Recasting the H Word
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. Many 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).
Filed under: tk | 4 Comments
Tags: bushwick, echo park, hipsters, mission district, portland