PDA

View Full Version : What the blinkers is wrong with being a hipster?



Woebot
24-06-2005, 09:19 AM
(absolutely no apologies whatsoever for posting this in the thought forum)

Lots obviously. If being a hipster actually means copying what other people do, making decisions based not on what is meritorious and splendid but what is a generational consensus. If it means not actually thinking for yourself and not thinking. If, I suppose, it means valuing something on the basis of its radiosity above anything else.

The thing is, almost everyone I know who would be pejoratively described as a "hipster" is almost by definition ahead of the curve. They're searchers (scarves fluttering in wind). They're actually the last people in the world to follow anyone's lead.

That last point though is maybe problematic. Radiosity. The thing about "hipsters" is that real quotient on the hipster-icity is their ability to sense what sounds "fresh". This could be genuinely problematic. (stepping back slightly) As someone who might be construed a "hipster" I often worry that always valuing something on the basis of its vital energy means that my listening (and this could equally apply to Art, Film whatevs) tends to be consumed in a heat of white light. Its quite often difficult to hear anything other than energy. Also seeking energy can obviously make one feel quite superficial, like a moth.

On the other hand, what is there but energy? This might seem like a vapid remark, but would you want to eat rotting vegetables? Who reads yesterdays papers? And although Bergson gets quite short shrift in these parts (you have to read the books themselves people, not trade in assumptions) isn't the vital force that which is most divine?

jenks
24-06-2005, 10:17 AM
"energy is eternal delight" blake

http://www.physics.hku.hk/~tboyce/ss/assignments/ascent/marriage.html

not sure if this helps your point or not but we've been blakeless for a while

HMGovt
24-06-2005, 10:25 AM
You know Bergson is widely taught in Japan, epicentre of neomania?

Rachel Verinder
24-06-2005, 02:44 PM
i plough my particular furrow. sometimes people follow it. more often they make their excuses and depart. i plough in a slow, calm and patient manner because i don't feel i'm in a competition. the reserves of energy you haven't used up when you've finished your day's labouring mean you end up more "energetic" than those who use it all up in a flash of light which blinds for about the first two seconds, and then what have you left?

Grievous Angel
24-06-2005, 03:39 PM
{I often worry that always valuing something on the basis of its vital energy means that my listening (and this could equally apply to Art, Film whatevs) tends to be consumed in a heat of white light. Its quite often difficult to hear anything other than energy. Also seeking energy can obviously make one feel quite superficial, like a moth.}

A neat summation of the issue. "Hipster" is often used as a pejorative term (frequently by me :)) because there's a negative aspect to it -- particularly its neophilia-as-neurosis and, worse, the "hipper-than-thou" self righteousness. It leads to a certain sniffiness about the popular or anything which isn't ground-breaking -- as is sometimes expressed about banging techno or big room house or classic seventies funk. Or, I dunno, Richard Curtice films maybe.

That aspect of hipsterism is unattractive and annoying. But critics of hipsterism (and hipsters) should afford it (and them) the courtesy of recognising that scenes don't happen without hipsters: they're an essential cog in the innovation machine.

Long live hipsters, and long may they be around for we of a puckish nature to take the piss out of!

blissblogger
24-06-2005, 04:51 PM
it's long interested me, this sort of self-flagellating thing, where people who are patently hipsters use "hipster" as an insult c.f. rock critics who use "rock critic" as a pejorative adjective, e.g. "that's such a rock critic mentality"...

there's a new book on Hip by John Leland that's quite interesting, a history of the idea -- the intro is a bit cringy (too 'hep' in tone) but it gets interesting when he gets into the archaeology of the idea, and how it comes from this African word that means 'to know' or 'to see clearly', and how the core of it is white bohemians cultivating a relationship with black culture, hipness measured in your knowledge of blackness. obviously that's where it started, with jazz, with the Beats etc, but i think it's still got a lot of applicablity --indeed you could applicate to a lot of the discussions at Dissensus

you could mount a defence of the hipster project without too much difficulty, but would anyone step to a defence of snobbery? "Snob" is the one thing nobody wants to be, it's the strawman that much of the pro-pop argument is fighting...

To suggest that a whole swathe of people are benighted and bamboozled on account of their bad taste or from swallowing what the mass media offers---that's like the UNSAYABLE thing now

yet this cultural populism is utterly divorced from political populism (ie. commitment to eradicating the inequalities that create class-determined taste distinctions)

it's like an inside-out version of how the Left used to be (pro-social justice and wealth distribution, Reithian/Penguin Modern Classics pro-high culture benificence, anti-Americanisation and sniffy re. pop culture; or the Soviets with their subsidised, incredibly cheap tickets to opera and ballet so proles can be ennobled by Art etc)

ambrose
24-06-2005, 07:12 PM
isnt that because cultural populism actually makes money, whereas political populism is costly - eg spreading birtney to the masses = revenue of $$$, ensuring good standard of education to the masses = bill of $$$ to gov.?

Woebot
26-06-2005, 11:31 PM
you could mount a defence of the hipster project without too much difficulty, but would anyone step to a defence of snobbery? "Snob" is the one thing nobody wants to be, it's the strawman that much of the pro-pop argument is fighting...

ha! yes thats a tricky one. especially (speaking poisonally) cos essentially one is a bit of toff, and the very idea of being a snob, well its extremely problematic. i suppose being a critic defending (lets face it) marginal music, is some kind of weird detente screwed up ex-public school boys come to ;)

actually there is one other negative thing that could be levelled at hipsters, and this may be the commonsense/commongarden problem people who arent obsessed with various strands of culture to a monomaniacal degree have with hipsters, that they invest too much faith in the fripperies and vagaries of culture.

watched The Pianist with my wife this evening, the first serious film we've taken in in years (anyone with two children and no childcare will understand our predicament!) and confronting things like the holocaust (or more accurately representations of them) its incredibly levelling. one just wonders how important culture is. obv that film is making some points about the validity of culture, but "the pianist" himself, he who floats above the wreckage all around him by merit of his finesse, well he's an ambivalent figure i suppose.

Buick6
27-06-2005, 06:32 AM
Nothing.

I am a total fucking hipster, but I look like a drok.

Even 'real' hipsters call me 'cool' and they got the power and make a living out of it, where I hafta work a dull-job!

They can get fucked.

Having good ideas is a blessing not a fucking crime and people who don't have one original idea in their miserable heads hate that.

A big problem in today's po-mo ennui saturated gulcher.

Noah Baby Food
27-06-2005, 10:40 AM
It's about ideas for sure. The need to be constantly stimulated. The desire for progress and change. If people think you're doing it to be "clever" then they are missing the point and will NEVER understand. For some, the same-old same-old, same bands, same music, same scene - it's what they want, it makes 'em feel like they belong. I could never be so self-satisfied. (maybe the "hipster" thing has naff all to do with the "in crowd" and a hell of a lot more to do with feeling a bit like an outsider?). If you're fascinated by culture and it's possibilities, you owe it to yourself to try and get a handle on anything new and interesting. What depresses me constantly is people a lot younger than me a lot less in touch with new music and culture (listening to their dad's records etc.

It's also about knowing how the media works and not swallowing everything hook line and sinker.

And it's fine to get bored with stuff. If something stops interesting you, start checking something else...whatever's STIMULATING. Some people have a problem with this, like you're not being "true" or whatever - "I AM INTO HEAVY METAL/HIP HOP/WHATEVER AND WILL ALWAYS BE, TILL I DIE, EVEN IF IT STARTS GETTING BORING, BECAUSE THAT IS MY IDENTITY". That's not serious!

