Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Other Entertaining Things

these are some sites I found pretty funny

Also these are the sources for the below entries:

“Culture: Hipster Fashion: The Ultimate in Urban Cool.” 23 Jan. 2008. InsideVANDY. 25 Apr. 2009 .

Freid, Bill. “Grunge.” St. James Encyclopedia of Pop Culture. FindArticles.com. 27 Apr, 2009. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_g1epc/is_tov/ai_2419100545/

Haddow, Douglas. "Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization." Journal of the Mental Environment (2009).

Kerouac, Ack. "Aftermath: The Philosophy of the Beat Generation." Esquire Mar. 2008. .

Skerl, Jennie, ed. Reconstructing the Beats. Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.

In addition all the pictures came from google image search and facebook albums of my friends...thanks guys

Hipsters Today

So what now?

Hipsters today are either supported and admired for their statements, or loathed and despised for their lifestyles and diluted meanings. Elizabeth Robie writes in admiration of these hipsters in a Vanderbilt University newspaper, “hipster fashion is a reflection of counter-culture, associated with liberal political views and a strong admiration for the Beat Generation's literature and lifestyle” (1). She continues to comment on their fashion choices and accessories stating that her university needs more hipsters. Ironically enough she suggest high-end retailers that sell these styles. Unlike hipster enthusiast, Robie, a majority of writing about hipsters is out of frustration. Regardless of the reason, hipsters seem to be a major topic of discussion in blogging communities and not mainstream publications. Although there was a decline the realism and attitudes of this generation, some of it remained. The reason the wealthier kids were imitating the style was because they shared the same attitudes on life. What emerged from this orgy of styles and classes was the hipster scene as seen today. True hipsters, impoverished, struggling, and sarcastic, blend together with a wealthier group of individuals who chose to wear clothes of a certain “style” but do so because they believe they share the same set of ideals as hipsters. From personal experience, I know that the hipster scene here in Detroit is alive and blossoming with each incoming group of freshman at Wayne State University. The hipster scene, here in Detroit has many similarities. Hipsters seem to congregate together at least weekly, to drink, smoke, listen to local band, or site-see the slums and grunge of the city. Warehouse parties include the infamous Funk Night, a huge dance party held in random abandoned warehouses. PBR is the drink of choice including other cheap liquors, and pot seems to be involved no matter what happens. The few American Apparels are booming, and the thrift stores never run out of business from hipsters. However, just as in Seattle the Detroit hipster scene has become more and more commercialized and corporate. With the economic situation, PBR has become an acceptable drink of choice. The parties are attracting wider audiences including people whose fashion sense is at the other end of the spectrum, including frat boys, jocks, and A & F wearers. Local warehouse parties are continually moving around to try to limit the crowd to avoid a police raiding. All the hipsters here share the same attitudes and outlooks on life and matter what they plan on doing.

Dilution of hipsters

What the f*** happened?
hipsters started off so cool, they were rebellious and different, but now their just another scene

As time progressed, hipster fashion and attitudes diluted to a set of corporized fashion labels. The current hipsters drink PBR and smoke American Spirits, Black and Mild’s, Parliaments, and a majority smoke pot. Haddow writes “The American Apparel V-neck shirt, Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and Parliament cigarettes are symbols and icons of working or revolutionary classes that have been appropriated by hipsterdom and drained of meaning” (2). He too agrees that meanings have been diluted to a fashion statement. Current hipsters may be artistry, spiritual, both, rich or poor, and a variety of different races. A majority of people who are unfamiliar with the hipster culture would describe hipsters as those people who dress kind of “weird” but “trendy.” The differences in clothing now, are that outfits are shorter, tighter, and generally more provocative than the earlier ancestors. Quickly designers caught on to the trend, and created stylish clothing of the same design and sell it for much higher prices. Some designers added elements to the dress in attempts to create unique clothing. For example, a store like American Apparel took twists on the styles, such as adding sex appeal. Some people consider the founder of American Apparel, Dov Charney, to be the Jesus of the current hipster look. Haddow also makes the connection of the lost meanings of today’s hipster generation. He writes:

An artificial appropriation of different styles from different eras, the hipster represents the end of Western civilization – a culture lost in the superficiality of its past and unable to create any new meaning. Not only is it unsustainable, it is suicidal. While previous youth movements have challenged the dysfunction and decadence of their elders, today we have the "hipster" – a youth subculture that mirrors the doomed shallowness of mainstream society. (1)

The original hipsters have nowhere to turn, and are forced to blend with the wanna-be’s that surround them everywhere. The corporizing of hipster styles and attitudes diluted an already diluted realist attitude to almost nothing but a fashion statement.

