Hipster: The End of Western Civilization

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Well, considering the song and band I just wrote about in the last post, this post may suffer from a twinge of irony. If ever their were an anthem to send up the emptiness of hipster culture, it would no doubt be MGMT’s ‘Time to Pretend’. But then again, irony is the fence that surrounds the hipster playing field. With that said, I think it is time to get down to brass tacks and face some hard facts. I was directed towards this article a few weeks back by some friends but failed to make the time to read it and finally did so this evening. I have to say, it stung a little. About 10 years ago, when I was in college, I would mark myself and my roommates as at the beginning of the wave of hipster culture. We bought everything we owned from thrift stores, wore our clothes way too tight, had a different haircut every month, rode bikes, drove shitty old cars, partied constantly, were all in bands, several of us were actors, traded girlfriends often, owned nothing other than secondhand furniture (some of which we reapolstered with crushed velvet), went from concert to concert to concert and liked to take all genres of music, throw it all into a blender and see what kind of mush oozed out of the mix.

So yeah, I have been there and done that. Then the last 8 years happened. And now here we are with a crumbled economy in the middle of an endless war that seems like more of an assault on reason than on terrorism. Why, with all of this style consciousness, didn’t it ever become cool to at least get up off your ass, go out there and vote some of this madness out of the Whitehouse?

Anyway, the article to which I was referring to before veering headlong into my tangent, is the article titled, ‘Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization’ that appeared as the cover story in a recent edition of Adbusters. It seemed a bit of a wakeup call, if not a call to arms, by a magazine that is no doubt read by the very people that are being railed upon. Regardless of this irony there was some really remarkable writing in the article, and it was impossible not to feel some of it hit home a little and sting where it landed. I recommend reading it all the way through, despite your cultural predilection. It is definitely food for thought.

And with that I will leave you with a quote from the article to help get you started.

An artificial appropriation of different styles from different eras, the hipster represents the end of Western civilization – a culture lost in the superficiality of its past and unable to create any new meaning. Not only is it unsustainable, it is suicidal. While previous youth movements have challenged the dysfunction and decadence of their elders, today we have the “hipster” – a youth subculture that mirrors the doomed shallowness of mainstream society.

written by Christopher | tags: , ,