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Have we reached the era of the post-ironic riot?
June 16, 2011 4:34 PM   Subscribe


 
Hipsters ruin everything good.
posted by Trurl at 4:36 PM on June 16, 2011


The first recorded hipster riot was Woodstock 1999. It got so bad that MTV's Kurt Loder referred to the unfolding event around him as a "concentration camp", albeit in a suitably ironic fashion.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:38 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Let me be the first to say "Nobody's rioting in the streets over the destruction of the middle class".
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:41 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


The first recorded hipster riot was Woodstock 1999.

Um.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:41 PM on June 16, 2011 [13 favorites]


Right now, "Anarchists" in Greece are rioting to protest cuts in government spending. Does that count?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:41 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Didn't that HRO guy quit already? Also, what is this post doing on Metafilter?
posted by whir at 4:43 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


And, really, that's just Vancouver. They riot for any major NHL win/loss or cancelled GNR concert. It's just how they do.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:44 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I still think that opening an amusement park called RIOTLAND! with a prefab city to be destroyed would be a great solution. There'd be separate areas for right wingers, left wingers, sports fans, and unaffiliated crackpots. Plus we'd set up a snack bar, between that and admission, it'd be a win-win all around.
posted by jonmc at 4:45 PM on June 16, 2011 [20 favorites]


One night at a Sleigh Bells / Neon Indian concert, my freind asked in all earnestness if he was 'a hipster' and I replied "We're in Kansas City, it's physically impossible to be a hipster here"
posted by hellojed at 4:46 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Don't forget alcohol!
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 4:46 PM on June 16, 2011


It's surprising that anyone showed up for such an astoundingly dull sport anyway. Wait, did I say that? I meant exceedingly boring, not astoundingly dull.
posted by Dodecadermaldenticles at 4:47 PM on June 16, 2011


I'm honestly not seeing the connection between hipsters and Canadian hockey riots. If anything, it's sort of a defining trait of hipsters that they don't riot.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:48 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't usually read HRO, but that was pretty funny.
posted by codacorolla at 4:49 PM on June 16, 2011


Wow. I try not to threadshit so soon . . . but I really really hate this.
posted by Think_Long at 4:49 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


About hipsters: that's just Hipster Runoff 'slang', it's more of a joke than anything else
posted by Cloud King at 4:49 PM on June 16, 2011


Newspaper Quote: "One looter managed to break into Chapters bookstore, but apparently no one bothered entering."

[Stolen from reddit]
posted by Gary at 4:50 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


From the article: "It makes sense if you have a dictator bro who is totally killing ur society's vibe, but things are generally 'pretty chill' in North America and Europe."

Oh, well that explains it. Thank you for such deep social and political analysis.
posted by zachlipton at 4:51 PM on June 16, 2011


What a pointless riot.
posted by spiderskull at 4:52 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


One looter managed to break into Chapters bookstore, but apparently no one bothered entering.

Yeah, I've completely switched to e-books too.
posted by Trurl at 4:53 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


From the other Vancouver thread:

People showed up to watch the game and got drunk, already having decided they were going to cause a Youtube-able spectacle one way or another.

As much as you might hate it, Hipster Runoff is in fact expressing a common thought here.
posted by shii at 4:54 PM on June 16, 2011


I'm confused. Is this article ironically bad or sincerely bad?
posted by dephlogisticated at 4:56 PM on June 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


Battle Hymn: Tiger Cub

A few more years and this can be some sort of user level in Mortal Kombat. Except in Australia.
posted by anigbrowl at 4:57 PM on June 16, 2011


I didn't know an article on the internet could make me stabby, but this has happened now, reading the link in this FPP.

Could any single article be more glib and shallow about an urban riot? I'm trying to think of how, but I'm coming up with nothing.
posted by hippybear at 4:59 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


> I'm confused. Is this article ironically bad or sincerely bad?

I don't even know anymore.
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:02 PM on June 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


I'm confused. Is this article ironically bad or sincerely bad?

It's Hipster Runoff. Unless there's boobs, it sucks the good old fashioned way.
posted by jonmc at 5:04 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I still think that opening an amusement park called RIOTLAND! with a prefab city to be destroyed would be a great solution

Oh man I would so go to Riotland. One of the first jobs I ever had was a one-time deal for a bank where we had to completely empty out some retail space that used to be some kind of carpet store. What I learned that day was that destroying shit while swinging a sledgehammer around is super fun. Cleaning it all up after sucks though.

Could any single article be more glib and shallow about an urban riot?

