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PopMatters on Hipsters

I think the author misuses the H. P. Lovecraft quote, but that aside, the rest of this article on hipsters is quite pretty interesting:

As authentic difference is supplanted by token variation and otherness is reduced to variations within a fixed templates for identity, our lists of particulars become the whole of our personalities. This is why we see that kid at parties dressed like Hunter S. Thompson and break-dancing with gold chains around his neck, the girl reading Byron, wearing a Siouxsie T-shirt and hanging out at the bike shop. Social networks convince us we can construct our selves exclusively out of our interests and appearances.

The hipster is no more than a conscious manipulation of the freedom to live these piecemeal identities, comfortable in the awareness that identity can be constructed out of any bands, clothing, cheap, regionally esoteric beer, and inane micro-fiction that pleases. The hipster is a pastiche of old and new culture, free from the limits of meaning or the constraints of authentic identity.

Related: Brett McCracken’s survey of the various types of hipsters (part one, part two, part three).


Read more about Hipsters and Popmatters.

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