This Week in the Mercury


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Adbusters Tackles The Hipster(TM)

Posted by Matt Davis on Thu, Aug 7, 2008 at 2:26 PM

What is it with the media and their obsession with hating people born after 1980 today? First it's generation Y-bother. Now it's bloody "hipsters." I've stopped using the word "hipster" as an insult, but Adbusters sure as hell hasn't. Their cover story this month focuses on hipsters at great length, calling them "the dead end of Western Civilization."

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.

Wait...wait...that's totally me. I'm at a loss to ascribe meaning to my life, or yours, and nobody's paying me enough to escape it. Shit. If only I could get a freelance gig for Adbusters...

The American Apparel V-neck shirt, Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and Parliament cigarettes are symbols and icons of working or revolutionary classes that have been appropriated by hipsterdom and drained of meaning. Ten years ago, a man wearing a plain V-neck tee and drinking a Pabst would never be accused of being a trend-follower. But in 2008, such things have become shameless cliches of a class of individuals that seek to escape their own wealth and privilege by immersing themselves in the aesthetic of the working class.

Damn you again, Adbusters. You're hitting home with these critiques, here.

But it is rare, if not impossible, to find an individual who will proclaim themself a proud hipster. It's an odd dance of self-identity - adamantly denying your existence while wearing clearly defined symbols that proclaims it.

Oh. Shit. So I'm not supposed to feel attacked. Right. I get it. In which case, I totally don't feel attacked, here. Except, well...that's kind of a passive aggressive attack, isn't it? It feels a little, er...hipsterish.

The dance floor at a hipster party looks like it should be surrounded by quotation marks. While punk, disco and hip hop all had immersive, intimate and energetic dance styles that liberated the dancer from his/her mental states - be it the head-spinning b-boy or violent thrashings of a live punk show - the hipster has more of a joke dance. A faux shrug shuffle that mocks the very idea of dancing or, at its best, illustrates a non-committal fear of expression typified in a weird twitch/ironic twist. The dancers are too self-aware to let themselves feel any form of liberation; they shuffle along, shrugging themselves into oblivion.

Aw, shucks. I'm at a loss, because that is totally how I dance. I guess you should just go over there and read it. It's food for thought. Especially coming from Adbusters, the quintessential magazine for economically and socially alienated hipsters since, what, 1997. Didn't they launch the "black dot sneakers" a while back? Are they just getting old, or what?

We are a lost generation, desperately clinging to anything that feels real, but too afraid to become it ourselves. We are a defeated generation, resigned to the hypocrisy of those before us, who once sang songs of rebellion and now sell them back to us. We are the last generation, a culmination of all previous things, destroyed by the vapidity that surrounds us. The hipster represents the end of Western civilization - a culture so detached and disconnected that it has stopped giving birth to anything new.

I now want to kill myself. Thanks, Adbusters. Nothing like a nice uplifting read!

The truth is, I have no response. I'm paralyzed. Help.

Comments (29)

Showing 1-29 of 29

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-29 of 29

Comments are closed.

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC

115 SW Ash St. Suite 600
Portland, OR 97204

Contact Info | Privacy Policy | Production Guidelines | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy