I won't grow up and you can't MAKE me!
March 28, 2006 5:56 PM   Subscribe

He's a Gruppie, she's a Gruppie... Wouldn't you like to be a Gruppie too?
posted by dejah420 (119 comments total)

 
*wipes the flecks of vomit from his mouth*
Jesus, fuck.
posted by keswick at 6:05 PM on March 28, 2006


keswick hit the nail on the head, the only thing going through my head while reading this article is various permutations of the word vomit.
posted by cloeburner at 6:08 PM on March 28, 2006


Shit, I didn't know there had to be a term for this...a friend of mine still goes to shows, but has a 9-year-old. He drinks. He's a great dad. What's with labels?

Hipsters oughtn't breed.
posted by notsnot at 6:12 PM on March 28, 2006


There will always be a clever term to describe aging adults whose money allows them to retain adolescent traits.
posted by mrmojoflying at 6:13 PM on March 28, 2006


...hrm, lesse here, Abercrombie jeans, hipster-hoody, gnarled, greasy hair, overpriced and underfunctioning messenger bag OH HELL YEAH BINGO! I GOT BINGO!

What'd I win? An iPod!? Argh.
posted by loquacious at 6:15 PM on March 28, 2006


I couldn't finish the article. Can someone sum up? Should I be listening to Creedence and Bob Seger instead of contemporary music?
posted by dobbs at 6:15 PM on March 28, 2006


All I can think of is...

NYAH NYAH NYAH NYAH NYAH
NYAH NYAH NYAH NYAH NYAH
NYAH NYAH NYAH NYAH NYAH

Yep.
posted by zoogleplex at 6:16 PM on March 28, 2006


These are scenesters, not hipsters. Hipsters listen to Perez Prado and despise children.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:17 PM on March 28, 2006


wha? 8 fucking pages?!? before i continue, is there anything to this piece other than "25-YO genX hipsters become 35YOs after ten years; refuse to change their ways"?
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:19 PM on March 28, 2006


Hm. Actually, I'm sort of one of these guys. I'm 40, single, no kids, live in apartment, ride a motorcycle, have an iPod, work at a video game company where I can wear what I want, play video games, own all the consoles, still have a lot of my old gamer stuff from way back...

But I'm no grup. No way.

Because I still listen to 80s hair metal, that's why.
posted by zoogleplex at 6:21 PM on March 28, 2006


If being a grup means not having to work in an office and not shaving but still being able to afford expensive shit, well, where do I sign up?
posted by mullacc at 6:24 PM on March 28, 2006


Gah! No! Never!

I find not spending 400 bucks on a pair of jeans allows me to have much more integrity when telling my children that no we can't afford that. Jesus, go buy your Jeans at TJMAXX and do something worthwhile with what's leftover.

The thing that really gets me about this is that on the surface, I would be attacted to these people. I'm 33, a mom, a hip, happenin' sort of gal who hangs out in coffee shops with my notebook and my theatre loving, chess playing, Tolkein reading children but once I found out the mom across from me had paid 600 or so bucks for her stroller, I would just feel sad, sad, sad.

(I enjoyed Gymboree when my kids were little. And my husband wears Dockers to work and I think he's hot. So there.)
posted by Biblio at 6:24 PM on March 28, 2006


Crap. I just noticed on the hipster bingo page there's a square for old school Vans.

Damnit, they're Steve Cabellero Half Cabs! And I actually skateboard vert in them. ARGH. Fuckers!

That being said, I predict that this thread will approach nearly 100% self-loathing. Considering how many other poor bastards we've made fun of here, we should be able to ruthless mock what amounts to - more or less - our own, sad selves.

No, I will not cut my hair. Fuck off.
posted by loquacious at 6:26 PM on March 28, 2006


No, seriously, fuck off. All of youse fuckers. And give me back my Radiohead CD, you cocksuckers.
posted by loquacious at 6:28 PM on March 28, 2006


I still prefer the term Bo-Bo... (Bohemian Bourgeois).

Lifetyle pieces that try to confine people to narrow stereotypes make me want to gag.

For the record: I don't care for Death Cab, I own one pair of shoes per function (work, outdoors/dog walking, leisure), could give a shit about live shows these days, especially ones that go til 4 o'clock in the fucking morning, etc.etc.etc.

But I fucking bet that every idiot I know will think that article is about me.

First person that calls me a Grupie, my thumb in their eye.
posted by illovich at 6:29 PM on March 28, 2006


I find not spending 400 bucks on a pair of jeans allows me to have much more integrity when ...

Why does this number seem to get larger every time someone mocks hipster jeans? You can totally buy perfectly-acceptable hipster jeans for like $100.
posted by mullacc at 6:29 PM on March 28, 2006


UbuRoivas writes "wha? 8 fucking pages?!?"

No kidding. Is some of that lorem ipsum? No? Sigh. As soon as I saw the photo on page two, I couldn't go on.
posted by brundlefly at 6:30 PM on March 28, 2006


8 pages!
posted by furtive at 6:33 PM on March 28, 2006


"When did it become normal for your average 35-year-old New Yorker to..."

It never fails to amaze me when financially secure hipsters think they represent the average here in the city.

