Friday, June 03, 2011

Why I Hate Hipsters

WHEREAS original 1940's and 50's hipsters were marked by a Kerouacian beatified outward plunge into and regard for the world and all encompassed by it, from mountains to every kind of person everywhere, the current version of hipsterdom is manifested by nothing so much as self-regard, self-love. "Aren't we wonderful?" their every narcissistic gesture and ironic smirk says to everyone else. They consider themselves incorruptible gods, their entitlement their due, their every word special because it's theirs, while the world outside their circle is an inferior place either to be graced with their occasional presence, or dismissed, satirized, or ignored. Do you see them on their higher plane, the clean and saved, of liberal speciality, wearing white robes? They're not human, because human beings are flawed.

This is the impression one receives, anyway, when encountering hipsters in their bubbled habitat, whether in overpriced gentrified bars or in the pages of smug journals like The Believer and n+1.

To read more authentic American literature get The Whirligig ebook, available at the top left of this blog.


JeffOYB said...

What I dislike about the new style is how uncool it is to have content. When I listen to recent hipster music it's very pretty, but there's an intentional lack of subject. The lyrics only evoke. Evoke what? No, we can't say what -- that's too close to having content. It's up to you. No, not that either: deciding or thinking about art is passe'. Just shop and enjoy it.

There's a big online essay at New York mag on hipsters, their death and comeback. They're an apolitical consumer group.

The 60's, in contrast, had the standard for an artist: "Does he have anything to say?" ...But see where it got them. Burn out. Oddly, substance is not organizable as a career. Hipster art is no threat so it's easily assimilated and funded.

Actually, the 60's approach succeeded hugely with liberation, conservation, safety and antiwar movements all triumphant. So, why abandon what works? Oh, maybe because so many of their leaders were assassinated or abused to ruin. It's a risk.

King Wenclas said...

UPDATE: The Whirligig offer through this blog is over-- but let me suggest instead one of my own ebooks, Crime City USA, which is not hipster lit, and is selling for a mere 99 cents.
I'm also working on a new ebook-- "Against Literary Hipsters." Stay tuned!