From the pages of Adbusters:
Culture maven Paolo hips me to this piece on hipsters:
An artificial appropriation of different styles from different eras, the hipster represents the end of Western civilization – a culture lost in the superficiality of its past and unable to create any new meaning. Not only is it unsustainable, it is suicidal. While previous youth movements have challenged the dysfunction and decadence of their elders, today we have the “hipster” – a youth subculture that mirrors the doomed shallowness of mainstream society.
Take a stroll down the street in any major North American or European city and you’ll be sure to see a speckle of fashion-conscious twentysomethings hanging about and sporting a number of predictable stylistic trademarks: skinny jeans, cotton spandex leggings, fixed-gear bikes, vintage flannel, fake eyeglasses and a keffiyeh – initially sported by Jewish students and Western protesters to express solidarity with Palestinians, the keffiyeh has become a completely meaningless hipster cliché fashion accessory.
The American Apparel V-neck shirt, Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and Parliament cigarettes are symbols and icons of working or revolutionary classes that have been appropriated by hipsterdom and drained of meaning. Ten years ago, a man wearing a plain V-neck tee and drinking a Pabst would never be accused of being a trend-follower. But in 2008, such things have become shameless clichés of a class of individuals that seek to escape their own wealth and privilege by immersing themselves in the aesthetic of the working class.
Lovers of apathy and irony, hipsters are connected through a global network of blogs and shops that push forth a global vision of fashion-informed aesthetics. Loosely associated with some form of creative output, they attend art parties, take lo-fi pictures with analog cameras, ride their bikes to night clubs and sweat it up at nouveau disco-coke parties. The hipster tends to religiously blog about their daily exploits, usually while leafing through generation-defining magazines like Vice, Another Magazine and Wallpaper. This cursory and stylized lifestyle has made the hipster almost universally loathed.
“These hipster zombies are the idols of the style pages, the darlings of viral marketers and the marks of predatory real-estate agents,” wrote Christian Lorentzen in a Time Out New York article entitled ‘Why the Hipster Must Die.’ “And they must be buried for cool to be reborn.”
Not everyone is critical. In the article this person defended the hipster thusly:
Gavin McInnes, one of the founders of Vice, who recently left the magazine, is considered to be one of hipsterdom’s primary architects. But, in contrast to the majority of concerned media-types, McInnes, whose “Dos and Don’ts” commentary defined the rules of hipster fashion for over a decade, is more critical of those doing the criticizing.
“I’ve always found that word [“hipster”] is used with such disdain, like it’s always used by chubby bloggers who aren’t getting laid anymore and are bored, and they’re just so mad at these young kids for going out and getting wasted and having fun and being fashionable,” he says. “I’m dubious of these hypotheses because they always smell of an agenda.”
Oh well, this is all pretty academic to me because I'm too old to be hip, meaning I'll just have to be me.
This is a poem Ken Kesey wrote about being cool.
~by Ken Kesey ~
We are very cool.
How did we get so cool????
Maybe its time to be less cool.
Now theres a possibility to sink your teeth into.
A little humility, a bit of morality, some sense of our own limitations.
Plant something in the ground and discover the power of the elements.
Try to move something alone that weighs more than you do.
Then ask somebody else to help.
Show surprise when you are surprised, laugh when its funny,
Cry when its sad, we havent done that in years.
We're too cool.
State Departments are pragmatic and Departments of Defense.
But Constitutions are idealistic.
I think Im going to become an idealist again.
To hell with pragmatism that works.
It has no soul.
These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper,
but minds alive upon the shelves.
At UMass a fence has gone up around Bartlett Hall while they are replacing the roof. Whenever they do anything of a construction nature at UMass they put up those "New Dirt" signs. It seems sorta inappropriate though when putting on a new roof.
This new sign at the UMass Newman Center may or may not bring in visitors, but it has instantly found use as a place for people to lock their bikes.
What mean person wrote this on a mailbox in Northampton?