Sunday, January 14, 2007

Hipatitis, Re-revisited

Here's the other post from my short-lived blog, Hipatitis (December 2005):

It's Hip to Bitch About Hipsters

I'm the first to admit that anti-hipster ranting is more than a common web topic and easier than shooting dead fish in a barrel. But I did some research and learned something about most other allegedly similar ventures -- they're fighting fire with fire. Rather than counter the vanities of hipsterism with honest, unadulterated musings and logic, most anti-hipster propaganda aims to be hipper than the hipsters.

Come on guys, the problem with hipsters isn't the type of clothes they wear or the words they use, but the fact that such surface qualities are the defining points of their existence. Changing the details won't solve the underlying sickness. I suspect that a good portion of the anti-hipster crowd consists of people who were probably called the h-word by others and are looking for a public forum to defend themselves.

If you can't get to the root of the problem, you're only adding to it. Finding out whether you're a true-blue hipster is quite simple, really. Just answer these two questions: Do the clothes make the man? and, Is it hip to be square? OK, here's a third: Is playing said Huey Lewis song at a club night a good idea?

Hipatitis, Revisited

I figure I'll start this thing off with a post from my ill-fated anti-hipster blog, Hipatitis. I started it in late '05, after having been to one too many indie dance nights. This shit doesn't really piss me off anymore, but it's only 'cause I've been out of the loop and don't subject myself to these people very often. Anyway, here's the first post from Hipatitis.

The Roots of Modern Hipsterism

Part 1: Defining the Problem.
Remember how the Y2K craze had everyone convinced that all society would fall victim to a giant computer glitch, a massive, worldwide error message? Well, sure as shit, none of that happened. Society survived just fine... for the most part, anyway. There was, however, a major glitch in one societal component -- rock music, historically the most vunerable and often manipulated of all the cultural elements. While the technophobes, theocrats, and other nattering nabobs of nincompoopery were singing praises of doom and gloom, the rock 'n' roll switchboards were busy being rewired by a cabal of smarmy media types. The results didn't bare significant fruit until 2001, when a group of shaggy, lazily dressed bedheads called the Strokes was forcefully inserted into the national conscience. Soon, everyone from Miami to Montana was trying to look like the came from Manhattan.

At first, the hope was that real rock music -- the kind unaffected by a decade of rap-metal fans in baseball caps -- had returned to claim its rightful place at the top of the pops. But what actually happened, of course, is that the festering corpse of rock 'n' roll was dragged through the streets (of Williamsburg, no less), naked, deteriorating, and on display for all to see its lifeless, helpless, and hapless victimization at the hands of an overblown media culture. Instead of kids getting back to the essence of wanting to rock out without the tough guy pose -- like they were trying to get a spread in Metal Edge magazine or something -- this new wave of fashionistas did the exact opposite, seemingly more interested in the Calvin Klein look. But either way, it's still just a look -- a stylish image created to mask a bland interior. As long as you look good smoking a cigarette -- nay, holding a cigarette -- then it doesn't matter what goes on in your head.

And if you're in a band, you no longer have to worry about entertaining, you know, all that unnecessary movement, banter, and (worst of all) having to show personality. Just stand there, and you'll be fine. You wouldn't want anyone calling you a spaz or anything. Be normal. Be hip. Stare at your shoes -- hell, shoegaze is a style unto itself. What the fuck is wrong with music when an entire genre celebrates being uncompromising bores?

So what, you might ask, people have always been vainglorious narcissists, from beatniks and greasers to mods and punks... why's this any different? Well, oh cleverly observant dipshit, it's definitely true that such fashion-hounding has plagued humanity since the advent of the mirror. But I can tell you this: As long as there have been those who act like pompous showboats, there have always been those who can't fucking stand said behavior. It's an ongoing battle. A cultural power struggle, if you will. Different battles are waged in the myriad battlegrounds in art, music, film, literature, self-righteous blogs about hipsters...

This all may sound a bit vague, but it's a general introduction to what this blog will be about. Hipatitis is a social disease, one marked by a healthy exterior -- and absolutely nothing else.

(Re) Introduction

This blog once existed. Then it did not. Then it came back... and soon disappeared again. Whatever the reason (insomnia does strange things to me), it was I who kept deleting it. So this is like version 3 of that blog, which is an updated version of the proto-blog I had in '99, on one of those Angelfire-hosted sites.

Anyway, this is the part where I'm supposed to set the parameters of the Boloby Blog or, at least, offer up some kind of mission statement. But that would just jinx the whole project from the get-go. I don't have a very good track record of sticking with these things.