Granted, because they tend to cluster all in the same neighborhoods, I can see why they'd think that.
posted by JaredSeth at 6:36 PM on March 28, 2006


RE: jeans -- I thought anything over 50 bucks was hipster? I can't go higher than that without some serious blanching. -- but i am 35, dress like a bum, have messy unkempt self-cut hairs,work at a game company for good dough, have an emusic account, wear tshirts with holes in them and I own a hoodie. I also have jeans with frayed edges. Have I been hurled from from GenX'r/Slackerdom to Gruppieton?

Honestly, this sounds more like Illovich than me.
posted by undule at 6:39 PM on March 28, 2006


There will always be a clever term to describe aging adults whose money allows them to retain adolescent traits.

What about the term for the pressure to sell ones soul in order to maintain employment past 30. What's so adolescent about wearing lose fitting clothing anyway, or having a longer hair, or not shaving twice a day. Down with the what it takes to be a man, (never testicles are implied, nor a penis), or what one must do to be adult, always that implies to suppress ones spirit by all possible means possible, to keep ones head down and conform
posted by nervousfritz at 6:46 PM on March 28, 2006


Conspicuous consumption is not spiritual expression. HTH.
posted by keswick at 6:48 PM on March 28, 2006


Jesus fuck, I couldn't get past the first page, and I'm gearing up to be one of them. I can wear jeans to work, dye my hair, I don't plan on having kids, but I'm hardly swimming in cash (just starting out in my field).

Seriously, eight pages? About WHAT?
posted by kalimac at 6:50 PM on March 28, 2006


keswick: To whom are you responding? I don't see anything in nervousfritz's comment that resembles consumption of any type.
posted by mullacc at 6:53 PM on March 28, 2006


“My son seems to like the Hives a lot,” says Neal Pollack, the author of the forthcoming memoir Alternadad: The True Story of One Family’s Struggle to Raise a Cool Kid in America, of his 3-year-old son, Elijah, and the raucous Swedish fivesome the Hives. “I mean, he doesn’t know who they are. He calls it ‘thunder music’ when I put it on. He gets very excited by that. That makes me sort of proud.”

See, Grups aren’t afraid of parenting.


Am I not reading this correctly? Neal Pollack is a satirical writer, right? Are they copping to that and my comprehension skills have gone to shit or...what the fuck?
posted by birdie birdington at 6:54 PM on March 28, 2006


This is (another) largely unresearched piece of self-regard which focuses on the activities of a small and quite well-off, weensy-but-visible (because of their positions in the media world and conspicuous consumption) subset of thirty-to-fortyish New Yorkers. See also the Style section of the New York Times.

I'd agree with JaredSeth, with the caveat that the primary reason "financially secure hipsters" think they represent the average is that love letters to the demographic like this one tell them they do. Oh, and with the second caveat that the style traits focused on in the piece are a confused jumble of the practically ubiquitous (iPods, naught-but-casual wardrobes) and the distinctly emblematic of privilege, not mere financial security: A $200 haircut? A $600 messenger bag? *Maybe* the hedge fund guy, but not most of the conspicuously consuming slouchily- dressed Dads I know. They all go to that cool old Italian barbershop they think only they know about...
posted by BT at 6:55 PM on March 28, 2006


This hits pretty close to home for me. Everything but the gear and designer stuff. I buy my jeans for $2.99 at Value Village.

I'm 36. Don't shave. I have nothing but jeans and t-shirts in my dresser and closet. I play basketball 3 times a week for a few hours at noon during the weekdays. Ski or snowboard whenever. I played in a band full time for most of my twenties. Now I'm a freelance techie. Have a 5 week old son with whom I have attended the local Mommy Matinee with some other Hip Mama people. My wife is also self employed.

We sleep in.

I keep waiting for adulthood to kick in. In the meantime I just keep doing what I like to do. Opportunities to make enough money doing things I'm interested in seem to fall in my lap. Why change?

Do people hate me for this?
posted by nonmyopicdave at 6:55 PM on March 28, 2006


A lot of this was covered (re the Boomers) in BoBos in Paradise and also Balsamic Dreams. I find the ending telling, where the author pulls back and offers a weak defense of the Grups: "It’s also about rejecting a hand-me-down model of adulthood that asks, or even necessitates, that you let go of everything you ever felt passionate about."

This is a straw man; there is no such model of adulthood except in the minds of the infantile (though perhaps that's the problem).
posted by QuietDesperation at 6:55 PM on March 28, 2006


Since when are Bloc Party, new pornographers or Death cab young people music? Young people listen to hip hop, or pop punk or trance. Any band that is labeled post-punk is for people whose souls are still stuck in 1978.
posted by afu at 6:56 PM on March 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


Whoa.

I did myself the grave disservice of reading on. The author doesn't get that Pollack is joking.
posted by birdie birdington at 7:03 PM on March 28, 2006


See also the Style section of the New York Times.

See also the Style section of the New York Times.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 7:03 PM on March 28, 2006


Phew. Not me. Not least because I haven't owned a pair of "sneakers" since I was 20 years old. And I never will again. Not a big fan of Death Cab, either. I do tend to wear jeans pretty much all the time, though.
posted by Decani at 7:05 PM on March 28, 2006


17th Century:Giant wigs containing bird cages::Early 21st Century:Extremely carefully "messed up" hair
posted by brundlefly at 7:10 PM on March 28, 2006


By the way, where do nonwhite people (somewhat over 50% of the NYC population) fit into this picture of "the average 35-year-old New Yorker?" Answer: they don't. Note the skin tone in the illustrations. Which isn't to call the piece racist, but it goes to my point about how articles like this pretend to talk about some trend gripping the generation, when really all they describe is the network of people the writer hangs around with, sees at restaurants, clubs and coffee shops, etc. A reflection.

