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Woebot
03-03-2005, 08:46 AM
Something i've been noticing alot recently, and maybe its just a (fairly gruesome) London phenomenon or one restricted to big cities, but why is everyone trendy these days?

I'd apologetically class myself as one of these awful infoclass hipsters, and plead the case that it was necessary cos of my chosen profession (lies, lies).

But Green Grocers, Plumbers, Electricians, Gardeners, Technicians (feigned indignance) What right do these people have to be media whores! Lol.

It cant have always been like this! A friend was telling me of the dubbing facility that he works in that it was "Old Skool" that the people working there (unusual for the Motion Graphics biz) frowned on "trendy clothes" and "strange music" and it seemed like a breath of fresh air!

I think Nathan Barley could have been a million times funnier/truer if it had been about a "Media Butcher" (I know two for goodness sakes, and they're hilarious!) BTW this idea is copyrighted ;-)

fldsfslmn
03-03-2005, 09:44 AM
I guess it's just like the mid-80s (I'm guessing, I wasn't really debating these sorts of things back then) when everyone who had lived through the late seventies and early eighties suddenly realized that everything had been completely co-opted and assimilated. So I don't think it's anything to worry about. That you notice it is more reflective of your position in the food chain, so to speak. I, too, notice all these messy-chaired chumps all over the place, and I live in a very provincial place, so I think location has little to do with it. That's what bothered me about the popular reaction to Nathan Barley -- everyone was all "oh, that Shoreditch thing happened so long ago." Well, that may be true, but 2004 was the year that hipsterism (itself spread primarily through contact with the English language) penetrated to the farthest reaches of the English-speaking world. It's not about specifics at all. In that way, Nathan Barley is more timely than had it come out in 2001 (even though it's not timely in as many ways -- Nathan Barley already is to comedy what the Psychedelic Furs were to pop). These hip people we see are like Inuit children dancing to a Duran Duran album in 1985. They don't know what the hell it is, but that's what's on offer.

I'm also getting older, and I think that's got a lot to do with it too. But I'm sure that we've all lived through more interesting phases in culture than the one we're currently going through, ones that perhaps didn't manage to be assimilated quite so cozily. What about this one dictates the way in which it has been assimilated? Does the content determine the result? Punk/post-punk/new wave (taken together for convenience) and the hipsterism of today both operate on a similar hedonistic/nihilistic push-pull axis. So maybe it's not just about "noticing it" ...

Gerard
03-03-2005, 11:13 AM
The greengrocers on Turnham Green Terrace (which was my local) was staffed by messy haired geezers. They all looked very hip! I guess they may have been media grocers. .

The butchers on the other side of the road were of the ruddy-faced old school, though.


Hasn't there been a geezerish hipness to greengrocers for some time?

jenks
03-03-2005, 12:00 PM
it's not just large cities, here out on the coast, (i was going to write 'on the margins' but i wonder with this particular phenom. where the margins might be) we are trendied beyond all measure - juice bars - can you make aliving selling juice? clothes stores, more opticians selling 'fashion eyeware' than there are butchers or bakers (unless you're looking for authentic italian foccacia, then try the italian deli, rather than the spanish one), scented candle shops, aromatherapy - sorry i've lost my thread amongst the rant - yep trendyfication - can we blame jamie oliver for any this?

henrymiller
03-03-2005, 12:02 PM
butchers were always further right in their politics than grocers. i happened to read this just last night. something to do with their positions on protectionism.

henrymiller
03-03-2005, 12:03 PM
you can 'blame' the fact people are richer on the whole and the more the world becomes a single economic unit the more goods from more places become available.

ome
03-03-2005, 09:01 PM
'dub'ing bouy here...

my green t-shirt was commented upon today - no one else wears green..

i'll tell you one thing its a tight community & people willingly share knowledge that refreshingly different for this biz..

Backjob
04-03-2005, 02:16 AM
I think it's just cos the things that signify "cool" have been pretty much consistent for about 4-5 years now, so everybody no matter how clueless has had a chance to pick up on it in their local department store - they've got the semi-long messy hair, the stubble and the pre-faded jeans. Something new will come along shortly and all the trendy butchers will look like your kipper-tie and brown flares wearing maths teacher did in 1987....

Talking about global culture, it really rams it home to walk down a street in Hanoi and see people wearing conical straw hats and pajamas working alongside peers clad in trucker hats and converse.

Woebot
04-03-2005, 08:46 AM
I guess it's just like the mid-80s (I'm guessing, I wasn't really debating these sorts of things back then) when everyone who had lived through the late seventies and early eighties suddenly realized that everything had been completely co-opted and assimilated.

its interesting you say that. im working beside this bloke who was obviously some kind of spanish radical in the 50s and 60s, and you just sense he's quietly disenchanted, almost bored by the collapse in possibilities. dont want to tar it with a brush, but radicalism today of the nologo/anti-war vein just seems like its mainly for day-trippers and a deeply held set of convictions for a tiny tiny minority. maybe its because people worked out that the counter-culture's panoply of concerns were only held together by the frailest strands.

Woebot
04-03-2005, 08:47 AM
you can 'blame' the fact people are richer on the whole and the more the world becomes a single economic unit the more goods from more places become available.

yeah but it is sorta funny.

arcaNa
04-03-2005, 10:28 AM
i find this phenomenon immensely irritating/amusing.
suddenly "alternative" looks were everywhere....i used to find fellow sub-everything friends out from spotting who was a bit different, it was like some sort of secret code... now EVERYONE looks a bit "cool" just from sheepfollowing the flock, not by conscious choice... maybe the new cool is the old square? i dunno. it's....confusing.
but amusing, too! -gah, it's just clothes...

