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Hip To Be Square: The Failure of Pop Irony

Hip To Be Square: The Failure of Pop Irony
July 07, 2008, 08:54:02 AM
http://everything2.com/node/1401320

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What makes [Ironic hipsterism] a rebellion at all? It is an attempt to defy stereotype, especially hipster stereotype. Categorizing oneself under a certain label requires taking on a series of pre-defined tastes. The goth vests in black, the prep listens to Dave Mathews Band, the neo-hippie wears hemp necklaces, and so forth. To refuse to have one's tastes defined by one word involves adopting haphazard, unpredictable styles; co-opting objects considered unacceptable by any subculture--particularly hegemonic hipster culture--is an act of resistance. The postmodern aspects of this trend are at once evident: the hip is un-hip, and vice-versa. To reject the current hegemony one must accept and bask in consumerism, if only superficially. Deviancy requires partaking of mass culture. Living in society today involves a bombardment of advertising and popular forms; it is perhaps natural to take on chunks of popular idioms and construct an identity based on contradictory bricolage. The move towards irony can be interpreted as an end to claims of authenticity; everyone recognizes the pretense behind every art form and expression of selfhood; if one can purposefully construct an identity based on material objects, nothing is real, so we are obliged to bring silliness to the forefront.

This is dangerous nihilism: one takes the devaluation aspects of nihilism, but instead of constructing or confiding in sound values after making a clean slate, they just sit there and fill the slate with as many random things as possible, until it becomes as useless as when it was empty. While viewing everything as pointless, one engages everything as pointless, then one's life becomes pointless and replaceable, like the products they choose.

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As with any rebellious subculture, once everybody engages in it, it becomes hegemonic and is no longer rebellious. I.H. is unique in that it becomes bereft of meaning once it attains any subcultural status. The ironic hipster syndrome is the dying gasp of resistance in our postmodern society; every wave of hipsters since the Industrial Revolution has disdained kitsch, but the only resistance offered today is through it. It represents the penultimate method of rebellion against commercialism and that rebellion's utter defeat.

Why go through such an endless, pointless resistance against the frivolous with the frivolous? Why not reform this empty culture?

Or rather, they should settle with a solid, established, eternal culture that you can't buy, like the culture of one's ethnic background, instead of pointlessly "rebelling" against vapid consumerism by distastefully engaging in it head-on, ironically ::) hypocritically enough.

Though this seems to be difficult to do with the multicultural nations, so no wonder such a "rebellious uprising against commercialism" has developed. Rebel by taking part in your true, traditional culture.

http://everything2.com/node/1401320

Irony is deconstructivism. "It's not what you think it is, it's new and exciting," coupled with a desire to let externals speak for internals (fear of actual accomplishment).
ASBO

“Kurt Cobain was, ladies and gentlemen, a worthless shred of human debris.” - Rush Limbaugh