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November 8, 2007 10:01 AM   Subscribe

Do you know a young 20 something hipster who is too busy spending their parents money on beer, poorly fitting clothes and blogging about the newest band reinventing music from 20 years ago? Is their waiter/bartending existence causing you to worry about their long term investment habits? Do they need some fisical responsbility in their young lives? Well you're in luck my friend! Thrasher Funds now offers the first mutual fund targeted to hipsters. With holdings in Apple, Gucci, H&M, and Louis Vuitton, this fund not only has it's pulse on your young hipster's generation, it also dresses the way they want! Get in on it today! via
posted by Stynxno (180 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
So THAT'S a "hipster"... a young person. Good. Yes. Young people should take time to invest.
posted by tkchrist at 10:05 AM on November 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


According to their graph if you start investing at 25 with less than $100 month -- you can make $321,816 by age 65!

In Dubya dollars, $321816 will probably buy a cup of coffee in the year 2047.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:06 AM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'll stick with Putnam, but thanks!

Isn't it a bad idea to tie your portfolio to anything hip, considering the fickleness of cool?
posted by drezdn at 10:07 AM on November 8, 2007


Ah, yes, the hipsters and their Louis Vuitton. Nice to see the young people taking an interest in ADM, too.
posted by MarkAnd at 10:08 AM on November 8, 2007


But should they invest in trends, which change like the wind? Hipster interests are not known for their staying power...
posted by jonson at 10:11 AM on November 8, 2007


Nice to see the young people taking an interest in ADM, too.

You apparently haven't seen their new ad campaigns "Yo! Archers Daniel Midland rocks, foshizzle."
posted by drezdn at 10:11 AM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


I dunno, I've kinda tied up a lot of liquidity in vinyl record derivatives.
posted by elwoodwiles at 10:15 AM on November 8, 2007 [5 favorites]


stinky!
posted by dios at 10:17 AM on November 8, 2007


This reminds me of something I read several years ago, where a group of teachers at a school formed an investment club and invested in the companies making the products their students were using. From what I remember, they made out better than the S&P 500.
posted by Qubit at 10:17 AM on November 8, 2007


I'm investing in hearing aid futures.
posted by drezdn at 10:18 AM on November 8, 2007


These Generation Funds Need Some Work.
posted by ericb at 10:18 AM on November 8, 2007


In Bushwick, everyone dresses like quants.
posted by Falconetti at 10:21 AM on November 8, 2007


Meet the Thrashers! Your money will be managed by:

James C. Perkins Jr.! He has a B.A. in Chemistry and has worked as an analyst. He has never managed a mutual fund!

Khalid Reede Jones! He is a former law firm associate who graduated from law school just four years ago. He has never managed a mutual fund!

Where do I send my check?
posted by brain_drain at 10:23 AM on November 8, 2007 [5 favorites]


I liked you better before your IPO.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:24 AM on November 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


We totally did this as a project in an econ class in high school. If I recall correctly, I invested in Pepsi, my tipple of choice, and during the course of the year they acquired Pizza Hut and Taco Bell and Frito Lay or something and I ended up a paper bazillionaire. Which was good experience for my life in the dot com era.
posted by padraigin at 10:25 AM on November 8, 2007


Actually, seeing how this looks more like marketed hype than substance, I'd bet hipsters investors will flock to it. For a month.

Metroid Baby: Heh.

That IPO is so, like, such a sell-out.
posted by elwoodwiles at 10:27 AM on November 8, 2007


Those look like, for lack of a better term myspacers, then hipsters.
posted by delmoi at 10:32 AM on November 8, 2007


Also, they over compress their JPGs. Look at the fringing on the word thrasher. Disgusting.
posted by delmoi at 10:34 AM on November 8, 2007




Those look like, for lack of a better term myspacers, then hipsters.


It is the only mutual fund with a myspace page after all.
posted by drezdn at 10:35 AM on November 8, 2007


Being that hipsters can't seem to hold their fancy to anything other than snobbishness and irony for more than a month or two at a time, I sincerely doubt the long-term prospects of this fund.
posted by baphomet at 10:36 AM on November 8, 2007


This proprietary model seeks to capitalize on the convergence of what the firm believes to be two generational socioeconomic trends: the Baby Boomer generation’s increased life expectancy, elongated career life cycle, along with its member’s propensity to emulate younger lifestyles, and simultaneously, Generations X and Y’s increased access to capital and increasingly younger financial maturity.

I sure hope their proprietary model is better than their grammar.
posted by googly at 10:37 AM on November 8, 2007


can you say "top"?
posted by mano at 10:37 AM on November 8, 2007


Real hipsters wouldn't list their call hours in Central time. Does Williamsburg have its own time zone yet?
posted by rmless at 10:43 AM on November 8, 2007


Does Williamsburg have its own time zone yet?

Yes, it's the PTY time zone.
posted by Falconetti at 10:51 AM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Economy to "young 20 something hipster": Welcome to Adulthood
posted by psmealey at 10:55 AM on November 8, 2007


Being that hipsters can't seem to hold their fancy to anything other than snobbishness and irony for more than a month or two at a time, I sincerely doubt the long-term prospects of this fund.

This has been said several times in the thread, and I'd just like to point out that it isn't true. Converse sneakers, for instance, are hipster staples for going on decades, as are Apple computers. The Velvet Underground is never not hip.

By the way, the next thing is RC Cola. I've been to two hep eateries in the past month that serve it.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:56 AM on November 8, 2007


These are not hipsters. These are scenesters. Hipsters wear porkpie hats and listen to Thelonius Sphere Monk.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:59 AM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


What's with the hitlery font for the "they invest, do you?" text?
posted by Justinian at 10:59 AM on November 8, 2007


I sure hope their proprietary model is better than their grammar.

I think it's stylistically awful, but that sentence does seem to parse correctly. I would have done it either in two sentences or using a 'first, …; second, …' construction rather than commas, but I've seen way worse in business communications.

That said, I think this is a doomed idea. The idiot hipsters who are smart enough to put their money in a mutual fund are probably smart enough to pick one with better credentials and less flash; the ones who would be taken by something like this probably aren't going to find any mutual fund cool enough for their tastes.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:06 AM on November 8, 2007


I hate damn stupid youngies.
posted by Mister_A at 11:13 AM on November 8, 2007


...its member’s propensity to emulate younger lifestyles
So they're investing in Viagra (Pfizer)?
posted by GrammarMoses at 11:13 AM on November 8, 2007


Not nearly as badass as the Vice Fund, which only invests in companies associated with alcohol, tobacco, gambling and the defense industry...
posted by SweetJesus at 11:16 AM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


LOL Hitlery.

Nice neologism, 10 bonus points—which you will need in the Speed Round!!!11!1!
posted by Mister_A at 11:16 AM on November 8, 2007


That said, I think this is a doomed idea. The idiot hipsters who are smart enough to put their money in a mutual fund are probably smart enough to pick one with better credentials and less flash; the ones who would be taken by something like this probably aren't going to find any mutual fund cool enough for their tastes.

Yeah, but that's why this company isn't targeting hipsters at all. That was a mistake by the OP and it's really poisoned the thread. Like I said earlier "MySpacers" not hipsters are the people this company is trying to attract. Kids that hear Jay-Z or Ludacris rap about their mutual funds and investments and think they need to get one too.

The company is advertising to kids who think being rich means having a mutual fund (they're right) and buying a "trendy" mutual fund is just another thing to add to their spinning chrome rims and sundry "Bling."

They are not going after Hipsters, in fact the kids this company is going after are the polar opposite of hipsters. novu-riche Kids with disposable income who sincerely believe in ostentatious displays of wealth and want to tell all their friends about their latest mutual fund while they sip crystal.
posted by delmoi at 11:17 AM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


SweetJesus writes "Not nearly as badass as the Vice Fund, which only invests in companies associated with alcohol, tobacco, gambling and the defense industry..."

That fund is doing really well, too.

Later guys, I'm off to get drunk and drive my hummer to the casino.
posted by mullingitover at 11:19 AM on November 8, 2007


I know who I'll be sending 100 of my ironically earned dollars to.

Hint: It won't be them.

Second hint: It may or may not be mathowie to get a mention in a podcast (I hear that works as long as your check doesn't bounce).
posted by sparkletone at 11:23 AM on November 8, 2007



This has been said several times in the thread, and I'd just like to point out that it isn't true.


