Wednesday, April 3, 2013

For The Love of HIPSTERS

"OH GAWD!!! This place used to be cool before the hipsters took over"

If I only had a nickel for every time I've heard that. Still I wonder what's really behind this distrust, the silent loathing of the Hipster. Is it a fear of cultural commercialization? Is it the intrusion upon a place of solace and comfort? Is it the faceless swarming icky masses? YES a resounding yes.Only not in the way you might think. Let's look at each of the above concerns in depth.

Cultural Commodities
On the surface the fear of having ones culture commercialized and turned into just another commodity seems valid enough, but what if what one considers culture is not culture at all? Often when I question people about this their responses tend to be about the places they eat, and drink, or rent videos, perhaps even music they like. None of that is culture. Sure a cuisine can be part of your culture especially if it based on your heritage, but a restaurant does not qualify. A bar may be the focal point of a subculture, but if it can't survive a new influx of people, or even the closing of said establishment then it wasn't much of a subculture in the first place. As for music, the one universal language of the arts (math being science), most bands I know need to make money in order to survive. If you love them do not begrudge the fans willing to put money in their pockets. Basically this not the fear of your culture being commercialized, but the sudden awakening to the fact that what you think of as culture is commercial commodities.

Solace and Comfort
Ah, yes the quiet peaceful repose one finds in a public coffeehouse, or taco joint. Wait, what? Seriously, if your soul feeding stations can only be found in public spaces and now you feel slighted because they have become over run by Hipsters, please read the next sentence very carefully. Get out. Literally go outside, to a park, a garden, your backyard. Find solace in truly quiet spaces, your soul will thank you for it. Even better, get some dirt on you, your immune system needs it and connectivity to the Earth might make you a better person. Enough preaching, let's examine this fear more closely. It seems to me that what's really going on here is elitism. As long as you can slowly introduce your friends and family to this gem of grooviness you found on Eastside, you can be the purveyor of cool. I'm sure the proprietors won't mind, after all they know that eventually your friends will do the same. Guess what happens next? The place is over run by those despicable Hipster and you know whose to blame? YOU. More on that later.

The Faceless Masses
The most amazing thing about Hipsters is their mythological nature. Everyone talks about them, but I can not find one to save my life. This term is used mainly to identify the dreaded "other". I personally can not tolerate labels that are used to divide and conquer no matter how innocent they may sound. This is a slippery slope that leads to ugliness on many levels.(Subject for another post.) I feel this may be an attempt to resist the anonymity of the herd, but instead attacks the fundamental structure of our society. Like it or lump it, we live in a capitalist society. Every day you vote more for the world you want with your dollars, than with any lever you pull in the voting booth. So if the masses are suddenly showing up to buy that single origin grass fed bar be qued brisket flavored with nothing but salt, pepper and water mist, rejoice. You see the Hipsters have with their dollars just cast votes for quality food instead of over processed, drive thru fare. If this infringes on your ability to get what you want, do something to provide more of it to the world, this is how change happens.

So let's review. The mythological hipster, is actually an engine of change helping to direct society towards better things. By confronting our fear of the other, we begin to be more honest with ourselves and others. Awakening to our own consumerist tendencies perhaps we will begin to foster true cultural touchstones like family and tradition. Accepting our role in society increases our responsibility to that society and places upon us an onus of trust to nurture and mature said society. Coming to terms with your inner Hipster will help you grow as a person, a community member and an agent of change. Goddess Bless the Hipsters.

Also if you all Lovely, Beautiful, and Sexy Hipsters could check out these places and cast a few economic votes they would be forever grateful:

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