Wednesday, July 9, 2008

On Hipsters

I don't dislike "hipsters," I'm just curious. Why do I look like one but not feel like one? No good answer...but...a few signs that you might not be a hipster:
1. You get up early on Sundays.
2. Born-and-bred Williamsburgers tell you about the one and only remaining bar in which they feel comfortable.
3. You know the priest at a local church.
4. No skinny jeans.
5. Your vintage scarves were your grandmother's.
6. You moved to the city with a single suitcase.
7. You smile at people.
8. Wearing short shorts and track shoes means you're going running.
9. Earnestness!
10. You have health and dental and are grateful.
11. You've never been to a Pool Party.
12. Avoiding Bedford is the key to happiness.
13. You are uncomfortable surrounded by hipsters.
14. You sometimes feel guilty for living in Williamsburg.
15. You're not in a band.
16. When in Hana after midnight, you're usually buying carrots or catfood.
17. Your Leroy's Minnows t-shirt is from a bait-shop you used to go to in northern Minnesota.
18. You hate PBR.

There's something about #9 that is essential, and which separates non-hipsters from hipsters, those "members" of a "movement" that "journalist Christian Lorentzen says 'fetishizes the authentic' elements of all of the 'fringe movements of the post-war era - Beat, hippie, punk,...grunge, and white trash chic' and draws on the 'cultural stores of every unmelted ethnicity' and 'gay style,' and then 'regurgitates it with a winking inauthenticity' and a sense of irony." Lorentzen, who prefaces many of his articles with thoughts on hipsterdom goes on to say that hipsters, comprising a group of mostly white 18-34-year-olds, "have defanged, skinned, and consumed" all influences "into a repretoire of meaninglessness."

But do all generations do this, in different ways? And, underneath the omnipresent surface, mustn't there be some tremendous socioculturalpoliticoeconomic, heartwrenching reason for the seeming absence of heart?

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