Don't blame the hipsters for narcissism, unless you also blame the politicians, the media, and the film industry, not to mention certain poetry schools I could name. The entire culture, of which they are only one little backwater, has become generally more narcissistic than ever before. The cult of celebrity and so-called "reality TV" is evidence of that.
Never thought I would agree with King so much (although I don't share his hatred, for I have been at work on a few I know as we speak; it may be a lost cause trying to encourage them to care, but one must try). Unlike the slacker culture who came before, the hipster doesn't stand for any corresponding set of virtues. The slackers wished to opt out of working because they wanted to work on their own hobbies, interests, or passions -- and, in some cases, actually found jobs that reflected this alternative. The hipsters, however, have no such aspirations. And THAT is the true narcissism at to work here. Like the Eloi, they wish to bask in nothingness and let their lives pass by. They aren't even interested in thinking or being challenged. Their lives almost NEVER involve other people, except in relation to confirming their unsophisticated sentiments or sleeping with each other. I mean, the passive hipster situation is so bad that, not too long ago, I observed late at night a young woman across the platform at Metropolitan Avenue who was clearly telegraphing her interest to go to bed with the man she was with. But the man couldn't be BOTHERED to make a move! He actually had to be coaxed into paying attention BY this young woman. And even if you account for the fact that New York has more single women than men, this is truly a stunning development. It was a lot different when I was their age, a little more than a decade ago. So it goes well beyond what King is saying. Basic gestures, making a decision, contributing to others -- these are beyond the scope of the hipsters. Look, I'll even give the vegan hipsters a few points for passing out flyers in the East Village. At least they are trying to get people to believe in something they hold dear. But there used to be a time in which naivete was the lowest end on the totem pole. Now it's twee indifference.I can say that the hipster is one of the salient elements hastening the dormant "Get off my lawn" quality inside me, which has manifested itself much earlier than I had anticipated.