While Cons maybe considered timeless by some, what would have happened if you owned stock in the company before they were bought out by Nike (I'm not sure, I'm really curious about the stock price).

To be fairer, it's not that these are brands that Hipsters will give up on, so much as, some already cost far too much to really be a value, and can they be counted on in the long run against something like an index fund?
posted by drezdn at 11:31 AM on November 8, 2007


But really, why should Gen Y'ers worry about retirement?

Generation Y is a demographic powerhouse entering into our choice of jobs. With the world conspiring in our favor

Not that I agree with that at all (I consider myself a Gen X member, or a cusper, or something, my parents were too old to be boomers).
posted by drezdn at 11:35 AM on November 8, 2007


Also, they over compress their JPGs. Look at the fringing on the word thrasher. Disgusting.

You mean this? That's a GIF. It's indexed. Or am I totally missing a joke here? I get the feeling I am.
posted by kaseijin at 11:36 AM on November 8, 2007


If you have a trust fund, you're not a hipster, you're a poser.
posted by DenOfSizer at 11:39 AM on November 8, 2007


Metafilter: Works as long as your check doesn't bounce.
posted by Mister_A at 11:42 AM on November 8, 2007


From drezdn's link:

The Gen X focus on distrust makes them solitary workers, preferring to rely solely on their selves to see a project through...

Their selves? I am going to personally club Gen Y like a harp seal pup if that's the best it can do. Bring it on, amorphous catch-all totem for consumer trends!
posted by Mister_A at 11:46 AM on November 8, 2007


hipsters and posers are the same thing.
posted by Stynxno at 11:49 AM on November 8, 2007


Jeebus. If only I'd thought of this when I was (an actual!) stockbroker at Smith Barney... making money off of stupid people = fun!

And then I'd form a Chicks Only Mutual Fund to invest in shoes and other crap. Ai yi yi.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 11:50 AM on November 8, 2007


The impracticality upon impracticality is making me dizzy and nauseated.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:50 AM on November 8, 2007


If there is a worse investment concept I'd like to see it.

Let's see...identify the companies that supply the most fickle tastemakers in the universe -- a group DEFINED by 1) a "bad is good" aesthetic and 2) the ultimate insult "that's so five minutes ago" -- then from that we can somehow construct a portfolio of crappy ironic consumer goods that will be painfully out of fashion minutes after we find out about their "popularity"? I'm in!

Wouldn't you want to take clues instead from people who aren't so manic about changing their minds about stuff? Like maybe, people walking around malls in Ohio?

/bitter about my worthless Von Dutch stock
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:50 AM on November 8, 2007


I bet this fund wishes it could invest in Radiohead.
posted by drezdn at 11:54 AM on November 8, 2007


"Do you know a young 20 something hipster who is too busy spending their parents money on..." grammar lessons?
posted by Mike D at 11:57 AM on November 8, 2007



Can we drop this "hipster" bullshit already? All it does is denigrate and discredit a broad swath of creative young people, many of whom are sincerely trying to contribute to our comatose culture. Yes, there are people walking around Williamsburg who look ridiculous, who are snobbish, ironic, self-complacent, and spoiled. But young people are drawn to the city because its density affords the kind of interaction and resources necessary to pursue music, art and whatever else. 40 years ago it didn't require mom's pursestrings to stay alive here. But you try paying an $800 (or more) rent and still have time to devote yourself to what you see as your only purpose in life. Life in the city is fucking hard, but we deal with it because we want to make something of ourselves, to create something that might redeem this dark age that was ushered in while you guys were watching the Simpsons and eating CheezWiz. So lay off.
posted by bukharin at 12:04 PM on November 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


Can we drop this "hipster" bullshit already?

Ah.

So we've reached the backlash towards the backlash stage of the cycle. Sweet. This is my favorite part.

I keed, I keed...
posted by sparkletone at 12:07 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]



Just a little healthy generational conflict ;)
posted by bukharin at 12:10 PM on November 8, 2007


If you have a trust fund, you're not a hipster, you're a poser.

I think you have that reversed.
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:11 PM on November 8, 2007


But you try paying an $800 (or more) rent and still have time to devote yourself to what you see as your only purpose in life. Life in the city is fucking hard, but we deal with it because we want to make something of ourselves, to create something that might redeem this dark age that was ushered in while you guys were watching the Simpsons and eating CheezWiz.

i.e. I refuse to get a job and learn time management skills and I'm lucky enough to have parents who will let me watch family guy on youtube and eat organic Cheezwiz.
posted by Stynxno at 12:24 PM on November 8, 2007 [3 favorites]


Can we drop this "hipster" bullshit already?

No. A hipster ain't nothin' but a yuppie with artistic pretensions, dimly understood politics and an ironic mustache and a severe case of I'm-a-special-snowflake syndrome. Such people deserve all the mockery they get.
posted by jonmc at 12:25 PM on November 8, 2007 [7 favorites]


to create something that might redeem this dark age that was ushered in while you guys were watching the Simpsons and eating CheezWiz.

and where would we be without you to enlighten us?

But you try paying an $800 (or more) rent and still have time to devote yourself to what you see as your only purpose in life.

Boo-fucking-hoo.
posted by jonmc at 12:28 PM on November 8, 2007


Life in the city is fucking hard, but we deal with it because we want to make something of ourselves, to create something that might redeem this dark age that was ushered in while you guys were watching the Simpsons and eating CheezWiz.

*nods solemnly*

*starts turning crank on hurdy-gurdy*

*plays mash-up of Jeffersons & Mary Tyler Moore themes in mock-dirge style*

*signs American Apparel endorsement contract with free hand*
posted by gompa at 12:28 PM on November 8, 2007


e deal with it because we want to make something of ourselves, to create something that might redeem this dark age

Like WHAT? The only stuff I see coming from the quadrant I view as "hipster" is derivative self-indulgent shit, so please, speak up.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:32 PM on November 8, 2007


Don't you get it? Hating hipsters is the hippest thing around. It's the ultimate irony.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:33 PM on November 8, 2007


Can we drop this "hipster" bullshit already?

LEAVE THE HIPSTERS ALONE
"And how fucking dare anyone out there make fun of hipsters! After all they've been through! They got HERPES!!!
posted by ericb at 12:40 PM on November 8, 2007



Go ahead, pile on. I asked for it. It's always the loudest and most ridiculous who get held up as representative of everyone else. The moniker "hipster" has as much to do with your ironic complacence as it does theirs. I didn't mean to sound preachy or above everyone else; I'm only defending the young people I know and love who work very hard for little reward, whose motive in life is not money alone but to sustain a vital and viable culture which, in the end, is the necessary foundation of an enlightened, democratic society. So far we have failed. But it doesn't help to have people spit on us with that slur.
posted by bukharin at 12:41 PM on November 8, 2007



But I do love The Hipster Olympics. So, I'm guilty too.
posted by bukharin at 12:44 PM on November 8, 2007


If you were truly a hipster, you'd embrace the slur and reclaim it as a badge of honor.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:46 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


If you were truly a hipster, you'd embrace the slur and reclaim it as a badge of honor.

Problem: That would mean I'd have to show that I care about something earnestly.
posted by sparkletone at 12:48 PM on November 8, 2007


Let's see... Screen name is a Bolshevik revolutionary, suggesting some respect or relative common feeling despite not having any congruence with such an individual? Check. Advocates on behalf of hipsters? Check. Makes facile comments about art and music as if shitty techno-punk is going to be the salvation of Western Civilization? Check. Lives off mom as an adult? Check. Dresses like a giant douche? UNKNOWN.

We need an answer to the last one, bukharin! You might be a potential hipster client for this great economic opportunity that Thrasher Fund offers!
posted by dios at 12:51 PM on November 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


Like WHAT, please. I'm a young, artistic person who doesn't, by any criteria I've seen, qualify as a hipster. You seem to identify with the maligned group. So, what is so redemptive about it? If it can be said to exist, it looks to me like a dumb set of fashion and media tastes, no more. What do those materialities have to do with anything good?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:53 PM on November 8, 2007


I'm only defending the young people I know and love who work very hard for little reward, whose motive in life is not money alone but to sustain a vital and viable culture which, in the end, is the necessary foundation of an enlightened, democratic society. So far we have failed. But it doesn't help to have people spit on us with that slur.

One Tin Soldier rides away....

