A very Jameson approach to Hipsterdom from the writer of the Hipstser Handbook…I thought oh no! at first but actually it’s an excellent read. Here are the best bits (This is reposted from the wonderful The Morning News):
First and foremost, hipsterism is about stuff. It’s the natural byproduct of a consumption-obsessed culture with a thriving middle class. The complete works of Johnny Cash on vinyl. An iPhone packed with apps. Thick-framed glasses without the lenses. Throw in an unwavering certainty that your tastes are superior to everyone else’s, and you’re on your way to establishing a hipster aesthetic. Future generations may not have the same resources to squander, but there will undoubtedly continue to be artistically inclined young people who define their identity and their aesthetic, by accumulating meticulously selected possessions.
The James Deans and Fonzies of the world never got the girl by gushing. Instead, they made them swoon by pretending they didn’t give a damn. The second element is pastiche, the hodgepodge blending of elements from pop culture to create a sensibility. Whether it be the goofy “post-punk-electro-blog-house” labels associated with hipster music, or the entire film career of Wes Anderson, pastiche is essential to hipsterdom. And clearly, as our already overwhelming inventory of pop culture references continue to grow with the passing of time, pastiche will continue to flourish…
While he deconstructs the hipster (and yeah, it’s a lot about stuff…) he admits real creatives do come out of scenes. And you are not an asshole for wearing skinny jeans in Bushwick. You might be an asshole, yes, but it’s not all the clothes that make the hipster.
But let’s get real. For every cynical slacker sitting around “ironically” watching The Real Housewives of Orange County and turning his beard orange with Sparks spittle, there’s a legitimate artist who’s working his/her ass off, dare I say it, doing something cool. There’s no contrived lack of aesthetic to the films of Michel Gondry. He’s an artist, and yes, he’s cool. There’s no artificial, ironic detachment to the music that TV on the Radio produce. They’re artists too, and yes, they’re cool. And perhaps it should go without saying, but hipster profiling is about as effective as racial profiling. Owning a pair of skinny jeans and living in Bushwick doesn’t make someone cool. But it doesn’t make them a hipster douchebag either….
As Pandamonium illustrates, there’s no shortage of hipsters worthy of our mocking. But our challenge is to make the distinction between the artists and the pandas. Otherwise, when the next generation finds its own Jackson Pollack, John Coltrane, or Dorothy Parker, we’re likely to stifle their talents with our misappropriated cynicism. Or worse, we’ll turn them into a joke.