I live 2 blocks from where these pictures were taken and I understand where you're coming from, but I am also at a loss as to how urban rioters could be more glib and shallow than Vancouver's were last night. This shit meant nothing and was stupid as hell and whoever wrote this nailed it as far as I'm concerned.
posted by Hoopo at 5:04 PM on June 16, 2011 [14 favorites]


"Most of these bros seem like they are just trying to search for a sweet Facebook default opportunity." Seems pretty on-target to me. I hope someone writes that incisive essay about first-world luxury rioting and what this embarrassing display says about us compared to the people rioting for actual freedom. In the meantime, maybe this opens the dialogue.
posted by naju at 5:16 PM on June 16, 2011 [10 favorites]


Ima let you finish but Jens Lekman wrote the best hipster love song about riots ever

From the article: "It makes sense if you have a dictator bro who is totally killing ur society's vibe, but things are generally 'pretty chill' in North America and Europe."

Oh, well that explains it. Thank you for such deep social and political analysi


This is true, though.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:19 PM on June 16, 2011


Are they just letting out some angst? Or are they just using the context of a sporting event's outcome in order to create a meme-worthy event?

again, despite the bullshit language this is how some people of my generation see these events

Dead Rising alert
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:20 PM on June 16, 2011


Could any single article be more glib and shallow about an urban riot?

LET MY CANUCKS GO
posted by anigbrowl at 5:20 PM on June 16, 2011


wild
posted by anigbrowl at 5:20 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


it's not a popular uprising, so by definition, it's a hipster riot
posted by pyramid termite at 5:20 PM on June 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


This pretty much seems to have nailed it. People participated both actively and passively to get something to put onto their facebook pages.
posted by GuyZero at 5:27 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Looking at that video, I do not think that was what Joe had in mind.
posted by Decani at 5:31 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was watching the game last night at Shoeless Joe's, my local chain sports bar, and there was a hipsterish-looking (who can tell?) dude there, not paying attention to the game at all, and wearing an Atlas Shrugged t-shirt. I briefly considered asking him if he was wearing it ironically, but realized I wouldn't like the answer either way.
posted by rocket88 at 5:32 PM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Not to mention facebook status updates.
posted by naju at 5:33 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well of course they had to start some fires. Canadians are afraid of the dark.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:34 PM on June 16, 2011


Even the people who came and cleaned up after the riot were posting facebook comments
posted by HLD at 5:44 PM on June 16, 2011


Ow, my balls!
posted by loquacious at 5:45 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Ask yourself, what would Wm. Burroughs do?
posted by clavdivs at 5:47 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Heroin. He would do heroin.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:50 PM on June 16, 2011 [33 favorites]


I still think that opening an amusement park called RIOTLAND! with a prefab city to be destroyed would be a great solution. There'd be separate areas for right wingers, left wingers, sports fans, and unaffiliated crackpots. Plus we'd set up a snack bar, between that and admission, it'd be a win-win all around.

George Carlin:
You get about a hundred thousand of these fucking men, these macho motherfuckers, these strutting, preening, posturing, hairy, sweaty, alpha male jackoffs, the muscle assholes. You take about a hundred thousand of these disgusting pricks and you throw them in a big 25 acre dirt arena, and you just let them beat the shit out of each other for 24 hours non-stop. No food, no water; just whiskey and PCP. Just let them punch and pound and kick the shit out of each other until only one guy’s left standing. Then you take that guy and you put him on a pedestal and you shoot him in the fucking head.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:23 PM on June 16, 2011 [37 favorites]


The whole thing looks so appalling. I blame the explosion of social media and frustrated quest for a genuinely contemporary identity.
posted by Meatafoecure at 6:34 PM on June 16, 2011


Is that how it's being spun? That people rioted in order to have something to post on their Facebook profiles?

Because, Jeez, Gophers fans used to riot in Dinkytown every single year, long before Facebook. Sports fans can just be obnoxious dicks sometimes.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:44 PM on June 16, 2011


Was that picture staged?
posted by unliteral at 6:46 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Rioting Gophers would be a great band name.
posted by jonmc at 6:47 PM on June 16, 2011


Was that picture staged?

There's a story on my FB feed about how it isn't, but I can't find it.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:53 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Respectable riots are about rights, and ideology, and economics.
But the core feelings in every riot are angst, alienation, and dis-empowerment.

The youth in Vancouver live in a privileged society. Wealthy, stable, free, and just.
Few in human history have ever lived in better circumstances.

Seems like a pointless riot - what are they all doing!?
Right?

Problem is angst and alienation iare inherent parts of the animal, especially th young.
All the luxury and justice that Canada provides its citizens can not change human nature.
posted by Flood at 7:02 PM on June 16, 2011


But the core feelings in every riot are angst, alienation, and dis-empowerment.

