Reality hasn’t been the same since the culmination and convergence around ten years ago. The world ended.
There was a point, maybe in the mid 2000s, where it identified a more-or-less distinctive cultural bloc - like, under 25, low budget, Vice magazine, self-consciously trashy, in the loop on dance music but not committed to any one scene, different dressing-up-box charity shop fashion every week.
But now it indiscriminately covers everything from basically that through to sensibly-dressed 30-something freelancers getting their regular soy latte and sourdough toast while unthreatening cool jazz plays in the background, and it basically means whatever people want it to mean to prove the point they were going to make anyway.
Maybe this is just my take, but I hear "man about town" as someone who has made impressions, however pettily, on enough people to allow for this someone to crop up in enough conversations for it to become a thing.You know O'Henry, American writer who does kinda cheesey short stories? There is one where this guy hears the phrase "man about town" and he wants to know who is one of them, so he goes to every bar asking and then he gets knocked down by a tram or something, wakes up in hospital and sees the newspaper with a headline about how this "man about town" has been hospitalized by a tram... 'man about town' means hipster doesn't it?
Luke and I had a good friend who exclusively hung out with hipsters in the Shoreditch area, apart from us. She used to get so hung up on keeping up with those idiots to the point that it would cause her anxiety and stress, but she never felt like that with us. We could never understand the fatal allure of the hipster for her or what weird emotional yearning drove her towards them against her better instincts and character. Apart from anything else, they were boring. They weren't thick, they had two forms of intelligence:
1) a social awareness that could determine within seconds of meeting either Luke or myself that we had no social or professional utility for them and we were therefore the human equivalent of dust, and
2) the ability to absorb enough cultural references points and intellectual tools to hold the correct conversation in the correct circles or secure the requisite employment opportunity in the culture industry, or whatever, but without that being a creative or original intellectual or artistic ability as such.
These people are boring and dead behind the eyes but without the wit or self-awareness to recognize it. We found them fascinating for this reason, but she found them attractive, and that's what we could not understand. It was like self-abuse.
Yeah it implies that whoever is treating you like dust must be on some higher wavelength, with higher standards, and maybe some of that highness will rub off, no? Not that this is necessarily what runs through our mind, but rather its just a rational interpretation of survival/reproduction tactics.Being treated like dust, or being constantly in danger of being treated like dust, is a more common fetish than one might imagine.