“The rebel consumer is the person who, adopting the rhetoric but not the politics of the counterculture, convinces himself that buying the right mass products individualizes him as transgressive. Purchasing the products of authority is thus reimagined as a defiance of authority. Usually this requires a fantasized censor who doesn’t want you to have cologne, or booze, or cars. But the censor doesn’t exist, of course, and hipster culture is not a counterculture. On the contrary, the neighborhood organization of hipsters—their tight-knit colonies of similar-looking, slouching people—represents not hostility to authority (as among punks or hippies) but a superior community of status where the game of knowing-in-advance can be played with maximum refinement. The hipster is a savant at picking up the tiny changes of rapidly cycling consumer distinction.”
Evan Dorkin was making fun of this idiocy back in the mid-Nineties, with crowds of identical dolts crying “We’re all expressing our individuality!” He just had no idea fifteen years ago that the push toward the consumption of coolness would collect every last self-diagnosed Asperger’s case in the country that wasn’t dedicated to memorizing Star Wars trivia.
I think what annoys me the most is that these folks are not striving for anything meaningful in their lives…and they appropriate counterculture motifs to attempt to broadcast that they have meaningful beliefs or are trying to change the world, yet they are doing nothing but consume and complain about high rent.
I’m a weirdo who is proud to be a radical feminist and anti-racist…so the appropriation gets to me quite a bit.
Don’t remind me. The appropriation of the DIY ethos is a perfect case in point. When originally proposed, it advocated the idea that if you didn’t know how to do something, you learned how to do it instead of waiting for someone else to do it for you. Now, it’s nothing but a marketing slogan intended to sell lots of shitty art and “crafts”.
Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. This is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.