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H&R Block Names Socrates as Greatest Hipster in History

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By Michael Cohn
April 2, 2014

H&R Block has been holding an online contest soliciting votes on who is the “Greatest Hipster in History,” and the winner, for some reason, seems to be the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates.

That may come as a surprise, since most people don’t typically think of Socrates as a hipster. The contest was part of a tongue-in-cheek campaign revolving around a so-called “hipster tax crisis” in what the company is calling the Irony Games. The "crisis" seems to be that hipsters are struggling to file their taxes in "non-ironic ways."

Socrates won 31.7 percent of the vote, according to Block, competing against a set of unlikely finalists such as Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Audrey Hepburn, Jack Kerouac and Joan of Arc. Of that group, the Beat author Kerouac is probably the only one who might be considered a hipster.

Bust of Socrates in
Metropolitan Museum of Art
(Photo: Marie-Lan Nguyen)

ESPN anchor Kenny Mayne has been involved in the ironic campaign to educate hipsters about their taxes at HipsterTaxCrisis.com, and he too seemed to think Kerouac was the most likely to win. “I’ll be calling Mr. Socrates later to congratulate him on receiving this immense honor,” Mayne said in a statement. “My money was on Jack Kerouac, but either way, it’s very important to have an award like this while helping today’s hipsters understand their pasts while educating them about taxes and ironic mustaches.”

The Irony Games was hosted at the Fred Wildlife Refuge in Seattle on Tuesday by comic Kyle Ray, with music from the Seattle band Elk & Boar and Chicago’s The Flavor Savers. The event raised charitable funds for Covenant House International, an organization that helps homeless youth, including a $10,000 donation from H&R Block.

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