Ladies and gentlemen, I’m proud to announce the discovery of literally the biggest Hipster Douchebag to have ever lived. Ryan Hall of the unintentionally hilarious Pharrell Williams lifestyle website, ‘i am OTHER‘ has beaten thousands of other funky glasses wearing contenders infesting music halls and retro coffee shops around the world, and now holds the mantle of being the most pretentious idiot ever. Firstly, there’s the attire:
While conducting interviews in Paris on black stereotypes on his segment ‘StereoTypes’ (clever title no?), Hall sports leggings, a bright orange tartan waistcoat, a massive scarf, bangles, oversized thick rimmed glasses, a backwards baseball cap, and wait for it…. a rucksack. All the essentials for any halfway decent reporter…
Then, there are the video segments themselves. To describe them as childish, superficial and self indignant screeds on race would be too kind. The basic premise for the segments is as follows: Find other Hipster looking people of different ethnicity and ask them whether white people are racist.
Seriously, that’s about it. Hall travels to places like Paris and London, and asks people about stereotypes, goading them into making statements that fit his own understanding of race and how people view others.
While in Paris, a girl of British, Jamaican and French descent tells Hall that she doesn’t define herself as black, Hall says, “You talk white, so that kinda makes sense, and you’ve good that goo-ood hair” (sarcastically referring to her ‘white’ hair). Later on, Hall stands by a piece of grafiti that he deems racist because he thinks it depicts a black man with big lips (even though it’s completely unclear). Rants Hall, “Obviously racist. Look at those big old coon lips and nappy hair. Obvious racist… Either that or it’s a Japanese kid whose really trying to like, assimilate into black culture”. It’s hard to determine whether Hall is attempting to be funny, or being serious – either way it’s a) not funny and b) ridiculous given he launches into racial stereotypes of Japanese people.
Hall’s ‘joke’ about Japanese kids trying to assimilate into black culture actually tells you all you need to know about Hall himself. While he makes black jokes at every opportunity and constantly tweets things like, “We all gotta meet for a #blaxploitationbrunch soon. Lets get all ethnic over chicken and waffles and shout at the tv screen,” it’s abundantly clear Hall is unsure of his own ‘blackness’. Hall is of mixed heritage, yet seems obsessed with pronouncing how black he is and how racist white people are, classic signs of projection. Sigmund Freud defined projection as a defense mechanism where people subconsciously deny their own negative attributes by ascribing them to others. So in other words, Hall is, well, you get the picture.
On the ‘About’ page on i am OTHER, the site is described as “A creative venture and way of life. We are proud to be different and believe that individuality is the new wealth.”
If by ‘different’ and ‘individual’ the site means dressing like very other Hipster on the planet and promoting crass racial stereotypes, then I guess they’re being honest.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.