Rachel Verinder
27-06-2005, 10:52 AM
i hold the somewhat unhip view that music should be listened to on the grounds of its quality rather than its recording date.

the history of music without tribes and "identities" would be a somewhat curtailed one.

if anything new and interesting (not a frequent combination) happens it usually finds its way to me, by whatever means.

this is of course a middle-aged perspective but being middle-aged i am perfectly content to maintain such a perspective.

zhao
27-06-2005, 06:46 PM
hipsters at their worst are conformist MTV-babies who wear the same trendy outfits and listen to the same trendy bands.

the (modernist) priveledging of the new is a much wider phenonmenon and has much deeper roots than hipsterism.

Dubquixote
27-06-2005, 10:22 PM
it's long interested me, this sort of self-flagellating thing, where people who are patently hipsters use "hipster" as an insult c.f. rock critics who use "rock critic" as a pejorative adjective, e.g. "that's such a rock critic mentality"

otm. only a hipster would use the word 'hipster.' and even though it may describe a very real social/cultural group, the word itself is always used negatively, which leads me to believe that there is a self-loathing inherent in hipsterness, or at least un-ease in one's own skin.

dominic
27-06-2005, 10:49 PM
For some, the same-old same-old, same bands, same music, same scene - it's what they want, it makes 'em feel like they belong. I could never be so self-satisfied. (maybe the "hipster" thing has naff all to do with the "in crowd" and a hell of a lot more to do with feeling a bit like an outsider?). If you're fascinated by culture and it's possibilities, you owe it to yourself to try and get a handle on anything new and interesting . . . .

i tend to associate hipsters w/ scenesters

or maybe the term hipster encompasses both scenesters AND nomadic trend-spotters!

i mean, at least in nyc the most visible hipsters are the rock-n-roll crowd, and they're hardly at the cutting edge of music


What depresses me constantly is people a lot younger than me a lot less in touch with new music and culture (listening to their dad's records, etc).

again, it's tricky

the original hipsters were into cutting edge black jazz, be bop and what not

but the early mods in the 60s listened to a lot of obscure blues from the 30s

as simon said, "hip" is more about whites getting clued into black music and culture than about the new as such

although obviously the meaning has changed, b/c again, the most visible hipsters in nyc today are into rock'n'roll and that's hardly black music anymore (if ever it was)

(of course you could always have an argument about who really knows the score, and who doesn't -- i.e., competing claims to hipness)

zhao
27-06-2005, 11:55 PM
it seems to me what would be useful at this juncture is a working definition of hipsterism that we can all more or less agree on.

hipster: a catch-all term for a social group which includes but is not limited to all the youth/fringe/(more or less) anti-establishment groups that have come before such as the Dandy, the Beatnik, the Hippie, the Mod, etc, etc. This lump term exists, is a product of, and is only possible, within the context of a post-modern period of culture known as Pluralism.

what do we think?

martin
28-06-2005, 12:05 AM
it seems to me what would be useful at this juncture is a working definition of hipsterism that we can all more or less agree on.

hipster: a catch-all term for a social group which includes but is not limited to all the youth/fringe/(more or less) anti-establishment groups that have come before such as the Dandy, the Beatnik, the Hippie, the Mod, etc, etc. This lump term exists, is a product of, and is only possible, within the context of a post-modern period of culture known as Pluralism.

what do we think?

Can we just split it into two groups, HIP (ie Japanese dominatrix / ethno-electroclash* singer Amrita ; "Right to Work" by Chelsea ; DJ Rupture) and BORING (ie - Coldplay ; "Loveless" by MBV ; Wiley)?

* that's how she puts it, don't have a go at the messenger boy

fldsfslmn
28-06-2005, 12:09 AM
"Loveless" by MBV

Nothing boring about this.

zhao
28-06-2005, 12:28 AM
actually, as a possible revision of my earlier post, maybe the "hipster" has a unique relationship to consumer capitalism compared to the youth groups that have existed before. the brand whore phenonmenon, the consumer fetishism, the lifestyle accessories, the signifiers of rebellion as fashion statement.

so which do you agree with, this post or the earlier one? (definition of hipster as catch-all phrase or hipster as something unique to our times)

dominic
28-06-2005, 04:44 AM
if hipness is possessing a kind of knowledge, then it implies membership in or passage through some kind of culture or scene (or at least special access to the scene) = o/w the knowledge of "what's going on" would be purely superficial and therefore not really knowledge

hipness means knowing the score

knowing the score about race relations, drugs, the power of music, the poverty of the workaday world

involvement in some kind of (particular) scene is the path to this kind of (universal) knowledge

(of course this is an idealized account of what it means to be "hip" -- and slightly at odds with what i said about hipness upthread)

today people often confuse being "trendy" for being hip

Rachel Verinder
28-06-2005, 08:02 AM
Loveless isn't boring, but writing about Loveless is rather boring. Can we have a ten-year moratorium on this record please, in order to give ourselves the chance to rediscover it?

dominic
28-06-2005, 10:48 AM
for example, i know this girl who's in her late 30s, very cool and on the level, has all kinds of friends, plays lots of 60s and 70s funk and latin sounds, and has more style in her right pinky finger than other women do in their entire wardrobe

she's hip

and were you to see her walking down the street you'd probably call her a hipster

and yet she's certainly not cutting edge

and it's no longer the case that she belongs to a scene, though she's of course conversant in the djs and records that interest her (i.e., old sounds)

and once a person's hip to the extent she is, i don't think it's the kinda thing that can be lost

it's like a status that once achieved, remains in effect until you die

that's why certain jazz musicians in their 80s or 90s are still hip

why keith richards is hip

Rachel Verinder
28-06-2005, 10:52 AM
but also why charlie watts is a zillion times hipper than keef

dominic
28-06-2005, 03:56 PM
i meant it as a "despite everything" example

i.e., once the threshold of "truly hip" is crossed, you remain blessed no matter the gravity or chronicity of your sins

zhao
28-06-2005, 05:44 PM
so that's what's wrong with hipsterism, is that what today passes for it is actually just trendy bullshitters, poseurs and biters. conformist packs of self-righteous MTV-babies. Vapid fashion victims who does not acknowledge the big wide world outside their little circle of cliche friends. and this would also explain why the word is almost always used with a negative connotation.

Pearsall
28-06-2005, 05:58 PM
Isn't hipster nothing more than a pejorative term, a projection onto someone else of personal judgments?

I mean, has anyone ever heard anyone say, out loud, that they are a hipster? I've certainly spent a certain amount of time in The Black Cave Of Deepest Darkest Hipsterdom (aka Williamsburg) and I don't think I've ever heard anyone describe themself as a 'hipster'; I've only heard the term used to refer to other people or for whole groups in aggregate. It just seems to be a catch-all term for musicians, artists, designers, and hangers-on that people dislike in some way (even if they are people who themselves would be considered hipsters by others).

Dominic is right about the cutting-edge thing; the dominant pulse of what is considered NY hipsterdom is indie rock, which is one of the most sonically conservative forces out there.

soundslike1981
29-06-2005, 06:01 AM
To suggest that a whole swathe of people are benighted and bamboozled on account of their bad taste or from swallowing what the mass media offers---that's like the UNSAYABLE thing now

yet this cultural populism is utterly divorced from political populism (ie. commitment to eradicating the inequalities that create class-determined taste distinctions)


Exactly. That's what I wasn't getting in the "Definition of Rockism" thread--the pseudo populism I detect in the antirock-ist/anti-rockist "camp"---though maybe I'm seeing "pop-ists"--seems to relativise (not a word, is it?) political action or criticism out of possibility: conflating popular with of the people, refusing to believe that the mega-corporate structure as it's related to music may have a vested interest in telling people what they should want, not asking what people want and providing it. And yet all the bitching about the hegemony of mediocre rock--Coldplay and other bands I haven't heard--is the one exception.

