"Look At This Fucking Hipster" website

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Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Hipsters, Food Stamps, and the Politics of Resentment

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Vicious and unhinged discourse is widespread on the Internet, but this example is worth noting because the sentiment it expresses is by no means unique. This attitude—a petty and mean-spirited resentment—is depressingly common even among the working class. It sometimes seems to amount to no more than the sentiment that justice consists in everyone else being at least as miserable as you are. At one level, it's an attitude that reflects diminished expectations, and can be partly blamed on the weakness of the Left and the defeat of its historical project: when you don’t believe any positive social change is possible, there’s little left to fall back on but bitterness and resentment.

This resentment is also at the heart of a lot of hating on “hipsters.” People see others whom they perceive to have lives that are easier, cooler or more fun than theirs, and instead of questioning the society that gave them their lot, they demand conformity and misery out of others. But why? The false (but not without a grain of truth!) intimation that hipsters are all white kids who are subsidized by their rich parents legitimizes this position, but even if it were accurate it wouldn't make the attitude of contempt any more sensible. For even if creative and enjoyable lives are only accessible to the privileged, that’s not a damning fact about them so much as it is an indictment of a society that has so much wealth and yet only allows a select few to take advantage of it, while others are forced to waste their lives chained to their useless jobs and bloated mortgages.

The rage directed at the figure of “a hipster on food stamps” is only intelligible in terms of the rotted ideological foundation that supports it: an ideology that simultaneously glorifies the suffering of the exploited and vilifies those among the dispossessed who are deemed to be insufficiently hard-working or self-reliant. It treats some activities (making art) as worthless and parasitic, and others (working temp jobs) as totems of “resourcefulness” and “self-reliance,” without any apparent justification. This is what we have learned to call the work ethic; but the vociferousness with which it is expressed masks its increasing hollowness. For just who counts as a hard worker, or a worker at all?

Catchfire Catchfire's picture
Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

How come I haven't contributed to this thread yet?

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Because it's so three years ago?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

But I've always been a hipster! *pout*

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Catchfire wrote:

Because it's so three years ago?

On the internet that is time to go from hip to passe and from passe to retro. 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

We are currently casting for a new reality test pilot "Real Hipsters of Vancouver". Looking for hip, fun, attractive people under 40. Please send an audition tape under 5 min. Include your age, show us your personality. What makes you tick? What ticks you off? Where do you hang? Who do you hang with? etc.

jas

Catchfire wrote:

We are currently casting for a new reality test pilot "Real Hipsters of Vancouver". Looking for hip, fun, attractive people under 40. Please send an audition tape under 5 min. Include your age, show us your personality. What makes you tick? What ticks you off? Where do you hang? Who do you hang with? etc.

This would be sooo fun to spoof.

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