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Old 09-04-2013, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
415 posts, read 618,835 times
Reputation: 695

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I would argue that there is a hipster aesthetic and a hipster ethos and that people mostly focus on the aesthetic. I think the hipster aesthetic is dumb, but hey it's fashion. It doesn't really matter.

The hipster ethos is what bothers me, because it's much more consequential. What is the hipster ethos? It's an obsession with authenticity, but only in the most shallow and consumption-oriented ways. The result is a large group of people who are so pre-occupied with, for example, eating only locally sourced organic produce that they don't realize that they are bourgeois conformist hedonists.

Don't get me wrong. I buy local and organic whenever possible because it's economically and ecologically sound. There is a well-documented multiplier effect in the community when your money isn't repatriated somewhere else. That's not why hipsters do it though. For hipsters it's about posturing and scoring style points with their consumption. That's stupid and deserving of all of the scorn and mockery that hipsters receive and more. How hipsters dress is the least of their problems.

Last edited by Steve Bowen; 09-04-2013 at 10:34 PM..
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:57 PM
 
156 posts, read 266,886 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bowen View Post
Don't get me wrong. I buy local and organic whenever possible because it's economically and ecologically sound. There is a well-documented multiplier effect in the community when your money isn't repatriated somewhere else. That's not why hipsters do it though. For hipsters it's about posturing and scoring style points with their consumption. That's stupid and deserving of all of the scorn and mockery that hipsters receive and more. How hipsters dress is the least of their problems.
I'm curious why is it deserving of scorn to participate in locavorism for the motive of impressing others?

I am also wondering if you have you ever seen this superficial type of motive draw someone in to this practice, and then over time the person's motive shifts from impressing others to one that is similar to yours?

Last edited by Ralph Shinners; 09-07-2013 at 01:21 PM..
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee
101 posts, read 151,704 times
Reputation: 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bowen View Post
I would argue that there is a hipster aesthetic and a hipster ethos and that people mostly focus on the aesthetic. I think the hipster aesthetic is dumb, but hey it's fashion. It doesn't really matter.

The hipster ethos is what bothers me, because it's much more consequential. What is the hipster ethos? It's an obsession with authenticity, but only in the most shallow and consumption-oriented ways. The result is a large group of people who are so pre-occupied with, for example, eating only locally sourced organic produce that they don't realize that they are bourgeois conformist hedonists.

Don't get me wrong. I buy local and organic whenever possible because it's economically and ecologically sound. There is a well-documented multiplier effect in the community when your money isn't repatriated somewhere else. That's not why hipsters do it though. For hipsters it's about posturing and scoring style points with their consumption. That's stupid and deserving of all of the scorn and mockery that hipsters receive and more. How hipsters dress is the least of their problems.
If that's hedonism then where is the harm? Feeling the outdoor air and buying locally can make people so much happier then shopping with depression inducing glaring florescent lights and buying little Debbie snacks by the value pack. I just think if you're going to be hedonistic as humans are bound to do unless you are a Buddhist in Tibet then at least it's emotionally satisfying way to do it that doesn't leave a gaping whole in your heart and life. How do you know hipsters do it just to be cool? Have you done studies? Do you have hipsters locked up and are you monitoring their brainwaves? Honestly I think people are just starting to live a different kind of life and realize the types of small everyday things that make a person happier and more fulfilled. Market places and social interactions and all these socially enriching things are not new to humankind. In a way maybe it's just strange in America where our supermarkets replaced this kind of thing. Maybe this just seems different in America but I think people are beginning to realize what really makes you happy and it's your day to day life. Something they've already realized and esteemed in most parts of the world. 10 years ago people were feeding their families by driving through the apple bees drive-through window. Now they are growing their own goddamn vegetables. Yeah, what a terrible societal trend. And goddamn their craft beer making and herb gardens. When are these kids going to straighten out and go to the strip clubs and drink schnapps and wine coolers like their elders?

Last edited by fonitin; 09-07-2013 at 01:54 PM..
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
415 posts, read 618,835 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Shinners View Post
I'm curious why is it deserving of scorn to participate in locavorism for the motive of impressing others?
I think that one's motivations for doing something are almost as important as what one does. I also think that sincerity is very important. The hipster ethos revels in insincerity. The hipster ethos virtually precludes sincerely enjoying and valuing something, in and of itself. Hipsters make most consumptive decisions to impress others, yet hipsters are obsessed with authenticity. That's utter hypocrisy.