Rachel Verinder
29-06-2005, 08:22 AM
oh please let's try and do better than that never more tired old meme about People Only Buy What They're Told we're all held down by The Man maaaaannnnnn. i don't see security guards in hmv frogmarching (hah!) customers to c/frog and c/play cds at bayonet point.

the last time there was a mandate for politically committed music was 1985. look at the embarrassment of riches that came out of that era - redskins, style council, faith brothers, big sound authority, latin quarter, billy bastard bragg, all yours for a fiver the lot at mve.

i don't really understand why simon wants to scamper back to that golden age.

Rachel Verinder
29-06-2005, 09:22 AM
(nb: this of course discounts all the musical microclimates like improv etc. viz. smallscale models of what society should be - functions normally on its own terms and within its self-restricting circle but otherwise The World pays no mind to them)

zhao
29-06-2005, 03:02 PM
oh please let's try and do better than that never more tired old meme about People Only Buy What They're Told we're all held down by The Man

are you fucking kidding me??? of course most people only buy what they are told by advertising. this fact is not really even contestable. most people work so much they don't have time to develop individual tastes and consume what the media tells them they should want. atleast in the US this is very apparent.

have you talked to any "normal" people lately? people who think Bjork is WAY too strange and out-there? I bet the micro-community of electro-acoustic improvisors you hang out with has made you a bit out of touch with the Real World™.

same with fashion, as I pointed out in another thread, every girl on Sunset blvd dresses like Jessica Simpson and every dude tries to look like Brad Pit (whether they actually look good in those outfits or not) and these are the supposed taste "makers" in LA whom the rest of the country copies. so it's like sheep imitating sheep.

it's difficult to underestimate the degree to which 90 percent of the population is spoon fed and brainwashed.

john eden
29-06-2005, 03:28 PM
it's difficult to underestimate the degree to which 90 percent of the population is spoon fed and brainwashed.

It's difficult to underestimate how stupid it is to extrapolate anything from what music people buy, or clothes they wear.

blissblogger
29-06-2005, 04:42 PM
a mandate for politically committed music was 1985. look at the embarrassment of riches that came out of that era - redskins, style council, faith brothers, big sound authority, latin quarter, billy bastard bragg, all yours for a fiver the lot at mve.

i don't really understand why simon wants to scamper back to that golden age.

what does "a mandate" mean exactly? besides which, almost none of those groups were successful or popular (and they were of course crap)... moreover there's been plenty of political pop and rock bands since then, some of them way more popular (manics, rage against the machine, certain hip hop artists) than the 1985 soulcialist contingent

i'm talking about Pop-ism's anti-snob posture as a kind of pseudo-populism w/o any political bite or political corrolary, and from that you leap to the notion i want to bring back the Redksins (who i critiqued to within an inch of their lives in my very first Melody maker live review)?

that's an unusually strained argument, even for you "Rachel"!

zhao
29-06-2005, 05:02 PM
John Eden,

do you think I have never associated or talked to or even tried to befriend the kind of people I described above? I am NOT making broad geo-political generalizations based on appearance and choice of music alone. I have worked with, partied with, come across and known countless people whose lives are so shallow and provincial it's scary. these are the ignorant bigots that have no inkling how ignorant and bigoted they are.

I'm not being a snob. just telling it like it is.

gumdrops
29-06-2005, 05:04 PM
in regard to looking for vital energy, i cant help but think of grime - how energy is its main calling card and what bearing that has on how popular it is with hipster types. hipsters seem to get a bad rep though for not liking something because they actually do deep down, but simply because they think they should, or because no one likes it, which makes them theoretically somewhat empty as they dont like anything because they do, its all gauged on the percieved perception/opinion of others. flying in the face of convention for the sake of it.

john eden
29-06-2005, 05:08 PM
John Eden,

do you think I have never associated or talked to or even tried to befriend the kind of people I described above? I am NOT making broad geo-political generalizations based on appearance and choice of music alone. I have worked with, partied with, come across and known countless people whose lives are so shallow and provincial it's scary. these are the ignorant bigots that have no inkling how ignorant and bigoted they are.

I'm not being a snob. just telling it like it is.

Well our experiences are very different then. But ok "90%" of people you've met are worthless consumer zombies. That is a pity.

nonseq
29-06-2005, 06:13 PM
This might seem like a vapid remark, but would you want to eat rotting vegetables? Who reads yesterdays papers?I'd say this is exactly a tendency of the hipster modus vivendi: eating raw vegetables instead of carefully prepared dishes, reading newspapers instead of books. The typical hipster consumes the grapes du jour instead of enjoying a vintage wine. This is my first problem with hipsterism: blinded by the newness of things, refined taste and historical perspective are diminished. "It doesn't have to be a timeless masterpiece as long as it is fresh or new."

The second problem follows from the first. In a sense and to a certain degree, the hipster sacrifices not only a historical perspective but also her individual taste on the altar of the Now. Considering only the fresh and new, the choices are greatly reduced, disqualifying things that might in reality be much closer to her taste.

nonseq
29-06-2005, 06:32 PM
I mean, has anyone ever heard anyone say, out loud, that they are a hipster? I've certainly spent a certain amount of time in The Black Cave Of Deepest Darkest Hipsterdom (aka Williamsburg) and I don't think I've ever heard anyone describe themself as a 'hipster'Isn't the actual reason that, while 'knowing you are so wonderfully hip' it is completely uncool to proclaim that you are a hipster, even in America? That it is uncool to stress your coolness?

Pearsall
29-06-2005, 06:58 PM
Isn't the actual reason that, while 'knowing you are so wonderfully hip' it is completely uncool to proclaim that you are a hipster, even in America? That it is uncool to stress your coolness?

Well, yes.

Now I feel stupid. :o

nonseq
30-06-2005, 12:54 AM
sorry ;)
great plasticman interview btw!

komaba
30-06-2005, 02:09 AM
Confucius said:
“It’s difficult to underestimate the degree to which 90% of the population is spoon fed and brainwashed.”

John Eden replied:
"It’s difficult to underestimate how stupid it is to extrapolate anything from what music people buy, or clothes they wear.”

Black and white, night and day. Is it that simple either way? I think not. People generally like to feel they are part of a larger movement and thus to feel ‘validated’. Safety in numbers. Once you leave the mainstream you’re out on your own and it’s scary… what if you’re wrong? Much safer to adorn your clothes with safety pins and belong to Punk, or grow your hair long and belong to Hippy. Or constantly seek the New and belong to Hipster.

Before this thread started I had no idea that Hipster was a term used these days. I thought it was something Sammy Davis Junior or Lord Buckley might say. For me music is a joy, a marvelous decoration of time and although I find some genres rather opaque (Thrash, Heavy Metal and the stuff I used to hear emanating from the Methodist chapel in my village) I can usually find ‘something’ I can feel, for want of a better way of putting it, in every genre I’ve come across, from Mongolian throat singing, Japanese brothel music, Gregorian chant, Flamenco, Chanson, Alan Lomax field recordings, Baku accoustic, the Mills Brothers to Punk, Jazz, Hip Hop, Rock… and on to you name it. There is so much fabulous music out there that I’ve yet to hear. I don’t care if it’s rooted in the mists of time or comes out of a computer as I listen – if it hits the spot.

I do wonder about people who wed themselves to a particular type of music but if it works for them… I worked in a paint warehouse in France years ago with a guy who lived for Elvis Presley. He invited me to his house for dinner and there was nothing anywhere that wasn’t Elvis. I have a student here in Tokyo who only listens to The Clash – she says she loves Joe Strummer. So what? Are they hip? They are nice enough people and are likely unaware who the prime minister of their country is.