(all of a sudden a bunch of spoiled 'artists' are saving the world? Don't flatter yourself, Napoleon Dynamite)
posted by jonmc at 12:53 PM on November 8, 2007



i.e. I refuse to get a job and learn time management skills

So we're all unemployed now?
$10/hr x 40 hrs/wk = $1600/month. - taxes, $1400, let's say.
- $800 rent (if you're lucky, and that's probably a tiny room in a slum on the outskirts of Brooklyn and you commute 40 min - 1hr one way) = $600 left. a month. in new york city. you work 8 am to 5pm, you wake up at 6am and you get home at 6:30. after dinner you maybe have 3 hours of free time. but your soul sucking job as an office assistant for some Manhattan firm leaves you just wanting to get drunk and watch tv. oh wait, what about playing piano? you'll try to practice on the weekend between laundry and everything else you don't have time to d. what about your art? there's a half-painted canvas that's been sitting there for two months. so, you stop working full time, like I did. you stop paying your bills and eat nothing but potatoes and bagels, like I did. hooray, now you have free time to make something you could actually one day become successful for and that might actually have some real social value. oh wait, now you're a freeloading hipster and everything you do is bullshit, just because mom sent you money so you could go to the dentist. thanks guys.
posted by bukharin at 12:54 PM on November 8, 2007


You do realize that there are cities with vibrant art scenes where $800 in rent will get you a three bedroom and a practice space in the basement?

And that, by paying $800 rent through a check in the mail, you're making it easier for places to charge $800 for rent or more, and making it that much harder for people that make $10/hour to find a place to live that is affordable.

I wish I had $600 spending money a month.
posted by drezdn at 12:58 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Boohoo. I thought rule 1 of being a hipster was bucking all the rules and write your own.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:58 PM on November 8, 2007


Hipster Bingo.
posted by ericb at 12:59 PM on November 8, 2007


Though jonmc's link redeems this thread!
posted by drezdn at 12:59 PM on November 8, 2007


I am out of my snark depth.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:00 PM on November 8, 2007


The Morning News: Do You Have Hipsters?

"A step-by-step guide on how to rid yourself of a hipster infestation."
posted by ericb at 1:00 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yeah, your scenario is basically "I'm paying Coolsville idiot tax." Why should I feel for you over that? Get a skill that pays, move or come to grips with poverty.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:03 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


you're welcome. and the 'outskirts of Brooklyn' would be either Queens or the Atlantic Ocean.

soul sucking job as an office assistant for some Manhattan firm


somewhere a Wal-Mart night stocker is playing the worlds smallest violin for you.

that might actually have some real social value.

As opposed to all of us who keep the world functioning. That has no social value, but some splotches on canvas or Yet Another Bad Indie-Rock Outfit, that's a damned treasure for the ages.
posted by jonmc at 1:03 PM on November 8, 2007


Todd P Explains It All: Hipster Is a Seven-Letter Word.
posted by ericb at 1:04 PM on November 8, 2007



I agree with you, Ambrosia. I don't identify as a hipster and I don't think most people I know would either. Much of it is the marketplace trying to commodify recent trends that border on the ridiculous in many respects.

I never said I was trying to save the world. But art requires time and discipline. Much of the great art of the last several centuries was made by people who, fair or not, had some source of income that didn't require them to work. A lot of that great art led to cultural shifts that are responsible for much of the civil rights and humanitarian gains of the last three centuries. One minute we rail against how a general malaise of indifference and ignorance prevents us from stopping Bush, allows corporations and governments to run over our rights and bomb countries at will. And then you attack people who are trying to revive the kind of cultural climate necessary for social revolution. Agreed, not all young artists have that in mind, and it's them that the word 'hipster' is probably targeted at. I'm only defending those who get unjustly discredited by the term.
posted by bukharin at 1:06 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Your favorite art sucks. Next!
posted by fandango_matt at 1:07 PM on November 8, 2007


Wow dude, you need to move to the Upper Midwest.
posted by baphomet at 1:08 PM on November 8, 2007


Much of the great art of the last several centuries was made by people who, fair or not, had some source of income that didn't require them to work.

Like who?

If you ask me, artists who are supported by grants or wealthy patrons or indulgent parents lose touch with everyday life thus rendering their creations meaningless and irrelevant.

And then you attack people who are trying to revive the kind of cultural climate necessary for social revolution.


Idleness, clubbishness and self-indulgence bare the neccessary climate for social revolution?
posted by jonmc at 1:11 PM on November 8, 2007


The Hipster Handbook*
Clues You Are a Hipster

1. You graduated from a liberal arts school whose football team hasn't won a game since the Reagan administration.

2. You frequently use the term 'postmodern' (or its commonly used variation 'PoMo') as an adjective, noun, and verb.

3. You carry a shoulder-strap messenger bag and have at one time or another worn a pair of horn-rimmed or Elvis Costello-style glasses.

4. You have refined taste and consider yourself exceptionally cultured, but have one pop vice (ElimiDATE, Quiet Riot, and Entertainment Weekly are popular ones) that helps to define you as well-rounded.

5.You have kissed someone of the same gender and often bring this up in casual conversation.

6. You spend much of your leisure time in bars and restaurants with monosyllabic names like Plant, Bound, and Shine.

7. You bought your dishes and a checkered tablecloth at a thrift shop to be kitschy, and often throw vegetarian dinner parties.

8. You have one Republican friend whom you always describe as being your 'one Republican friend.'

9. You enjoy complaining about gentrification even though you are responsible for it yourself.

10. Your hair looks best unwashed and you position your head on your pillow at night in a way that will really maximize your cowlicks.

11. You own records put out by Matador, DFA, Dischord, Warp, Thrill Jockey, Smells Like Records, Saddle Creek, and Drag City."

12. You have downloaded R. Stevie Moore videos and have attempted to enjoy them.

Clues You Are Not a Hipster

1. You teach Sunday school.

2. You use hair spray and wear pleated pants or pastel dress suits.

3. You are a big fan of the suburbs and vinyl siding.

4. You have a special 'spill shirt' that you wear when you eat dinner at night.

5. You like to watch college football.

6. You read novels with raised lettering on their covers.

7. You eat at Popeye's on a regular basis.

8. You listen to the Dave Matthews Band while driving in your SUV.

9. You wear holiday-themed sweaters with Santa Clauses, jack-o'-lanterns, and snowflake patterns knitted onto them.

10. You work in an office building that has a man-made pond and a fountain in its front lot.

11. You consider Jim Breuer to be a comic genius.

12. You know nothing of R. Stevie Moore and would not listen to him given the opportunity.
posted by ericb at 1:11 PM on November 8, 2007


lot of that great art led to cultural shifts that are responsible for much of the civil rights and humanitarian gains of the last three centuries.

List 5 great pieces of art that led to a cultural shift, and just to make sure it lines up with your first point, follow that up with how the artist made money while making their art.
posted by drezdn at 1:11 PM on November 8, 2007


posted by bukharin Much of the great art of the last several centuries was made by people who, fair or not, had some source of income that didn't require them to work. A lot of that great art led to cultural shifts that are responsible for much of the civil rights and humanitarian gains of the last three centuries.

Do you have a cite for this? It sounds like the whiny, pathetic mantra of every untalented hack who claims he or she can't make art because they have to work, or they don't have money, or the studio is too small or whatever. All of the artists I know supplement their income with a job and they do not spend their free time whining on the Internet about the great injustice of being labeled a hipster.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:14 PM on November 8, 2007



And those are fine rhetorical points, jonmc. But the assumption there is that art has no social value other than to be pleasing to the eye of some rich person, or to be stocked away and preserved in a museum. I grew up in Texas, I know from there as well how many very intelligent young people with a lot of potential were simply ground down by an unjust system. My best friend, valedictorian, classics major, agile writer - works for $2/hr plus hardly any tips in Longview, Texas and is pretty fucking depressed. And yeah, it's not fair that trust fund kids get to sit around in hip neighborhoods and pretend to make art. But we're not all trust fund kids.

And thanks but no thanks, I don't want to live in Austin.
posted by bukharin at 1:14 PM on November 8, 2007


you know, i'll be honest, i wish i could wear a skinny jean.
posted by Stynxno at 1:15 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Pablo Picasso was never called a hipster.
posted by drezdn at 1:18 PM on November 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


But the assumption there is that art has no social value other than to be pleasing to the eye of some rich person, or to be stocked away and preserved in a museum.

