Friday, 9 August 2013

Why I Don't Like Hipsters.

So, earlier I was doing the rounds on Tumblr, and I stumbled across this in The Clash tag. An obviously fake gig poster with 757 notes. In unison, hipsters disguising as fans of these bands were exclaiming how it's an amazing lineup, how they wish they were there etc. There's just one problem:

It's. Not. Fucking. Real.

I mean, firstly, a gig with that line-up is surely going to enter the history books. It's an epic hypothetical lineup. Five of the best/most influential artists of the 70s/80s. The problem? Ian Curtis of Joy Division killed himself in 1980. The Smiths formed in 1982. Sex Pistols broke up in 1978.... see the problem? There was never a point in history were these groups were all together at once. Any actual fan of Joy Division or Sex Pistols is bound to recognize that. Apart from - of course- the hipsters.

It represents something that worries me quite a lot. I'm very concerned about this growing problem of music being turned into a fashion label. What I mean is the growing trend of people wearing artist t-shirts and not listening to them, or just pretending to listen to the artist full stop. It's fake and frankly stupid. It's a total joke. I just don't understand how the hell people that do that are actually happy. Trust me - I've been there. I was badly bullied at school and because I was left with such little self esteem I tried to win the respect of my peers by pretending to like artists in the charts at the time more than what I did. I did quite like the artists but I pretended to love them. Did it work? Like hell it did. It just made me feel worse. I still didn't win them over and I was lying to myself, which is the worst person you can lie to really. After about a month I realized how ridiculous my new behavioral pattern was and quickly abandoned it. I'm a lot happier now that I've embraced my interests, however unorthodox they are, I assure you.

I also feel that the problem creates issues for real fans. I mean Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures cover imagery is one of the most frequently worn music shirt designs I'd say. It's incredibly common. What's not that common though are people that wear the shirt because they love the album. It's become so rife now that a lot of fans simply presume that if you're young and wear the shirt you probably don't listen to them. I've adopted a similar mentality myself, and I'm 19. The other problem? There's people like me -19 and I have a Joy Division shirt. I don't have the Unknown Pleasures design - mine is of the band themselves. The reason I have it is that I'm a fan. You know, the old fashioned way of doing things. I wear that shirt because I'm a fan. Nothing more, nothing less. That's the way it should be.

I guess the hipster mentality is something I am never going to understand. I've got a compulsive learning urge when I love something. If I love a band I want to read as much as I can about them. It doesn't come from wanting to be a music journalist. I've always had this tendency. I don't see how you could love something and yet not have an interest to read up on it. I mean I'm not saying you have to be encyclopedic about a band to call yourself a fan, but at least show some knowledge of the basics. And, in the case of Joy Division I'd argue it's frankly an insult - Ian Curtis was a deeply troubled young man. The despair and pain he felt was obviously channeled in Joy Divisions music to a degree. Yet even after his death it's being bastardized and I'd bet these people give no second thought that - essentially - what they're doing is using a dead man to make themselves look cool. Now, isn't that pretty sick? Think about that.

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