“Dear hipster”

June 11, 2011

Came across this on Potlatch which has some pretty good posts on it:

Dear Hipster

I’ve been meaning to write for a while, but couldn’t hold off any longer. I wonder if you’ll allow me to offer some constructive criticism. I actually admire you in a strange way. Turning up to work with a handle-bar moustache is genuinely funny. Unlike the sixty-eighters or the punks, you’re precisely as subversive as you think you are (answer: ever so slightly subversive). One thing that can always be said for knowing irony is that it is, at the very least, knowing, and for that you deserve credit.

But why not also take a moment to reflect, catch your breath, and perhaps draw a line under the last decade or so? Surely you can’t carry on with the trajectory that you’re currently on. What started as knowing tributes to various white subcultures has splintered into knowing tributes to various white elite cultures (Barbour jackets and tweed), unknowing tributes to various white cultures (Urban Outfitters), then finally a satire of its own white culture (London Fields, Hackney). Knowing you’ve reached a dead-end doesn’t alter the fact that you’ve reached a dead-end, and it’s not too late to back out. Tony Blair may have had “no reverse gear”, but I’m sure that you guys do, even if it is also a fixed gear….

Read it all. Very good. The hipster seems to signify a crisis of confidence. Every generation needs to believe, in a very general sense, that it’s got the best jobs, music, fashion, art etc but what happens when this ain’t true – or you have nothing particularly original to say? You start elevating twitter to revolutionary development status. You give the Turner prize to Martin Creed. And you end up walking down Broadway Market with an uneasy but shit eating grin willing everything to be as good as you’re all making it out to be.

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