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August 5, 2011

Wrestling with Hipsterism

I've tossed around the word hipster quite frivolously, a term I've used to describe anyone proud of their awkwardness, running askew to the norm; the girl who liked all the bands before the were popular or the boy who insists on wearing suspenders and cuffed pants.

In retrospect, I guess it was a term I used with fondness--the equivalent of a sigh and a ruffling of their hair while I chuckle, "what am I going to do with you?" in that way that shows as much affection as it does reproach. Visiting NYC, I saw them en masse and certainly felt their community gave them more credibility.

Now, however, my opinion of the word has soured.

In thinking of the parasitic way of living I've accepted, I'm inclined to assume (from my experience only) that even the leech dreams of being a regular and vital organ of the host. I don't want to suck SF dry and walk away; I'd love to discover a true sense of understanding of the city, it's people, their history and composition.

But I am an aspirant from the East with no reason to be living here but for my job. I moved from a luxury apartment in one of the best neighborhoods in the DC Metro area. Add this to my abstention and other things, and I stand out and apart from the city I now call home.

The wolf knows he's a wolf, but he wants to be a lamb. He tries to be a lamb. Meanwhile, the world waits knowingly for his first howl.30 Jul via Twitter for Android Favorite Retweet Reply

So what does one do feel more authentic? He finds replicable elements in the things he considers real and dons them. The underground music scene, working class neighborhood bar, the sartorial sensibility of the service sector. Tats are real enough, and so is disdain for the appearance of affluence.

It is not uncommon to find the the strongest opinions from those with the weakest ties. Even I, having spent two posts now talking around these concepts am to blame. I yearn for the simplicity and honesty I see in my grandfather's generation, but were I to raid his closet and play his music, what would make me less fraudulent, more acceptable than the average hipster? What could I possibly do besides progress that would not make me an adherent to nostalgia? Hipsterism is non-progressive.

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