by Rich Dana
Tis year, I’m going to be 50. Yes, 50. It doesn’t bother me. I swear. I am soon going to be50, which entitles me to be oended by young people. I am. But I am only oended by theact that I am not oended by them. Tat is ironic. Tose creative people younger thanme- Hipsters- are supposed to be all about the ironic. So... I guess it’s working.I know that the hipster thing is over. O-V-E-R. Declared dead in 2008 (by hipsters, ironi-cally). Hipster bashing is old hat. But they just won’t go away. Some have gotten jobs andbeen redened as “Creatives”, but I’m still not buying it. Te wholesale re-purposing o pastcultural ephemera, without reexamination or personal reection, is neither hip nor creative.o be honest, I eel ripped o. I eel like hipsters are ripping o my thing- our thing- ourold, 50 year old thing- the thing that came beore their thing- which they don’t really have.Tey need to get their own thing. Recently, a New York graphic designer redesigned classic80’s punk rock gig posters (Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, etc) in the style o Swiss Mod-ern design, cleverly tagged “Swissted”. Tey come o like ads rom a 1960s issue o Look Magazine. Although the designer is said to love punk rock and swiss modern design, to methey are more about the designer’s love o the sotware and onts that allowed him to createthe posters quickly and thoughtlessly.Hipsters need to stop trying to be “ironic.” Tey need to start by looking up the word“ironic”, because they aren’t. Ironic, I mean. Tey are robbing the word ironic o it’s irony.I’m like my mother, who loved gay people, but hated the act that they had ruined the word“gay”. Tat’s ironic. Sarcastic is something else. It’s a much blunter instrument, and impliesa certain amount o contempt- and maybe even some sel-loathing.Christian Lorentzen o ime Out New York wrote “hipsterism etishizes the authentic”elements o all o the “ringe movements o the postwar era—beat, hippie, punk, evengrunge,” and draws on the “cultural stores o every unmelted ethnicity,” and “regurgitates it with a winking inauthenticity.”“Winking inauthenticity” is not irony. It is laziness. Hey, you- wearing the Linda Rich-man glasses- You never watched the Brady Bunch. You never played Atari. I you had, you wouldn’t be wearing that shirt. “My dad grew up in the 70’s, and all he brought me was thisstupid shirt” might be a more appropriate. Tat’s sarcasm, “BW”, not irony. But enoughhipster bashing. At 50, I was born into a airly narrow demographic. I see it bracketed by 2 actors; theend o the American military drat in 1973, and the advent o the mass-produced personalcomputer in 1977. Tose who were too young to be drated to go to Vietnam were bornater 1953. Tose who are too young to remember a time without personal computers wereborn ater 1973, generally. Tis leaves a two decade spread o late baby-boom to early gen Xers that don’t t into either group. A “Blank Generation”, so to speak. We grew up withthe Middle East Energy Crisis and the ear o Mutually Assured (nuclear) Destruction. Wegrew up lacking either the unication o the anti-war movement or the hive mind o theinternet. We are the last o the analog dinosaurs, a merry band o angry loners and mists.I eel ortunate, though, to be a part o this small cultural segment. Tis is where punk rock was born, the indie music scene that turned its back on the corporate record industry.Tis is the generation that hit the road in a van, playing house parties, trading cassettes andxeroxed anzines. Tis is the generation o phone phreaks and hackers and cypherpunksthat blazed the trail or Anonymous and LulzSec. Cyberpunk, Splatterpunk and the othervarious “punk” literary genres inuenced the “look” o the 21st century. Blank Generationartists put their images on stickers, on yers, on clothing on record sleeves- on subway trains, dumpsters and cars. DIY, as a movement, was born o the punks, all o the variousavors shared that Do-It-Yoursel aesthetic.
Tis issue o OBSOLEE! is dedicated to all o my Blank Generation brothersand sisters out there. Keep writing- keep rocking, keep making art. Until they fnd their own voice, the hipster generation needs you to show them the way. And I guess...I guess that’s what getting old is all about.
Warning: Oldster Rant Ahead