Member 185
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Patrick Tierney (M, 34)
Princeton, US
Immortal since Oct 7, 2007
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    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, and is leaving a generation pointlessly obsessing over fashion, faux individuality, cultural capital and the commodities of style.
    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 fight to revolutionize every aspect of music, art, government and civil society.

    But after punk was plasticized and hip hop lost its impetus for social change, all of the formerly dominant streams of “counter-culture” have 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 their elders, today we have the “hipster” – a youth subculture that mirrors the doomed shallowness of mainstream society.

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    Mon, Aug 25, 2008  Permanent link

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    Eli Horn     Mon, Aug 25, 2008  Permanent link
    I like that Adbusters exists and appreciate the ends they go to to promote their ideas, but I find that a lot of their articles just really miss the mark and end up falling into the cliches they are fighting against. I think where they fall the hardest is in their lack of positive initiative. They are very quick to criticize and seem to enjoy warning us of the end of everything as we know it, but in doing so, they end up on the constant defensive. Its too bad, because they certainly don't lack spirit.
    HackerLastPip     Tue, Aug 26, 2008  Permanent link
    Adbusters purports to be "Culturejammer Headquarters," and they will always be on the defensive, as long as there is a culture to jam, so to speak (That's why so much of their content is based around defaming pop culture) . Adbuster's place is to challenge the status quo, to point out the stories that fall through the cracks, to criticize the system. There's a good article in that very issue comparing themselves to Guy Debord and the Situationists. Both groups dont tell you how to live or change the world, just to encourage to look at the world around you in a new perspective and live more.
    sjef     Wed, Aug 27, 2008  Permanent link
    Adbusters is an elitist cabal of the would-be ultracool. It even has its own language, words which pop up on almost every page: “culture jammer,” “mental environment,” “subvertisement.” This, of course, makes Adbusters’ consumers feel just as hip as the conventional marketing Adbusters derides for supposedly being coercive.
    HackerLastPip     Sat, Aug 30, 2008  Permanent link
    The slick glossy has a cover price of $7.95

    — Yes, printing costs money, Adbusters does not sell advertisements. What would be an alternative?
    He has called the automobile “arguably the most destructive product we humans have ever produced.” Yet he cheerfully drives a Toyota.

    — Adbusters attacks the culture and society that gives rise to urban locations where driving is a necessity. If our government was one which supported public or green transport, which most do not, ActivistCash might have a point. However, we live in a country where driving is by and large the only option. Adbusters attacks cars, yes, but much more often they attack the culture that hasn't called for alternatives to the car.

    Why has this thread turned into a flaming of Adbusters? Adbusters is a brand, yes. Spacecollective is a brand (it even produces advertisements), filled with buzzwords on every page ( Polytopia, Terrestrials, post-human ). Singularitarianism is a brand ( why do you think venture capitalists give Ray Kurzweil so much money to invest in the future), with it's own buzzwords. Neither of these things make them "elitist cabals."

    Adbusters is a brand calling for the destruction of brands. That's not hypocritical. Adbusters is critiquing the system with the only tools available within that very system. American revolutionary soldiers used British goods when they had to and when it was more efficient. That's not hypocrisy, it's pragmatism.