Sunday, June 13, 2010

your're anti-hipster, hipster!

Robert Lantham in the following passage describes the irony of hipsters acting hipster by criticizing hipsters:

The knee-jerk hipster rage is perhaps best exemplified by Douglas Haddow in the Adbusters article,“Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization,” and seems overblown. “The hipster represents the end of Western civilization,” writes Haddow. “[A] culture lost in the superficiality of its past and unable to create any new meaning. Not only is it unsustainable, it is suicidal.”

I hate to call bullshit, but a quick Google search of the author reveals an article about hipsters who paint graffiti murals in their bedrooms and an author photo that looks suspiciously like something you’d find on Look at This Fucking Hipster.

Which reinforces my point. The rage and self-loathing associated with hipsters has become more annoying, more naive, and more artificial than hipsters could ever hope to be.

After all, in the rubble of this fury, what remains for artists and bohemians who are legitimately trying to be part of a counterculture? You get the sense that if Jimi Hendrix were to show up in Echo Park today, he’d be publicly mocked in a style section piece on blipsters for wearing a feathered fedora. Duchamp would have given up as soon as he appeared on And Warhol would be demonized as a hipster gentrifier for setting up his factory in aBrooklyn warehouse. Critics continue to complain that we live in an era where all art is derivative and devoid of substance. But if Hendrix, Duchamp, or Warhol were alive today, we’d be doing our damnedest to derail their self-expression, dismissing them as fucking hipsters.

There’s no shortage of hipsters worthy of our mocking. But our challenge is to make the distinction between the artists and the pandas. Otherwise, when the next generation finds its own Jackson Pollock, John Coltrane, or Dorothy Parker, we’re likely to stifle their talents with our misappropriated cynicism. Or worse, we’ll turn them into a joke.

- Robert Lanham

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