Tom Wolfe has coined a handful of cultural phrases, which gives him the authority to take on the most divisive characterization of our time:
Hipster is such an old word. It goes way back to the Forties, I believe. Then when the Sixties came that same world was people who were taking LSD, psilocybin and whatever it was. People who took LSD were called acid heads, but they couldn’t handle being called acid heads. So Newsweek, I’m not kidding you, invented the word hippie. They were trying to make it sound similar to hipster. They were trying to make a nice soft name. I don’t know if you ever saw the comic strip called ‘The Shmoo,’ a cuddly little animal [from] ‘Li’l Abner,’ so hippie is like a little Shmoo.
Basically hipster is an older, meaner, jagged edged, un-cuddly, non-comical, version of a hippie. Fair enough. To what adorably snuggling comic creature will Wolfe compare to the millennial?