The latest edition of Adbusters has an article on hipsters which has generated a bit of a punch up in the world of blogs. The article itself is, unfortunately, drawing comparisons to the Dan Ashcroft character in Nathan Barley, though probably rightly so.

(I was urged to see Nathan Barley by a friend of mine, but couldn’t get into it beyond a few episodes. Perhaps momus is right in that it only appeals to those who are its satirical targets. But then I’m not entirely sure, because I’m getting lost in the meta – if the show is about satirising people who criticise a subculture based on ironic satire, by revealing that they themselves are part of the world they are criticising, would the satirical targets of the show be the subculture or the critics? Anyway. I found the whole thing kind of boring.)

As VoYou has pointed out, Adbusters is itself riddled with contradictions.

(An aside for another post: would Adbusters appear a little less hypocritical if it was based on the internet rather than a glossy magazine designed to lie nicely on your coffee table? Would it appear to be based less in consuming anti-consumerism if you could not consume it in public, but instead only within the privacy of your laptop? I’m wondering if there is something less public about consumption on the internet than in the ‘real world’, that takes away from the performativity so inherent to consumptive practice. Or is there, perhaps, an internet equivalent of the performativity of flipping through a copy of Adbusters in your local coffee shop, nonchalantly adding it to your shopping cart along with the latest Chomsky, or leaving the back issues casually strewn on the sofa when your friends come round? Perhaps adding it as a link to your blog would fulfil the same function in the internet world.)

And those contradictions can’t help but bring on the Dan Ashcroft critiques. But that’s the problem with hipsters. You can’t criticise them because they are so, like, ironic?, right, that any assault can be counter-played with the well, dur, you’re just too uncool and jealous, and you don’t, like, get it. Coz you’re boring. Its like being back in school again.

Luckily, most of us who had to deal with the scorn of the cool kids at school grew up to discover that, a decade later, the cool kids are all still living in the same town they grew up in, and are stuck in dead-end jobs and unhappy marriages. While the geeks, freeks and losers went on to become interesting people who conquered the world.

(I saw Bowling for Colombine last week for the first time. It amused me a lot that the guy who created South Park said exactly the same thing.)

Painfully cool people tend to be painfully dull conformists. But aside from this, K-punk is spot on with his point that there is indeed something more pitiful and pathetic about hipsters than other groups that have come and gone. Its the whiny lament of rich white middle class kids from the suburbs, who think they have a grievance with the world because Momma wouldn’t give them a bigger allowance.

But I’m afraid all my attempts to try and rationalise my intense dislike of hipsters tend to descend into diabolical cursing about their stupid haircuts, pretentious posing, and the fact its impossible to find anything other than shops selling hand knitted iPod warmers in my neighbourhood any more.

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