All this second-guessing of people’s motives for liking any particular kind of music strikes me as strange. It might give you a nice, fuzzy, warm feeling inside to think you’ve got other people pegged and that by knowing them and what makes them tick you might even feel you are somehow superior, but as Edward Said in Orientalism, that is the mechanism by which one people feels justified in subjugating another. And that’s worth being wary of.

zhao
30-06-2005, 05:15 AM
take for instance this girl I used to be friends with (she was a friend of a friend but we ended up hanging out sometimes), nice person, sweet girl. but she worked at HBO and all she would talk about is HBO constantly and celebrities and HBO parties and dated HBO guys. I think I was the only person who didn't belong to that circle that she was friends with. she was not interested in ANYTHING else outside of HBO and hollywood. she takes FOX news to be the truth and does not question GWB when he makes a speech. we finally got into an argument over politics and I stopped being friends with her.

all my real friends are super independent thinkers who know more about free jazz than the Wire editors, amazing artists and film makers... but none the less I think most people in this city, if not the world, are sheep. especially the "alternative" kids who are just sheep in wolve's clothing.

robotsintrouble
30-06-2005, 06:01 AM
Hmm... so hipsters have no inner will and enjoy music not because it fulfills them, but because it's a status symbol, cultural signal, mating signal, etc. It clearly isn't the overall popularity of the music that defines what they like, but some inexplicable lust for novelty and newness.

I'm not sure I buy it. I mean, I'd buy that most people who are picked out as hipsters or scenesters are playing an image game with how they dress and behave, and that some people in the world use fresh music as the currency of cool. Still... to me, this sounds like the criticism of the popular kids in high school by those who weren't popular: that the popular students are such by virtue of their fakeness. This unfortunately ignores the fact that there's a level of fakeness involved in most smooth social interaction. Do you act like yourself in front of cops? Or your mom?

Some people are more comfortable changing the way they behave as a consequence of the context they find themselves in. People who aren't, in my humble observation, tend to find a single group of friends they feel comfortable with and stick closely to them. That works out fine until they start dating each other.

Rachel Verinder
30-06-2005, 06:43 AM
are you fucking kidding me??? of course most people only buy what they are told by advertising. this fact is not really even contestable. most people work so much they don't have time to develop individual tastes and consume what the media tells them they should want. atleast in the US this is very apparent.

oh go back to your first year sociology class and grow up, sonny boy.

still i suppose it's asking too much for americans to display any evidence of intelligence.

robotsintrouble
30-06-2005, 08:21 AM
There's an element of truth in saying "people only buy what they are told to buy", even if it sounds ridiculous when you consider a single person thinking this way.

Without publicity of some kind, nothing becomes popular. The word publicity just describes the process of information about a particular brand/meme/rapper/etc spreading through the population. The spread can be organic (word of mouth, especially in the age of the cellphone, IM, and blog) or it can result from purchasing adspace and publicity campaigns in the various largely one-way media available in increasing quantity to the American public since 1945. Dumping money into the publicity machine does, unfortunately, result in people buying albums.

Having power and money gives you an advantage in the eternal quest to acquire more power and money. This isn't news. Hell, if you resent people for liking commercial pop you ignore the fact that the purpose of commercial pop is to be liked by the maximum number of persons with disposable income.

Rachel Verinder
30-06-2005, 09:54 AM
really? well, welcome to the world of capitalism.

the real power, as i have said a zillion times before in a zillion different places, is with the consumer - not to throw away throwaway pop, to be moved (to tears/laughter/sex/suicide) by it despite its inbuilt disposability factors.

and who's to argue that, say, cathy dennis doesn't put as much Honest Joy and Passion and Life into what she does as ariel pink does? it's a very jejeune argument.

but none of this changes the fact that nobody has ever been TOLD to go and buy a record. asked, persuaded...but never told.

soundslike1981
30-06-2005, 07:08 PM
Exactly. That's what I wasn't getting in the "Definition of Rockism" thread--the pseudo populism I detect in the antirock-ist/anti-rockist "camp"---though maybe I'm seeing "pop-ists"--seems to relativise (not a word, is it?) political action or criticism out of possibility: conflating popular with of the people, refusing to believe that the mega-corporate structure as it's related to music may have a vested interest in telling people what they should want, not asking what people want and providing it. And yet all the bitching about the hegemony of mediocre rock--Coldplay and other bands I haven't heard--is the one exception.


oh please let's try and do better than that never more tired old meme about People Only Buy What They're Told we're all held down by The Man maaaaannnnnn. i don't see security guards in hmv frogmarching (hah!) customers to c/frog and c/play cds at bayonet point.

Way to be intellectually condescending whilst oversimplifying an argument to sub-mental levels in order to avoid having to argue a counterpoint.

Unless you were trying to concisely exemplify the exact sort of reactionary-relativist, anti-anti-corporate intellectual disingenuousness I was pointing to. In which case, well done.

zhao
01-07-2005, 08:43 AM
oh go back to your first year sociology class and grow up, sonny boy.

still i suppose it's asking too much for americans to display any evidence of intelligence.

nice and mature personal attack you sophisticated European. if what i say does not contain any element of truth just try to explain the success of groups like the Crystal Method. it is purely hype.

if my description of artificial, manufactured desire is "first year sociology" Debord and Adorno are in my class.

zhao
01-07-2005, 08:44 AM
and I'm not an American thank you verymuch. I see how brainwashed Americans are through my perspective of having grown up on the other side of the world.

Rachel Verinder
01-07-2005, 11:33 AM
yes, very good, now give the keyboard back to mummy. nap time.

Rachel Verinder
01-07-2005, 11:33 AM
the crystal method? who they?

Rachel Verinder
01-07-2005, 11:37 AM
debord and adorno are kind of like the ernie and bert of popsociophilosophy these days.

zhao
01-07-2005, 03:27 PM
debord and adorno are kind of like the ernie and bert of popsociophilosophy these days.

ok. so you are way too smart and educated for the Situationists and the Frankfurt school? then please tell me (the foolish child) why works like the Society of the Spectacle and the Culture Industry no longer applies and are irrelevent?

no seriously, I would like to learn something here.

craner
02-07-2005, 11:24 AM
This thread is too funny.

sufi
02-07-2005, 11:43 AM
This thread is too funny.
too funny for what?

craner
02-07-2005, 01:10 PM
For um...

For uhhh...

I don't know.

Elan
02-07-2005, 02:57 PM
Too funny for hipsters, perhaps.

Has there been a sociological study of hipsters? Is that possible?

Pearsall
02-07-2005, 04:02 PM
and I'm not an American thank you verymuch. I see how brainwashed Americans are through my perspective of having grown up on the other side of the world.

yeah! fucking Whitey!

polystyle desu
02-07-2005, 05:50 PM
and double yeah , all those white stupid Americans buying black music
and writin' books on hipsters tryin to b hipsters , got damn

mms
02-07-2005, 05:59 PM
i think this thread is:

http://www.figleaves.com/uk/nsf/newstylefinder.asp?attribute=72&attribute=128&src=GOUK13CCs053&cookied=02%2F07%2F2005+17%3A59%3A05&ab=1

robotsintrouble
02-07-2005, 07:14 PM
all those white stupid Americans buying black music

why are we stupid for buying black music if it's better than white music?

even if we are ethnically challenged, that doesn't mean we have to listen to kenny rogers.

polystyle desu
02-07-2005, 07:28 PM
no worries Robo
t'was a joke ,
riffing off the 'Ms.' and the current Village Voice cover article "Yo whitewash the show"

robotsintrouble
02-07-2005, 09:26 PM
double reverse racism!!

zhao
04-07-2005, 08:30 AM
come to think of it... what kind of modern western popular music ISN'T black music?????