Ummm, what?

My best friend, valedictorian, classics major, agile writer - works for $2/hr plus hardly any tips in Longview, Texas and is pretty fucking depressed.

So, the world should owes him a living for being smart and witty? He should've picked his major better if being broke gets him depressed. (I'm a 36-year-old college flunkout who makes $9.25 an hour plus tips and I'm can outwrite you (and probably your friend) even snorked up on cold medicine and Budweiser like I am now. Life sucks, get a helmet)

I'm no stranger to the early-20's tendency toward self-pity when one discovers that life's a bitch. Luckily when I articulated similar thoughts to my Dad when I was 21, he said 'When I was your age I was at Ft. Benning with a rifle in my hand and had no idea whether I'd see America alive again. Quit yer bitching.'

Knocked some sense into me.
posted by jonmc at 1:22 PM on November 8, 2007


Pablo Picasso was never called a hipster.

True, but those cubists were insufferable.
posted by brain_drain at 1:24 PM on November 8, 2007



My arguments have been far more tempered and reasonable than you guys are giving me credit for. I'm not defending trust fund kids in Williamsburg. I'm saying that the term 'hipster' has been used to broadly discredit (and commodify) youth culture. The level of resentment heaped upon anyone associated with the word, as on display in this thread, seems unwarranted. I'm not whining that we have to work hard to get our shit done like everybody else. I'm not defending people who don't have to work. I am, however, clearly wasting my time.
posted by bukharin at 1:24 PM on November 8, 2007


Well, at first I thought bukharin was engaging in some performance art with this whole "poor little hipsters" thing and was quit talented. But now that I see that he has argued without irony every hackneyed stereotype for hipsters, I'm beginning to question his performance. Real hipsters aren't this embarrassingly deluded by the nobility of their trendiness, are they?
posted by dios at 1:25 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


9. You wear holiday-themed sweaters with Santa Clauses, jack-o'-lanterns, and snowflake patterns knitted onto them.

God dammit, I had heard this WAS supposed to be hip this winter. You know, the irony. I should have never hit up that Buffalo Express!
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 1:26 PM on November 8, 2007


Pablo Picasso was never called a hipster.

Yep. And many great artists toughed it out without significant patronage early in their careers.

Vincent van Gogh worked as an assistant in an art dealership, a supply teacher in a boarding school, a Methodist minister's assistant, a bookstore clerk, etc. He lived a frugal life and was supported later by his brother Theo.

Picasso lived with Max Jacob in Paris -- one of them sleeping during the day; the other at night. It's reported that Picasso had to burn some of his earlier works just to stay warm. He was renkowned for paying for food and drink with drawings made on napkins, rule paper, etc.
posted by ericb at 1:27 PM on November 8, 2007



It's not self-pity, jonmc. It's trying to articulate the sense of desperation that smart young people feel in a society where intellect is devalued and denigrated and where the opportunity to express oneself and live a life of one's own making is severely curtailed by a corporate service economy that monopolizes culture. That same resentment and despair is no doubt felt by the millions of people who would rather be running their own small business or practicing a fulfilling craft or to be a farmer like their father rather than working as a stockperson at Wal-Mart.
posted by bukharin at 1:28 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Man, I'm so glad I live in Cleveland.
posted by sciurus at 1:29 PM on November 8, 2007 [3 favorites]


That depends on your definition of "hipster."
posted by fandango_matt at 1:29 PM on November 8, 2007


I'm saying that the term 'hipster' has been used to broadly discredit (and commodify) youth culture. The level of resentment heaped upon anyone associated with the word, as on display in this thread, seems unwarranted.

Um, no. It's used to discredit trendy elitism and dingbats who think that they are actually doing something original when all they're really doing is recycling others work. (see ericb's Hipster Handbook quote. the people we are deriding are the raging conformists who think that they're mavericks).
posted by jonmc at 1:30 PM on November 8, 2007



You're right, dios. I'm a hipster. I don't mean any of this. I was just being ironic.
posted by bukharin at 1:31 PM on November 8, 2007


Sounds like "hipster" is an imprecise, overused caricature that means different things to different people.
posted by brain_drain at 1:32 PM on November 8, 2007 [2 favorites]



all they're really doing is recycling others work

Granted. There's a lot of crap out there. Always has been. But you want to chide Dylan for imitating Woody Guthrie? You have to start somewhere.
posted by bukharin at 1:32 PM on November 8, 2007


posted by bukharin It's trying to articulate the sense of desperation that smart young people feel in a society where intellect is devalued and denigrated and where the opportunity to express oneself and live a life of one's own making is severely curtailed by a corporate service economy that monopolizes culture. That same resentment and despair is no doubt felt by the millions of people who would rather be running their own small business or practicing a fulfilling craft or to be a farmer like their father rather than working as a stockperson at Wal-Mart.

Welcome to America. Instead of whining about the problem, perhaps if you used the intellect for which you claim you are devalued to start your own business, you wouldn't feel so disenfranchised and depressed. Most of what you're describing and bemoaning is completely within your ability to remedy, but as we've all noticed, it's hipper and easier to whine about the way things are than it is to actually make them the way you want them to be. Jesus fuck, you're an annoying little wimp.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:33 PM on November 8, 2007


I don't know if someone needs to be a hipster in order to produce art. This seems to be a common mistake among hipsters. Many artists fail to pass the various litmus tests of taste and apathy hipsters apply to just about everyone they see.
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:35 PM on November 8, 2007


Sounds like "hipster" is an imprecise, overused caricature that means different things to different people.

I spent about 5 minutes trying to write something that stated what you just wrote, and drew a comparison to the way the word "indie" has gone from something with a clear definition to something far more nebulous, and far less useful as a word.

But then I got distracted by something shiny. Thanks for filling the gap for me!

PS: This thread has turned out way better than the generic god-damn-hipsters snark-fest I was expecting. Yay Metafilter!
posted by sparkletone at 1:35 PM on November 8, 2007


It's trying to articulate the sense of desperation that smart young people feel in a society where intellect is devalued and denigrated and where the opportunity to express oneself and live a life of one's own making is severely curtailed

HAHAHHA.

I feel for you. All these generations since the dawn of mankind, and none of them have had to go through that experience you think you are feeling.

It must be so hard to be a special and intelligent little snowflake like that in this world of oppressive rubes.
posted by dios at 1:36 PM on November 8, 2007


That same resentment and despair is no doubt felt by the millions of people who would rather be running their own small business or practicing a fulfilling craft or to be a farmer like their father rather than working as a stockperson at Wal-Mart.

And I'd rather be fornicating with Halle Berry on a tropical beach with a case of single-malt scotch than sweating out a cold I probably caught from sifting through garbage bags of books proffered by homeless guys and other walking petri-dishes, before heading back to the job tommorrow. Life's a bitch.

It's trying to articulate the sense of desperation that smart young people feel in a society where intellect is devalued and denigrated

Um, easy with the 'desperation,' talk. Desperation is what the homeless guys bringing in books (usually from dumpsters) for me feel when they are trying to sell them for food money. Not the same thing.

An 'intellect' is not as denigrated as you might think. Amnericans like smart people just fine, we just don't like smartasses. Also, it seems to me trhat making relevant art that might contribute to social change would be better served by engaging with the rest of society rather than dropping out and hanging with a coeterie of fellowe 'enlightend' souls.
posted by jonmc at 1:37 PM on November 8, 2007


But you want to chide Dylan for imitating Woody Guthrie?

Dylan did his best work when he abandoned that and plugged in and rocked out, and his 'hipster' fans pissed all over him for his trouble.
posted by jonmc at 1:38 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]



fandango, I work as circulation director for a documentary photography magazine run by a non-profit foundation on a volunteer basis. our circulation is building enough that one day I hope to be able to accept a salary. I also work part-time at the Harlem Children's Zone working with inner city youth. in the meantime, I write fiction and play music, and I hope that turns out well. thanks for the encouragement.
posted by bukharin at 1:39 PM on November 8, 2007



Dylan did his best work when he abandoned that and plugged in and rocked out, and his 'hipster' fans pissed all over him for his trouble.

you're right, jonmc. I liked him best when he went electric. I'm not sure how the "hipsters" responded to that, but I think I heard Pete Seeger went after the cables with an axe.
posted by bukharin at 1:41 PM on November 8, 2007


While there are artists who have managed to reflect real life without having to rot in the trenches with the hoi polloi. The most interesting art seems to come from people who actually had to work crappy jobs, get shot at, or actually get involved in something other than art.

