Hip or Not?


Funny, sad, and insightful… how we have trivialised art, culture and to a certain extent life.

For those of us who think retro has a place in society, albeit a small place, and at the right time. The hipster movement seems to thrive on taking it to extremes, and we only have ourselves to blame for their rise to “prominence”, as we have allowed them to trivialise what some of us hold dear.

I never did like extremists (still don’t) be they style, fashion, culture, religion, eco or political ones. Extremists miss out on so much in life with a blinkered approach and sadly the hipsters fall into that category. Life needs balance, one can argue that extremes to the left and right allow balance to hold the middle ground, but even the middle ground has become sullied and grey of late. (in some any areas of life on our planet – a longer topic for another day)

Its not cool to be retro just for the sake of saying look we have made an old shovel into a work of art! That’s not art, any idiot can stick a shovel against a wall… but then I suppose that is what we have lowered the bar too. I do have a penchant for things of a bygone era, but not at the expense of denying myself what technology and the world in all its glory and difference can afford us, we need to be realistic about change and progress and take from a trend, that which is both appropriate and relevant.

Hipsters at times make me think of Clockwork Orange, as the book is set in a future dystopian world and the “hip” language that Alex and his “droogs” (gangmates) speak, plus their love of bowler hats, canes, hark back to a bygone era. I know that is viewing hipsters in extreme, and some might take offence at the comparison, but that is really pushing the boundaries of extremism or being hip.

I think it is the (in my opinion) non balanced view that I find unsettling. The shift away from balance (ying/yang), finding harmony in a discordant world. For it is this which now trivialises the achievements of the great artists, designers, thinkers who have gone before. Yes art (and beauty) is in the eye of the beholder, but maybe the beholder in this case should aspire for art of a more challenging nature than just sticking a shovel against a wall and playing a certain style of music.

If not, then we might be losing the plot, although on the other hand, I think today I will be a shovel artist and tomorrow an avant garde fashion designer… not sure what I will do on the weekend.. maybe a combination of the two.. and shovel s#$t … now that’s hip!

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