Not necessarily. More like adrenaline and alcohol.
posted by jonmc at 7:17 PM on June 16, 2011


Middle class sports riots tend to be expressions of privilege and entitlement.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:25 PM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Meatafoecure: Yes.

But I also blame the individual rioters and their complete lack of any sense of personal responsibility for their actions, and their complete lack of respect for others or themselves.

Also re the Hipster Runoff article. I understand why many people are repulsed by this take on the riots. But there's humour in it too... I mean, c'mon. Those rioters are embarrassing themselves, they are ridiculous. They deserve all the laughter and scorn coming down on them. And prosecution too.

It's not about laughing with them. It's about laughing at them.
posted by joz at 7:26 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


(also, Vancouverites, I am a sports fan, a New York Fucking Mets fan. If we rioted everytime we blew a chance at a championship, Queens would be a fucking smoking crater. Take a page out of our book.)
posted by jonmc at 7:28 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Problem is angst and alienation iare inherent parts of the animal, especially th young.

No the problem is that smashing shit is inherently fun. These kids were having a blast, exchanging numbers and shit. Angst and alienation my ass, this was about lulz and free shit
posted by Hoopo at 7:57 PM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


The Love Riot Couple stealing home against the Yankees in the '55 World Series...
posted by wallstreet1929 at 8:35 PM on June 16, 2011


We are a generation of hipsters.

We love music; we love books; we love facts about these things we love. We love the genres and subgenres, and we love arguing about them. We love the idea of being cool, and we love irony. We grew up being ironic; how could we not love irony?

Most of all, we hate ourselves, and we try to disguise this hatred as an ostracization of a supposedly separate subgroup called "hipsters."

Nothing, in fact, could be more hipsterish than the sort of deeply ironic self-loathing that is on display every time we jeer at hipsters.
posted by koeselitz at 8:36 PM on June 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


.... no, I kinda think I'm just old.

/baffled
posted by Space Kitty at 8:56 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


In the animated gif - love the fella doing pushups off to the side. Reminds me of a joke from The Young Ones, but I'll spare you the details.

And tell me this photo isn't beautiful.

As beautiful as this one.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:00 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


We love music; we love books; we love facts about these things we love. We love the genres and subgenres, and we love arguing about them. We love the idea of being cool, and we love irony. We grew up being ironic; how could we not love irony?

Most of all, we hate ourselves, and we try to disguise this hatred as an ostracization of a supposedly separate subgroup called "hipsters."


I'm not sure if you're posting this as a criticism of HRO, koeselitz, or as a criticism of people here criticizing HRO, but I want to call bullshit either way. Perhaps the thirtysomething or late twentysomething subsubgeneration is different than the early twentysomething college crowd I know, but your summarization of this "hipster generation" is glib and misrepresents a lot of the motivations behind the people I know.

First off, Hipster Runoff is less irony than it is farce. It's not attempting to say things it thinks actual hipsters say; it's taking a particular kind of person and portraying them so over-the-top that it becomes a cartoon. "Carles" is incapable of seeing things as anything other than their surface level. He can't listen to music; he can only look at what other people think about that music. All he sees are Last.fm listens and YouTube hits and pageviews and stat counters.

Whereas his semi-counterpart Tao Lin tries to evoke emotions by capturing the emotions that lie behind shallow monotonous behavior, "Carles" instead uses his farcical character to criticize that shallowness. The joke behind this blog post is that, yeah, Hipster Runoff is annoying and shallow as hell — but so are these Vancouver riots. These people are rioting just because they see it as a fun thing to do; there is no deeper purpose. So the question "Have we reached the era of the post-ironic riot?" is simultaneously really stupid, up its own ass, and uncomfortably close to being correct.

It's a frustrating shtick, and I can only handle it in short bursts, but I do think it's pretty smart and cutting. I also find it funny how the commenters blindly try to ape Carles's writing style but without any of the insight, because that sort of behavior is exactly what Hipster Runoff is a blog criticizing.

I also disagree that "cool" is the driving force behind "hipster society"; at least, the kind of "cool" that my oh-so-hipster friends are going for is not at all what I usually think of "cool" meaning. I also think that the whole "irony" shtick is a red herring; I suspect outside observers think that hipsters are doing something ironically when really their motivations are just silly/shallow. The unnecessarily big lenses, the breakfast cereal shirts, the various affectations, are almost all undertaken because people think they're funny or look neat. (The breakfast cereal shirts are frequently bought unironically by people who just really enjoy breakfast cereal mascots. Not every shirt is an ironic commentary, and not every twentysomething has deep thoughts about consumer culture.)

