Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hipsters

Christchurch is full of hipsters. Most of the older teenagers to young adults are.

But, nah, its not good stereotyping people. Except for people who openly flaunt being one.

Hipsterdom is a contemporary subculture that's been around since 2000 plus, but only recently been getting a bigger following. They are normally 18-30 year olds, who believe in non conformity, but not in a rebellious way. Huffington Post says: the "whole point of hipsters is that they avoid labels and being labeled. However, they all dress the same and act the same and conform in their non-conformity" to an "iconic carefully created sloppy vintage look".

On the surface value of that classification and description, I would easily fit into one of them, except that I refuse to. Haha, sloppy vintage look, they say. If you go to C1 or walk down High Street, you see them. There was once this store on Bedford Row called Franztormers that started off pretty cool, but is now shut. Run by hipsters, who sit out on their couches on the side of the walkway and bring out their guitars, and smoke in their wayfarers. Slightly fake, I thought. Nonetheless, they have my affections compared to the urban street or uni lots. Atleast they are independent and non-conformists.

I watched a performance the other time which I suppose was an exampled of what hipsters do to entertain themselves. It showed a small room packed with hipsters, and they were watching a girl do a spoken word and performance. Well, what else would you call it: She was opening a can of tomato (a reference to Andy Warhol's tomato can art, perhaps) in a very very sloppy and slow manner while she spoke what seemed like spontaneous verbalization of her emotions. She opened the can and emptied on the floor at her feet, and then whilst talking, she proceeded to take her top off (she had a bra on) and got on her knees to wipe the tomato from the floor, staining her white top red. Everyone in the room watched with breathless silence. The girl then faked several sexual behaviour while on her knees and put her top back on. She then smeared black soot over her top making them stained with black and red. These took about ten minutes after which she walked off from the room, pressing her way through the bewildered crowd who all were unsure about how to respond. Somebody clapped from the corner and then there was an uproarious applause, and shouts for an encore.

*****

500 Days Of Summer is a good look at hipsters. It is funny how in actuality, they are all conformists in a non-conformist manner. For example, 90% of people who listen to The Smiths (and similar groups from the 80s, 90s rock) never did so, until it was made popular by a film like that. Suddenly after the film came out, hipsters were blogging about how they love the song There Is A Light That Never Goes Out.
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Disclaimer:
Despite saying all that, I have learnt never to classify people again (except only in researches conducted in colleges and uni) because everytime I get to know a person well, I realise that the subculture/ideal that this person seemed to align towards does in no way defines him/her.. and subcultures can never be the complete description of any human being. They always go way deeper beyond any stereotype.

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