For examples: Orwell, Twain, Hemmingway or Vonnegut.

Otherwise, the art is influenced and inspired by it's own naval gazing community and tends to disappear up its own ass.
posted by drezdn at 1:41 PM on November 8, 2007


Sidebar: not to start a music discussion with you, jonmc, but with the possible exception of Tangled Up in Blue, Dylan peaks with the following lyric:

Well, I set my monkey on the log
And ordered him to do the Dog
He wagged his tail and shook his head
And he went and did the Cat instead
He's a weird monkey, very funky.

posted by dios at 1:43 PM on November 8, 2007


posted by bukharin I work as circulation director for a documentary photography magazine run by a non-profit foundation on a volunteer basis. our circulation is building enough that one day I hope to be able to accept a salary. I also work part-time at the Harlem Children's Zone working with inner city youth. in the meantime, I write fiction and play music, and I hope that turns out well. thanks for the encouragement.


So in other words, you work at jobs for which you feel you are not adequately compensated, yet you do it because you deem it worthy of your time. I don't know what you're whining about , because you're doing what you enjoy. If you'd like to be paid more, talk with your superiors or start marketing yourself. But don't blame the world because we don't value your contributions.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:50 PM on November 8, 2007


I'm not sure how the "hipsters" responded to that,

The folkies of that era are probably the best analogue to the people I consider hipsters: politically sanctimonious, elitist in taste but at the same time completely stiff and boring and Nurse Ratchedy and utterly out of touch with the society they claim to have all figured out. They taunted Dylan by yelling 'Where's Ringo?' because they were aghast that he was *gasp* singing to people outside their little clique.

Look, I don't mean to break your balls, but you're young, there's certain things you only learn from experience. One of them is that 'normal' people are way more delightfully weird than any bohemian clique anybody could concoct without even trying. Not to mention refreshing. Across from my laundromat, there's a bar. I usually do my wash on Monday afternoons around 2pm. The crowd consists of regulars who are mostly retired civil servants and professional barbags. They mainly watch sports and bullshit with eachother. They like me cause I play old '70s hard rock on the jukebox. This one guy, Jerry, spent 15 years running the commissary on Riker's Island as a corrections officer. I'd much rather hear his stories than listen to yet another guy from Grosse Pointe who's 'in a band.' See what I meen about 'conditions for creating art?' They're all around all ready, you jhust gotta open your eyes.
posted by jonmc at 1:51 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]



That's right, jonmc, and I actually don't need any lectures about the redeeming qualities of "regular" people. I don't live in Williamsburg. I don't live with hipsters. I have friends who might be considered such, as I might be, if only because they're young and wear tight jeans and make art. I live in Dominican Harlem, in a small room, nowhere near an indy rock club. I sit in the laundromat with the old ladies. Every Tuesday night, Vinnie Ferraro, 80 years old and diabetic, comes and stays at my house and we talk about big band music (he plays the clarinet) and how much he used to like to get high. My grandfather died in a trailer in East Texas, retired from K-Mart. I loved him. My grandmother rented rooms to strangers. I loved her. And if you read my fiction, it has nothing to do with hipsters. My music has nothing to do with hipsters. And that's been the point of my entire argument. That we're not all hipsters, and we don't deserve to be condescended to.
posted by bukharin at 1:57 PM on November 8, 2007


bukharin: then it sounds like you should be railing against them with the rest of us. Why bother defending them?
posted by jonmc at 2:01 PM on November 8, 2007



But why did I come to live a city? Why do I pay $800 rent when I could live in Texas? Because I want to be around those things. Because the vulgar medley of the commonplace is actually quite beautiful to me. Because the millions of regular people swirling in this toxic stew are a joy to watch and mingle with. Because I didn't like staring out at an empty parking lot in suburban Texas. But I don't resent the people who have an advantage over me because they were born into privilege. Everybody has to serve somebody, I know that. And those people will have their reckonings. One of the reasons I love Tom Waits is because he has a way of inhabiting characters, of giving voice and thereby honoring people who often do not get a voice in culture. The word "hipster" implies a whole set of assumptions about someone's character and values, which have come out pretty viciously here.
posted by bukharin at 2:06 PM on November 8, 2007


I wish I knew why you and jonmc care so much about these hipsters.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:07 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]



then it sounds like you should be railing against them with the rest of us. Why bother defending them?

Because the label gets broadly applied, and is applied to myself and my friends simply because we dress a certain way, or have made a choice to live in this city and pursue art. I do have a friend who goes to Cooper Union and lives off his parents and will probably never have to work. But I don't think his art has any less integrity, even though he could be easily labeled a hipster. But by broadly discrediting youth culture, lumping it all into one blanket dismissal, the word "hipster" touches a nerve. It comes with a whole set of automatic assumptions about the integrity of your character or your output. It doesn't really matter, of course. I'm just tired of hearing it and I don't think it's fair to the young people who really do work hard and really are making an effort to do something valuable and sincere, even if it happens to be art.
posted by bukharin at 2:13 PM on November 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


You're right, we shouldn't call you a hipster. We should call you a whiny, sanctimonius, condescending hipster dweeb.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:15 PM on November 8, 2007


Oh, settle down. It's time for everyone to join their hands together and sing songs mentioned in tepidly favorable Pitchfork reviews.
posted by brain_drain at 2:16 PM on November 8, 2007


Why bother defending them?

Not that I've spoken up, but:

At a certain point, it's such 100%-snark, fish-in-a-barrel type thing that there's a contrarian part of me that wants to point out that maybe it's not quite as simple as a lot of the (frequently hilarious) LOLHIPSTERS comments make it out to be.

After a certain point, you don't feel like watching someone kick the stupid people in the shins over and over.

There's a friend of mine that was and is rather vehemently anti-Wii. In Console Wars conversations, I found myself compelled to defend the Wii with a vehemence far out of proportion to my feelings on the topic simply because I was tired of watching him go off unchallenged. Same principle here.

It's not a healthy thing necessarily, and I do my best not to let my speaking up become trolling, ie: I don't ever speak up in such a way that I'm saying something I don't believe at all merely to say something pot-stirring.

Most of the time, of course, rather than saying anything, I just roll my eyes and tune it out (unless I think something funny's coming).
posted by sparkletone at 2:17 PM on November 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


perhaps, but the older you get and the more idlers you encounter, the less patience you'll have with them. That's what I was getting at with some of my comments: that any adolescent angst the 20-year-old jonmc was going through, it paled compared to what Dadmc must've been feeling shipping out to 'Nam, just as any 'desperation' a youyng artist might think he's feeling is princess-and-the-pea time compared to the dumpster-diving homeless guys who's books I unload. That's not resentment, just perspective.
posted by jonmc at 2:18 PM on November 8, 2007


Because the vulgar medley of the commonplace is actually quite beautiful to me. Because the millions of regular people swirling in this toxic stew are a joy to watch and mingle with. Because I didn't like staring out at an empty parking lot in suburban Texas.
posted by drezdn at 2:18 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


...trying to articulate the sense of desperation that smart young people feel in a society where intellect is devalued and denigrated and where the opportunity to express oneself and live a life of one's own making is severely curtailed...


*Hikes up comfy pants, which have a skosh more room*

*Clears throat*

*Starts expounding*

Listen junior, the issue here is that, like every generation before you, you think you invented this Bohemian "creative dude" anti-establishment posture that you wear so proudly. I have no problem with people in Williamsburg doing their own thing, though in my experience they tend to settle down into something respectable like glass-blowing, smithing, cobbling, tailoring, candle-making, carpentry, or the like.

You don't think my generation kicked some ass? Who the fuck was at all them Black Flag shows wearing army boots and Che' Guevara shirts? You look like a goof ball because you lack the sense of self and sense of history to realize that every generation goes through its youth and coming of age, and that there are always a lot of hard choices and hard financial times, and that is part of life. EVERYBODY goes through this stuff, you didn't make it up in your junior year, though you may think you did.
posted by Mister_A at 2:21 PM on November 8, 2007


I think the main reason it's so easy to make fun of hipsters is because no one cops to being a hipster. It's the perfect strawman, because even the rare defender will distance themselves with "but I'm not a hipster."