I know a guy who sometimes wears three pairs of classes at once — one pair of sunglasses, one oversized pair that he thinks are silly, and one pair just to rest on his forehead — and it's ridiculous and goofy and probably wasteful, but it's not like he's wearing them to be ironic. He's wearing them because young people wear a lot of stupid things. Frankly I prefer people wearing stupid things to people whose fashion sense comes wholesale out of reading the GQ style guides. When I see a college kid actually dressing nicely my first instinct is not to trust them, because who the fuck spends their childhood reading style guides? The reason I dressed like an idiot until I was 18 and have been trying hard to eliminate my old wardrobe in favor of something modern is that when I was a kid I was too busy reading books and playing computer games to know what the hell I was "supposed" to wear.

There's nothing cool about hipster culture except for the "oh that's cool" sense, but that's a completely different kind of "cool" than the exclusionary I-got-something-you-don't sense that I usually associate the word with. Maybe that's the way you intend to use the word, but I don't think so, because "the idea of being cool", as you put it, isn't usually the idea of "I think it's funny that you're wearing three pairs of glasses at once, you geek". In fact normally it's the opposite.

As for the genre/subgenre game: I think it's a fundamentally misguided way of looking at music, but I also think that you're making a mistake of trying to read some kind of intentional statement into it. Most of the people I know don't see music as a portal into the soul; when I was a kid, the closest I got to soul-baring honesty in music was System of a Down and Fountains of Wayne. There's nothing wrong with loving music because it makes you want to sing or dance; I disagree with the notion that because you listen primarily to pop music you're somehow diminished as a person. And a big part of the modern youthful music culture doesn't revolve around the singer-songwriter model.

Most of the people I know who make music are obsessed with the sounds and rhythms of songs rather than the message behind them. And the genre classification simply becomes a way of identifying music based on how it sounds, rather than based on which scene the music came from. I remember having my mind blown the first time I heard Patti Smith's Horses, not because it was anything I hadn't heard before, but because it made me realized that punk-as-ethos was radically different from punk-as-sound. That some people made music with intentions other than "how fast will it be and what will the texture be like". And now I see that as a more satisfying way to think about music; but my friend loves metal not because of the metal community but just because he likes a good riff, and his love for music is directly connected to how that riff makes him feel.

Is that a shallower way of looking at music? Maybe in one sense, but mainly I think it's just a different way of looking at music. The 8-bit music scene isn't a bunch of people trying to make an ironic statement about playing music on Game Boys; they just grew up loving Game Boy music and they wanted to incorporate that sound into their work. You've criticized LCD Soundsystem in the past for appropriating the sounds of other musicians, but what I enjoy about him is the way he takes sounds that already exist and reworks them to create a whole new thing. (And, in my humble opinion, his pieces are much tighter and better than the music that his music sounds vaguely like.)

Again, maybe this is just something that applies to 25-and-unders. Maybe there really is a subgeneration of people who only do things ironically and cynically. But I think of my peers primarily as not ironic and caustic, but as goofy. Hipster Runoff is a goofy (albeit smart) web site, not an "ironic" one. "Hipster fashion" is silly, full stop. It's a shallow, self-centered culture, but since when is it news that young people tend to be shallow and self-centered?

And I don't think the "hipster hatred" is self-loathing, or cultural criticism. I think that it's a dislike of people who are obnoxious and loud and too self-obsessed to be noticing all the people they're irritating, or all the things in our culture that they're missing with their goofiness. I hate that kind of person too, a lot of the time; when I'm not hating them is when I'm part of that obnoxious crowd myself, and it's terribly fun to be young and obnoxious, so when I see other people my age being incredibly irritating I try and smile at it. I sympathize with people who find it frustrating, and I don't think those people are expressing self-hatred at all. I think they're showing genuine irritation at a bunch of genuinely irritating people who are part of a demographic that throughout history has proven itself time and time again to be really, really, really irritating.

This blog post is a criticism of shallow, irritating people that is shallow and irritating itself to prove a point. Which is deep and interesting, but still irritating; I liked this blog post, but I could never read more than, say, one a month.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:24 PM on June 16, 2011 [12 favorites]


Just as some see social media as part of the problem, others are looking to it as part of the solution: a Tumblrasking for people to ID those in the riot pictures. Misidentification or naming bystanders is becoming an issue, though.
posted by smirkette at 9:30 PM on June 16, 2011


And tell me this photo isn't beautiful.
As beautiful as this one.

