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Hipsters, Weedpunkers and Lies Lies Lies

It may seem like this is another post avoiding the expression of my inner life. Don't get me wrong, it is.

There is hope in the near future: linking away at distractions can only last so long, before the various risings converge. Soon I'll be reflecting on the last fourteen months, a period of my life dense as the stuff they used to make certain helmets out of. Yes I am typing this note for myself more than anyone else. Only up to this point though.

Pop culture is a funny thing. Allow me to present a wildly opinionated but conceptually and informatively decent article on this thing we call Hipsterdom.

It's not surprising how down the Adbusters guys are on skinny fashionistas and fashionistos who ride bikes around and party really hard in lieu of producing any long-lasting, paradigm-shifting artistic output in their pocket of pop culture. Adbusters tend to think outdoor and internet advertising are fundamentally manipulative, thus, the current trend in Hipsterdom, as a natural outgrowth of the Spectacle of Capitalist Empire (Godzilla noise), suppresses or manipulates--rather than inspires--the human spirit. Very complicated grounds here. The human spirit is far from gone--it just depends on where you're choosing to look--but right and wrong aren't really the issue in addressing how accurate Adbusters is. It's more about where our values lie with regards to their accuracy.

Personally, hipsters (as such) only really annoy me when "they" show that no knowledge- or idea-driven base is maintained beneath their ironic/post-ironic attitudes and casual, cute art, and furthermore, despite this, also hold a kind of hyperliberal righteousness.

In other words, the aesthetics on their own certainly can please me when they're presented with plenty of meat to work with, but this is most often not the case.

We may just have to face the fact that the general level of human intelligence has always been relatively low. Now that inexpensive consumer electronics and vintage tools and a proliferation of media stories and a fevering of the modern imagination have all helped to make more folks more creative and more vain than ever before, we're living in the effect, the splash zone, the plateau of a prior curve. As to whether the issue of intelligence is true of people due to nature or nurture, we can't draw a clear line. Regardless we are lucky to be see so much youthful indulgence and creativity today (however lame and tired much of it seems), because, to me, it expresses a democracy of access filled with the teeming urge to express, create and be loved. A democracy that needs a lot of work, sure, but a beautiful, complex, troubled and carnation-like democracy nonetheless.

Let's say pastiche culture can in a sense be modeled as a List compiling all the individual lists people write on themselves, in order to (consciously or unconsciously) describe themselves to others (and, of course, to themselves). Why not. As in the Mexican and Southwest beatings of "metrosexuals" the claim laid against Hipsters tends to focus on their pastiche nature (constructed from past youth trends or countercultures), and their lack of political righteousness (God forbid).

The Adbusters frustration, in print, is essentially a form of conservative political action, as were the aforementioned beatings. As in the issue of a missing human spirit, I tend to think the political side of this youth trend does exist, it's just not being looked at from any new angles. For instance, we might ask whether nonpolitical action (political nonaction) is in fact the acting prerogative of the quiet majority--which means the majority of democratic actors express their demands not from a voting booth, but from the public display and bartering of lifestyle.

Unfortunately for all involved in this conflict of ideas, the obnoxious Hipster thing is, again, perfectly natural: an outgrowth of an imperial, globalized youth and the information technologies there involved, including the highest acceptance of homosexual and otherwise marginal activities in the Spectacular West since Athens--complete with a tendency to recycle cans, bottles and--most importantly--taste.

Then there's Weedpunk which, I mean, is just another outreaching limb from this tree of cultural claiming. Go for a laugh, stay for the smell. Is it possible our generation will be known as the last wave of people who were great at using the past to make shit up? One can only hope.