Rock'n'Roll comes from Blues and Gospel and R'n'B, Latin music (Samba, Bossa Nova, etc) is largely derived from African rhythms, house and techno comes from disco which came from funk, drum'n'bass came from hiphop and reggae...

Rachel Verinder
04-07-2005, 11:21 AM
Country music (mainly Scotland's fault).

zhao
04-07-2005, 10:20 PM
don't know about scottish country and western music, but american country and western music has it's roots in black music: the majority of the "cowboys" in the "wild wild west" were africans. and "country music" as we know it is a derivation from the Mississippi Delta Blues and Gospel tradition, which is a music made by African Americans.

Rachel Verinder
05-07-2005, 07:07 AM
actually inaccurate. mongrelisation of elements of gospel plus huge rhythmic/melodic influence from scottish country dancing music (caledonian -> appalachian diaspora c. 1750).

no such thing as african-americans, except in science fiction books.

henrymiller
05-07-2005, 03:47 PM
of course most people only buy what they are told by advertising. this fact is not really even contestable. most people work so much they don't have time to develop individual tastes and consume what the media tells them they should want. atleast in the US this is very apparent.

oh jesus, better the 'omigod the osmonds are the BEST' mentality than this closet stalinism. reynolds is right to point to the gap between popism and populism, but i don't think the neo-rockist position does much better on this score.

i might need to dig into the archives to check but... i don't think life in the soviet union really did involve all that much opera-going among the proles.

and obviously it's from the SU that the crude base/superstructure mentality which says 'of course, rachel stevens is really a servant of kapital', fed into european marxism.

nonseq
05-07-2005, 08:46 PM
and obviously it's from the [soviet union] that the crude base/superstructure mentality which says 'of course, rachel stevens is really a servant of kapital', fed into european marxism.I'd say it came from the Frankfurter Schule.

zhao
05-07-2005, 10:09 PM
sorry to dissapoint you people... but my above statement is derived from neither Marx, Stalin, or Theodore Adorno. Rather it is simply from good old fashioned observation of people around me.

mms
05-07-2005, 11:08 PM
it is simply from good old fashioned observation of people around me.

blimey you must be gutted!

zhao
06-07-2005, 12:01 AM
well all the people close to me are more like myself and the people on this board. but seriously, what percentage of the population do you think are like the people on this board?

I know I sound elitist or exclusionary or snobish, and at the risk of being very un-PC, but it's a fact: most people are sheep.

zhao
06-07-2005, 12:26 AM
and I'm not saying that I am free of conditioning or being effected by advertising, but it's a matter of degrees: some are a little bit less brainwashed than others.

I know that people are complex and broad generalizations are rarely useful, but seriously... most people subscribe to a set of fundamental assumptions about their own lives instilled by the world they live in, such as particular ideas about happiness or "success", without ever questioning them. and all they know is top 40 crap on the radio.

take for instance the phenonmenon of "classic rock". in every city in America there are "classic rock" stations that, without exception, all play the same songs over and over, 24-7-365. these include a few songs by Led Zepplin, a few songs by the Doors, a few songs by the Rolling Stones. they never EVER play other songs by these groups, not to mention Captain Beefheart or Can or the thousands of great bands from the 60s and 70s that they never ever touch upon.

I would say less than 2 percent of "classic rock" fans in America have ever heard of Captain Beefheart or Can, both being very important and influential bands from that era.

I have limited time to post here at the office, and this is not the best example, but it will have to suffice for now in demenstrating my point that most people do not have time to seek out more than what is made readily available to them. and what is made available to them is determined by the ideology of the system that they live in, whether these ideological constructs are visible or not.

Rachel Verinder
06-07-2005, 09:17 AM
stop talking like a robot and people might take you seriously

john eden
06-07-2005, 09:54 AM
confucius, I think you are still making a fundamental assumption in all this, which is that everyones sees music as being as important as you do.

Clearly there are at least two possibilities here:

a) People consume pop music because they are hugely conformist in every area of their lives
b) People consume pop music because it's a convenient soundtrack to other things in their lives.

If you stopped judging people by your seemingly very narrow criteria for what constitutes being progressive then maybe you find out that people do actually question quite a lot of things on a daily basis and even if they don't embrace the different they can, after some discussion and experience at least accept that it is valid, if not to their taste.

You are also generalising from your experience in the US, I think, where it seems to me that media and culture is a bit more sewn up than elsewhere.

zhao
06-07-2005, 06:01 PM
rather I think the fact that people do not have time to develop individual tastes in music is but one tiny example of the over all ways in which the average person is marginalized and deprived...

but I digress. (before going into a full on anti-work, anti-civilization anarchist rant)

however I do think real life is scarier than the Matrix. and that the first step toward freedom is the realization that one is a slave.

zhao
06-07-2005, 07:32 PM
but yes, John eden, all good points and well taken. I realize that I look at the world through my music-geek lenses...

IdleRich
19-01-2014, 01:55 AM
Reviving this thread...
Hipsterism is/was interesting cos it's hard to define and constantly mutating. But hasn't that stopped happening now? There are a number of things (organic coffee, silly glasses, vintage stores etc etc) that are irrevocably associated with hipsterdom and it can't escape it. The next thing that comes along won't be a mutation of hip but something totally different. It might still be hipster in the way that the word was used a few years ago but it won't be what it has come to mean now. Which is something that no-one thought would happen.
Does that make sense?

DannyL
19-01-2014, 10:26 AM
I'm not quite sure I get what you mean Rich.

I've been thinking about this for a couple of days (due to reading a Facebook rant about it by someone we know) - my conclusion is that there's nothing more boring than people who bang on about hipsters in the negative sense, but it's weird and (slightly) interesting that the concept exists at all. The way it's used as a pejorative, the way no one identifies with it positively, all the kind of ironic distance around the use of the term - it's like it's a signifier of our media cultures intense self-awareness. There's a self-consciouness around the way the term is employed that just wasn't there with earlier in earlier discourses about youth and fashion. It's kind of decadent in a way. I don't have any sort of conclusion about this, just thinking out loud. William Gibson wrote somewhere that youth cultures can't exists anymore in the way they used to - because our media has this voracious appetite for content, it'll just hoover them up and regurgitate in their nascent stages, before they've had a chance to develop. "Hipster" seems related to this - this tribe of people/grouping of trends that everyone can point to but no one likes, that arguably doesn't exist. It's like a side effect of our culture's discussion with itself.

Forgive me if it repeats earlier points, not read the thread.

trilliam
19-01-2014, 10:30 AM
hipster is a funny old word. used to apply to people that were into clicking their fingers, wearing berets and coltrane, then people that were into replacements, rem, college rock, and not drinking starbucks. now in 2014 london it's people that wear boy london and collect hurraches.

i remember when it was actually a good look being a hipster. listening to bands like jay reatard, waves etc

football hipsterism is my favourite recent use of the word.

/rambling post.

IdleRich
19-01-2014, 08:11 PM
"I'm not quite sure I get what you mean Rich"
Yeah sorry, was a bit tired and emotional when I wrote that. What I mean is that the word hipster has recently been used to describe someone who is at the forefront of any new trend, for better or worse (usually for worse), but now hipster has become fixed in meaning someone who has a certain look, lives in a certain place and eats and drinks certain things. When the next trend comes along it will be impossible to call the people who embody it hipsters cos that will instantly call to mind the organic vinyl riding denizens of East London. So the word which was supposed to be all purpose for cutting edges is getting stuck in one place and will, much to everyone's surprise(?), soon be out of date.
That's distinct from (if related to) the backlash against the use of hipster as an insult which we've all seen as well.