One of these photos says "we are stupid!"
The other one says "we are proud and grateful to be alive."
posted by Ratio at 9:46 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Again, maybe this is just something that applies to 25-and-unders. Maybe there really is a subgeneration of people who only do things ironically and cynically. But I think of my peers primarily as not ironic and caustic, but as goofy. Hipster Runoff is a goofy (albeit smart) web site, not an "ironic" one. "Hipster fashion" is silly, full stop. It's a shallow, self-centered culture, but since when is it news that young people tend to be shallow and self-centered?

Rory, I'm in your demographic. We like some of the same things. We're the same age. We probably move in some of the same circles. I'm typing this while wearing tight black jeans and trying to decide which local rock show to go to tonight. I know hipsters. I sometimes am a hipsters. If I am a hipster, though, I'm a self-hating one.

It's about authenticity vis irony. It's about youth. I was at a Bloomsday event last night. It was mostly older folks, and a few other young people. A group of 5 people came in with hipster bears and that LOOK - that "I know what's going on" look. That "I'm slightly cooler than you" look.

It's a vibe. An energy. Go to a hipster gig and try and soak up the crowd. Often there's nothing there - just a blank. Apparently when Best Coast played here last year the crowd was utterly distant. No movement. Nothing. It's an ugly scene.

I don't like knee-jerk irony or cynasim. I can laugh at the Simpsons. I can laugh at Community. I can laugh at HRO because I understand what Carles is saying. If I went to a riot or demonstration I'd check in on Facebook (but I do that whereever I go). But if I acted there'd be real anger behind it, even if the anger wasn't at what was being demonstrated.

'What are you rebelling against?'
'Whatta you got?'

Sometimes I need to throw bottles, to shout or scream or jump. Hipsters strike me as people who can't do that without quotation marks. They're so privileged they can't have an honest emotion.

Or maybe I'm saying this in a vain distinction to pretend I'm not what I am.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:53 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Here’s the video of the “Chill, Azn bro” kid from the post smashing up the BMO (about 55 seconds in).
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear at 9:55 PM on June 16, 2011


Lovecraft: Oh, I totally know the type. And there are some other similar sorts in that crowd. I've got a friend who really does only enjoy things ironically and he dislikes things if other people know them and his voice always sounds slightly distasteful. But I don't think that's a part of hipster culture per se. I think there are just always going to be those people. Usually the people who look the most sneeringly cool are the people who're most insecure about being sneering and cool. You have sneering-cool people in Linux circles and English major circles too.

I agree with you that there's something fucked-up about that kind of scene. I see that too. I'll go to really energetic shows and everybody is just standing there. I was 10 rows from the front of a Lady Gaga concert and every single person was inert. It was slightly miserable. And that wasn't the only show where that happened.

But I kind of suspect that that sort of self-consciousness among sober people is typical, especially at shows that have no context other than "we're coming to see Particular Band play their songs". Shows like that are appealing primarily to fans of Particular Band, who probably have listened to all of Particular Band's songs on their computers and iPods and slowly picked out the lyrics. Their experience with the music is a very passive one, so when they come to a show their first instinct is to just stand there and absorb the music. Which is the most boring way to be at a concert.

I've seen a few bands that were able to overcome that. When Man Man took the stage the crowd just dissolved; it churned and crashed against the front like a series of breaking waves. I kept finding myself at the very front and then thrust to the very back. And Streetlight Manifesto had a heck of a lot of jumping and skanking going on. But at shows that aren't high-voltage energetic, not many people have the courage or the ego to dance when nobody else is dancing. Usually I don't. I don't think that's a hipster problem, though.
posted by Rory Marinich at 10:06 PM on June 16, 2011


I agree with you that there's something fucked-up about that kind of scene. I see that too. I'll go to really energetic shows and everybody is just standing there. I was 10 rows from the front of a Lady Gaga concert and every single person was inert. It was slightly miserable. And that wasn't the only show where that happened.

Lady Gaga isn't a hipster band, or not just a hipster band.

I've seen a few bands that were able to overcome that. When Man Man took the stage the crowd just dissolved; it churned and crashed against the front like a series of breaking waves. I kept finding myself at the very front and then thrust to the very back. And Streetlight Manifesto had a heck of a lot of jumping and skanking going on. But at shows that aren't high-voltage energetic, not many people have the courage or the ego to dance when nobody else is dancing. Usually I don't. I don't think that's a hipster problem, though.

Yeah I suppose. It's been happening lately at punk shows. Around Sydney we say its a Sydney problem, but people in Melbourne or Portland or Williamsberg probably say the same thing after a bad show.

The difference seems to be between genuinely liking a band and liking the image around a band. It's also the attitude. I didn't see Streetlight Manifesto but what I heard and the marketing around them sold them as the kind of earnest punk/ska band I like. When you go to a show like that you go in with the attitude that you're going to be singing along and moshing and getting involved.

