One of the words popping up when talkin about the changes in Detroit is hipster. Like mentioned in an earlier post it has something to do with gentrification, it has something to do with outsiders coming in, and it has a lot to do with economical perspectives hipsters apparently do have, whereas others don’t. After diving into the history of the word, it turned out Normain Mailer dubbed the term. Check his classic essay The White Negro here.
But the word has more contemporary connotations as shows this Guardian quote: "It seemed to revolve around the desire to reproduce as rebellion these things that had formerly been part of the mainstream market," says Greif, citing the art-gallery porn by the likes of Richard Kern and the conspicuous consumption of meat while in the company of vegetarians as two examples. "There's this idea that they are the agents of change, the true revolutionaries, where the revolutionary change is to . . . make exclusive the pleasures that had potentially belonged to anyone in the past, to celebrate the upwards redistribution of wealth. Not all hipsters arrive in the big cities flush with cash, but they almost always possess some cultural capital, usually a university degree and refined upbringing. They can use this to prevent themselves from ending up on the bottom of the pile, even if their only means of upward mobility are snarky putdowns and a working knowledge of the Smiths.“ End of quote, since who listens to the Smiths these days?
Now the lines above point towards a definition but as it goes with words, another pops up just round the corner. So it seems. Since the possible definitions and explanations given at a conference, yes you read that right, a conference, on hipsterdom aren’t the most scientific proof. The conversations do however make you smile.
So there is hate against hipsters, which seems to be the ultimately hipster thing. Since who has time to worry about words like these, except for me and the cafe latte soja milk sucking hipsters themselves? Or as somebody remarks in a rather silly video on that big web:"If you like the eighties so much, than just get back, and die of aids."
Now that indeed is not very friendly, so to something a little lightlier: Naturally the name can also be transformed to a title dripping off with heavy drops of self irony. The blog Look at that Hipster even developed their own clothing. Shop here. I guess for me the most upsetting in the discussion on hipsters is the focus on the ever present and everlasting now. As if we don't live our live in a society that has been scarred by the past. So, lack of political, or for that matter historical, knowledge just pisses me off. It could be my prejudice but when i think of hipsters I do not think of kids knowing of bands performing befroe the Smiths...That might have been triggered by the first article I read that mentioned the word hipster, which was published by the loving title “Hipster: the death end to Western civilisation”. The first line of that article just sums it up: We've reached a point in our civilization where counterculture has mutated into a self-obsessed aesthetic vacuum.