Rambler
04-03-2005, 11:30 AM
I think Nathan Barley could have been a million times funnier/truer if it had been about a "Media Butcher"

LOL! That would have been briliant! :D

I'm gonna start wearing tweed - surely that's pretty alternative these days?

jimet
04-03-2005, 12:00 PM
I think we're all just getting old. When you're 16 everything is new and you can more easily spot and navigate the fractally complex set of codes that differentiate hip from square. I seriously doubt a 16 year old iD kid (or whatever the equivalent is) would have thought yr grocer looked cool. There's the kidult thing where the last couple of generations are refusing point blank to get old with dignity (looks down at trainers, MIA CD, Big Chill tickets), but that's not quite the same.

Gerard
04-03-2005, 02:00 PM
Hugh Fearnley-Whitingstall is very nearly a media butcher, as is Fergus Henderson of St John.

Although, given that H F-W is involved in animal husbandry and Fergus H in cooking meat, there does seem be a clear gap for a media-friendly middleman. How long would it take to train as a butcher and muscle into the media spotlight?

martin
04-03-2005, 02:20 PM
That's what bothered me about the popular reaction to Nathan Barley -- everyone was all "oh, that Shoreditch thing happened so long ago." .

I was in the Foundry on Wednesday night, the Shoreditch thing's still going very strong.

jimet
04-03-2005, 02:45 PM
Wasn't the reaction to Barley more "Oh, fuck off, Brooker, that joke was mildly funny as a single paragraph in 1999, but it can't possibly spread to an episode let alone a series" combined with "Jesus, Morris - what happened to you, man?"

LRJP!
04-03-2005, 02:59 PM
i find this phenomenon immensely irritating/amusing.
suddenly "alternative" looks were everywhere....i used to find fellow sub-everything friends out from spotting who was a bit different, it was like some sort of secret code... now EVERYONE looks a bit "cool" just from sheepfollowing the flock, not by conscious choice... maybe the new cool is the old square? i dunno. it's....confusing.
but amusing, too! -gah, it's just clothes...

it's hip to be square?

;)

fldsfslmn
05-03-2005, 09:37 AM
its interesting you say that. im working beside this bloke who was obviously some kind of spanish radical in the 50s and 60s, and you just sense he's quietly disenchanted, almost bored by the collapse in possibilities. dont want to tar it with a brush, but radicalism today of the nologo/anti-war vein just seems like its mainly for day-trippers and a deeply held set of convictions for a tiny tiny minority. maybe its because people worked out that the counter-culture's panoply of concerns were only held together by the frailest strands.
What we really need to determine is whether old X always seems bored, disenchanted, etc. Does anyone have any idea if this type of disengagement with the present (mainly on political grounds) has appeared in literature prior to, I dunno, 1850?

The tendency is to conject that movements are being commodified more and more quickly, but is this really true? Could it be that "more and more quickly" is simply the character we continually apply to the past, based on our grounding in the present? I wonder if there were lots of Nathan Barley types during the Renaissance?

jimet
07-03-2005, 09:02 AM
I wonder if there were lots of Nathan Barley types during the Renaissance?

Of course there were - look at Prince Hal in Henry IV - or even Hamlet, come to think of it.

jenks
07-03-2005, 12:39 PM
doesn't Hal do this knowingly - it is for him a holiday but also a fact finding mission. he knows he will have to alter his behaviour when he succeeds his father (he will imitate the sun etc). th epoint is that these barley types - have they a choice, do they knowingly inhabit these 'media cool' positions or are they the only ones they know?

Rachel Verinder
15-03-2005, 08:51 AM
You ought to read Francis Wheen's biography of Karl Marx - highly entertaining stuff which indeed confirms that back in the mid-19th century old Karl, Friedrich and poor Jenny were EXACTLY the Nathan, Dan and Claire of their time, romping around Highgate/Manchester/etc, going on the hunt and talking the talk while writing their colleagues' death warrants, always one step ahead of the bailiffs.

I never fail to be tickled by the attendant irony of '60s music insofar as you get chaps like Marmalade, the Tremeloes and Love Affair, all freshly togged out at Granny Takes A Trip and all sounding deeply, deeply conservative, whereas if you look at album sleeves for Ornette, Ayler, Cecil T, etc. they all have short back and sides and immaculately tailored suits and ties and their music still sounds as if it had been recorded five minutes ago.

As for me, I have been happily wearing tweeds, cravats and sensible jumpers since I was 16, and shall continue to do so!

Rachel Verinder
15-03-2005, 08:54 AM
Consider, for instance, the cover of Coltrane's Live At The Village Vanguard Again! They look like a bunch of tourists!

http://www.alwaysontherun.net/coltrane/vangagain.htm

stelfox
15-03-2005, 10:59 AM
you do have a very snazzy orange jacket, though.

fldsfslmn
15-03-2005, 06:07 PM
Consider, for instance, the cover of Coltrane's Live At The Village Vanguard Again! They look like a bunch of tourists!

http://www.alwaysontherun.net/coltrane/vangagain.htm

Jimmy Garrison's shirt-tucked-into-shorts, socks-hiked-up ensemble is particularly resplendent. Very Nathan Barley.