i have spent time scoffing at the hipsters, whilst feeling that somehow i was getting old and out of the loop. and yet, at the same time (especially after this honda jazz ad) had quiet feelings of shame about my own apparent hipster qualities - see the references to penguin classics, free trade and 200gsm.
since then i've oscillated back and forth again between compassion and absolute derision for the hipster thang.
knowledge, taste and aesthetic value
these are some of the qualities of the hipster. the true hipster.
and yes, i must accept that these are qualities that i actually support, quite like in others and sometimes in myself. the search for knowledge through reading (and the interwebs), shared knowledge, touchy-feely allegiance to the less-rational and a love of art, ethics and politics are all sexy. the dandy and the fop are back in form, as is androgeny, giving us some slight relief from the male = macho, female = t&a. and colour is a thing again. all of these, i concur, are actually pretty cool.
cool for the sake of it
and yet, last week i found myself in a nightclub in mitte* - one full of hipster types - who all displayed the very worst qualities of the sub-culture: completely self-centered, focusing only on their appearance to others, insular and talking all the way through some cracking dj sets. some were so busy flaying their hair across their oversized glasses and dancing to get attention that they completely missed the rhythm of the music. this from the curmudgeonly gen-x/y type in black who danced next to the decks for 3 hours straight.
*ahem. for those that care, it was 'cos trevor jackson AND erol alkan were playing. for €12. it was brilliant!
what i've noticed, though, is that all these qualities are that which typify the romantic era of cultural history too. that well-dressed chap, lord byron and his poetry reading, love-letter writing, mincing, curvacious dandy-types were all the rage and helped veer culture slightly away from the rigid rationalist industrialists for a while. veronica kent often speaks about a neo-romanticism in art, and although i'm not a fan of the pyramid/hypercolour aesthetic aspect of the art being seen at the moment, i agree with her.
check out these v1.0 fucking hipsters
hipsters at trust
granted, these are just half-thoughts, but if it's even a little bit true, it's going to be interesting to watch the neo-realist courbet/manet types coming through in the next 20 years.
hipster 2.0 images from look at this fucking hipster
hipster 1.0 images from the alte nationalgalerie, berlin