Maybe it’s because I’m one of those people right on the Gen X-Millennial divide, but I don’t get hipsterism. Sure, I can understand critiquing cultural institutions and attitudes when they’re off base, and there are many ways to do so. But the whole emphasis on being “ironic” reminds me somewhat of a passage from “Unreal Estates” where C. S. Lewis, Kingsley Amis, and Brian Aldiss commiserate over being accused of only pretending to like science fiction–except from what I can tell, hipsters either are genuinely only feigning interest in whatever the Latest Hipster Thing is to make A Statement or feel that they have to pretend to feign interest to fit in.
What is wrong with liking good things?
Let’s be honest: I’m hopelessly old fashioned. I write Westerns with real heroes and real villains. I watch old movies and old TV shows. I listen to old music. I read very old books (and get paid for it!). I like antiques and old clothing fashions. I practice old crafts and demonstrate them at reenactments. Once in a blue moon, I even write alliterative poetry. But I don’t do any of those things to make any kind of statement about Life In These United States or to Stick It To The Man or whatever. I take delight in them–because they are delightful.
“A thing of beauty is a joy forever,” said Keats. Have we seriously forgotten what that means?