Mr. Tea
19-01-2014, 09:46 PM
Oh, you mean a bit like how 'modernist' architecture doesn't mean architecture that's modern, but refers to architecture of the first 2/3 of the last century...sorta thing?

mistersloane
19-01-2014, 11:33 PM
I was in a restaurant in (clang) Mayfair recently and these two kinda horse dealer type gentlemen (real horses, not a euphemism) were talking on the next table. One was from out of town :

"What part of London are we in now?
"West London"
(Mayfair I don't count as west London, but I didn't interrupt)
"So this is quite well off?"
"Yes"
"and what part of town is it where, where the hippies live?"
"East London"
"Ay yes. East London, that's where they live"

And I thought, how lovely. How lovely that hippies still exist, somewhere, in a horse dealer from Southern Germany's mind.

IdleRich
19-01-2014, 11:55 PM
"Oh, you mean a bit like how 'modernist' architecture doesn't mean architecture that's modern, but refers to architecture of the first 2/3 of the last century...sorta thing?"
Kind of the opposite of that I think in that modernist was meant to describe a certain style or at least a philosophy behind a style but some people confuse it to mean things that are recent and believe that it is or could be a word that is always describing the latest thing. Whereas hipsterdom was supposed to be constantly the latest thing but seems to have accidentally got stuck.

Leo
20-01-2014, 01:27 AM
when i was a kid, i used to think modernism referred to whatever was new (it's modern!) at the time, more like contemporary art as opposed to a type of art from a specific period.

one thing that throws a monkey wrench into defining hipsterism, particularly in terms of things like fashion, music, TV, is a tendency of some toward always wanting to be a contrarian. they take the notion of something being so uncool that it's cool to the extreme, constantly gravitating towards whatever you think they would dislike in order to show they are really cool. does that make sense?

comelately
20-01-2014, 10:42 AM
when i was a kid, i used to think modernism referred to whatever was new (it's modern!) at the time, more like contemporary art as opposed to a type of art from a specific period.

one thing that throws a monkey wrench into defining hipsterism, particularly in terms of things like fashion, music, TV, is a tendency of some toward always wanting to be a contrarian. they take the notion of something being so uncool that it's cool to the extreme, constantly gravitating towards whatever you think they would dislike in order to show they are really cool. does that make sense?

That's arguably one aspect of hipsterism, but it's probably not true of all 'hipsters'.

Hipster as insult I think has a lot to do with class, capitalism and privilege; things that we're definitely not allowed to talk about - so there's part of me that resists the drive to render it unsayable. "A hipster is a 'person who is having more fun than you'" is a counter not without validity, but what makes it so powerful is the inability of current discourse to grasp the underlying reasons why these people are having more fun or to discuss whether their fun is somehow an incursion on other people's fun. Some old guy is writing in the Mail about the feckless poor, meanwhile his son is writing on some website about how all this anti-hipster stuff is 'terribly tiresome'. It's all connected.

And to be fair, I have worked with people who are reasonably happy to self-identify as hipsters.

baboon2004
20-01-2014, 02:30 PM
When did 'hipster' become a catch-all term in the UK? I'm sure I remember first hearing people here use it, and being confused/surprised as I'd always associated that word solely with the US. My memory is failing me though and I can't seem to recall the details of a pre-'hipster' world, or what word(s) would have been used instead.

comelately
20-01-2014, 06:42 PM
'Shoreditch Twat' and 'Nathan (Barley)' were used in the first few years of the century. It's really around 2008/9 I think that the term 'hipster' caught fire.

baboon2004
20-01-2014, 11:07 PM
sounds about right

"Hipster as insult I think has a lot to do with class, capitalism and privilege; things that we're definitely not allowed to talk about - so there's part of me that resists the drive to render it unsayable." i think there's definite truth in this. Also in a similar area of hipsterism and the unsayable, I was thinking tonight about how ironising things seems like a very primitive defence against shame - as in, I can never be made to feel ashamed, because I didn't really mean it. It's as if choosing this shame-free state above having passions/opinions for which people can criticise you/disagree with you.

Slothrop
20-01-2014, 11:32 PM
Yeah, I think that something a lot of people miss about "ironic appreciation" of something is that it isn't (often) saying "I hate this but am going to listen to it and pretend to enjoy it to be ironic" but more often "I genuinely enjoy this but don't want to fully identify with it, so I'll distance myself from it with irony".

And also, yep, the reason for not wanting to fully identify with it is often bound up in race and class, although to be fair that's not neccessarily as simple as a straightforward lack of respect for the core audience - it could be about just not being comfortable crossing the cultural boundary, eg a remotely self-aware public schoolboy is going to know that trying to fully embrace dancehall culture is probably going to end up with him looking utterly ridiculous.

Also, I'm not sure that irony is the absolute distinguishing characteristic of hipsterdom so much as a sort of super dilettantism, with a tendency to go from not having heard of something to super clued up on it to bored with it and on to the next thing within the space of about a month...

baboon2004
21-01-2014, 11:58 AM
Maybe the core need is not to be pinned down to investing in any one thing - ironic distance is just one mode through which this is achieved, and rapid changeover in the styles you like is another. I think what IdleRich was saying upthread is that eventually hipsterism has failed here in its attempt to always gravitate towards the new - it has become strictly identified with a set of tangible things/likes, and so has become just another fixed 'youth culture' that will itself be superseded by something else, rather than an endlessly mutating kind of metaculture that latches on to the latest trend and claims it as its own. I was thinking at the weekend, when sitting in some archetypally hipsterish cafe, that all this seems no different from how it would have been ten years ago (except more mainstream by virtue of there being more places exactly like it), and that surely there has to be a shift at some point to something...different.

shiels
21-01-2014, 01:00 PM
Maybe the core need is not to be pinned down to investing in any one thing - ironic distance is just one mode through which this is achieved, and rapid changeover in the styles you like is another. I think what IdleRich was saying upthread is that eventually hipsterism has failed here in its attempt to always gravitate towards the new - it has become strictly identified with a set of tangible things/likes, and so has become just another fixed 'youth culture' that will itself be superseded by something else, rather than an endlessly mutating kind of metaculture that latches on to the latest trend and claims it as its own. I was thinking at the weekend, when sitting in some archetypally hipsterish cafe, that all this seems no different from how it would have been ten years ago (except more mainstream by virtue of there being more places exactly like it), and that surely there has to be a shift at some point to something...different.


is it fixed though? you'll get ten different definitions (with a lot of crossover) from ten different people when asked what a hipster is

on that other thread someone used the term "projected self-loathing" which i think is on point. With the internets etc we've become more conscious of cultural capital and it disgusts us a little..and also it's given us the perspective and info access to see youth subculture as often trivial collective hallucinations. Calling other people hipsters (as an insult) is this projected self loathing.. "My consumption is more authentic than yours!" and sometimes mixed with envy, they're cleverer/more superficial and expedient than me at appropriating & manipulating signifiers

it comes down to this idea of authenticity i think, this is what hipsters and are obsessed with and this is what hipster haters accuse hipsters of never being. globalisation & the internet can make us feel like overly self-aware imposters, but was the authentic culture really ever there? isnt the authentic creative self a myth in the first place? there is no "real trap shit".


