Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sterilized Counterculture

"We’ve reached a point in our civilization where counterculture has mutated into a self-obsessed aesthetic vacuum. So while hipsterdom is the end product of all prior countercultures, it’s been stripped of its subversion and originality."

9 comments:

Bob said...

Hipsters are what you get when yuppies and nerds fuck.

Bob said...

and im cool with hipsters as long as they can hold off the return of grunge.

Don Jason said...

Good article. Describes some MONO-CULTURE neighbourhoods of Berlin and beyond in a nutshell.

Ryan said...

so wait, i thought riding bikes (instead of suvs), buying clothes from thrift stores (recycling the old instead of buying new) or from American Apparel (not a sweatshop in some impoverished country), and not buying from commercial markets that have huge carbon footprints, i.e. big box stores selling movies, music, games and instead filesharing movies, music, etc, i thought that was what adbusters was all about? If anything hipsters are an army of adbuster prodigies. Reusing the styles and trends that they find in the thrift stores, listening to mashed-up pop tunes of the past 30 years mixed with current favs is like them trying to place themselves within a musical continuum. but, Even so there is great new music coming out all the time. "Hipster" is a term that I think has been applied to too broad a group. some hipsters i know, are intelligent, politically aware (they listen to NPR during the day) vegetarians, environmentally conscious (sure they may run a trendy t-shirt shop, but the shirts either come from american apparel or someplace locally.)

I'm not intentionally defending hipsters so much as I think its shitty that adbusters is pissing in the pool that they helped fill up.

Ryan said...

the revolution that the writer of this article just might look different than romantic (and misguided) rock throwing at condos revolution. If these hipsters control their own niche markets (making their own music, clothes, art, and culture essentially) its like they are buying out, not selling out the competition. which is not much different than hippie-capitalism. Which I know sounds horrible, but what are you going to do. We all have to live and buy things, but at least we have the choice to choose which markets we want to buy from. and I don't have a problem with that.

Bob said...

dont tell me you are a fucking HIPSTER now ryan. i know we all have the "art" thing that kinda draws us towards hipsterdom. but try and hold out till the next big thing.

ps. hail SATAN.

Pete said...

I've always assumed what made a Scenester was the ability to be a social chameleon, and a lack of the obsessive interests that made me crazed-looking, gangly and smelly as a young man. I think the article loosely describes every art school party held in the last thirty years.

Still, I don't begrudge the kids their fun. It just isn't my bag.

Bob said...

hipsters are fun. but i like SUVs more then bikes.

Don Jason said...

There is a large amount of romanticism and idealism infused in everything that Adbusters produces. It is a group of Canadian writers, architects, designers, and publicists that relentlessly promote the idea of giving meaning and soul to marketing, design, and liberal capitalism in general; as well as guerrilla resistance, advertising spots, and performance actions to criticize and draw attention to prominent defects in THE SYSTEM(tm).

It would be an interesting discussion elsewhere in a fresh thread to discuss the viability of reshaping advertising and marketing using advertising and marketing strategies as Kalle Lasn and gang propose. (I personally find Blackspot shoes and American Apparel etc. to be simply clever branding of do-it-yourself fashion designed to make money off of hip kid "anti-establishment" cynicism. Nothing revolutionary to see here . . .)

In this article the author is lamenting the death of the spirit of political riot embodied in the Hippie/Punk/Rapper aesthetics throughout the decades and the rise of a mildly universal uncaring shrug of "hipster" debauchery accompanied by the elitist sneer associated with being coolest kid in the neighbourhood. Adbusters is apparently frustrated because the basis of the new fashion movement is so thoroughly a-political. It is an extremely romantic appeal that ignores the hypocracy of me-generation Woodstock Hippies who later traded in their weed and anti-war songs for cocaine and disco. He wants PARIS 1968 cobblestones thrown at the police and more punk rock chanting, of course while wearing "brands with a conscience" t-shirts, hoodies, and sneakers. It all needs to be taken with a grain of salt and I think the irony here is that the target audience of such a magazine issue is in the end those very same hipsters that are being criticized, who of course are angry and "want to tear down the system . . . tomorrow . . . or something . . . lets go get a bio-tofu-couscous-hamburger, I am hung over and hungry."