I know this is going to sound like an understatement for those who know what’s in or what’s going on (writing this while listening to Marvin Gaye, btw), but over the last five years or so the hipster culture has seeped itself into the mainstream, or at least into the places I find socially interesting – bars, microbreweries, and places of live musical entertainment.
I was completely outside this cultural phenomenon. This is the first trend I was too old for. I was the older guy at the bar with a good paying job I busted my ass to get (might be some white privilege there, but let’s move past that), drinking a good beer, while the kid several years younger sipped from a beer I didn’t even like when I was his age.
(If anyone can explain the allure of Pabst Blue Ribbon, I will gladly listen. I drank it once after hearing Dennis Hopper proclaim his proclivity for it in “Blue Velvet”. It hurt my stomach. Other than that, it reminds me of Faygo to the Juggalo folks – just a cheap alternative to hang your cultural hat on.)
Anyway, according to this lengthy super-analytical article, Hipsterism is dead – squashed by the same cultural progression that swallowed the hippies, the punks, and the b-boys. Eventually, most music either gets marginalized or consumed by the mainstream. The wheel of social musical evolution keeps turning, I guess.
The article mentions the hipsters stood for something and that they expressed themselves through the music and their dress. Now I’m not going to ask what it was the hipsters fought for, if they were in fact were fighting. (Of course, with most music-driven anti-establishment cultures, only a few are doing the fighting, the rest are dressing the role. But I digress here, because I don’t know who is who.)
There is always some sort of injustice in the world, whether is domestic abuse or the waste, fraud, and abuse of the military/political/industrial/corporate complex. Take your pick. But one thing I have learned is that the post-college early 20-something age group (of which most hipsters I’ve seen are) tend to be highly idealistic. Again nothing wrong with that. More power to them.
Maybe I am feeling like Huey Freeman lately, less idealistic than I did in years past. The system is still off-kilter, but dressing out of the norm and what ever else the hipsters did won’t change that. In order to change the system, you have to be the system and force it to change from the inside out. Work in the belly of the beast, give it an ulcer, and cause its guts to spill. And as Paris says, “Never let them know you understand their plan”.
And look imposing enough to do it.
But if hipsterism is dead, oops. I guess I missed out on that. Wake me up when the next trend comes along. I’ll be sleeping on my hammock with a case of fine imported brew at my side.