Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Hipsters Galore

There's been a lot of talk regarding this semispecific species of early twenty-first century urban dweller who forms a large percentage of the fashionista, trendster, and scenester groups. The reason why it's so hard to pinpoint what's going on with hipsters is that there are so many of them who either explicitly deride the idea of being a hipster or are generally just pretending to be one. As with people who self-identify with hiphop culture or greaser culture, the hipster movement has its trailblazers, followers, and wannabes. The people at the forefront of the movement don't need to claim the hipster label because they are too busy creating and coming up with the future of the movement. Yet, there's so many people who mimic the manner of dress, hairstyle, speech affectation to give them a sense of social belonging.

Since this category is so broad, it's fairly ridiculous to declare a hatred for all hipsters. I personally am not that adept at subsuming myself to some large social movement, so I could never find ultimate solace in harboring hipster hankerings. Yet, I definitely do identify with hipsters much more so than lots of other people I know who really do despise them and avoid talking to them at all costs. The thing is, it's so fun to blame hipsters for being too elitist and fashion-conscious in the process of being egalitarian or tolerant. But, at the end of the day, cultural relativism only goes so far if you aim to discover superior cultural goods.

Devandra Banhardt isn't quite my favorite musician, but I can get down with that stuff. I like to think I have a diverse range of musical tastes. Well, another thing about hipsterdom is that it really includes so much different musical history (punk, glam rock, electro, folk) that it's impossible to narrow the broad social grouping to one genre. And, honestly, much of the time, hipster should be used as a label for a professional class of people who are involved concretely in doing and selling hipster thangs. However, the label describes the fashion sense, the social preferences, the vocabulary, etc. Though these types do often make solid use of their parents' economic status, there seem to be plenty of grimy, blue-collar hipsters that live in seedier settings than their hipster comrades who are bourgeois-boheme but in denial of this heritage. Maybe hipsters are just latter-day hippies in that, ultimately, all of their counterculture just gets subsumed into the massive corporate-driven spectacle that we operate.

Monday, March 06, 2006

On a Mission

What's up blogreaders worldwide? As I sit here in this neighborhood coffeeshop equipped with the finest hi-fi around, I'm reminded that this city probably has more mocha-sipping, iBook-rocking spaces than any other. I attempt to ingratiate myself into this cafe culture, but as of yet, I lack the accoutrements. First, I currently don't possess a machine with which to compute. I used to be a diehard desktop abuser, but it looks like I might go mobile and stop being a laptop virgin. Second, I'm pressed to find some black-rimmed spectacles that fit the part. Having only occasionally sported the glasses I procured 6 years ago upon my initial acquisition of vision enhancement devices (this pair has been known to bestow misfortune upon thee, and by thee, I mean, me), I sense the impulse to snatch up a fresh pair that replaces the merely "studious" type that I currently bear.

I'm perched at this borrowed laptop fiending for the words that could shed light on my current mindset. Fellow cafe-dwellers browse through philosophical treatises by French pointyheads and await a bluegrass mandolin recital. I quickly slurp down what is apparently known as a Mexican mocha. Though I'm not yet a regular consumer of such beverages, I could become more and more habituated to such things since every third establishment in my cultivated hood serves up coffee in an ambiance of sumptuous Argentine neo-folk and post-rhythmic singer-songwriter cacophonies.

Today is a grey day. Not the sort of day I could take pictures of my new abode. When the light strikes it right, I'll snap some shots of my pad in all its glory. In addition to being the oldest neigborhood in San Francisco, the Mission is also one of the sunniest, due to the hilly peaks to the south and west that block cloud movement into the the area. Unfortunately, the sunshine didn't roll in today.

I'm not feeling particularly garrulous at the moment. Perhaps the weather is cramping my blogsteez. The players toting mandolins begin to enter, and the show promises more amusement than the Oscar drama this evening. "Ya'll ni$%as be scramblin, gamblin/ up in restaurants with mandolins and violins..."
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