Some of the hate comes from aging and realizing that in the long run listening to the "right" bands, reading the right books, and going to the right galleries don't make a person any better or more deserving of anything.
posted by drezdn at 2:22 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Or what Mister_A said.

There's some good songs about it,say "Death or Glory" by The Clash. There's even Digby's speech at the end of Trainspotting.
posted by drezdn at 2:25 PM on November 8, 2007


OK it wasn't Digby but here's the quote:

Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family.
Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars,
compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good
health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed
interest mortage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your
friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a
three-piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics.
Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning.
Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing
game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose
rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable
home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up
brats you spawned to replace yourself.

Choose your future.

Choose life.
posted by drezdn at 2:27 PM on November 8, 2007


No, it's easy to make fun of hipsters because no one can agree on what a hipster is. So it's easy to make fun of this anonymous group of hoodie-wearing youths who sip their Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and stare out the window with vague disillusionment as they post Twitter updates about Radiohead on their iPhones.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:28 PM on November 8, 2007


I really didn't get the Pabst Blue Ribbon thing == Hipster thing until I was on the East Coast once.

See, here, Pabst is not a cheap beer, it costs as much as everything else. On the coast, it's cheap, really cheap.

The local equivalent would be Blatz or the beast.
posted by drezdn at 2:32 PM on November 8, 2007


It's the perfect strawman, because even the rare defender will distance themselves with "but I'm not a hipster."

Identifying hipsters is a lot like identifying witches. They'll always deny it. We need an analog of the float test.
posted by painquale at 2:33 PM on November 8, 2007


Hipsters are a target because they are both monolithic and undefinable.
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:34 PM on November 8, 2007


It's trying to articulate the sense of desperation that smart young people feel in a society where intellect is devalued and denigrated and where the opportunity to express oneself and live a life of one's own making is severely curtailed by a corporate service economy that monopolizes culture

Wow...

That's the most asinine thing I've read in a long time...

You're unable to live a "life of one's own making" because of the "corporate service economy" and their stranglehold on American culture? What does that even mean? I'm serious, because I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around that... You can't make a living off art because McDonald's or something similar is preventing you?

This train of thought is so foreign to me. I'm young, I like to think I'm smart, and yet I feel none of these things - must be because the technology industry rewards intelligence and forward thinking with steady paychecks and cush medical insurance...

Listen. It's never, ever been easier than now to make a living off art. You've got the entire internet at your disposal, so go give it a shot; go tackle a niche market. This whining and complaining about forces beyond your control or societal conditions that prevent you from your self-envisioned destiny of artistic fulfillment are crap. Go do something. Sell some art, start a magazine, take some photos and put them on Flickr. Meet some geeks and start a company, collective, gallery, happening - whatever; DIY. Stop acting so put-upon. If New York's too expensive, go move to Providence, or Austin, or Portland. I can guarantee you'll meet some artists there too...

That same resentment and despair is no doubt felt by the millions of people who would rather be running their own small business or practicing a fulfilling craft or to be a farmer like their father rather than working as a stockperson at Wal-Mart.

What the hell is stopping them, aside from lack of education or a desirable trade skill or entrepreneurial spirit?
posted by SweetJesus at 2:34 PM on November 8, 2007


Hmmmm, I wonder how many hipsters could recite the Lord's Prayer.
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:35 PM on November 8, 2007



you think you invented this Bohemian "creative dude" anti-establishment posture that you wear so proudly

I think I invented this now? Thanks. Che who? No, I never heard about the 60s. (chin on hands) Do tell.

Now, I'm pretty sure I have the same right as every generation of youth before me to critique the world that I grew up in, to challenge its assumptions and articulate its disparities. That's part of what art does. Youth of previous generations were mocked and discredited in pretty much the same way - hippies were just a bunch of privileged, middle class freeloaders who just needed to get a job and learn to lie for a living like the rest of us. And yeah, the excesses of hippie culture were pretty ridiculous. But I respect and appreciate what they did to change the political and social climate in America. Some of us carry on that fight. To denigrate all of us as "hipsters" is pretty much the same kind of mockery and abuse that was heaped on them.
posted by bukharin at 2:38 PM on November 8, 2007


BAH! These kids today don't work for anything - they just sit around and make so called "modern art" (or should that be "postmodern art"?) code for something a three year old can draw. When jonmc and I were your age, bukhalin, we had to work 3 jobs. You think Bush is bad... we remember NIXON and REAGAN. The only Williamsburg we knew about was Colonial Williamsburg (and no, it's not a simulacrum!).

You admit that you're a trust fund baby - your granddad's K-mart fortune will probably let you continue your hedonistic big city lifestyle year after year.... Shame on you.

Based solely on what you've said I can tell your art sucks. You should stop making it - get a degree in something useful, like chemical engineering, and live in the suburbs, and stop whining.

Wait... I thought jonmc and I were together on this - but then I saw his profile. He might be a hipster too! Just look at his profile pic- JC trucker cap (Jesus Christ? nice irony, even I have to admit), scraggly beard, cigarette. His flickr stream is loaded with "vintage" photos that he ironically took digital photographs of. The Sly lyrics ironically suggest he should be in the "everyday people" category. Indeed, he would like to believe that he is as he tries desperately to fit in with retired civil servants he claims to find interesting, but who actually just sit around complaining about queers and farting.

Hipster suck. All of them. Like any large group, it's easy to make generalizations about them. They're the scummiest of the scummy, worse than wiggers, yuppies, preps and even hoodlums. And I know. You young folks are always up to know good. And Elvis Presley is better than any of this Arcade Fire and Tupac mashup crap.
posted by dkleinst at 2:39 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


posted by bukharin Now, I'm pretty sure I have the same right as every generation of youth before me to critique the world that I grew up in, to challenge its assumptions and articulate its disparities. That's part of what art does. [...] To denigrate all of us as "hipsters" is pretty much the same kind of mockery and abuse that was heaped on them.

Boohoo. Suck it up, you little hipster.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:42 PM on November 8, 2007


But young people are drawn to the city because its density affords the kind of interaction and resources necessary to pursue music, art and whatever else.
Nabokov supposedly wrote while sitting on the toilet. I don't see how being in The City is any way relevant to one's ability to make music or create art. I think you're either confusing the art scene with the art process, or under the false assumption that that's the only city where you can find your inspiring swirling medley of toxic whatever. It's also ironically conformist to think that you need to go to NY to create art.
posted by caffeine_monkey at 2:48 PM on November 8, 2007


But I respect and appreciate what they did to change the political and social climate in America. Some of us carry on that fight.

How do you even find the time to fight for social change when the American corporocracy is constantly flogging you with it's vicious lash of mediocrity?

To denigrate all of us as "hipsters" is pretty much the same kind of mockery and abuse that was heaped on them.

As a self-identified quasi-hipster I've got to say it - Stop, you're making the rest of us look like entitled assholes...
posted by SweetJesus at 2:48 PM on November 8, 2007


If you ask me, artists who are supported by grants or wealthy patrons or indulgent parents lose touch with everyday life thus rendering their creations meaningless and irrelevant.

You realize you're saying this about Michelangelo and such, right? Just sayin'.
posted by naoko at 2:49 PM on November 8, 2007


JC trucker cap (Jesus Christ? nice irony, even I have to admit)

Jersey City Giants actually. And those 'vintage pictures' are pictures of my wife as a kid that I took for another site.

Elvis Presley is better than any of this Arcade Fire and Tupac mashup crap.

Well, duh.
posted by jonmc at 2:50 PM on November 8, 2007



SweetJesus, is it really so asinine? I work for a photography magazine. TimeWarner worked with some conservative fuck at USPS to release new postal rates that significantly shift the burden of postage onto smaller publications, even ones like The Nation and Mother Jones, that will now be at risk of going bankrupt. Corporations are working to end net neutrality and monopolize the Internet. There are countless examples of how culture is being homogenized and sterilized, how corporate-governance has implemented policies that create a vast underclass that will be too frightened, too isolated and too busy to stand up for themselves. And it's working. It's you who needs a reality check.

And gee, I never thought of trying to sell my art or start my own business! Are you really going to make the case that big box retail stores have not monopolized economies in much of America and force out most small businesses? I watched first hand where I grew up as the family stores we knew were one by one wiped out, only to be replaced by that crap, dead-end service jobs filled with people who don't care about what they do and don't get paid enough to do it. And yeah, what's stopping small farmers? They're all just a bunch of whiny pusses who couldn't make it in perfect America.
posted by bukharin at 2:51 PM on November 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


posted by bukharin They're all just a bunch of whiny pusses who couldn't make it in perfect America.

