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August 21, 2008

Williamsburg and the Fall of the West

Perhaps no subculture has ever been so self-loathing (if perhaps ironically so) as the postmodern hipster. As the very personification of liberal white guilt, the twenty-first century hipster has become the bane of urbanites everywhere, including—in what must be some kind of meta-ironic practical joke—hipster magazine Adbusters, which seems to believe they are the harbinger the fall of Western civilization.

"Huh" you exclaim? That's what we thought. Let's play a little game called "possible reasons for the current demise of Western civilization." Our contestants are:

A) Skyrocketing oil prices
B) Global warming
C) Loose nukes
D) China taking over the world
E) American Apparel

One of these things this not like the others.

Hipster
Indeed, we cannot help but think that the article is somehow self-congratulatory and self-loathing at the same time—a trick that any hipster can pull off with aplomb. It's in a classic hipster magazine, filled with oddly-angled photos of attractive people partying in dive bars, and—most importantly—it grossly overstates the importance of the hipster.

Adbusters' rationale for equating Deerhoof with the atom bomb has something to do with past "counter-culture movements" that apparently "smash[ed] social standards," like punk and hip-hop. We don’t know of any particular evidence for that lofty claim, nor are we entirely certain that hipsterdom is really hip-hop's cultural descendant. Either way, though, we're pretty sure that the apocalypse will not wear Converse.







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