Friday, December 5, 2008

"Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization"

Thank you adbusters, for fueling my disdain for the vacuous and self-obsessed era of hipster, the only people who've managed to make me feel bad about myself while actually just being ignorant assholes.

While I openly admit to ascribing to some of its definitions, (I ride a bike instead of driving, and it is fixed-gear) I attribute the similarities to a generational trend (I live in a city, I don't drive in Australia, it's ethically sound) rather than some embrace of apathy. Apathetic I am not; I am not afraid of describing and defending what I find interesting or what might move me to feel something, and I'm certainly politically and socially aware and active.

But maybe that's because I'm not a teenager, and I don't think that having an informed opinion makes me vulnerable. Also: I'm a feminist. Most of the hipster girls I meet are too concerned with looking like an American Apparel ad and being perved on by Dov's disciples to care much for the fight for equality.

All this brings me, however, to the fact that I've just justified how I am not a hipster. And as my friend Tim once observed, "only hipsters talk about hipsters."

UPDATE: There's an interesting response here, from a former Vice writer.
I think my biggest thing with hipsters is not so much their conformity (the Vice guy is right, that's just the case with the majority of the population) but their apathy. The hipsters I know are not the ones the Vice guy is talking about; Melbourne hipsters are small-town kids who think they're hot shit, don't know anything about the world and don't care to. They are politically and socially retarded and they're proud of it, and it is precisely that ignorance mixed with arrogance which drives me to hate people--anyone.


Internev said...

I actually had a different take on that article, I wrote this mini-rant but it didn't turn out well. Here's the short version, for your edification:

- Hey adbusters dickbag! Congratulations on being the cranky old guy who doesn't get it! They're supposed to be making music you don't understand you rickety old fuck! (one of the reasons I didn't post it, too many exclamation marks)
- I liked the preacher telling us that rock music would send us to hell better, at least he was amusing.
- Stop embarrassing yourself.
- You should get those damn kids off your lawn now.

Not amusing enough to post, as you can see, but I do think that an article like that is mainly just someone who's slightly too old to be a part of the younger kids' scene, and slightly too stupid to realise that some douchebag writes the same article every time those damn kids do something he's too old for. The ones who've actually grown up appreciate that it's no longer their scene and move onto to better things...

ecs said...

I'm not sure that the guy "just doesn't get it." He's genuinely offended by these people and I totally understand why.

A great comment from the Vice guy's response:

Hipster culture is not a monoculture - there are a million gradiations, all as full of people who are empty trendoids as they are of people who are doing genuinely interesting things. This has always been true. What's more interesting to me is that there are still hordes of people dressing and acting exactly like the 'idiots' in the nathan barlow clip three years on. This particular iteration of the subculture is becoming moribund and saturated with camp followers, and I am bored to death with the forced childishness of their music, and haven't we gotten over irony yet, and etc.

The idea that there is something especially sick about this particular generation's hipsterism is ludicrous, of course. But your "chubby bloggers who aren't getting laid" comment reminds us of how shitty hipsters can be - the combination of complacency and insecurity among those who are never quite sure they're not faking it, the nihilism, the needless cruelty and exclusiveness, the 'code of honor' (a nauseating way to put it) which privileges the wealthy, the idle and the thin...

I understand why this guy is angry, is my point. I resent the idea that there is no middle ground between being a 'shapeless, floppy' (there's body shape again) middle american and being the kind of person who is hung over until 2 PM every single day of the week. Where does it say that people my age have to act like overgrown infants in order to create art? How can a really vital subculture be so stratified in its affectations that they can be ticked off the checklist in an article like this, from keffiyeh to fixies?

Colleen said...

I thought he had some very good points: no hipster wants to admit to being a hipster despite bearing all the indicators of such, and maybe I'm reading this part into it because this is my feeling, but the "bad" hipsters stand for nothing. Just like, screwing, partying, PBR (or whatever the fashionable crap beer is), coke.

Lucy said...


no middle ground, except a saturday night in.

Natasha said...

I found the greatest liberation to be the day I realised I didn't care about hipsters anymore. Didn't envy them, relate to them, despise them. Just didn't care. The world is so much bigger than that one scene, it's refreshing to delve into new and different things. Also, I'm totally happy to pay for my beers these days.