Hipsters and Exponentialism

Adbusters can be a good magazine at times. At the end of last month, they published an article entitled, Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization. Obviously anyone who knows me, knows how much I loathe hipsters to their very core and so of course, I enjoyed the article. It’s a scathing review of this latest popular culture craze, which I believe Douglas Haddow is very apt in saying is telling of the end of Western Civilization. Judging by the 1,200+ comments at the time of writing this, he obviously struck a nerve with people as they are mostly all comments bashing him. He of course gets the last laugh as basically no one is going to ready 1,200+ comments to see if there’s anything more valid than, “Dude, you suck! The Scene is a lifestyle that will live forever. Forever. Man.” Naturally, it’s always “The Scene” as much like Goth dorks, hipsters despise actually being called, “hipsters”. Ironic yes, but such is this inbred “lifestyle”.
While Haddow’s condemnation is strong, I don’t think it actually digs deep enough though. There is a reason that we’re seeing all of this right at this point in history and that reason is, the internet. Previous to this movement, people had to actually be in a place to be part of that scene. The net has blown away all of these barriers and allowed instantaneous hipsterism to erupt wherever it might set to roost beyond anything traditional media was capable of. This is the reason that a hipster in San Francisco looks just like a hipster in New York City. The need to have a common language is no longer needed as now people have a common image, which is to say all previous imagery from all previous generations and cultures mashed together. And since Google can’t index real life (yet) you end up with a pointless group with no real direction behind or in front of them; just a mass of living data swirling on itself.
This actually takes me back to 2006 when I was sitting in Slaščičarna Pri Vodnjaku in Ljubljana, Slovenia. I was traveling through Europe alone this particular year and I had had a lot of time to think while on trains or at cafes. At this particular moment, everything came together and I realized that we are actually past the post-modernism age (which has to be the dumbest name ever) and are actually in an age of exponentialism. I didn’t get far in writing a treatise on the subject as I found it to be so completely arrogant to do so and also that I had to be outside the US to be able to really think clearly about it.
It’s the digital age that has made this all possible with blogs allowing instant ego stroking and with the ability to endlessly loop everything that we’ve done as a culture so that we can now avoid having to ever create anything new. While P. Diddy or whatever he calls himself these days, may seem like the worst result of all of this with his “songs” that are little more than “Yeah. Mmm. Yeah.” on top of previously popular songs, it’s actually the hipsters that are the real outcome of this exponentialist age. They are devoid of any real substance other than that which came before.
These people are insanely annoying, but I seriously doubt they are going away anytime soon. As Haddow points out, they are the dream demographic for marketing people who find nothing but continual regurgitating profit in the hipster. There is a great deal more inbreeding of popular culture and capitalism to happen until this whole movement ultimately collapses and gives way to something that represents the first new thinking in art, design, film, literature, and culture at large in at least two decades.
Hipsters and Exponentialism

One Reply to “Hipsters and Exponentialism”

  1. I like yor thinkink about exponentialism could tell you storys as i am living in asia for now more than a year here you feal the thing of exponentialism every day.. may you would like to chat a little bit hope you have skpye or so just – send me a mail tankks in advance

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