But i dunno... I've been to metal shows and they've felt more welcoming than some hipster gigs. And I'm not into metal. Maybe it's just jealously of people thinner and prettier than me.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:12 PM on June 16, 2011


Lady Gaga isn't a hipster band, or not just a hipster band.

Right, which is why I think the problem isn't hipsters, it's people.

The difference seems to be between genuinely liking a band and liking the image around a band.

I feel this is unfair. I genuinely like a lot of music where I know nothing about the bands. The music makes me feel, so I listen to it. Then I go to a concert to hear the music and everybody is completely obsessed with the band's backstory and personality and they're there for the band and I feel kind of out of place. It happens especially with bands who're great in the production studio and mediocre-ish live. Music that makes me dance in my living room is different when I have to see the people playing it.

But i dunno... I've been to metal shows and they've felt more welcoming than some hipster gigs. And I'm not into metal. Maybe it's just jealously of people thinner and prettier than me.

Metal's not hip, and so it doesn't attract the self-consciously hip crowd. Which is a blessing for people who want a crowd of genuine enthusiasts.

You rarely-if-ever get people who're thin and pretty and fashionable without having put some effort into it. So those sorts of people tend to be more self-conscious as-is, and it's that stifling self-consciousness that's the problem. I find it easier to love people who are weird or dorky than people who are completely and ordinarily hip, usually because "hip" isn't a person's personality. There're exceptions. One of the best-looking guys I know is just crazy about fashion and he's incredibly sweet and likable. He's rare.
posted by Rory Marinich at 10:21 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hey Rory! Wanna see how many push-ups I can do?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 11:16 PM on June 16, 2011


jonmc: "I still think that opening an amusement park called RIOTLAND! with a prefab city to be destroyed would be a great solution. There'd be separate areas for right wingers, left wingers, sports fans, and unaffiliated crackpots. Plus we'd set up a snack bar, between that and admission, it'd be a win-win all around."

...until they all turn into jackasses and get sold to the salt mines!
posted by Rhaomi at 11:38 PM on June 16, 2011


Right now, "Anarchists" in Greece are rioting to protest cuts in government spending. Does that count?

I'm afraid I don't understand. Why is "anarchists" in scare quotes? Do you think anarchists are ironic? Do you think it's ironic for anarchists to protest government spending? It's a lot more complicated than that.
posted by wayland at 11:42 PM on June 16, 2011


This video appears to capture the very beginning of the riot. A knocked over porta potty.

What's incredible to me is the number of cameras/phones in the air. Thousands and thousands of arms with cameras all in that same creepy War-of-the-Worlds looking pod-on-a-stalk gesture.
posted by loquacious at 12:39 AM on June 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Canada's just doing anything to get noticed these days, aren't they?
posted by Apocryphon at 12:59 AM on June 17, 2011


I have witnessed the start of more than one riot. And I will tell you what most all of you know on a smaller scale: people in crowds experience emotions on a whole other level.

For example, I remember seeing Al Green at the Seattle Arena during one Bumbershoot and when he did Let's Stay Together, the whole crowd sang along. Now that created an enormous exhaltation, something almost physically palpable in the air between us. I have been to many a concert but that was something a bit above the usual experience. When a few thousand people sing the same song, it does something to everyone as individuals and everyone as everyone. It is a powerful, powerful feeling.

But a riot ?

I have almost been in more than one.

The first was in the summer of 1969 in the University District.

There had been trouble all that summer in the University District between the street kids and the police and then, in a larger context, between the police and teenagers and twenty-somethings in general. To the police, anyone with long hair was a hippie and it was open season. And, of course, then everyone of a certain age had long hair.

For about a week, the police had been busting kids on the Ave in a very heavy handed manner, which lead to some confrontation between the police and crowds of young people, some rock throwing, some tear gas. In those days, one could get tear gassed and get one's head whacked at a party. I was at one where that happened, albeit, I was one of the sensible ones who left when the bullhorns were deployed.

Then, in the same week, in West Seattle, the police had had a run in with partying kids on Alki Beach. There a police car was tipped over and there the obligatory fires and the obligatory tear gas.

Things were definitely headed in a certain direction.

At the time, I was making a living over the summer selling the local underground newspaper, the Helix, on the Ave on weekends. I had a spot near 43rd Street in front of Discount Records where I stood from late afternoon to late evening, selling papers to tourists and sightseers.

On the Friday of that week, there plenty of those--it was like the whole North End came down to the district to watch the action. People were shoulder to shoulder on the sidewalks. Street hippies and then a cleaner cut crowds of couples and groups of friends. All sort of stoked about whatever, standing around, waiting for something to happen.