You know who else is a whiny pussy who can't make it in America?

That's right, you.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:54 PM on November 8, 2007


Nabokov supposedly wrote while sitting on the toilet.

He also lived in Berlin, even though he hated Berlin, so he could be around other poets and writers and around the thriving Russian exile community who published the literary journals that made his career. Ultimately, you can make art anywhere. But it was only once he had established himself that he could write on the toilet in a suburban college.
posted by bukharin at 2:55 PM on November 8, 2007


He also lived in Berlin, even though he hated Berlin, so he could be around other poets and writers

The last thing a writer needs is to hang around other writers. Then you'll just wind up writing about writers, which is duller than anything.

*realizes he is writing about writers writing about writers. explodes.*

I've spent plenty of time staring at empty parking lots in suburban wastelands and feeling frustrated but at the same time I saw all kinds of things in the process and met some people and learned some things. I live in New York mainly because I can get good takeout after midnight and the subway system ensures that I can get as drunk as I want and not worry about driving home.
posted by jonmc at 3:01 PM on November 8, 2007



The last thing a writer needs is to hang around other writers.

It served Kerouac and Ginsberg pretty well. Or the poetry scene in 1920s St. Petersberg - Mandelstam, Bely, Pasternak, Akhmatova, etc. were all friends. Cities are cultural epicenters for a reason.
posted by bukharin at 3:05 PM on November 8, 2007


Did anyone actually read the list of holdings? I don't think I've ever seen a hipster in Nikes, and I'm not sure what's so hip or alternative or non-mainstream about Polo, Nordstrom, Coke, Walgreens, Chevron, etc. either. I'm enjoying reading this debate, but I don't really understand how the word hipster ended up in the post in the first place.
posted by naoko at 3:06 PM on November 8, 2007


Ha! I just realized my younger brother is a hipster. What an asshole.
posted by Totally Zanzibarin' Ya at 3:19 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


bukharin: Because the label gets broadly applied...the word "hipster" touches a nerve. It comes with a whole set of automatic assumptions about the integrity of your character or your output.

bukharin: But I don't resent the people who have an advantage over me because they were born into privilege. Everybody has to serve somebody, I know that. And those people will have their reckonings.

Pray tell, bukharin, what are your assumptions about those of us who happened to be "born into privilege?" What about their "integrity;" their "character?"
posted by ericb at 3:21 PM on November 8, 2007


Oh, bukharin, you're going to stumble across this in about five years and be so embarrassed. I know this because I've had the same experience.
posted by sugarfish at 3:22 PM on November 8, 2007


I'm enjoying reading this debate, but I don't really understand how the word hipster ended up in the post in the first place.

It's who the fund is targeting in their marketing - young, bohemian, "hip" kids who live in New York City. The fund is also rather heavily tied into business that rely on trends and the creation of trends to stay as viable businesses. There isn't much diversification beyond "trendy" in their stock choices.
posted by Stynxno at 3:24 PM on November 8, 2007



what are your assumptions

I didn't make any. I have close friends who I love very much who belong to that league. Relatively, I had a great deal of privilege, though not as much as they had. But life is hard, things change, everybody suffers. Are you done profiling me now?
posted by bukharin at 3:25 PM on November 8, 2007


posted by bukharin Are you done profiling me now?

No, we're just getting warmed up.
posted by fandango_matt at 3:27 PM on November 8, 2007


BTW -- as this discussion progresses, I keep thinking about the 49 Up documentary which I saw the other evening on PBS | P.O.V. I recommend it highly.

It is the most recent installment in Michael Apted's series.

Issues of class, generation, gender, etc. are traced, as participants in the series are interviewed every seven years.

"Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man."
posted by ericb at 3:33 PM on November 8, 2007


everybody suffers.
posted by bukharin at 5:25 PM on November 8


Is this where we all start cutting ourselves?
posted by dios at 3:36 PM on November 8, 2007


Is this where we all start cutting ourselves?

You got your emo in my hipster!
posted by cortex at 3:39 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Cities are cultural epicenters for a reason.

Cheap drugs. Cute girls. Chinese take-out.
posted by jonmc at 3:39 PM on November 8, 2007


Yay for hipsters! (... as long as they're bohemians or anarcho-commies. The syndicalists can go fuck themselves.)
posted by mrgrimm at 3:40 PM on November 8, 2007


and Elvis was a hack.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:41 PM on November 8, 2007


It puts the emo in the basket or else it gets the Radiohead again.
posted by fandango_matt at 3:44 PM on November 8, 2007 [3 favorites]


you're going to stumble across this in about five years and be so embarrassed

Well, I should have tempered the initial comment that started all of this but the debate was worthwhile. Having to defend a group you're not really interested in defending, if only to defend yourself, that in itself was worth doing because some of the more articulate arguments above challenged certain ideas I take for granted. The difficulty in debates like this, when the tone gets so shrill, is conveying how much you're in agreement with the arguments people are trying to make against you while defending the substance of what you had to say, which is, and remains, that not all young artists living in the city and trying to make ends meet are part of the stereotype of 'hipsters', and I'm tired of seeing youth culture discredited as such. The vitriol heaped upon me for saying so was unnecessary, but the tone of my first comment pretty much invited it. Still, it was pretty illuminating how quickly and for what reasons I was vilified for the sake of argument, none of which came near to the truth about my life or the way I live it.
posted by bukharin at 3:44 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


No wonder you don't have time or money to make art. You're too busy defending hipsters on the Internet and whining about not having time or money to make art.
posted by fandango_matt at 3:48 PM on November 8, 2007


You know, it's a wonderful thing to be young and enthusiastic and great, but in the end you're going to put on a tie too. Why? Because it works. It sucks, but it fucking works. It sucks to get up every morning at the same time and go do the same shit, and you're not going to find anybody out there who actually enjoys the rat race, but if that's true then why do so many people do it day in, day out, for their entire lives?

Because it works. It provides for your basic needs and it provides for the people you care about. The individuals who can change culture or lives with art, music, and literature are preciously few in any generation, and it's even more difficult to accomplish now because our culture is so oversaturated with the efforts of every other schmuck trying to change the world with a hip beat and a catchy hook. And even if you make it big, you're still going to produce crap that you don't think is artistically genuine because you have to pay the bills and that shit sells. Jack London did it, and I can't think of a finer writer that this nation ever produced.

You're going to put the tie on too, because it sucks to starve for your art and very few people can maintain that lifestyle for long before they just decide to give it up and sell out. The most hardcore dude I know does corporate cold calls for an investment management software company. Over the weekends we get ripped and play guitar until late in the morning. Really is that so bad? How is this existence not genuine in your mind?
posted by baphomet at 3:48 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hipsters? I thought this whole thing was about those dirty, STD-prone, jobless hippies.

40 years later, and middle aged men are still saying the exact same things.

Congratulations, you are all your parents.
posted by matkline at 3:53 PM on November 8, 2007 [3 favorites]


ever seen a hipster in Nikes...

Well, Converse is owned by Nike so yes... Yes, I have.
posted by drezdn at 3:55 PM on November 8, 2007



How is this existence not genuine in your mind?

baphomet, I assume you're talking to me. But you're actually not.
posted by bukharin at 4:02 PM on November 8, 2007


"It's trying to articulate the sense of desperation that smart young people feel in a society where intellect is devalued and denigrated and where the opportunity to express oneself and live a life of one's own making is severely curtailed by a corporate service economy that monopolizes culture. That same resentment and despair is no doubt felt by the millions of people who would rather be running their own small business or practicing a fulfilling craft or to be a farmer like their father rather than working as a stockperson at Wal-Mart."

JP Donleavy's calling. He's gonna steal your woman, shit in your socks and pawn your bookends.

"I live in Dominican Harlem, in a small room, nowhere near an indy rock club."

Dude, Spanish Harlem's totally fuckin' gented. That's where my art school buddies were living years ago, and the gays have bought all the good lofts.

"Because the vulgar medley of the commonplace is actually quite beautiful to me."

Really, Francis?

"Because the label gets broadly applied, and is applied to myself and my friends simply because we dress a certain way, or have made a choice to live in this city and pursue art."

