This entry has depreciated, please click here to read the official article on the Adbusters website.
Below is the feature article of Adbuster’s Magazine Issue #79, which should hit newsstands either today or tomorrow. As a subscriber to the magazine, I received my copy in the mail last Thursday and after reading the entire issue I decided to spend an hour Friday afternoon transcribing the feature article for this blog entry.
Normally I don’t waste my time transcribing articles, but I have a strong feeling that this article will not be published on their website in its entirety and I feel that by sharing it here I’m able to direct more people to the magazine’s website than would otherwise visit. I don’t think Adbusters will take too much issue to my reprinting of their article, but if they do I’ll remove it from my website. I’ve already been their anti-advertisement lackey before and probably helped sell dozens of their corporate flags when I was featured in the Sunday Style section of the Washington Post on the 4th of July, 2004.
What I enjoyed most about this article is that it hits close to home. Depending on what clothes I might be wearing I could easily be considered a hipster under the definition outlined in the article below. However, what’s lacking in the demographic the author outlines are those that bridge the gap between socially aware and unaware. As in, can someone stand for something, but not have it thrown in the face of the unaware? On my behalf, I can say that I’m fully aware of what style I am supporting just as I am aware of what corporations I am not supporting in my clothing, music, and transportation choices (I have two bicycles; neither of which are fixed-gear). Aren’t culture jammers supposed to be wolves in sheep’s clothing that can blend in, but stand out when the time arises?
In this respect, the author makes little room for someone like myself to exist within the rubric of hipsterdom. Can one be stylish, but not hipster? Or can one be socially conscious while maintaining the decorum of that which the author loathes? The inherent irony is that many of the clothes the author points out are also clothing items that were not made in a sweatshop.
As a mashup of all demographics before it, how then will the future be defined by the absence of this mashup? Essentially, if hipsterdom is to die, then how can a new demographic be born anew without stealing some its tenets, much like all previous generations did before it? In that respect, the author attempts to answer this by stating we are at the end of the Western Civilization because we have no where to grow, move, or redefine ourselves. Yet the author doesn’t give much direction as to how we are to accomplish this.
I ask those rhetorical questions above because I generally agree with the author’s conclusions, yet as someone that straddles the demographic at hand, I don’t see the how the demographic will end or morph without some cataclysmic event that forces the delineation between those who have both substance and style and those that are simply posing for the camera blissfully unaware of their choices. Only time will tell…I hope you enjoy the read and if you do, go out and purchase the magazine yourself.
Hipster : The Dead End of Western Civilization
By Douglas Haddow for Adbusters Magazine, Issue #79
I’m sipping a scummy pint of cloudy beer in the back of a trendy dive bar turned nightclub in the heart of the city’s heroin district. In front of me stand a gang of hippiesh grunge-punk types, who crowd around each other and collectively scoff at the smoking laws by sneaking puffs of “fuck-you,” reveling in their perceived rebellion as the haggard, staggering staff look on without the slightest concern.
The “DJ” is keystroking a selection of MP3s off his MacBook, making a mix that sounds like he took a hatchet to a collection of yesteryear billboard hits, from DMX to Dolly Parton, but mashed up with a jittery techno backbeat.
“So… is this a hipster party?” I ask the girl sitting next to me. She’s wearing big dangling earrings, an American Apparel V-neck tee, non-prescription glasses and an inappropriately warm wool coat.
“Yeah, just look around you, 99 percent of the people here are total hipsters!”
“Are you a hipster?”
“Fuck no,” she says laughing back the last of her glass before she hops off to the dance floor.