Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Blight of Hipsters


This is another topic that I am posting along with Jessica.

Somehow in our conversation, Jessica started talking about the encroachment of hipsters into previously decent neighborhoods.  Now, I don't have quite the same perspective as Jessica, since I don't live in a big city and would never care to, and I am glad that I am not in the vicinity of mass groups of "hipsters" (what a stupid name, by the way--fitting)...but I have my own very related thoughts.  (Though they might go much farther than Jessica expected, lol.)

The whole idea of this particular culture is, first of all, ridiculous.  But it's not anything new.  A group of people rejecting mainstream culture and in reality just creating their own culture which is supposed to be anti-culture (which is not possible, by the way) and in the process creating something that ultimately ends up becoming mainstream...  "Hey, let's value independent thought, but your independent thoughts need to line up this way, people!"

Okay, right.  Makes total sense.

I mean, I get it to a point...I appreciate punk music and ska, for instance.  But though some of those elements seeped into my life at points, I always thought the culture ideas were pretty silly.  They just don't make sense.  They're not getting away from anything; they're just creating something that is in reality more shallow.  (But they sure know how to make it *sound* deep.  That's not exactly hard.)  You don't follow people and form basic ideas and ideologies if you're trying to get away from conformative thought.

Anyway, it's ultimately a destructive and not a constructive thing, when cultures and societies are formed this way.  When you define yourself by some ideal of "cool", when you reject the traditional just for the sake of rejecting the traditional, then you are binding yourself to some societal/cultural trend that is meant to tear down what has come before.  This attracts the types of personalities that just want to be told what is "in" or new or up and coming; people who want to latch on to something different that *sounds* good.  Ohh, it's progressive...well then!  It must be good!  And as such, because most of the people involved are involved through reactionary emotion, such things grow like a disease.  Shallowness breeds shallowness.

Everyone needs to have a sense of belonging and an identity entrenched in a certain model, which is usually formed through various past experiences and inspirational models.  There is a common unspoken (but quite mistaken) idea that you have to accept certain models in their entirety.  So if you don't like one or two aspects, then you go out and find something entirely new.  When you attach yourself to something "revolutionary", the tendency is to destroy that which has come before.

Don't get me wrong.  I think every young person needs this revolutionary experience to some extent, in order to evaluate their own past in relation to something different.  And new ideas and models can become useful and are indeed necessary in our poor broken world.  But slavery wasn't abolished by some up and coming "radicals".  True civil rights (as opposed to the fake civil rights that are currently trumpeted all over the place) are not won by society tossing out their whole culture, but by accepting the *truest* parts of their culture and better integrating these things into our lives. 

Good and right changes are built upon solid ideals, which are not in fact some new progressive idea.  Change is often a good thing, but the question must be asked *what are we changing into*??  And the usual instruments of change today don't want you asking that question.  "Independent thought" is likewise "encouraged", but when people talk of independent thought, they usually mean anything but.  Neither independent nor thought.  They mostly mean "just don't think what those fuddy duddies over there think, because they are, like, so totally uncool".

This entire tendency, of destructive culture building upon itself, of people following what is pronounced to be cool and hip, is why I detest cities so much (other than the great masses of suffocating people, that is)...cities are the breeding grounds of such things.  You get enough people together in one area and some things are inevitable, like really really bad drivers and people who think they are thinking but in reality they are not.

There is a reason that traditional things are, well, traditional.  Throwing these things out, or turning to things just because of some cool-factor is basically as far from independent thinking as one can get.

Hipsters throw in an additional element in putting up a pretense of keeping some things traditional, but these are strictly kept to certain trappings which mean nothing to them beyond their new-found coolness.  Jared thought of a definition for "cool" a few weeks ago...it was something like "assigning importance to something with no justification whatsoever".  I thought it was a pretty good definition.

As I mentioned, I think everyone needs a rebellious time; you can't properly evaluate things otherwise...but it's quite possible to do this sensibly and without having it overcome and destroy everything.  I offer some proof here.

This is something that a very good friend of mine made for me years ago.


It was very appropriate for me at the time--and in truth, still is.  Because I can make my own culture from that which is truly valuable; I am very conservative and traditional, but in many ways I don't fit in with any one culture.

I could ramble on about this much more, but I will force a stop here.

Stop being stupid, people.

**

As if I didn't write enough today, I am going to include some of the devotional I was reading this morning by Oswald Chambers.  It's a nice counter-point.  These words suit me as well as FLP Barbie's cattle prod and hair style.  :)

This was based on Matthew 6:26, 28

 "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?...And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin."

Oswald Chambers:

"So often we impair God's designed influence, which He desires to exhibit through us, because of our own conscious efforts to be consistent and useful...There is only one way to develop and grow spiritually, and that is through focusing and concentrating on God." 

2 comments:

Jessica P said...

oh wow that is a really cool Barbie! LOL

You are way more profound than I am; I'm more snarky and i like the word Fuckwit.

And you are right; it is the destructive aspect that I object to. Sure, the "bad" neighborhoods have problems but those problems aren't being addressed- rather they are just being moved somewhere else, which does more harm than good.

While I am neither traditional nor conservative, I do value such things that really ought to be universal like integrity and basic decency. Respect.

I love that we come from different places and perspectives, yet we still have so much overlap in the ways that really matter. <3

~!Carey said...

Snarky needs its place; you just have more direct experience with such people, sadly.