The demand for commodified authenticity is an expression of consumers’ nostalgia for a never-existing time when one had total control over the development of one’s identity. That sort of authenticity has always been a fiction, but the very real existence of goods that signify authenticity masked that fact. Consuming authentically could seem to prove fidelity to our “real self.”

http://thenewinquiry.com/essays/google-alert-for-the-soul/

baboon2004
21-01-2014, 01:43 PM
I think its signifiers have become fixed to a certain extent, but that's just thinking about London.

The issue I've always had with what I perceived as hipsterism was its frequent contempt for those who other people who are not hipsters - although this isn't universally true and those hipsters who don't project contempt, I've had no problem with. I think the projections occur from both sides of the hipster divide.

I'll read that article, thanks - '“Becoming oneself” has turned into a crappy job — a compulsory low-paying, low-skill job' - that's nice

comelately
21-01-2014, 02:16 PM
"The issue I've always had with what I perceived as hipsterism was its frequent contempt for those who other people who are not hipsters - although this isn't universally true and those hipsters who don't project contempt, I've had no problem with."

I largely agree with this - the idea that hipster hate is all one-way is inaccurate. Subcultures have always been somewhat elitist; what has perhaps changed is that they were usually created by misfits who had probably had a bad time at school. With hipsterism, the nerd glasses were appropriated by the school bully. Hipster subcultures reinforce class politics rather than oppose, transcend or at least complicate them.

"sometimes mixed with envy" - the politics of envy!

I came across this Lily Allen quote from 2007: "Just cause your mum was too lazy to get her fat ass off the sofa and make some cash. I shouldn’t be able to make tunes yeah?". That ties up my link between right-wing talking points and the anti-anti-hipster movement nicely :-)

IdleRich
21-01-2014, 02:26 PM
"I think what IdleRich was saying upthread is that eventually hipsterism has failed here in its attempt to always gravitate towards the new - it has become strictly identified with a set of tangible things/likes, and so has become just another fixed 'youth culture' that will itself be superseded by something else, rather than an endlessly mutating kind of metaculture that latches on to the latest trend and claims it as its own. I was thinking at the weekend, when sitting in some archetypally hipsterish cafe, that all this seems no different from how it would have been ten years ago (except more mainstream by virtue of there being more places exactly like it), and that surely there has to be a shift at some point to something...different."
Yeah, thanks. That's what I was trying to say but better put.

Mr. Tea
22-01-2014, 09:26 AM
Subcultures have always been somewhat elitist; what has perhaps changed is that they were usually created by misfits who had probably had a bad time at school.

Can't say I agree with this at all. Goth, grunge, emo etc., fine - perhaps even punk, to an extent; but consider teds, mods, rockers, skins, soul boys/rudeboys, casuals, the '90s 'new lad', nu-metal/jock-rock...these are not the subcultures of delicate, tormented little souls.


With hipsterism, the nerd glasses were appropriated by the school bully.

You reckon? I wouldn't have thought this either, but then it's been a 15 years since I was at school. Even so, I'd have thought modern hipsterism, from a male POV anyway, was too far on the artistic/effeminate side of things to be something bullies would be into.

hucks
22-01-2014, 10:29 AM
You reckon? I wouldn't have thought this either, but then it's been a 15 years since I was at school. Even so, I'd have thought modern hipsterism, from a male POV anyway, was too far on the artistic/effeminate side of things to be something bullies would be into.

I guess it's less the bullies, more the popular kids. It's mainstream culture believing it's a counter culture.

droid
22-01-2014, 11:19 AM
But there is no counter culture anymore. It doesnt require any effort to investigate things that that are new or alternative. What once may have taken years of meeting people, going to clubs, tracking down artists from the liner notes on the backs of LP's, spending SAE's to weird record labels, reading fanzines etc.. is now as simple as deciding on which coat to wear.

Mr. Tea
22-01-2014, 11:41 AM
...is now as simple as deciding on which coat to wear...

...which like as not can be bought from Topshop. Next to the Motorhead/Led Zep/Ramones T-shirts for teenage girls who probably think of the Arctic Monkeys as dad-rock.

This is not a new thing (consider Danny's great line in Withnail & I: "Vey're sellin' hippie wigs in Woolworf's, man!") and Camden Lock Market has always been a Mecca for people who like to look unconventional in the most conventional way possible. But it does seem to have exploded in the last decade or so. And if it's happened to 'hipsters', whatever they are exactly, then it's only because it was inevitable.

shiels
22-01-2014, 11:46 AM
what has been lost?

droid
22-01-2014, 12:29 PM
Im not decrying the loss of the authentic hipster, but presumably it was that process of discovery and investigation that gave hipsterism it's cachet to begin with. It would have taken genuine balls for white hipsters to head to downtown NY jazz clubs in the 40's/50's to 'discover' the newest thing, same with beatniks and proto-hippies in the 60's where dropping out or being 'on the scene' took a huge amount of commitment.

So obv, when being a hipster requires little or no effort and is commodified into a 'look' or a bunch of static social signifiers, the whole concept becomes meaningless.

firefinga
22-01-2014, 01:10 PM
Of course, there is the classic definition of "hipster" that was positive and it's been mentioned in this thread already, yet I was confronted already with a slightly negative connotation of "Hipster" resp. "Hipsterism" in my teens (I am in my mid30s now, so my teens meaning the early-to-mid90s) a Hipster was a person, mainly a guy, who was always into the latest fad, yet never "real" hardcore meaning he picked up trends/fads of former "underground" styles/music in it's first steps outta the incrowd/hardcore circles. So he would appear "up to date" "always in synch with the latest" - but only to people outside of music cirlces, as in just plane normal folks.

But one of the most defining factors of that definition of hipsterdom was he never had any loyalty towards the things he considered "cool" at the moment. When the next thing got "hip" he abandoned ship at once and moved on to the next "Big Thing in-the-making" Prime examples: Guys all of a sudden into Jungle/Drum n Bass around 1995/6. OR a more recent case: Kid606 and his hipster following.

Only recently I got confronted with even another definition of being a "hipster" as in "hipster"="Hardcore". On discogs.com, some person called people bitching about Skrillex not being Dubstep "Hipsters". Possibly, it was even ment as a subsitute for "Hater".

Mr. Tea
22-01-2014, 02:07 PM
There was an article someone linked to on here a couple of years ago which said that when the concept of the 'hipster' first really broke into public consciousness early in the last decade, it was a subculture defined mainly by an obsession with irony and pretense, but that this decade's hipsters are if anything the complete opposite: always striving earnestly towards living as 'authentically' as possible. Hence wearing vintage, eating organic/local, drinking craft, riding bikes, listening to vinyl, shopping in (or owning) little shops where all the products have the price printed on unbleached card labels using a typewriter...

But as people have mentioned here, rather than being a mutation of hipsters as they were a decade or so ago it could just be that the same word is being applied to a quite separate group of people, who'll presumably still be living that way when it's cool to eat McDonald's, wear Kappa and drive a scooter (or whatever it'll be next).

Slothrop
22-01-2014, 02:27 PM
Of course, there is the classic definition of "hipster" that was positive and it's been mentioned in this thread already, yet I was confronted already with a slightly negative connotation of "Hipster" resp. "Hipsterism" in my teens (I am in my mid30s now, so my teens meaning the early-to-mid90s) a Hipster was a person, mainly a guy, who was always into the latest fad, yet never "real" hardcore meaning he picked up trends/fads of former "underground" styles/music in it's first steps outta the incrowd/hardcore circles. So he would appear "up to date" "always in synch with the latest" - but only to people outside of music cirlces, as in just plane normal folks.