(Oh, and no hate here, nonmyopicdave, except in a strictly envious-cause-I'm-too-uncoordinated-to-play-basketball kinda way. I just think this is lame and sloppy thinking. Anybody moved by this piece to believe anything particular about the collage-like "generation" the author describes isn't thinking very hard.)

And on preview: Indeed, IshmaelGraves.
posted by BT at 7:10 PM on March 28, 2006


OMG that's an annoying article.
posted by signal at 7:10 PM on March 28, 2006


A brief comment by Pollack on Daddy Types: "I was very excited to do the interview with Sternbergh, but was very disappointed in how it turned out."
posted by tracicle at 7:11 PM on March 28, 2006


There will always be a clever term to describe aging adults whose money allows them to retain adolescent traits.

What, so they mope around like utter twats & write abysmal, nauseating poetry? Because taste in music or clothing hardly constitute traits.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:19 PM on March 28, 2006


Seriously, eight pages? About WHAT?

Its called "verbal diarrhea". Happens sometimes to people.

Could someone please explain the difference between a $600 pair of hipster jeans and a $16 pair of Levis or Wrangler form Target? I seriously want to know.
posted by c13 at 7:19 PM on March 28, 2006


c13, if you have to ask...
posted by jmgorman at 7:21 PM on March 28, 2006


Say, aren't we at war right now?
posted by dong_resin at 7:21 PM on March 28, 2006


articles like this pretend to talk about some trend gripping the generation, when really all they describe is the network of people the writer hangs around with


It's New York Magazine ferchrissakes. Complaining that it publishes dopey bourgeois trend pieces is like complaining that your dog takes a shit in public. It's just the nature of the beast.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:27 PM on March 28, 2006


Say, aren't we at war right now?

Ah, perspective. Damn you, you unseemly bitch! Damn you to hell!!
posted by billysumday at 7:34 PM on March 28, 2006


Meh. Aside from the expensive clothes and whatnot, (except for the iPod, which I do own), I suppose I am guilty as charged: if guilty in this case means still caring about music and still going to shows. Why the hell shouldn't I? I never stopped. But don't tell me that at 47, and a single mother, I'm not a grownup. Even if I am heading down to Seattle to see Sigur Ros in May (my son's coming with me; last time we did this was to see Arcade Fire).

Inane article, for all the reasons better explicated above.
posted by jokeefe at 7:38 PM on March 28, 2006


You're quite correct, CunningLinguist. But the longstanding tradition of MetaFilter threads complaining about the supremely predictable is fairly well-established.
posted by BT at 7:38 PM on March 28, 2006


No, no I would not like to be a Grup.

Did anyone manage to make it page 2 of that drivel?
posted by fenriq at 7:41 PM on March 28, 2006


/ hides this article from jonmc.

Nobody ever celebrates my demographic group - the SLOBs - single living over budget.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:48 PM on March 28, 2006


Fenriq, I got half way down before thinking "wait a sec..fukin boomers have had their whole self absorbed existence living like fucking children" and then I exhaled and and undid my $350 pair of jeans so my beer gut could spill over and I could wonder at its total normality.
posted by Mr Bluesky at 7:53 PM on March 28, 2006


There is life outside NYC. Honestly, there is.

fenriq: I clicked to page 2 and like others above, the picture actually forced me to close the tab.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:09 PM on March 28, 2006


Listen kids, chill, OK? I mean, at New York Magazine player-hatin' is a friggin' artform, get it?
posted by lilboo at 8:19 PM on March 28, 2006


I read this article yesterday and was waiting for it to show up here (I figured it was an inevitability).

I am somewhat disappointed in the quality of snark so far. Why should we hide this one from jonmc? This should be like shooting fish in a.... hatchery. Or a driftnet.
posted by spiderwire at 8:27 PM on March 28, 2006


In the future, everyone's a stereotypical citizen of their own tiny little inescapable worlds.
posted by furiousthought at 8:31 PM on March 28, 2006


spiderwire, I was just thinking of sparing jonmc's blood pressure.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:37 PM on March 28, 2006


Since I read all eight pages of the article, I should note Sternbergh's conclusion that the grup lifestyle (as generalizatin-laden as it is) involves adults not wanting to let go of passion. This is the far more interesting part -- this generation (well, frankly my generation) understands that today's jobs offer little advancement and little passion. It seems to me that the grup phenomenon isn't so much about surrendering responsibility (at least not completely), but rejecting a system that doesn't reward everybody.

Unfortunately, nobody has alerted the grups that not everyone can be a musician or an actor. And that likely the greater percentage of grups will grow old and unfulfilled. The American economy at the present time requires a remarkable array of go nowhere cube jobs in order to function.

That this generation would adopt such a resistance of delayed youth to all this is both sad and noble in its own strange way. It suggests a generation of passive-aggressive revolutionaries. My question is why they didn't actively revolt in the 90s. I don't know about you, but I kept waiting for some crazed idealism to come out of that decade. But what we got was laziness instead. In large part because the ambitions of twentysomething slackers back then were more money-centric.

What we have here is a very interesting admixture. On one hand, people want to have it all, which is an impossibility. On another hand, complete capitulation to the status quo turns the populace into dull and colorless conformists.