And then some career criminals threw a trash can through a TV store window, hopped through and grabbed a bunch of color portables and ran down an alley.

I will never forget the sound the crowd made when that window broke: it was this intense moan, almost orgasmic--well, it would have sounded that way coming from one person.

Coming from a few hundred, it was, well, memorable. And scary.

There was this woman working at Discount Records, an older woman, all of twenty four. (Which was old to me at the time.) I had the biggest crush on her. I offered to walk her to her car and when we got off the Ave proper and crossed Brooklyn a block west, I saw police car after police car pass by, each with with six huge guys carrying big clubs, in helmets and face shields, all going to the end of the Ave on Campus Parkway, down by the dorms. Six cars must have passed before we could cross the street in between them and the next wave.

And so I saw her off and then decided to walk home up the Ave, to see what was happening. It was oddly deserted, like everyone had run down to Campus Parkway to see what was going to happen.

I chose to walk north instead.

And there was this jewelry store on the corner of 45th and University Way -- the Ave -- which was a busy intersection then. And there was a Cadillac parked cattywampus in the middle of the intersection, with about three or four guys ran out of the store with armloads of gold jewelry, hopped in and tore off. I started jogging home at that point.

So, anyway, I made it home and after talking to the guy who was crashing at my basement apartment, a friend of a friend who turned out to be my best friend, we went back down to the Ave to see what was happening.

And what was happening was kids throwing rocks and the police chasing them. And there was so much tear gas that you could not see more than half a block. It was like a thick fog.

And every window on the Ave was broken.

What had happened was the police, er, Tac Squad had formed a sort of phalanx and charged up the Ave swinging clubs, throwing tear gas grenades, aiming to stomp some hippie ass. Only they got to stomp some North End sightseer ass, for the most part. And they drove that crowd up the Ave, which crowd broke about every store window they passed as they ran.

After that, it was like a giant school snowball fight, only with rocks and tear gas. With the addition of big white guys with crew cuts in Pendelton shirts with baseball bats and pool cues, also looking for some hippie ass to stomp--off duty cops was the assumption.

Not that it didn't go both ways. A guy I knew, he's a dentist now, rode around with a cab driving buddy, wearing a football helmet and a load of bricks. The cab driving buddy would pull up to a curb and the football helmet wearing buddy would run down the street, throw a brick in some some cop's face and then run back and hop ito the cab. And then they'd jet off.

But not my friend and I. When we saw the big guys in Pendletons with baseball bats, we chose discretion over valor and went back to my place and stayed up all night talking.

And eventually it petered out. The next morning, there was so much CS powder on the sidewalks, that it looked like a light snow in places, and it burnt the eyes to walk through it. And there were all those broken windows and it just looked like, well, there had been a riot...


I saw another riot starting on Broadway in the 90's, just before the Gulf War, and it was running the same script. A crowd of people, antiwar demonstrators, spectators and a smattering of black clad anarchists with bandanas pulled over their faces, cowboy bandit style were all standing around, waiting for things to happen. Which they did, after I left.

That one had this incredibly electric intensity. People were all quiet, standing around, staring at each other, staring at the kids in the black bandanas, just waiting.

I didn't stick around--I had already seen the movie.

Like I said, people in crowds can experience some powerful emotions they canould never access in any other context. I never wanted to be part of a mob. But I hink I understand how people can find themselves doing things they would never do otherwise when they are part of one.

But that moan, though, when the trash can went through the TV store window, like everyone had been punched in the stomach all at once--that was so spooky scary. I will never forget it.
posted by y2karl at 1:09 AM on June 17, 2011 [17 favorites]


Post-post-irony?
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 2:59 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Hipster" is a meaningless word.
posted by DU at 4:47 AM on June 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Don't know if this has been mentioned, but the kissing couple have been identified; it's 29-year-old Australian Scott Jones and his recent Canadian girlfriend Alex Thomas. This Vancouver Sun article has a comment from a man who claims to be a witness to the kiss:

Update: William, a citizen witness, wrote to The Sun to explain what REALLY happened.

