Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization



Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization
We’ve reached a point in our civilization where counterculture has
mutated into a self-obsessed aesthetic vacuum. So while hipsterdom is
the end product of all prior countercultures, it’s been stripped of
its subversion and originality. (Cover story of Adbusters Issue #79.)

Douglas Haddow | 29 Jul 2008 | 3522 comments hipster counterculture
I‘m sipping a scummy pint of cloudy beer in the back of a trendy dive
bar turned nightclub in the heart of the city’s heroin district. In
front of me stand a gang of hippiesh grunge-punk types, who crowd
around each other and collectively scoff at the smoking laws by
sneaking puffs of “fuck-you,” reveling in their perceived rebellion
the haggard, staggering staff look on without the slightest concern.

The “DJ” is keystroking a selection of MP3s off his MacBook, making a
mix that sounds like he took a hatchet to a collection of yesteryear
billboard hits, from DMX to Dolly Parton, but mashed up with a
techno backbeat.

“So… this is a hipster party?” I ask the girl sitting next to me.
She’s wearing big dangling earrings, an American Apparel V-neck tee,
non-prescription eyeglasses and an inappropriately warm wool coat.

“Yeah, just look around you, 99 percent of the people here are total

“Are you a hipster?”

“Fuck no,” she says, laughing back the last of her glass before she
hops off to the dance floor.

Ever since the Allies bombed the Axis into submission, Western
civilization has had a succession of counter-culture movements that
have energetically challenged the status quo. Each successive decade
of the post-war era has seen it smash social standards, riot and
to revolutionize every aspect of music, art, government and civil

But after punk was plasticized and hip hop lost its impetus for
change, all of the formerly dominant streams of “counter-culture”
merged together. Now, one mutating, trans-Atlantic melting pot of
styles, tastes and behavior has come to define the generally
indefinable idea of the “Hipster.”

An artificial appropriation of different styles from different eras,
the hipster represents the end of Western civilization – a culture
lost in the superficiality of its past and unable to create any new
meaning. Not only is it unsustainable, it is suicidal. While previous
youth movements have challenged the dysfunction and decadence of
elders, today we have the “hipster” – a youth subculture that mirrors
the doomed shallowness of mainstream society. ... (cont)