Of course, I'm 31. I'm going to Coachella with some buddies around my age. I still read comics and I still watch cult movies and, every now and then, I wear T-shirts, often with arcane film references on them. On the other hand, I've never paid more than $45 for a pair of jeans, and I like dress shirts and dressing up from time to time. So I guess I'm a grup, although I'm not nearly as judgmental about people as Sternbergh.
posted by ed at 8:40 PM on March 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


from BT,
...articles like this pretend to talk about some trend gripping the generation, when really all they describe is the network of people the writer hangs around with, sees at restaurants, clubs and coffee shops, etc. A reflection. ...
Abolutely perfect summary.

This is such a played out style of article. Self agrandizing circle jerk of the "opinion makers" (and wannabes).

Made it through the first page and saw 7 more waiting for me and my head *asplode*.
posted by C.Batt at 8:41 PM on March 28, 2006


New York Magazine is one big commercial. This article is ad copy. They make this shit up.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:44 PM on March 28, 2006


This pisses me off so much that I don't even know who to direct my anger at. The article writer? The subjects of the article? Death Cab For Cutie? Myself? MC Hammer? I'm confused, disorientated and a bit frightened. I need to go eat some Farley's Rusks and calm down a bit.
posted by nylon at 8:45 PM on March 28, 2006


I think it pisses people off because they find themselves revealed under Sternbergh's too-tidy umbrella. Which isn't to say that it's fair. If anything, the revelation here is that today's thirtysomething generation is considerably displaced. But wasn't this true of the last generation or the generation before?
posted by ed at 8:48 PM on March 28, 2006


"Daddy, can I be an amateur demographer when I grow up?"

"Only if you move to New York, son."
posted by aaronetc at 8:56 PM on March 28, 2006


GRUPPIES. Fucking 'groupies' is more like it. Wow, I sure am glad there's not, like, a war going on or something. How's my hair?
posted by visit beautiful mount weather! at 9:12 PM on March 28, 2006


This is Day 48. ie: the 48th last day I will have to work at this (professional) soul-sucking office job before I get back to living a life that (minus the high-end stuff) sounds a lot like the first page of this article. (couldn't be bothered to go on)

This is ENVY, people. Sour grapes is all it is. "Look at those people having their cake and eating it, too. Awful."

Interesting point about passion though, ed. I know people who love their office jobs. Honestly love them. I don't plan to write multi-page articles saying what's wrong with them using a clever (or not so clever) term. They can be them. I can be me.
posted by dreamsign at 9:18 PM on March 28, 2006


God. New York Magazine is so awful I can TASTE it.
posted by 235w103 at 9:41 PM on March 28, 2006


it pisses people off because they find themselves revealed under Sternbergh's too-tidy umbrella.

Please. that's like getting worked up because a Chinese restaurant menu was so dead-on about your personality. The supposed traits of a grup as listed in the article are, as has been pointed out here, are a hodgepodge of contradictory, convenient trends intended to implicate anyone with a disdain for Dockers [sorry, lady with the hot husband].

Ask yourself what is missing? Does anyone actually ask these 21-yo people if they feel these 35-yo's are just like them? Because I read somewhere that The Kids these days just sit around on MySpace arranging oral sex parties. And yet somehow that didn't make it into the piece.
posted by gregorg at 9:43 PM on March 28, 2006


Wow, I sure am glad there's not, like, a war going on or something. How's my hair?

Yes, there is a war going on. And every last soul in America has turned his or her efforts into supporting that war 100%, preferring to walk to work, wear hessian sacks for clothing and eat nothing but grass and rocks. In their spare time they knit socks for the boys...

...except for this lousy, self-obsessed invented demographic. Curse them to hell!
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:16 PM on March 28, 2006


I'm confused. I don't listen to "current" music, I have kept a stable, well-paying job for 6 years, I don't party like it's 1999 every day, but I still refuse to "grow up". I wear what I want, watch what I want, listen to what I want. I'm in no rush to get hitched, have kids, get a house with a picket fence. But neither am I spending 24/7 skateboarding or something. Why do I need a label? Why do I need to do what other people my age are doing? Why are people so intent on this extreme pigeonholing?
posted by nightchrome at 10:28 PM on March 28, 2006


...except for this lousy, self-obsessed invented demographic. Curse them to hell!


ummm, okay. my intent was to point out the absurdity of the article itself. i couldn't really give two shits about 'gruppies', their music, their politics, ideologies, etc. they may all be really fuckin' wonderful people for all i know. it just kills me that tripe like this gets published and discussed as if it is somehow relevant.
posted by visit beautiful mount weather! at 10:39 PM on March 28, 2006


I can't belive how many brand names this guy names off. Does he even realize how idiotic he sounds?

Gag me with a spoon.
posted by delmoi at 10:45 PM on March 28, 2006




Nice hoodie.

You're still old.
posted by delmoi at 10:52 PM on March 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


delmoi: I guess the correct response to that is, "So?"
posted by nightchrome at 10:58 PM on March 28, 2006


There's a T.S. Eliot line I've always found irritating: "I grow old, I grow old, I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled".

The thing about growing old isn't that you start adopting the fashions of a previous generation: you keep doing what you've always done, but young people start doing things differently.

