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Hipsterdom needs to step it up

Submitted by admin on August 2, 2010 – 3:17 pm6 Comments
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Even as a relatively young man myself I’ve seen the counter-culture slide from truly anti-corporate to fawningly commercial. It’s gone lame way before my time but I still see the distinction. You wouldn’t have seen Jannis Joplin, chugging a PBR during a game of beer pong while she talked about how she was saving her money for those nice new pair of hundred dollar lamé leggings from American Apparel. There’s nothing wrong with embracing parts of the consumer culture we live in today, I mean it’s inescapable and as long as you’re a relatively genuine person it’s not going to stunt your individuality all that much. However, young hipsters today seem to miss a fact more ironic than the text of that super deep, ironic, t-shirt they’re wearing: namely that their so called unconventional lifestyles are not all that original. The counter-culture today is much more acceptable and vanilla compared to the past. Large companies have figured out how to cash in on these young kids seeking prefab “artistic” personas. All the people I know who I’d classify as really cutting edge are the ones who don’t give a fuck about the aesthetics and realize that even in hipsterdom, clothes do not make the man. There are plenty of creative people today who don’t fall prey to commercial non-conformism and I’d say as Americans we’re no less creative today than in the past but seriously, drop the affectation. Just because you know a few songs by Yo La Tengo and own a fedora does not qualify you for the ranks of true individuality (and not to bash bands like YLT since I love them dearly). The youth today need to find new ways to be original since the counter-culture, as our parents knew it, is dead. Create art, not an impressive disguise.

-Jack Daniel Betz

6 Comments »

  • Joe says:

    This is a bit critical of me, but I am trying to determine the point of this feature. As someone who blogged about hipsterdom in NYC while I lived there, I feel I have a bit of authority on this matter. I think we stopped taking hipsters seriously years ago and I think everyone was in on the joke that it was faux-counter-culture. Most hipsters are actually fipster (faux-hipster) and I am pretty sure most would acknowledge that fact. The ones that don’t are jerks, but they would be jerks no matter the culture, counter-culture, or mainstream-counter-culture we are talking about. I don’t thik it is worth discussing the fact that there are disingenuous people in every movement-if we can even call this a movement. Maybe fad is better. Though I am sure you can recycle this article when some other culture is popular. I am sure we will have plent of Funks when Punk is the thing-just a matter of time.

  • admin says:

    I see where you’re coming from. What I wrote was really mostly a stream of consciousness type deal. I just don’t think that some people in my generation are in on said joke which scares me.

  • Greg says:

    When someone mentions hipsters, I think of AA skinny jeans wearing sheep who all flock to the same products. I don’t think hipsters were ever really about being individual or unique, let alone counter culture. Nothing has changed with hipsters, its just that more non hipsters have realized that hipsters are really nothing more than corporate shills drinking the beer of the working man. Go to Big Star and tell me otherwise. Or any hipster hangout for that matter. Same looking people talking about the same things listening to the same music while shopping at the same places.

  • blah! says:

    If the kids come up w/ something new, the powers that be will just find a way to sell.. But yeah, I So look forward to the day when people stop wearing buddy holly glasses to appear interesting.. and NUKE BROOKLYN!! or just Williamsburg, really.

  • admin says:

    Totally agree with you.

  • admin says:

    Waiting for the same here.

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