Monday, June 12, 2006

Fucking Hipsters and More About Boobs

Previously I have ever-so-subtly implied that media critics (particularly those writing about music) seem to be locked in a death grip of mutual masturbation with the most loathsome of creatures, the hipster. Too often hipsterdom is painted as a magical utopia smart, friendly, well-dressed, ultra-rad people are always helping each other out; recommending music, books, and movies with good-natured pluck.

Enter Rob Horning, PopMatters columnist, and author of a brilliant piece, which humbly attempts to call bullshit on this fantasy. It’s refreshing, humorous, and really goddamn resonant.

Excerpt: “In other words, the underground empire is designed to produce cliquish hipsters who finance the entire quasi-countercultural enterprise not from a sense of patronage or taste, but from insecurity over being just like everyone else.”

Right fucking on.

This is of course, just another example of the generally great coverage on PopMatters. First, they cover comics, videogames, and television, which means automatic points. It tends to be smart and earnest. Sometimes it tends toward the pretentious, like Friday’s column: Variations on a Theme: The Devil's Music: Franz Liszt's Musical Representation of Mephistopheles. However, I think we can give a pass on this: Is there any way to talk about a Liszt composition adapted from the Faust legend that isn’t pretentious?

PopMatters covers the full spectrum though. One of the strangest things that I have ever read recently is an in-depth re-examination of the place of Chesty Morgan in the history of cinema. Chesty Morgan, as I learned was an actress in a number of exploitation flicks whose fame seems to be solely derived from having breasts that measure 77FF. Yeah, I know. Anyway, the article goes over her entire body of work and is just as bizarre and surreal as anything Borges ever wrote. Also, for fun you can count the synonyms that the author uses for tits.

7 Comments:

Blogger Elizabeth said...

You seem to be implying that media critic and hipsters are two seperate breeds. Are hipsters, by definition, totally useless? Are media critics actually, with no irony, hip? (I doubt this one.) Do people I know personally who don the hipster spirit and attire and review music just straddle the line between both, or are the two categories so similar that the line is hard to draw? And really, if the two things are the same or nearly the same, isn't it just plain old masturbation, rather than mutual?

Please explain. As someone who reads music reviews every so often but can never quite get through the bullshit, I am all muddled up.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Kellen said...

Interestingly, I think I have already addressed this, at least in part, in the Dada Kraut Psych entry linked to above. The relevant passage is here:

"Hipsters, who have never gotten around to writing their Great American Novel (preferably stream of conscious), need an outlet for their unspeakable talent and so try to combine this with their cutting-edge knowledge of music to write music reviews for their local independent weekly or, more likely, their blog."

There's more there too, but right here I will try to address your questions directly.

Media critics more often then not fancy themselves hipsters, although a few dare to write useful reviews or are just hopeless ('sup Ebert). It's also possible that a few hipsters haven't ever officially written a musical review. The hipster/critic relationship seems to be a Venn diagram where the vast majority of that population overlaps.

I painted it as mutual masturbation with the assumption that the review process works like this: I write a review that uses long strings of attributive modifers to describe how much I love Shit Robot. You read this, agree then you write a classical Greek tragedy about how awesome Shit Robot is. Someone else reads both, and then composes an open letter to Shit Robot. Then one more person just reads them all and goes and tells his friends how Shit Robot changed his life. Everyone flatters everyone else by agreeing and tacitly congratulating each other on how right they all are. Within this little community, its orgiastic, but outside of it, it may just looks like a solo wankfest (taking all of hipsterdom as one entity).

I hope that made sense. If it didn't, at least I got to say Shit Robot over and over.

I am that mature.

2:59 AM  
Blogger Julianna said...

Hey! You will be at my house in less than 4 hours, practically! (I am excited!)

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Brittany said...

I am going almost an entire week with getting any of the definitive truth. Cmon update!

12:15 AM  
Blogger Kellen said...

Sorry, impromptu hiatus?

2:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chesty Morgan was a legend, one of a kind. She appeared in the Russ Meyer films. Huge Tits Milf

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is porn the only winner during credit crunch?


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killergram

5:54 PM  

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