I'm sure no one here disagrees that Nirvana was more pop-rockish than art.
But one time, man, I totally tranced out to smells like teen spirit and had a transcendental experience. So it must be art. Fuck you haters.
Gen X should be redubbed "1st Wave of Hipsters". Coincidentally, Wiki says that Generation X is the first generation with widespread access to television. This must not be any mere coincidence.
The "grunge" and "alternative" music subcultures were definitely precursors for hipster irony. I think the whole idea of the hipster, of pretending to like something for ironic purposes ("it's so uncool that it's cool"), could probably be traced back through every counterculture that ever existed in industrialized Western democracies. It seemed to really come to the forefront in the early 90s though.
Part of the problem may be that Gen. 1st Wave of Hipsters (formerly known as Gen X) is afraid to stand behind any particular idea, unless it is convenient, or gives them instant gratification. At least the hippies, as far as I could tell, actually believed in what peace and happiness they spouted and repeated mindlessly.
So they chanted Kumbaya
and believed the world would get better. A little action is better than none, right? Even if it only strengthens the solipsist paradigm?
Pardon my soapboxing here -- Although it's probably wrong of me to say that the 1st Wave of Hipsters don't believe in ANYTHING. They believe in what gratifies them NOW - no matter how short-lived or transient - and they put that idea first, and act accordingly, if we look at belief systems as blueprints/codes of action. This code is like a destructive virus that sweeps through and infects the weak-minded like HIV, from an early age.
They are taught that those who "believe" in something are not rewarded, they are egoistic (true in some cases), and are only looking for a reward - double true. Why would anyone take on a belief system that wasn't rewarding? That would defeat the entire point of holding a belief system. It would also defeat the point of holding a belief system if it enslaved you. Solipsism is tantamount to self-enslavement, not freedom.
People who "believe" in something are considered threatening to the un-self-disciplined solipsists because they have a blueprint of action that goes beyond the typical:
1) get handjob from hooker, snort blow
2) watch television, drink PBR
3) write ironic self-referential strawman in ordered list form; note how contrivedly absurd it is
4) smirk smugly
As responsible, pragmatic nihilists, it makes more sense to only take on beliefs that work for us. Belief is seldom as good as knowledge and wisdom. So a "belief" that is in line with reality isn't a "belief" so much as tried-and-true knowledge.