I doubt it's ever happened that previous generations radically changed their appearance and lifestyle as they got older. It's just that slacks and mah-jong and cardigans and Perry Como and whist drives stopped looking quite so cool to a younger generation. The bands, activities and fashions he names are no different.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 10:58 PM on March 28, 2006


Mmm, vitriolicious.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:59 PM on March 28, 2006


Hee hee hee:
This Mickey Mouse With a Skull For a Head t-shirt is completely awesome, and what's more, it's a lawful parody (though I'm sure that won't stop the Disney lawyers from trying to get it yanked -- they don't care about the law, they just wanna control Mickey. I ordered mine right away, just to be sure I got it before the legal fireworks start.) Holy CRAP it's expensive, though! 53 Euros, shipped! Wow.
Just sort of a delicious footnote to this whole aging affluent punk rock alterna-kid thing.
posted by furiousthought at 11:16 PM on March 28, 2006


The thing about growing old isn't that you start adopting the fashions of a previous generation: you keep doing what you've always done, but young people start doing things differently.

I think that's actually what's going on here. The 35-40 set are just wearing, doing and listening to the same things they always have, and the youngsters don't seem to be coming up with anything new and original that would set thier generation apart (thus making the older folks "styles" seem old). I still wear the same sorts of clothes I wore as a twenty-something because a) I can still buy them at any major retail store and b) everyone is still wearing them. If I were forced to buy my hip hugging jeans at second-hand thrift stores and no one younger than me was wearing them anymore, it would make me seem outdated and a part of an "older" generation.

Blame it on the kids ... they just aren't being creative enough to find new ways to annoy the adults.
posted by Orb at 12:26 AM on March 29, 2006


Opportunities to make enough money doing things I'm interested in seem to fall in my lap.

Do people hate me for this?


Yes, I do. And I'm 9 years your junior.
posted by quite unimportant at 12:49 AM on March 29, 2006


It’s not about a fad but about a phenomenon that looks to be permanent. Emphasis mine.

I wonder how they came to the conclusion that this somehow permanent.

I'm guessing the same way they came up with the rest of the article: reaching, deep, deep inside their own assholes and pulling hard (while being careful not to injure their tiny heads that are also placed within).

To be fair, there are plenty of aging Goths around as well these days, who are wonderful parents and interesting people...
posted by slimepuppy at 3:31 AM on March 29, 2006


As a Londoner, I always expect NYC to be a little, well, y'know ahead of us. UbuRoivas is absolutely right though: 8 fucking pages on something that's been around since my parents' generation. How unbelievably trailing edge.
posted by rhymer at 4:15 AM on March 29, 2006


I think that's actually what's going on here. The 35-40 set are just wearing, doing and listening to the same things they always have...

Yeah. That's what puzzled me about this article and the claim that nobody in this "demographic" wants to "grow up." I kept waiting to read about how all these 35-40 year olds are living in their parents' basements, not getting jobs, unable to support themselves financially, not moving out and maybe starting their own families -- you know, not "growing up." But the people in this article seem to be doing those things -- supporting themselves, in some cases having kids... They're just wearing clothes that 25-30 year olds are wearing while they're doing it. So what's the problem? And how is that "refusing to grow up"? It sounds more like "refusing to look old."
posted by mothershock at 4:41 AM on March 29, 2006


We have never wanted to grow up and out of the fun stuff we had as kids. We have always regretted finding ourselves "not into music as much as we used to be" and so on. No one ever wanted to abandon the joy of really loving music and dancing and fucking around the way we did as teenagers. Since time immemorial (okay, at least since the 1950s), we have wanted to keep going around unkempt, unshaven, in t-shirts and jeans, listening to the latest stuff. If there's a difference, it is that now, if you're lucky, it's easier to do all that and still keep a good job and raise a family.
posted by pracowity at 4:53 AM on March 29, 2006


Because old people dressed in teenager play-clothes look like death to the fifth power. You look at them and cringe in embarassment for their shame.
posted by jfuller at 6:12 AM on March 29, 2006


Where the whole thing falls out of the sky and into a chasm of boiling shit for me is the yeah-I'm-wealthy-but-affect-bohemianism religion of these people.
I have no beef with not wanting to be the stodgy, grumpy, fist-waving codgers we imagine (some of) our parents to have been.
I have no beef with keeping and nurturing aspects of one's twenty-something personal and cultural lives into one's thirties, forties, and beyond.
I just fucking hate the fact that New York Magazine, which has been a longstanding touchstone for journalistic LizzieGrubmanism, chooses to glorify those who live this lifestyle out of reverse ostentation. "Oh, yeah, I wear five million dollar sneakers but, dude, check it out, with thrift shop jeans!!"
There's definitely something to be said about the erasure of the generation gap as we understood it to have existed in the '60s and '70s. But not from the standpoint of these assholes. I mean, it's like writing an article about Rastafarianism and only interviewing the trust-fund kids who dread up and work part-time at a Whole Foods Market for the prole cred.
posted by the sobsister at 6:30 AM on March 29, 2006


I guess I just wish this "passion" they are, allegedly, trying to preserve had less to do with Death Cab for Cutie and expensive jeans and had more to do with, oh, the fucking environment or the war or, or, or...

Alas.
posted by theinsectsarewaiting at 6:48 AM on March 29, 2006



The lax dress code of the open-source community is one of the reasons behind the software's slow uptake in commercial environments, says former Massachusetts Chief Information Officer Peter Quinn. He pointed to the "sandal and ponytail set" as detracting from the business-ready appearance of open-source technology and blamed developers for sluggish adoption of Linux among businesses and governments. "Open source has an unprofessional appearance, and the community needs to be more business-savvy in order to start to make inroads in areas traditionally dominated by commercial software vendors."

