jul 30

Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization

Ad Busters: Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization. "The hipster represents the end of Western civilization -- a culture so detached and disconnected that it has stopped giving birth to anything new." [via]


Yes, it's the end of history. Again. Until next time anyway. Somebody go wake up Francis Fukuyama - I think it's his turn again.

The author uses "we" as though he is of that generation, but he writes as though he's from an older one. "These kids today - nothing but wastrels! In my day we did it right." It's a conundrum because you kind of have to be out of it to view it objectively but if you're out of it you can't help but speak about it with a bit of biased hell-in-a-handbasket tone. I've been hearing it in myself for a while.

I will agree with him partially by lamenting the accelerated recycling of past decades instead of creating new ones. As happy as I am that 80's synthesizers are everywhere again, for example, (why did we ever stop using them, really?), it seems lazy. I suppose reggaeton shows that you can come up with new and defining sounds for a time period (okay that's a smallish example), but the recycling seems to overshadow things like that. I was disappointed that the 90's recycled the 70s too soon. Flared jeans started coming back, and those awful, muted brown/orange/yellow color combinations of my very early childhood took root again and have only faded recently. And the horrible 70's guy hair started up again sometime late 90s maybe and bled over to this decade. I can't breathe when I see those horrid mops that look like someone tried their hardest to look their worst and then slept on it. And then the girls were all about the 80s hair until recently. I think if you want to recycle a decade, there ought to be a mandatory waiting period - 30 years minimum, and preferably 40. Hey... was the 80s the 50s? That jeans and Gap tee look... Anyway, it doesn't seem like the 90s had a real definition of its own, and maybe we have to get out of this one before we can see it for whatever it is. So at least in terms of fashion and some elements of pop culture I can agree with the author's lamentations partially. But calling it the end is the same old shortsighted mistake, as though the scene will still be hipstery 20 years from now with no end in sight, skinny jeans everywhere. Just because you can't picture the future doesn't mean it won't come and be different. They can write the same article, say, 14-17 years from now and just swap out some key words.

posted by Eric at 9:20 PM on July 30, 2008

If there's one thing fashion recycling would be good for, it would be to bring 80s suspenders back so those idiots don't have to walk around holding their crotches to keep their pants from falling down. Saw a father doing that with his two kids outside the grocery store the other day. Hell in a handbasket, I tell you!

You kids get out of my yard RAAAR!

posted by Eric at 9:56 PM on July 30, 2008

I'm actually not convinced this isn't satire. My favorite part:

This obsession with "street-cred" reaches its apex of absurdity as hipsters have recently and wholeheartedly adopted the fixed-gear bike as the only acceptable form of transportation -- only to have brakes installed on a piece of machinery that is defined by its lack thereof.

posted by Rex at 12:12 AM on July 31, 2008

This is exactly what brought about the fall of the Roman empire.

posted by Cope at 3:48 AM on July 31, 2008

when we look back on it,you'll be able to pin the fall of western civilization on fixies and american apparel...that an ellipses.

Fer god don don if were bringing back the 80's can't we drop the raybans and get into some clear oakley frogskins?

posted by ryanol at 1:35 PM on August 1, 2008

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