Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Hey Look, a Dated Article that Indirectly Refers to Tweeners!

I have to comment on a June 3rd article from Timeout New York, titled "Why the Hipster Must Die; a Modest Proposal to Save New York Cool". Now, I'm sure the great blogosphere has already talked about this one, but there are just too many priceless lines in here to pass up commentary. Now; although this article is ostensibly about NY, there are many points that apply to Philly, especially concerning what the author here refers to as "mainstream hipsters". A "mainstream hipster" could easily be confused for a tweener, and here's what the author has to say about them:

Yes, the assassins of cool still walk our streets: Any night of the week finds the East Village, the Lower East Side and Williamsburg teeming with youth—a pageant of the bohemian undead. These hipster zombies—now more likely to be brokers or lawyers than art-school dropouts—are the idols of the style pages, the darlings of viral marketers and the marks of predatory real-estate agents. And they must be buried for cool to be reborn.

First of all, there has never been a lawyer or broker hipster in the history of humanity...Period. I can take a pretty good guess as to what an accountant, broker or l*wy*r(trust me on this one) in NY is doing on the weekend, and believe me, it ain't Williamsburg. They are, in fact, somewhere in a castle on the Upper East Side, sitting a mound of blow, playing with their old money, and participating in paid/unpaid orgies. For all you know, they are undead, because you sure as hell will never see them.

Same for Philly lawyers and brokers (if there are any Philly brokers). You think they're actually going to forget Continental Lounge for a night in exchange for watching 20 noise bands in a West Philly basement? Fuck outta here.

In regards to neighborhoods, they don't go from hipster to mainstream hipster, they from hipster to asshole pretty immediately. Take Northern Liberties for example. There was no transition from hipster to mainstream hipster. Literally in the space of a year, rape n'stalk became Liberties Walk, Ministry became le' ministre' (French bistro), and Standard Tap became Standard Tap...With assholes.

And as for extolling the virtues of "art school dropouts", I have met plenty of hipsters in Philly and nearly all of them had college degrees, Art or otherwise. I mean, come on; college is so easy these days that it's harder actually drop out than succeed. You have to be really trying hard to fail...Hat's off to you if accomplished that.

Let's go to the next line:

“The mainstream hipster is not an artist or a musician. He has an office job, and wears one hat to work and another at night.” Presumably, the latter is a trucker—or a porkpie—hat.

Repeat this mantra after me: Just because you have a mediocre band does not make you cutting edge. Just because you have a mediocre band does not make you cutting edge. Just because you have a mediocre band does not make you cutting edge.

Beyond that, however, is this pesky 'office job' that is continually cited as the root of all evil. This author seems to think that everyone with an office job is a banker or a lawyer. What about the grey areas? Librarians? Graphic designers? Journalists? These are classic tween professions (to be covered in another post; Do they need to be sent to the gulags?

The great thing about Philly, as opposed to New York, is that we are much more industrious. Most of the people I've met that are in bands have some of the occupations listed above. To them, as well as most people in this city, it's not selling out, it called "earning a living", which makes it a great inbetween city. You can be a musician, an artist, a marketer, a meth dealer, a contractor, or nothing at all, really; honestly, who the fuck cares this much about divisions these days when the internet has destroyed secrets? Just have fun with it.

Finally: What distinguishes the zombie hipsters at large today from the “white Negroes” Norman Mailer described in the 1950s is a lack of menace. The original hipster—Mailer had in mind James Dean and the Neal Cassady who inspired On the Road—was a “philosophical psychopath” who might steal your car and drive it to Mexico.

Err...That is probably the least menacing thing I've ever heard. I guess stealing my old roomate's adderall made me menacing.

Hipsters past, present, and future never had menace. I mean,On the Road?! Are you serious!? Kerouac once wrote a novel in which his protagonist was celibate for christ sake! William Burroughs killed his wife, and then wussed out and claimed it was an accident. What a punk. These guys were no paradigm of toughness.

Anyway, my point being: Tweeners are far from being lawyers and brokers, we have a creative side but won't be in band for being in a band's sake, and neither hipsters nor tweeners are that menacing...Nor should they care.

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

If there's anything we love more than hipsters it's hipsters mocking hipsters. OMG! How meta!