The phony locavore hipster is a hypocrite living an inauthentic life, while claiming to value authenticity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Shinners View Post
I am also wondering if you have you ever seen this superficial type of motive draw someone in to this practice, and then over time the person's motive shifts from impressing others to one that is similar to yours?
I personally haven't but I'm sure it happens sometimes. More often I think it just becomes force of habit. The unexamined life is not worth living, but I don't think most hipsters are interested in the examined life. If they were, they wouldn't embrace the hipster ethos because it is philosophically unsound.
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
415 posts, read 618,835 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fonitin View Post
If that's hedonism then where is the harm? Feeling the outdoor air and buying locally can make people so much happier then shopping with depression inducing glaring florescent lights and buying little Debbie snacks by the value pack.
I couldn't agree more. I was unclear in the previous post. I think the hipster ethos results in hedonism but not because of shopping at farmer's markets. I don't think that's hedonistic at all. I do it every weekend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fonitin View Post
Have you done studies? Do you have hipsters locked up are you monitoring their brainwaves? Honestly I think people are just starting to live a different kind of life and realize the types of small everyday things that make a person happier and more fulfilled.
I don't think the hipster ethos makes anyone happier or more fulfilled. Once you remove sincerity from your consumptive decisions, once what you consume is about scoring social points with other like-minded people, you are left with a profoundly unfulfilling and shallow existence.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee
101 posts, read 151,704 times
Reputation: 103
Quote:
I couldn't agree more. I was unclear in the previous post. I think the hipster ethos results in hedonism but not because of shopping at farmer's markets. I don't think that's hedonistic at all. I do it every weekend.
Well jeez. Are you a hipster then? Maybe you're a hipster. This hipster thing is like a witch hunt.

Quote:
I don't think the hipster ethos makes anyone happier or more fulfilled. Once you remove sincerity from your consumptive decisions, once what you consume is about scoring social points with other like-minded people, you are left with a profoundly unfulfilling and shallow existence.
I disagree it's so much better then what came before. And why do you suspect their sincerity is lacking?

And don't you think this general shift in consumption trends is part of something larger then the hipster movement? Do think it's such a trend they are going to one day shift and go back to commuting long distances and drinking and eating low quality foods? I don't think so. I think these shifts and trends that are occurring are larger and are here to stay.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
415 posts, read 618,835 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fonitin View Post
And why do you suspect their sincerity is lacking?
Because that's the nature of the hipster ethos. That's like saying, "How do you know that hippies are all about the transformative power of love". It's the defining feature of that ethos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fonitin View Post
And don't you think this general shift in consumption trends is part of something larger then the hipster movement? Do think it's such a trend they are going to one day shift and go back to commuting long distances and drinking and eating low quality foods? I don't think so. I think these shifts and trends that are occurring are larger and are here to stay.
I think it's definitely part of something bigger. It's the logical end point of post-modernism. I don't know where we go from here, but I think it's worth noting that the vast majority of America is still a sprawling strip mall wasteland. The vast majority of Americans never stopped "commuting long distances and drinking and eating low quality foods" unfortunately. You would benefit from reading some Joel Kotkin, who I hate, but who makes some excellent points:

Poverty and Growth: Retro-Urbanists Cling to the Myth of Suburban Decline | Joel Kotkin

America's Future Is Taking Shape In The Suburbs | Joel Kotkin

The Triumph of Suburbia

Why America's Young And Restless Will Abandon Cities For Suburbs - Forbes
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:39 PM
 
11 posts, read 29,501 times
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This lack of sincerity, I think, is a defensive reaction. It seems to be mainly targeted at aspects of culture that the 'hipster' perceives as being cynical and pandering and profit motivated. The fetishization of authenticity is the logical consequence. "These boots were made by this company in Fargo that only makes, like, 100 pairs a year, and they're all made by, like, third generation master boot craftsmen," because they certainly were not made in a sweatshop and marketed directly at his demographic by a multinational corporate conglomerate. The 'hipster' scores status points for these boots because the ethical framework of his community is built in opposition to that sort of exploitative hucksterism. In order for a 'hipster' to brag about these boots or the locally sourced omelette he just ate, he must understand why these things are better than Nikes or Burger King.

This 'I'm doing the right thing, and also it makes me look super cool' attitude was shared by the Hippies and Gen-Xers and Lost Generation and Beats and a hundred other iterations. Only this time there are more funny mustaches.

Last edited by zaragosa; 09-07-2013 at 07:00 PM..
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Mequon, WI
7,678 posts, read 18,909,463 times
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...and I just thought that Hipsters were MSOE students who shopped at Value Village.
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Old 09-07-2013, 10:24 PM
 
Location: Bay View, Milwaukee
2,071 posts, read 4,002,329 times
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It does seem that "hipsters" (whatever they really are) value authenticity and sort of have a "conspicuous conservation" ethos, but many also seem to value nostalgic, mass-produced American products; well publicized examples include Pabst Blue Ribbon and Ore-Ida Tater Tots. If they smoke, their brand of cigarettes may be something funky like Lucky Strike, but just about all cigs are mass-produced nowadays. When "hipsters" are seen as individuals (and not just as stereotypes of a demographic label), I'm sure many more contradictory or seemingly contradictory values emerge. I bet a few even major in business, or eat fast food, or drive standard automobiles, or work at a chain store, or have children, and so on and so forth.
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