If you want to look like granny in a bikini I guess that's your business. But hurting Linux? That's serious.
posted by jfuller at 6:59 AM on March 29, 2006


I couldn't make it past the first picture of Hipster Droid Model Ts with Spawn. Ungh. There must be a factory where these unique individuals are all gathered. Or at least some volcano where skinny white guys are locked away and shown movies of tight sweaters, slouchiing poses, and bands with 8-bit Nintendos as rhythm guitars.

But what of the Hefty Hipsters? Where is their parade?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:25 AM on March 29, 2006


Oh, and when's the gruppie movie coming out? And the Gruppie Handbook? And the gruppie backlash t-shirts? And the bus tours of gruppie neighborhoods? And the gruppie sitcom? On NBC, of course.

There is no situation that cannot be marketed into a trend.
posted by the sobsister at 7:27 AM on March 29, 2006


(he notes sententiously)
posted by the sobsister at 8:05 AM on March 29, 2006


I think they call them "ladults" in England (not sure of the female version, anyone?). Either way, another great reason to live very far away from the city.
posted by usedwigs at 8:08 AM on March 29, 2006


Jesus fuck, I couldn't get past the first page

I couldn't make it past the first picture of Hipster Droid Model Ts with Spawn. Ungh.

the only thing going through my head while reading this article is various permutations of the word vomit.

And so on and so forth, to the tune of about 100 comments. I'm just going to step in here and paint some concentric circles across my torso: I liked it. I mean, it didn't change my life, or my way of thinking, or tell me anything especially new, but I liked it. I chuckled a couple of times, as I sit here at work. Of course, I'm in that 'under 25' demographic, so I can't feel this is targeted at me in any way.

I quite enjoyed the cultural references, actually. They (and the entire article) were painted in broad strokes, but that meant that I was able to get quite a few of the jokes. "Oh, wow. Sarah Silverman. I do know someone like that."

Yes, it's flawed, and it's not fair, or accurate to everyone over 30, or to everyone who's commented on this post. But I don't think it really claims to be - the fantastic scale of vitriolitic rebuke from some people here suggests that some of you are taking this rather more seriously than it was probably intended. Who's afraid of the Big Bad Label?

I mean, really. The many people who've spent many words ranting about the publication responsible for this article (even after several people had done it literally lines beforehand) don't seem to realise quite what they sound like: Of course it's a bit of a silly article in a silly magazine. But who really gives the New York Magazine that much of their time?

this is an outrage! my jeans cost $2.99!
While this is one of the comments that appears to have been written tongue-in-cheek, an embarrassing number weren't. I won't single you out. But alternately smearing the article and trying so hard to alienate yourself from what it describes doesn't read too well on the participants of this messageboard.

On the other hand, kudos to the likes of mothershock and orb for trying to raise the tone of the discussion back to the regular metafilter levels.

Anyway. The concentric circles are now painted in red white and blue, and I've steadily beaten myself with a meat tenderizer for the past 20 minutes or so. So go nuts. At least it'll draw a little fire away from the obvious, easy, and unresponsive target.
posted by jrengreen at 8:13 AM on March 29, 2006


ed,

These people aren't rebelling against anything. This is the capitalist touch-down scenario. The homogenization of the culture-market, the devotion to consumerism and brand, the shallow political engagement, the religious selfishness, and, the last missing piece, the celebration of the "free-lancer," i.e. the highly disposable worker. Indeed, it's kind of funny how things worked out: the very moment globalization picked up and work started moving off-shore we started hearing all about the new "mercenary worker" who stayed at a job for no longer than a year or two. Ten years later and this model has now been sold as the goal, as the ultimate freedom.

Personally, I have little respect for grown men and women who dress and behave like college kids. But--it's good for business.
posted by nixerman at 8:15 AM on March 29, 2006


And the gruppie backlash t-shirts?

How about "Die Gruppie Scum"?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:48 AM on March 29, 2006


See but look: if you are a freelancer, which doesn't come without sacrifices, why should you be guilted out of what perks there are in your position? Out of solidarity with the cubicle drones who spend half their working days dreaming of being on the other side of the fence? The fact is the article is describing a very small group of people in a very small world; there's no point in getting worked up about it.

If you get all absorbed in articles like this you're faced with a world where there are the people who dress like overgrown high-schoolers and there are the overgrown high-schoolers who pick on 'em for it. That's all it is, same dynamic as punks vs. preps, over and over again, judging people's worldviews by the shirts they wear, which shouldn't be surprising since it's all generated from the same exact place it was 20, 30 years ago, media puff pieces.

That's what's old.
posted by furiousthought at 8:51 AM on March 29, 2006


The problem isn't that the adults are acting like teenagers, it's that the teenagers' tastes are too safe and palatable to old people. The kids need to widen the generation gap and push the old people off the edge. Once the kids realize that Death Cab is music for 40 year olds, maybe old people will actually start look old again.
posted by skullbee at 9:03 AM on March 29, 2006


When I layout $500+ for jeans, my ass looks good. Capitalist superstructure be damned, I'm able yet to negotiate nimbly amidst needs and desires, the detritus of old logoi and the continuing pulverization of ontologies, communities, identities and presence. I can enter my fourth decade, thin, determined and compensated. And I'm still signifying.

