Recasting the H Word

11Jan12

Hipsters.

Let’s start with what we can agree upon. They are mostly young adults and mostly urbanites. They pursue the ‘fresh’ in arts, fashion, and culture and discard the stale. In pursuit of the fresh, they dabble in avant garde, irony, and sentimentalism.┬áMany are accused of being such but very few embrace the title.

Now let’s move on to points of disagreement. Many have pinpointed the hipster as that person whose pursuit of the fresh causes a sacrifice of genuinity. The criteria of culture-to-be-embraced is founded on image alone and, thus, is vain and disingenuous.

I would argue that this definition (perpetuated mostly by people who others would call hipsters themselves) is too cynical. I think that the pursuit of the fresh has many different motivations, many of which are not vain. It’s exciting and fun to be an urban 20-something searching for that next big thing. It’s not always about being ahead of others or looking a certain way. It can merely be about art and creativity and culture and having a good time. I would like to see the word recast as a wider term for an ever-changing but entirely legit urban culture, similar to the hip-hop culture of the 90s. That way, the term will reclaim some meaning beyond a trendy insult of that person who lives in Echo Park or Bushwick or the Mission District or the city of Portland (and so on and so forth).

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4 Responses to “Recasting the H Word”

  1. how ironic…

  2. 2 tylersknox

    Irony is dead, so says the turtle.

  3. 3 Clawmom

    I grew up about 4 miles from Echo Park. I had no idea it was a happenin’ place now. Sometimes, when conditions were right, we could hear cheering from Dodger Stadium at night….

  4. 4 tylersknox

    That’s neat, Clawmom! Yeah, Silverlake peaked a little while back and is too expensive at this point. Now it’s Echo Park and Highland Park that are just-happenin-enough but still very affordable.
    I live about a mile from Dodger Stadium but it’s hard to hear the cheers over the constant whir of cars on Glendale Blvd.


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