Do hipsters believe in responsibility?

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It was a simpler and more unpleasant time.

Dear Hipster:

One thing that seems to be typical of 21st century hipsters is a somewhat permissive laissez-faire attitude towards, well, just about everything, really, from dress and habits to work and everything in between. I think it has something to do with the elevation of the idea that individuals are their own “authentic” selves more important than anything else, which is a very 21st century attitude. With that in mind, there are plenty of places you can go to judge if you let your proverbial “monster flag” float, but most hipsters, and anyone influenced by hipster values, will probably agree. with whatever you like. Now, I’m all for not being too critical, but I have to wonder if going too far with the idea of ​​”come as you are” is a bit like giving up having standards at all. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a question of “morality,” but does the general lack of oppression of hipsters lead to a decrease in meaning, for lack of a better word, of accountability for them? personal choice?

– T. Mac, North Park

It’s an extraordinarily convoluted investigation, but I think I get it. Overall, I think there is some truth to the idea that popular culture has become more tolerant of people who are somehow outside the mainstream culture, in large part because, like You rightly note that being your own person is an end in itself, regardless of who you are. are. But that doesn’t mean that personal responsibility is on a downward slope. Let me challenge both an underlying assumption and your express premise here by stating (1) don’t be fooled into thinking that hipsters are not capable of making judgments, even though they generally tolerate fashions. alternative living; and (2) if anything, the world is getting more and more prudish by the day.

As for pointing number one, the hipster zone encompasses a lot of foreigners … so much so that it’s hard to see someone hipster who isn’t somehow an “alternative” to the mainstream. There’s a lot of leeway in hipsterland for hardcore vegans to coexist peacefully with die-hard carnivores who won’t eat a sandwich unless it contains at least some sort of prosciutto made from a non-pig animal. . But God forbid, one or the other doesn’t like the wrong kind of popular music! Even when being alternative is normalized, there is always a way to go wrong.

Point number of backs requires a little more historical context. In many ways, the world is actually much more tame today than it was twenty-five or thirty years ago. Do you remember Tales from the Crypt? It was seriously disgusting television, sometimes obscene and flawless. To his credit, he knew exactly what it was, and he seemed to have absolutely no shame about it; but you don’t see television that harsh anymore. Sure, you see harsh themes of murder and stuff, but it’s more artfully decorated and less gruesome. Likewise, people who existed back then might remember the term ‘chic heroine’ from ’90s fashion because, you know, looking like a fictionalized version of a heroin addict was totally cool. Can you imagine the term “classy heroine” spreading in 2021? Yes, me neither. While this may seem contradictory at first, our culture can become more tolerant but also, in many ways, perpetually more polite and less nervous.

– DJ Stevens


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