RIP HIP

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I don’t really have anything against hipsters, but they are an easy target for ridicule. I admit to ascribing to some of the aesthetics of hipster-dom, myself, including my fixed-gear bicycle and my distaste for baggy pants. So while I may occasionally think hipsters are a bit… in-genuine, I’m loath to publicly belittle the lifestyle.

Adbusters, a culture-jamming website, obviously doesn’t have the same reservations. Take this excerpt of a recent article, for example:

“But after punk was plasticized and hip hop lost its impetus for social change, all of the formerly dominant streams of “counter-culture” have merged together. Now, one mutating, trans-Atlantic melting pot of styles, tastes and behavior has come to define the generally indefinable idea of the “Hipster.”

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….

Punks wear their tattered threads and studded leather jackets with honor, priding themselves on their innovative and cheap methods of self-expression and rebellion. B-boys and b-girls announce themselves to anyone within earshot with baggy gear and boomboxes. But it is rare, if not impossible, to find an individual who will proclaim themself a proud hipster. It’s an odd dance of self-identity – adamantly denying your existence while wearing clearly defined symbols that proclaims it.”

The rest of the article is here. I think the article is a tad over-damning, but makes an interesting connection to the life-cycles of prior youth movements, such as punk, etc. The above picture is from the LIFE archive, showing a beat-nik bar, which was a very similar movement in the fifties.

The beat-niks never got much further than the big cities, however. I think the real drive behind the power of the hipster trend is the ease of international media coverage and the availability of standardized hipster apparel. It’ll be interesting to see how the trend evolves– I’ve already seen it begin to implode around me, but who knows if that’ll continue.

Anyway, I’m rambling. To the music.

One of the very first mash-ups that I posted was Oasis vs. Jackson 5, and it almost made me cry, it was so good. This first track (while not quite as powerful) is almost as good, and I’m beginning to think that they’re the ultimate winning combination.

Since I’m flashing back to previously posted artists, my lucky lady is back in this second track.

The best mash-up of the night has been saved for last, however, with this final track. The ending is sadly abrupt/unfinished… I don’t know what to tell you. But the rest of it rocks.

3 responses to “RIP HIP

  1. Eh, hipsters… I say that like I’m not in many ways a hipster…

    And it’s refreshing to see that these mashups are tight as fuck, especially the last one. My knowledge of mashups isn’t extensive, but I have a few you may like including this one:

    http://www.imeem.com/mashups/music/uIdwFWB1/certified_bananas_prvsbss_purple_ribbon_allstars_vs_brok/

    it’s not as innovative, but I like it. anyway if you want the mp3 just ask on fb

  2. In my marginal notes for the Klein reading, I wrote “hipster culture” at least five times.

    I also love that anyone who’s is a hipster spends a lot of their time making pronouncements about how they are decidedly *not* a hipster.

  3. so, one thing about ‘hipsters’ is that, as far as i know, it’s not a self imposed label. So while “hipsters spend all their time denying that they are hipsters,” it is an imposed label that has essentially no positive connotations which, to me, seems like an incredible difference between it and other/previous subcultures.
    Also, for the article to consider ‘hipster-ness’ a *counter*culture feels like an affront to the term. Maybe I slept through the beginnings, but to me hipsterness has always been mainstream. On par with hip-hop nowadays.

    While I was trying to think of a way to say ‘self centered’ and ‘self-destructive’ in one word, I realized that it’s pointless to talk about hipsters. It’s just dumb. Because the term hasn’t really been claimed you can’t really define *who* a hipster is just elements of, or things that hipsters do/wear/etc. For the most part I see it as anyother trend, like wearing pink polos or baggy jeans. It’s the same damn thing, only by labeling a counter culture do we notice it’s lack of political impetus or social change. No one is going around yelling at kids with blackberrys and sweatpants with uggs for not creating. The only difference I see, is that part of this trend includes taking pictures, blogs, and twitter.

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