He said: "I was on the top floor of a parkade on Seymour, the couple was right outside of the parkade on the street in front of me. What happen was the police line rushed the crowd and this couple trying to stay together couldn't react in time and were run over by 2 riot police officers. The girl who was knocked over landed head first on the pavement with her boyfriend landed partially on top of her. She was in visible pain, crying, but the 2 officers gave them a parting shove and moved on. By standers went to go make sure she was ok. I understand that the front line police have to control the crowd but it is a bit ridiculous that they couldn't have other officers or paramedics behind the line to help anyone who is hurt."

posted by mediareport at 6:30 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Warning to my family: if Rory McIlroy has another final round collapse on Sunday, I'm tearing the house apart.
posted by davebush at 6:55 AM on June 17, 2011


Summer: "I don't do sarcasm anymore, I'm post-ironic."
Seth: "You mean 'earnest'?"
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:50 AM on June 17, 2011


One looter managed to break into Chapters bookstore, but apparently no one bothered entering

Even if you're just looking to tear shit up, a bookstore is generally not a very good place to loot/smash (unless you're looking to actually burn down the building). Lots of heavy, bulky, cheap stuff (although, Chapters *does* sell the Kobo eBook reader now, a backpack full of those would be a decent haul :)). It would take FOREVER to make any kind of decent-sized non-burn-y mess there.
posted by antifuse at 9:31 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I absolutely love that photo, mediareport. Thanks for the updates.

From a technical standpoint: how they're in focus, with the out of focus riot policeman at the ready in the foreground, out of focus riot policemen running towards the crowd in the background, the bright smudge of fire[?] off to the left, his legs gently wrapped around her right leg, her head slightly off the ground reaching up to touch his lips, her exposed youthful legs on a cold night that look so out of place, the hint of gluteal fold, the gentle touch of her hand on his neck, the void surrounding them.

I could stop there and it would a great photo. But we also have to add the WTF factor.

A void? In a riot? How did that get there? Barely any debris, no fire, not one other person in the shot. And an unscripted kiss always makes a nice photo. But in a riot? What possessed them? Why? Who? Wut?

Fantastic photo, with the WTF turned up to eleven. And now I find out he's from my home town. Perth, reprazent!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:45 AM on June 17, 2011


This video appears to capture the very beginning of the riot.

What strikes me in the video from loquacious is the two successive shots of a police van parting the crowd by driving through with sirens blaring, immediately followed by a shot of the (same?) van stationary with the crowd surging around, dozens of people within arm's length of it. It reminds me of nothing so much as this.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:06 AM on June 17, 2011


This is my favorite picture. (NSFW when you see it)
posted by chugg at 10:09 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


To answer some of my questions and to take the romance completely out of it.

The void is there because a phalanx of police goons had just charged the crowd, causing everyone to retreat. He legs are exposed because she just got knocked ass-over-tit by the same jackboot wearing goons you can see in the background.

She is in a lot of pain.

Her head is off the ground because her boyfriend heard it go "CRACK!" when it hit the road, and the first thing he thought of was to put his hand there, perhaps attempting to lift her up before her dead weight became apparent. He is not kissing her, he is talking to her. He fears for her, whispering to his crying girlfriend, "Shit! Are you OK, babe?"

She is replying in between tears "Aawww my fucking head. No. No. Don't move it. Fuck. Fuck. My head. Oowww! Oowww. Just stop fucking moving me oowww!"

posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:10 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


A void? In a riot? How did that get there? Barely any debris, no fire, not one other person in the shot.

Absolutely possible, in my experience.
posted by y2karl at 11:37 AM on June 17, 2011


As an aside, there's a kind of interesting bit that comes from the link someone offered up here on the so-called "Zoot Suit Riots":
A week later First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt commented on the riots in her newspaper column, which the local press had largely attributed to criminal actions by the Mexican-American community.

"The question goes deeper than just suits. It is a racial protest. I have been worried for a long time about the Mexican racial situation. It is a problem with roots going a long way back, and we do not always face these problems as we should." – June 16 Eleanor Roosevelt

This led to an outraged response from the Los Angeles Times which printed an editorial the following day, in which it accused Mrs. Roosevelt of having communist leanings and stirring "race discord". (source)
We've been oppressed under the heavy hand of the liberal media for a long time now, apparently.

posted by saulgoodman at 12:52 PM on June 17, 2011


He is not kissing her, he is talking to her.

Well, he calls it "comforting;" it may actually have included a kiss.
posted by mediareport at 1:33 PM on June 17, 2011


I could not understand what is the relationship here hipsters and the elementary acts of vandalism? Anarchy, Woodstock, as they relate to the elementary mass hooliganism?
posted by vorsta at 1:00 AM on June 18, 2011


I tried to read that site and it made me kill myself

don't kill yourself, hell is pretty bad

this Vigna guy won't stop whining either :(
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 1:54 AM on June 18, 2011


I had never read anything on hipsterrunoff before. Turns out its like the highschool version of Perez Hilton.
I want to un-see.
posted by Theta States at 6:33 AM on June 18, 2011


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