But one of the most defining factors of that definition of hipsterdom was he never had any loyalty towards the things he considered "cool" at the moment. When the next thing got "hip" he abandoned ship at once and moved on to the next "Big Thing in-the-making" Prime examples: Guys all of a sudden into Jungle/Drum n Bass around 1995/6. OR a more recent case: Kid606 and his hipster following.
The thing is, that sort of describes a lot of Dissensus as well, except for the fact that we can magically tell that they're just pretending to like stuff because it's cool, whereas we get excited by hyphy then trap then juke in quick succession because we properly appreciate them but aren't going to hang around when there's something EVEN MORE EXCITING coming along...

NATO
23-01-2014, 02:57 AM
The thing is, that sort of describes a lot of Dissensus as well, except for the fact that we can magically tell that they're just pretending to like stuff because it's cool, whereas we get excited by hyphy then trap then juke in quick succession because we properly appreciate them but aren't going to hang around when there's something EVEN MORE EXCITING coming along...

:D

And Jerk, I liked that for at least 4 months.

Leo
25-08-2014, 10:11 PM
an actual course at tufts university
http://www.excollege.tufts.edu/coursesCurrent.asp


EXP-0005-F: Demystifying the Hipster
1.0 credit, Letter Grading
Tuesday, 6:00-8:30PM

The hipster is a devisive cultural figure that elicits both envy and outrage, and some argue that it has run its course—but what exactly is (or was) the hipster? Are hipsters part of a counter-culture, or are they just another marketing niche in the mainstream? How can we tell the difference?

In this course, students will interrogate contemporary writing—both academic and popular—that claims to define the hipster, examining these arguments alongside exemplary cultural texts that have warranted the hipster label. We will focus on film, fiction, fashion, and music (among other genres and media) produced in the last twenty years, connecting these contemporary examples to a longer history of the hipster that dates back to Norman Mailer's seminal 1957 essay, "The White Negro: Superficial Reflections on the Hipster." Over the course of the semester, students will develop their own canon of hipster art. Students will become critics and sociologists of today's hipster culture as they explore how hipster identity reflects larger cultural anxiety.

Jacqueline O'Dell has taught English 1 and English 2 at Tufts for the past four years. Her current work focuses on the relationship between critical and popular discourse surrounding what many have called the "post-postmodern" novel, particularly how it has both adapted to and resisted the emerging technologies of social media. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Tufts.

IdleRich
26-08-2014, 09:12 AM
Weird how they spell "divisive" wrong in the course synopsis. It sort of makes you think that the people who are running the course are the sort of people who use words they can't spell and don't understand because they are stupid. And that makes you wonder if it's because the kind of person who offers a course studying hipsters is an idiot. Or maybe that's just me.

griftert
29-08-2014, 03:12 PM
Or maybe it's a typo. Divisive is not a particularly outre word.

IdleRich
29-08-2014, 03:17 PM
"Or maybe it's a typo. Divisive is not a particularly outre word."
Yeah, it was probably just me.

Mr. Tea
29-08-2014, 03:40 PM
'E' is five keys to the left of 'I'. I reckon they're just divvies. Or maybe even devvies.

slowtrain
02-09-2014, 11:03 AM
was it in this thread (i couldnt seem to find it...) that i read the definition of hipster as someone who appears to belong to some sort of 'countercultural' or 'reactionary' 'undercurrent' without actually bothering to look at how they are part of the 'mainstream' ?

like being concerned with veganism while neglecting to consider how they are indirectly participating in meat industry (using cigarette filters or something) for example.



sorry for all the quote marks.

Patrick Swayze
21-09-2014, 03:01 PM
http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2014/09/will-self-awful-cult-talentless-hipster-has-taken-over


Will Self: The awful cult of the talentless hipster has taken over

Our generation is to blame – we’re the ones who took the avant-garde and turned it into a successful rearguard action by the flying columns of capitalism’s blitzkrieg.

Mr. Tea
22-09-2014, 09:55 AM
http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2014/09/will-self-awful-cult-talentless-hipster-has-taken-over

I predict that within a year, whingeing about people whingeing about hipsters will be the new whingeing about hipsters.

(Of course, everyone on Dissensus was into it way before it was cool...)

Leo
22-09-2014, 01:09 PM
(Of course, everyone on Dissensus was into it way before it was cool...)

not so sure about that, we seemed to have missed normcore altogether.

swears
22-09-2014, 11:04 PM
It's all about being a Health Goth at the mo, imo:

http://uk.complex.com/style/2014/08/is-health-goth-the-new-street-goth

Mr. Tea
23-09-2014, 10:00 AM
I'm pretty sure the entire concept of healthiness featured in the excellent "opposite of goth" thread a few years back.

Patrick Swayze
23-09-2014, 07:49 PM
not so sure about that, we seemed to have missed normcore altogether.

did normcore ever really take off?

Leo
23-09-2014, 08:30 PM
did normcore ever really take off?

on a certain level, yeah. not massive, more underground but with coverage in vogue and other fashion press, and of course seen in pockets of bushwick and williamsmburg.

Mr. Tea
23-09-2014, 10:19 PM
I just had to google 'normcore' and I almost wish I hadn't.

mistersloane
26-09-2014, 05:03 PM
not so sure about that, we seemed to have missed normcore altogether.

I thought we got invaded by normcore on the cutting shapes thread

swears
26-09-2014, 06:51 PM
http://i.imgur.com/poxgR9Y.jpg

firefinga
29-09-2014, 08:25 AM
The thing is, that sort of describes a lot of Dissensus as well, except for the fact that we can magically tell that they're just pretending to like stuff because it's cool, whereas we get excited by hyphy then trap then juke in quick succession because we properly appreciate them but aren't going to hang around when there's something EVEN MORE EXCITING coming along...

Hit the nail there on the head, it's just there isn't much MORE EXCITING coming along any more much...

Leo
29-09-2014, 02:14 PM
Hit the nail there on the head, it's just there isn't much MORE EXCITING coming along any more much...

but isn't this what every generation says at some point? it's the very nature of the older/younger dynamic. to the older group (me/us), new trends/music often sound boring or at least highly derivative and "lesser" than the originals we liked, while the younger group (kids today!), who are part of it as it rises, embrace it as the next cool thing and probably like it ever more because the old farts "don't get it."

IdleRich
29-09-2014, 03:35 PM
Normcore seems to be based on that girl in Pattern Recognition by William Gibson - although she is allergic to labels as well.

"Cayce Pollard – A 32-year-old woman who lives in New York City. She pronounces her given name "Case" although her parents named her after Edgar Cayce. She uses her interest in marketing trends and fads, and her psychological sensitivity to logos and advertising, in her work as an advertising consultant. Her sensitivity becomes a phobia towards older corporate mascots, especially the Michelin Man. She wears only black, gray or white, usually Fruit of the Loom shrunken cotton t-shirts (all tags removed) with Levis jeans (with the trademarks filed off the buttons) or skirts, tights, boots, as well as a Buzz Rickson MA-1 bomber jacket."

mistersloane
30-09-2014, 04:27 PM
Normcore seems to be based on that girl in Pattern Recognition by William Gibson - although she is allergic to labels as well.

"Cayce Pollard – A 32-year-old woman who lives in New York City. She pronounces her given name "Case" although her parents named her after Edgar Cayce. She uses her interest in marketing trends and fads, and her psychological sensitivity to logos and advertising, in her work as an advertising consultant. Her sensitivity becomes a phobia towards older corporate mascots, especially the Michelin Man. She wears only black, gray or white, usually Fruit of the Loom shrunken cotton t-shirts (all tags removed) with Levis jeans (with the trademarks filed off the buttons) or skirts, tights, boots, as well as a Buzz Rickson MA-1 bomber jacket."

Which ironically became the "William Gibson" Buzz Rickson jacket, which was for sale on the Buzz Rickson site for a while.