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hipsters v2.0

mayhem posted a link on facebook last week to an interesting article about hipsters
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 ā‚¬12. it was brilliant!

the romantics

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
Hipsters at Trust


Hipsters reading Penguin classics

Hipster 2

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

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At 05 December, 2010 11:59, Blogger mayhem said...

hee hee love your analysis.
I'm still feeling a bit unsure about the hipster thing - coz I'm queezy about my own ageing process and where this plays into it - not to mention the big fat CLASS factor and RACe factor.
The art school grunge/raver/grot thing I did when I came as near to cool as I ever cool always felt a bit more democratic and edgy - but maybe that's coz I was young and spaced out and invested in it....

At 08 December, 2010 12:17, Blogger lauren said...

you're right about the grunge/raver/grot thing - something about slacker culture felt a little more collective, or subversive or something. the idea of 'investment' is the clincher - i was also invested in those subcultures. in a way that i don't necessarily feel like the hipster thing is. in fact, that article seemed to suggest the opposite - it's about devestment and nobody taking ownership (which is interesting too, for different reasons).


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