Monday, November 19, 2012

How to live without irony

I guess we are having a little "How to live without [FILL IN BLANK]" meme here at KPC.  This morning, it was how to live without pain (and the claim that you need it).

Because the EYM just linked to a truly fantastic piece in NYT on "How to Live Without Irony," on hipsterism.  (Spoiler alert:  doing without irony may be even harder than doing without pain...)

The EYM's own connection to hipsterdom is conflicted:  he understands things I miss, but he has a custom sticker for his computer that says "No Factories, No MacBook Pros!"  (If you have to ask, go ask a hipster, in a coffee shop, about the sticker on his MacBook Pro that says, "No Farms, No Food!")

An excerpt.  But it's all good.  I'm not sure how much of it is ironic.  Which is of course precisely why it is good.

Born in 1977, at the tail end of Generation X, I came of age in the 1990s, a decade that, bracketed neatly by two architectural crumblings — of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the Twin Towers in 2001 — now seems relatively irony-free. The grunge movement was serious in its aesthetics and its attitude, with a combative stance against authority, which the punk movement had also embraced. In my perhaps over-nostalgic memory, feminism reached an unprecedented peak, environmentalist concerns gained widespread attention, questions of race were more openly addressed: all of these stirrings contained within them the same electricity and euphoria touching generations that witness a centennial or millennial changeover.


UPDATE:  I should note, for context, that to calibrate hipsterhood you need only look to Kindred or Garrett (neither of whom use their actual first names).  Of course, each would deny his hipster credentials.  Proving he IS a hipster, because that's what they do.

Tofe, on the other hand:  Actually NOT a hipster.  But he can hang with them, a sort of "hipster hag" deal.


Brad said...

...homebrewing is a hipster hobby? That's shocking news to me, since the store I worked at in a hipster-ridden city was patronized almost exclusively by people wearing--without irony, mind you--shirts with engineering jokes or brewery logos, and the denim was far, far from tight.

Come to think of it, aren't hipsters known in no small part for their appreciation of the finest of beers, PBR?

Of course, might it just be a case of people with an underdeveloped sense of irony not getting it? Exhibit A

Anonymous said...

well played, Brad. Once you accept the hipster approach, the whole world of meaning becomes a house of mirrors. And you can't tell if the mirrors are cracked, or you are.