And I’m am here to report to my fellow gearheads they’re not just an order of lower primates. They have their own form of communication (called emoji) and their own social hierarchy (those with the tightest pants decide where the group will go for lunch). They even employ a primitive means of attracting a mate (ironic tattoos).

So why am I in the company of millennials and hipsters all of a sudden? While not every one of them can change a tire, install brake pads, or (it’s true) even drive a manual transmission, the ones I’ve been hanging out with can shoot, edit, and create video like nobody’s business. When you watch them doing something they’re passionate about you realize these creatures are professional, diligent, and highly competent. And in terms of engaging the modern-day internet audience, they make guys like me seem like a baby chimp.

We’ve been producing more and more video content as a company recently, and I’m not just talking about our banner shows like Roadkill or Dirt Every Day. We’re doing everything, everywhere. As for me, I’ve been helping out with some of the short-form content we house on motortrend.com. You might have seen one of the “Behind the Wheel” episodes highlighting the UACJ-6D or ’78 Cherokee Chief, or perhaps one of the newer test vehicles we’ve shot.

In addition to the “Behind the Wheel” videos, we create some simple how-to videos, like Rick Péwé demonstrating how to reseat a tire bead using fire. I’ve done a couple entry-level how-tos as well, including these most recent videos the MotorTrend Group video crew came by my home garage to shoot featuring Duralast. I’ll reiterate one part of that again: Most of these are entry-level videos. If you’re hoping to learn how to fabricate a rollcage or TIG weld, you’ll find that in our editorial coverage at fourwheeler.com. Many of these short-form vids are broad-based and geared for the entry-level audience, so we cover things like how to install pads and rotors or even how to select and install a battery.

Keep a watch for some of these coming online at motortrend.com by the time you read this. And remember, other than the lower editor-primate spinning the wrenches and saying dopey things into the camera, these videos are shot and produced by a really good crew of folks who highlight some of the great things the younger generation is able to bring to our automotive world.

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