STOP DRESSING THAT WAY=PROBLEM SOLVED.

"I think the main reason it's so easy to make fun of hipsters is because no one cops to being a hipster. It's the perfect strawman, because even the rare defender will distance themselves with "but I'm not a hipster.""

I did a paper for anthro about that—hipsters being the only self-abnegating subculture.

Fucking hipsters, man. Thank God I'm not one.

"See, here, Pabst is not a cheap beer, it costs as much as everything else. On the coast, it's cheap, really cheap. "

I wanted to fucking stab the 'tender at the Echoplex when he told me that it was $4.50 for eight ounces of PBR. (My home dive brought PBR up to $2.25, which was enough to make everyone switch to Old Milwaulkee, Blatz and Schlitz, their $1.75 beers).

"To denigrate all of us as "hipsters" is pretty much the same kind of mockery and abuse that was heaped on them."

Hipsters are our first century Christians. "And then, like, Volkswagen threw me to the lions!"
posted by klangklangston at 4:06 PM on November 8, 2007


Dude, Spanish Harlem's totally fuckin' gented. That's where my art school buddies were living years ago, and the gays have bought all the good lofts.

Spanish Harlem would be East Harlem, approximately 96th Street to 125th Street, east of Fifth Avenue. Dominican Harlem would be Hamilton Heights, which is West Harlem, approximately 135th to 157th Streets, west of St. Nicholas Ave, extending up to Washington Heights. I know you were attempting humor, but know your shit. I think it's me and about 10 other white people here. Lovely hood though.
posted by bukharin at 4:11 PM on November 8, 2007


I think it's me and about 10 other white people here.

There goes the neighborhood.
posted by jonmc at 4:18 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]



Heh, you got me ;)
posted by bukharin at 4:20 PM on November 8, 2007


Metafilter: "and I'm can outwrite you"
posted by iamck at 4:52 PM on November 8, 2007 [4 favorites]


No way does west harlem extend past 145th and I wouldn't even call the area "Dominican Harlem" because it's dominican from 145th up through Inwood. And there are way more white people in this area than you think - they've been moving into the area for years. The median income of the area is now almost triple what it was in 2000 and that's not because dominicans, salvadoreans, and the scattered mexican just all won the lotto.
posted by Stynxno at 5:29 PM on November 8, 2007


Holy crap, what a minefield to stumble into.

However much of a dressing-down someone who attempts to defend "hipsters" might or might not deserve, I'm surprised to see so many arguing so vehemently against the following propositions:

1) Historically, artists and intellectuals have tended to be attracted to dense urban centers where they're more likely to encounter others of like minds and inclinations. The situation is no different today.

2) In past few decades, living in dense urban centers has become prohibitively expensive for someone devoting the majority of her or his time/energy to making art (i.e., this has not always been the case).
posted by treepour at 7:38 PM on November 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


"1) Historically, artists and intellectuals have tended to be attracted to dense urban centers where they're more likely to encounter others of like minds and inclinations. The situation is no different today."

Oh, yeah, totally. See work of Richard Florida.

"2) In past few decades, living in dense urban centers has become prohibitively expensive for someone devoting the majority of her or his time/energy to making art (i.e., this has not always been the case)."

Yes, but… Artists have traditionally left dense urban settings for those same reasons. That ex-urban living is generally a dues-paying experience.
posted by klangklangston at 7:56 PM on November 8, 2007


Well, Converse is owned by Nike so yes... Yes, I have.

Heh, you got me there. I completely forgot about that. I think my point still stands, sort of.
Alternatively, you could say that that's exactly what's wrong with the hipster scene - too much emphasis about fashion statements, and not much else behind it.
posted by naoko at 8:52 PM on November 8, 2007


hi, late to the thread. what's the general consensus about the mutual fund?

i sure hope this hasn't turned into a forum for some snotty little wanker to grandstand endlessly about his keepin-it-real bohemian lifestyle like all the other hipster threads.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:09 PM on November 8, 2007


My favorite hipster/trustifarian/privileged youth song is "Common People". I was introduced to it by William Shatner but, I've found out it was written by Pulp.
Smoke some fags and play some pool,
pretend you never went to school.
But still you'll never get it right,
cos when you're laid in bed at night,
watching roaches climb the wall,
if you call your Dad he could stop it all.

You'll never live like common people,
you'll never do what common people do,
you'll never fail like common people,
you'll never watch your life slide out of view,
and dance and drink and screw,
because there's nothing else to do.

Sing along with the common people,
sing along and it might just get you through,
laugh along with the common people,
laugh along even though they're laughing at you,
and the stupid things that you do.
Because you think that poor is cool.

posted by spacelux at 12:59 AM on November 9, 2007


Urban Hipsters
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:15 AM on November 9, 2007


1) Historically, artists and intellectuals have tended to be attracted to dense urban centers where they're more likely to encounter others of like minds and inclinations. The situation is no different today.

2) In past few decades, living in dense urban centers has become prohibitively expensive for someone devoting the majority of her or his time/energy to making art (i.e., this has not always been the case).


This is one thing that still befuddles me. Given the mass communication available today, it should be easier to setup artist colonies or otherwise find people of like minds where the cost of living is more reasonable, and it is easier to find a job. Culture is infinitely exportable. I don't understand why it is tied up to particular locals.

I further have a hard time understanding why supposed creators of culture are willing to pay such a high tax to be near cultural centers. Hilly Kristal had the right idea: tear it down and start over. We can do this anywhere.
posted by quintessencesluglord at 1:32 PM on November 9, 2007



Just rummaging through some Baudelaire. I think you can substitute "hipster" for the word "dandy" here and it would still make sense:

"The dandy aspires to cold detachment... The dandy is blase, or affects to be, as a matter of policy and class attitude..."

Explaining how a friend of his, "M.G.", an artist, "parts company with dandyism", he writes: "M. G. hates blasé people. Sophisticated minds will understand me when I say that he possesses that difficult art of being sincere without being ridiculous."

"...The crowd is his domain, just as the air is the bird's, and water that of the fish. His passion and his profession is to merge with the crowd. For the perfect idler, for the passionate ob-server it becomes an immense source of enjoyment to establish his dwelling in the throng, in the ebb and flow, the bustle, the fleeting and the infinite. To be away from home and yet to feel at home anywhere; to see the world, to be at the very centre of the world, and yet to be unseen of the world... Thus the lover of universal life moves into the crowd as though into an enormous reservoir of electricity. He, the lover of life, may also be compared to a mirror as vast as this crowd: to a kaleidoscope endowed with consciousness, which with every one of its movements presents a pattern of life, in all its multiplicity, and the flowing grace of all the elements that go to compose life. It is an ego athirst for the non-ego, and reflecting it at every moment in energies more vivid than life itself, always inconstant and fleeting."

I further have a hard time understanding why supposed creators of culture are willing to pay such a high tax to be near cultural centers.

Art obviously doesn't need cities, nor does it need "hipsters", if that is in fact a definable class of frauds who deserve to be mocked and denigrated (more like a phantom of lost youth for sad people). But some artists need cities. I think the above paragraph explains pretty well why.
posted by bukharin at 2:09 PM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Given the mass communication available today, it should be easier to setup artist colonies or otherwise find people of like minds where the cost of living is more reasonable...

Within hours of Boston And New York there are thriving artist communities, galleries and museums in Brattleboro, VT, Housatonic, MA and North Adams, MA -- to name just a few.
posted by ericb at 2:31 PM on November 9, 2007


Hmmmm, I wonder how many hipsters could recite the Lord's Prayer.

This one
comes to mind
posted by thivaia at 6:10 PM on November 9, 2007


Ah, Baudelaire!

Brings back such memories of Oxford.

Oh, Oxford!

(Followed by yet another anecdote about his sensitive crimes in a punt with a chap called Norman who had red hairand a book of poetry...)

stained with the butter drips from crumpets.

I often wonder where Norman is now.

Probably wintering with his mother in Guildford.

A cat and rain.

Vim under the sink.

And both bars on.

But old now... old.

There can be no true beauty without decay.

"A requiem for England."

- How right you are. How right you are.

We live in a kingdom of rains...where royalty comes in gangs.

Come on, lads. Let's get home.
The sky is beginning to bruise.
Night must fall,
and we shall be forced to camp.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:45 AM on November 11, 2007


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