Roof-topping. photo by Keith McK. Summer 2007.
It's the idea of GREAT POTENTIAL unrealized...of KNOWING you're smart and capable, but CHOOSING to lounge around disaffectedly because you CAN, because not doing so would be SELLING OUT TO THE MAN, because you're young, and THIS IS YOUR TIME TO SHINE. Besides, who doesn't want to be part of some grand, cultural MOVEMENT?
The playlist at Megawords, Philly.
In 20 years, when people look back on the hipsters as a cultural phenom -- the 21st century answer to hippies perhaps -- what will they think? What have hipsters actually contributed to society -- other than lots of art, and lo-fi garage rock bands that only hipsters like, maybe some screen-printed tee-shirts, and a resurgence in '80s fashion? We're liberal, yes, and we helped elect Obama -- but god knows hipsters weren't going door-to-door canvassing or raising money. (All we do is put tiny pins on our hoodies.) The hippies of the '60s had the Vietnam War as their raison d'être -- what do the hipsters have?
My friend Dan made fun of me the other day, for calling a band "synthtastic", and remarked that hipsters are all "jive-ass whities with colored tights" (note: Dan is also a "jive-ass whitie" -- thankfully without tights) and that it's impossible to tell the real hipsters from the posers. I think we' re all posers anymore. There's too much self-awareness, too many images of what hip is supposed to be (who decides this anyway?) that all we're doing is role-playing, contributing to something that's an empty construction, without substance.
Pilam basement, 2007.
But...at the same time...I am kinda ok with this. I'd quit my job and revel in laziness too, if I had rich parents, and I'm alright writing about music that I know 99% of the population will never listen to. It's nice to be surrounded by smart, liberal, fun-loving individuals, and riding the wave as long as we can...