The Beginnings

How did hipsters spring from grunge?
after grunge things reformed a little, more synthetic fibers, more proactive clothing and then hipsters were born

Hipsters are reformed versions of beatniks and the grunge generation. The 80s and 90s grunge generation were rebelling against their hippy gone perfect family parents, the media, and the war. The styles worn embodied the poverty and estheticism of period when grungers grew up. They wore an attitude more proudly than they did their clothes. “Screw Big Brother,” “I don’t care what you think,” and “Live Life as it Comes” seemed to be the majority of the attitudes. The grungers listened to generally nonmainstream music, and most likely smoked cigarettes, weed, or both. From the 90s grunge the newest version, hipster, is a twentieth century concoction of grunge attitudes and synthetic fibers. Originally, the hipster look was not hipster or trendy at all; adopted from the middle class, working man, who wore v-necks, torn jeans, and grungy shoes out of affordability, and dislike of corporations. This original hipster generation were the realists, people who struggled to make a living, and wore out of style, durable, and grungy clothes, because they frankly did not want to keep up with fashion. These realists would come back from work and crack open a cheap beer, such as PBR and smoke to escape the dread of routine. They were skeptics, and not popular. These men drank PBR to defy conforming to any standards. While this group of individuals lived life, wealthier youth started admiring them in self-pity. Douglas Haddow, in his article Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization, makes the connection of this wealthy infusion to the hipster look. He writes “in 2008, such things[PBR, v-necks etc.] have become shameless clich├ęs of a class of individuals that seek to escape their own wealth and privilege by immersing themselves in the aesthetic of the working class” (2). Wealthy people bought similar designs at higher prices, and began to drink and smoke the same things adopting a fashion statement that the majority of them did not understand. Just as grunge became popularized and corrupt so did this new look. Haddow also provides a great description of the hipsters that arose from the imitation of the antisocial working class. He writes, “after punk was plasticized and hip hop lost its impetus for social change, all of the formerly dominant streams of "counter-culture" have merged together. Now, one mutating, trans-Atlantic melting pot of styles, tastes and behavior has come to define the generally indefinable idea of the ‘Hipster’” (1). Hipsters were a generation the started off as counterculture, individual, and unique.


Where did the hipster scene come from?
Before hipsters were the nineties grunge wears and before them were beatniks---yeah I had no idea what that was either. Here is a bit of history...

The hipster fashion and attitude springs from the grunge scene, which dates back to the beatnik generation. This whole cycle began in the 60s with beatniks. This group of individuals held the most realist attitudes and beliefs of the three groups discussed here. Clinton Starr defines the beatnik culture in the “I want to Be with my Own Kind”: Individual Resistance and Collective Action in the Beat Counterculture chapter of the book Reconstructing the Beats as “a ‘counterculture’…a rebellion against pervasive norms and practices that is expressed through individual resistance and collective action” (42). He proceeds to say that a beatnik was a person who “was attracted to bohemian enclaves as sites in which widespread attitudes and habits, such as Cold War politics, racial segregation, heterosexuality, and the valorization of commodity consumption could be transgressed” (42). Beatniks were the polar opposite of mainstream culture and not considered trendy. Their fashion, and attitudes slowly evolved as the 70s came in, and soon enough beatniks were gone and hippies were blossoming (Kerouac). The beatnik dress reflected their attitudes and beliefs; nothing about it was conforming. A few years after, hippies became an endangered species, and the 80s started forming different trends. From the mid 80s to 90s the grunge style started appearing. Like beatniks it was a combination of thrift store outfits and attitudes. The grunge style began as an underground music genre in Seattle, which inspired a new way of dress. With the drop of the Nirvana album, Nevermind and Peal Jam’s Ten in the same month, the grunge style instantly became famous. Ironically enough these bands that had patronizing rock stars suddenly became the new gods of the rock world. This parallels what happened with the fashion at that time. The grunge fashion scene was picked up quickly by designers. Flannel, the popular dress of grunge, because of its inexpensive and durability, was now seen on every store manikin (Freind). Two important things happened through these time periods. First, a reversal of dress and music occurred. The rebellious, antisocial dress of beatniks lead to a separate music genre, whereas grunge was a fashion inspired my music. Secondly, with the grunge generation the first corporization occurred. Ironically, the realism of both these groups originally rooted into anti-corporation values.

Beatniks of the 50's