“Men set the rules but women should be the ones who maintain those rules.”
I’m younger than him and I happened to witness the ascendancy of hipsters.
Contributed to it as well, but that was an accident. I maintain that.
Many are attention-seeking Boomers born too late. It’s a Peter Pan, forever young culture, simply look at the dress sense – old emo styles and scene kid attire with a little steampunk thrown in. Nerd accents are ironic because these people know they’re stupid, generally. The separate culture is a cult, an escape from mainstream decay and decline.
The Portland types. Hedonic treadmill addicts.
It started with techies and poets. You might say what do they have in common? Hating everything and above average drug use. This was the decade of the peak raver. Nowadays it’s smaller concerts and secret gatherings, private clubs.
They think they’re deep for rejecting things.
As one former goth turned uber-hipster (he sets trends without trying) told me;
“Smug Boomer stands for nothing, smugly.” He took another swig of his absinthe. This was about 2008. We were on a date. I know, I know. It was a phase but it was more like anthropology than a date. He did actually just like the poisonous part though, the wormwood, nobody else cared what he drank. I’d say why but he’d recognize a funny story involving grass.
His defense is that his defiance was performance art, like an ugly mirror to society’s vanity.
They aren’t all so self-aware and there’s a major age stratification, even between two years. It can be precise.
I remember it was just skinny jeans and a Primark shirt. That was the uniform and they’d meet up in two places – the dark room and the computer labs. I remember this because my friend worked in Primark and said how weird it was, all these rich kids suddenly buying shirts because band members were wearing them as disposable, they were about one atom thick, but the shirts were ones she wore to do gardening. It seems like an act of class mockery. They’ve ruined those shirts for her and while she still wears them she fumes if anyone calls her hipster. A lot of former goths like her traded in black for boring office grey because it wasn’t navy (too manly) and it wasn’t white (hell to keep clean). It was simply that basic.
There were fun and dangerous experiments, like brewery. Learning skills our ancestors neglected.
By 2011, it was labelled. The original people gravitated to new styles and hangouts.
The former kids who wanted in were being excruciatingly embarrassing and totally missing the philosophical point. It was nihilism but sarcastic, there was a bitter, mature pettiness I started to move from on purpose. Nothing matters but what you gonna do about it if I get a mustache tattoo? Some people cut, took up harder drugs, emigrated, became homeless, committed suicide or tried. We all heard horror stories, it was a sense of generational hopelessness.
Nihilism is meant to serve you to make your current life better in spite of existential possibilities. You saw an exodus of people craving the more positive than black-and-white photos in front of graffiti. Instagram’s first models.
Scientism memes. Memes in general. The first memers and meme pages and chan crossover with social media. The Anonymous experiment, dark matter to social media.
Then the internet got mainstream.
Brands got involved. Tried to nab us. That killed the fun.
By last year, 2016 until about this year, a solid ten years after I picked up on these trends, 2006-ish, it’s considered old. There are preppy types, finance managers, chavs, metalheads, all sorts. It has become specialized.
Then there’s the Americans acting like college students when they’re old enough to parent them.
You get the hold-outs. The people who stay in places cool five, ten years ago and barely then.
Some of those places aren’t bad but it’s the fact they wanna be seen.
Those are the ones you see on the Tube. They don’t know the rules, they don’t know there are rules, they don’t even know the rules have a caveat of authenticity i.e. you don’t have to do every trend or at once.
This isn’t school, it’s a defiant spirit.
Now it’s generational. Most Millennials are hipsters. I am cursed with this knowledge.
It isn’t one homogeneous thing because we were never a homogeneous group.
The classic hipster is an Apple genius. Those people moved to Android when Jobs died. The dream was over.
It’s meant to be an excuse, an outlet for your individuality and a barrier for experimentation. If people peg you as hipster, you lose. That can’t be you because it’s a label. They shouldn’t notice, it should just be… you.
If someone else tried to wear/do/say that, it shouldn’t make sense.
This is self-actualization and hipsters as a concept were a vital starting point of moratorium.
It isn’t about drinking, it’s about what you want to drink (or not) and why.
It isn’t about food, it’s about the story and the culture.
It’s appreciating all the arts with less ability from financial troubles.
It’s anti-trend. We’re trying to be individuals.
It’s impossible to market to. That’s the point!
Look at the knitting groups. Fine example. Who would’ve thought that took off?
Why? Community without Church.
It isn’t pretentious, not for the genuine ones. The ones who evolve and adapt.
It’s a shorthand for a type of self-improvement. Finding your culture by going back and bringing it back into the future (hence BTTF jokes), making old things relevant, not swinging a vintage trinket round your neck and applying pomade to a beard. We hate beards, actually. It started as a joke and got very un-funny. All because of a teacup with a mustache guard. They’re unclean.
The emphasis now is on a certain question and we rotate them.
What is clean professionalism?
Considering the blurred private line with social media, tricky to navigate.
Men started wearing waistcoats and have now branched out to full suits.
Women started with long skirts and now wear dresses.
This is progress and unlike progressiveness, it isn’t destructive. We’re self-creative.
Derided hipsters are destructive degenerates. Go to town on those guys. The original crew have transcended. It is political but in a very personal way.
The middle-class want an excuse to play out Common People with legal highs and high-res selfies. Fuck those guys. And look, the whole scale, the whole rainbow. No taste.
Am I a hipster? Well, other people would say that based on a certain urban elf/Eloi vibe but if anything it’s an attitude. Post-’08/09 financial torment, we’re just going with it by doing our own thing which is technically mature. What else can we do?
The only power we have is to be the change we wish to see, right?