Paper Cuts: ‘Street Boners’ a parade of hipster hilarity“Paper Cuts” are expedient, pretension-free book reviews. This installment tackles Gavin McInnes’ hilarious new book, “Street Boners: 1,764 Hipster Fashion Jokes.”
WHAT IT IS: In a nutshell, more than 300 pages of hipster snapshots (most on the streets of New York, Montreal and L.A. or at parties in those cities) with Gavin McInnes’ unique brand of witty, oftentimes-brash commentary to accompany each one. McInnes, whom you might recognize from Vice Magazine or DOs & DON’Ts, also incorporates a few breakout sections revolving around mostly straightforward fashion tips — for instance, clothing on men older than 30 shouldn’t have any writing on it whatsoever — and occasionally allows guest stars like Debbie Harry, Bob Odenkirk and Andrew W.K. to say what they think of a particular getup. Oh, and each one of the 1,700-odd photos of hipsters are rated on a 10-kitten system, so that effectively sums up just how “serious” the fashion critiques end up being.
However, as much as I’d like to pretend I can convey all emotions through my keyboard, this is one of those cases where it’s just best to let the book do the talking.
In no particular order, here are 10 highlights from “Street Boners” that don’t require the accompanying “portrait” to work:
1. “Facebook is great for seeing what your old high school buddies are up to now and say, ‘Thank God I’m out of touch with those guys.” (The accompanying photo had a “one kitten” rating.)
2. “In Canada all you can see is some face, a bit of hair and her taste in coats, so you end up choosing a mate based on about 4 percent of her.” (7.5 kittens)
3. “Here’s a fun game: The next time you hear some catcallers, turn around and yell back, ‘Yay! He likes me!’ Seriously, try it. It totally f---- them up.” (10 kittens)
4. “Um, did this guy just trip and fall into a huge vat of Best Friend Sauce?” (9.5 kittens)
5. “If you ever get sick of being a badass in Orlando you could always try being a laughingstock in New York.” (8 kittens)
6. “The only thing worse than your big brother and your mom ganging up on you when they both become the same person.” (5 kittens)
7. “Are you trying to make me and your dad buddies by bumming us both out?” (3 kittens)
8. “If you listen to the Ting Tings before you go out, the whole night becomes your music video.” (8 kittens)
9. “It’s nice to see superheroes finally battling things, like me-not-laughing.” (2 kittens)
10. “Maybe women love shoes so much because the right pair will give our eyeballs an uncontrollable magnetic pull, kind of like what a dog feels when he sees a squirrel giving him the finger.” (10 kittens)
WHAT ONE JERK THINKS ABOUT IT: So entertaining I had to resist the urge to laugh out loud at least every other page. (I was reading it at work … I mean, I don’t usually have an issue with laughter.)
But first, a disclaimer or sorts: While someone just leafing through the assuredly-not-safe-for-work “Street Boners” in a bookstore would probably come away from the experience thinking McInnes is the most snarky and/or sardonic individual on the planet, there’s a lot of love that goes into it. Those a little more sensitive to humor and sarcasm may just have to read all 1,764 entries to understand that, however.
Not only does the England-born, Canada-raised comedy writer defend the often-scorned hipsters of the world, he also apologizes when he thinks he’s gone too far with some of the commentary. On top of actually having a heart, McInnes also manages to bring some depth to “Street Boners” via the history of subculture dressing trends since the birth of cool (most likely “Rebel Without a Cause”) and the aforementioned fashion tips — something I could have never imagined with a book of this nature.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO ABOUT IT: Buy it. Without a doubt. It’s one of the most entertaining books I’ve ever laid my hands and eyes on. Besides, it works on a number of levels: If you loathe hipsters like they loathe conforming to traditional fashion etiquette, you’ll laugh along as McInnes skewers them to no end. However, if you are a hipster (or hipster sympathizer), you too will laugh along with McInnes — but you’ll also realize he’s just kidding and actually is a big softie at heart. And, who knows, perhaps you’ll pick up a few fashion tips within its nearly 350 pages.
Learn more about “Street Boners,” which will be released May 27, at www.hachettebookgroup.com/publishing_grand-central-publishing.aspx.