Originally posted at the Enduring Vision
The hipster community, having exhausted most known pre-1999 lexicons and fashions to reinvigorate, now finds itself in a life-or-death struggle as the lack of a new anachronism to latch on to threatens the viability of the entire social structure.
Experts say the staidness of Converse sneakers, fedoras, and pretending to enjoy Pabst Blue Ribbon could sideline the whole hipster community unless a cutting-edge anachronism can be discovered.
“We’ve been through the thrift-store phase, the dress-like-grandpa phase, the intentionally scruffy phase… there’s almost nowhere to go,” said Paula Dumond of Portland, OR. “It may be too early to bring back the Chicago-cop bushy moustache, for example, so until that look is safely in the past and totally forgotten, we will need something else to buoy the entire community, and there’s nothing hip on the scene now, not even single-gear bicycles, which anyone who’s anyone knows is totally lame. Again.”
With post-punk 80s music being co-opted by bands like Vampire Weekend and vintage record stores popping up in every neighborhood, even the hipster music community seems to some to be on the verge of imploding by the weight of its own success.
“It’s basically a death sentence to be compared to Echo and the Bunnymen or even Hall and Oates anymore,” said Chicago musician Alex Boor. “The only way to get anywhere today is to draw comparisons to some unknown Detroit punk band from the early 70s that never released a single record or ever played a show or came into contact with any humans, but even that’s on the way out.”
Boor said that there isn’t really a singular genre his band, Boyfriend Boyfriend (or “Double B” as they call themselves), can reference as a main influence and not sound “like complete tools who are totally out of touch with what’s happening now.”
“We recently updated our MySpace page to list ‘Organ-Grinder Punk Swing’ under the ‘Sounds like’ field, but MySpace is almost as out-of-style as AOL now,” he said, before reconsidering, “Wait, maybe an AOL email address would be totally cool again. Screw Gmail — AOL’s where it’s at.”
Many others have refused to give up hope. That there exists somewhere in the past an item, ostensibly useless to humanity now, that could become a necessary accessory, is only a matter of creativity and originality, says male boutique owner Jim Samson of Seattle, WA.
“It was just the other day when I was cleaning out my grandpa’s closet — he just died last week — and came across his old smoking jacket,” said Samson. “It was just like, ‘Eureka!’ and it occurred to me that by just wearing this smoking jacket in the store — or maybe I’ll have Vladimir, our designer, make me a new one with a Che Guevara motif embroidered in it — that I could save the whole hipster community and get kids to start wearing smoking jackets out to bars, even if they don’t smoke.”
Samson did admit that actually smoking doesn’t really fly anymore, unless smoking Basics or Lucky Strikes, but that maybe a new use for smoking jackets could be found, “kind of like how Dead Kennedys records are more popular as framed wall-art than they are for actually getting played on a turntable, even if it is a vintage model.”
Others are looking even farther into the past to find something that could be a mark of hipness in the present, up to and including the early 1840s.
“Oh, this? Not a big deal — just my evening gown,” said Seattle resident Donna Palmer nonchalantly, gesturing to her lace flounce collar, pointed waist, and long pleated skirt as she shopped at a local organic food market. “What are you wearing, pants? That’s so quaint!”
Palmer went on to express support for the United States in the Mexican-American War.