Because my ass looks good.
posted by Haruspex at 9:10 AM on March 29, 2006


> When I layout $500+ for jeans, my ass looks good.

As far as you know.
posted by jfuller at 9:46 AM on March 29, 2006


Well, I'm coming late to the party here, and, like a few others, I'm a little surprised at the depth of the hating in here. I mean, the article itself was indeed a steaming pile of shit, but, as others have noted, it's fucking New York Magazine. If you look up "steaming pile of shit" in Wikipedia, there will likely be a link to the New York Magazine home page.

That aside, why all the hating on those of us who WEREN'T forced into the suit-wearing, lite-rock-listening, neatly groomed, generic world of corporate widget-manufacturing middle management in order to achieve a reasonable level of financial security?

is it jealousy?
posted by dersins at 10:39 AM on March 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


No, it's because we hate elitist, pseudo-intellectual douchebags who think lifestyle choices matter more than character.
posted by keswick at 10:47 AM on March 29, 2006


No, it's because we hate elitist, pseudo-intellectual douchebags who think lifestyle choices matter more than character.

Self-hatred is truly an ugly thing to witness.
posted by dersins at 10:48 AM on March 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


"I know you are but what am I?"
posted by keswick at 10:50 AM on March 29, 2006


Just pointing out the elitist, pseudo-intellectual douchebaggery inherent to your comment, is all.
posted by dersins at 10:55 AM on March 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


That aside, why all the hating on those of us who WEREN'T forced into the suit-wearing, lite-rock-listening, neatly groomed, generic world of corporate widget-manufacturing middle management in order to achieve a reasonable level of financial security?

is it jealousy?


No. More like annoyance at the self-righteous stupidity that assumes that everyone who has a corporate job was "forced into the suit-wearing, lite-rock-listening, neatly groomed, generic world of corporate widget-manufacturing middle management."
posted by dame at 11:07 AM on March 29, 2006


I work for a corporation. So do some of the people in that (odious) article. I wasn't referring to all corporate jobs. I was referring to a specific subset of them. I apologize for making that insufficiently clear in the part where I specified exactly which subset of corporate jobs to which I was referring.
posted by dersins at 11:12 AM on March 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


dame, don't you see how they are fighting the power by spending hundreds of dollars on jeans and haircuts? don't you understand how not shaving isn't just about looking like a slovenly bum, but rather how stubble threatens the corporate plutocracy?
posted by keswick at 11:12 AM on March 29, 2006


I apologize for making that insufficiently clear in the part where I specified exactly which subset of corporate jobs to which I was referring.

You aren't a very good writer, are you?
posted by dame at 11:21 AM on March 29, 2006


Straw man alert!

Who said anything about "fighting the power" or "threaten[ing] the corporate plutocracy?"

The simple fact is that jeans, t-shirts and sneakers are more comfortable than suits and ties, and shaving every day is a fucking waste of time.
posted by dersins at 11:23 AM on March 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


You aren't a very good writer, are you?

No, I am not. I'm sorry. So very, very sorry.
posted by dersins at 11:24 AM on March 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


Whatever. You're the one who gets misinterpreted for it.
posted by dame at 11:28 AM on March 29, 2006


wow. i actually read the article and all these comments, and wow. there's not much more to say (yet i'm still commenting), but what's with all the patronizing of "cubicle drones"?

i'm too young to be a gruppie, and i work a pretty decent job where i can wear jeans, tshirts, and hoodies to work every day. soon, i hope to go to school to get a nicer job, but i think it's pretty arrogant to look down on people who assumed responsibility and pay the bills. if you can take care of yourself being a freelance whatever, that's awesome! just don't look down on people who do it differently. i'm not jealous of freelancers (hell, i have lots of friends who do airy freelance like jobs), i just can't stand the elitism, arrogance, and snobbery lots of these people have.

as if liking deathcab means you have any taste- it's actually quite the opposite. baboo!
posted by kendrak at 11:52 AM on March 29, 2006


No, it's because we hate elitist, pseudo-intellectual douchebags who think lifestyle choices matter more than character.

You know, it’s not an either-or situation. Plus, I don’t think the under-25 crowd is generally a good source of examples for character over style. Just sayin. My niece hates “fashion” to the extent that it’s mainstream fashion. Alterna-fashion is mandatory.

annoyance at the self-righteous stupidity that assumes that everyone who has a corporate job was "forced into the suit-wearing, lite-rock-listening, neatly groomed, generic world of corporate widget-manufacturing middle management.

Yep, that’s just as stupid. As I said, some of my colleagues love their jobs and they’re not stupid to do so. The stupidity is in not loving your job and continuing to do it anyway – at least when you have a choice, and not everyone does.

This is reminiscent of the whole career-woman push. If you want to stay home and have kids, you're just a slave to the system, right? Right?
posted by dreamsign at 12:17 PM on March 29, 2006


the patronizing of "cubicle drones"

I'm just sayin', I've been on both sides of the fence, and the grass is always greener... freelancing has its routines too. But a lot of people who do work in cubicles spend their time wishing they were bold enough to strike it on their own (as the fantasy goes) sometimes idly, sometimes desperately. Others are perfectly happy. A lot of the bad feelings between the two grow out of people's dissatisfaction with the qualities of their own positions after all... the arrogant cubicle-drone's been sitting through meetings all week, the arrogant freelancer hasn't got paid in a month and a half.
posted by furiousthought at 12:30 PM on March 29, 2006


These people aren't rebelling against anything. This is the capitalist touch-down scenario. The homogenization of the culture-market, the devotion to consumerism and brand, the shallow political engagement, the religious selfishness, and, the last missing piece, the celebration of the "free-lancer," i.e. the highly disposable worker. Indeed, it's kind of funny how things worked out: the very moment globalization picked up and work started moving off-shore we started hearing all about the new "mercenary worker" who stayed at a job for no longer than a year or two. Ten years later and this model has now been sold as the goal, as the ultimate freedom.

+10
posted by birdsong at 1:47 PM on March 29, 2006


Because old people dressed in teenager play-clothes look like death to the fifth power.

Then maybe the teenagers need to come up with their own new style and stop wearing the outdated stuff their parents are wearing.

I guess when I turned 40, I was supposed to go buy a closet full of polyester pants with elastic waists, blouses that button up to my neck, and loafers from Payless ... not to mention throw my iPod away, stop going to concerts and nightclubs, and get a "real" job. Sorry, but I didn't get the memo that informed me I had to change my ways and start acting and looking old at any set time.

I expected that to happen naturally like it did with my parents. They certainly didn't change what they wore, what they listened to, what they watched on TV, or what they did with their lives. The world changed around them, and that left them looking like they were "old and busted". My mom still wears a pair of shoes she had when she was 25. Yeah, they look pretty outdated now. I still have some shoes I wore in college. They are still in fashion, and I still wear them. If they wore out, I could go buy another pair almost exactly like them. Is this somehow my fault?
posted by Orb at 2:33 PM on March 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


How dare you worry about your hair, your clothes, your quality of life when people in China are starving!

How's that for old and parental?

I mean, like, dudes, chill.

Full disclosure: I'm a putative grup myself (without kids, expensive clothes or a Pilates-toned physique). And as I read through all these comments, I'm not quite grasping which is more offensive to everyone here: the article? the "grups"?

I do get that people dislike the apparent celebration of a lifestyle they personally don't embrace.
posted by GrammarMoses at 2:44 PM on March 29, 2006


Also, I'd like to point out, that these gruppies are fuck-all in comparison to the aging chavs you get in the UK. Nothing quite like seeing an overweight track-suit wearing middle-aged woman scrunching her White Lightning-hardened face and screaming at the top of her lungs in a crowded train 'naaah, you faaakin' slaaag!'

I'll take a million 'elitist, pseudo-intellectual douchebags who think lifestyle choices matter more than character' any day of the week.

If you don't know what a chav is, count yourself lucky.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:45 PM on March 29, 2006


Of course they're not rebelling. I don't get why people think that everyone out there wearing "scene" (or whatever the hell you want to call it) clothing thinks they are a rebel.

After all, these people (like myself) are doing quite well off the current society. Why would they rebel? I don't wear a suit, but I don't think that makes me some kind of anarchist. I like various non-pop music forms, but I'm not (unlike, admittedly, many other people at these concerts/clubs) some sort of rabid anti-capitalist. The two are not the same (In fact, I'm happy being a well-paid cog in a large capitalist corporation, and I'm not the least bit ashamed about that).
posted by wildcrdj at 3:06 PM on March 29, 2006


"... and shaving every day is a fucking waste of time."

And, might I add, pure hell for your face skin. Well, at least my face skin. YMMV.

I just wish the hair would stay on top of my head... *sigh*... it's not like nobody knows what "pony tail with a baseball cap" means.

Some parts of aging you simply can't escape!
posted by zoogleplex at 5:35 PM on March 29, 2006


These people aren't rebelling against anything. This is the capitalist touch-down scenario. The homogenization of the culture-market, the devotion to consumerism and brand, the shallow political engagement, the religious selfishness, and, the last missing piece, the celebration of the "free-lancer," i.e. the highly disposable worker. Indeed, it's kind of funny how things worked out: the very moment globalization picked up and work started moving off-shore we started hearing all about the new "mercenary worker" who stayed at a job for no longer than a year or two. Ten years later and this model has now been sold as the goal, as the ultimate freedom.

Quoted (again) for truth. Well spotted!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:44 PM on March 29, 2006


Except that a freelancer is *not* somebody who stays in a job for a year or two. They work on their own, produce their own stuff, and see if they can sell it to anybody.

I would actually be surprised if the number of freelancers has risen at all, given that only people like photographers and journalists can get away with it.

This is very different to jumping from job to job every couple of years because of zero loyalty towards companies who have zero loyalty towards you...
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:22 PM on March 29, 2006


(he notes sententiously)
posted by the sobsister at 10:05 AM CST on March 29 [!]


I just learned a new word. Thanks sobsister.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:06 PM on March 29, 2006


Maybe we're lacking a generation gap because so much of what the culture machine pumped out between Gen X and current NY hipster culture -- or whatever we call the demographics -- was complete, unmitigated crap. Remind me again what we were doing throughout the 90s? Oh, right, that's when the internet was still making money.
posted by spiderwire at 11:05 AM on March 30, 2006


This is way more than 8 fucking pages of comments... yet I somehow read it all.
posted by rex at 9:29 PM on March 30, 2006


As soon as I saw this FPP, I immediately thought, "What Does Jonmc have to say?!" I am sorely disappointed he hasn't chimed in yet.
posted by subgenius at 11:54 PM on March 30, 2006


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