Monday, September 19, 2011

Going to rock & roll shows used to be more fun.

I'm revealing my age by stating that I can hardly stand going to rock & roll shows any more because of all the "hipsters."

For those of us who don't remember the original "hipster," the term used to evoke images of young jazzbos hanging around New York clubs or in artists' lofts making paintings and poetry (some of it shitty, surely.) I'm guessing the original hipster we picture is a highly romanticized version of what they really were, but I've always imagined they were untouchably cool.

It's ironic (and what isn't, in this millennium?) that the word never really enjoyed a rebirth- or a reapplication- until now. These days, the term is used to refer to a certain type of young person, one that is not likely to play bongos, listen to jazz or write poetry. I think you know what this kind of "hipster" is.

A "hipster" is a rich white kid who buys his/her clothes at a thrift and doesn't ever wash them. He/she can't tell the difference between styles of the 60s, 70s or 80s, all of which he/she is borrowing and mixing. He/she wears your 6th grade English teacher's giant eyeglasses and thinks ill-fitting moth-eaten clothes, hair feathers, and fur hats are cool. For purposes of distinguishing these clowns from hipsters of the 1950s, I'll indicate that I mean the new kind by saying "neo-hipsters."

Neo-hipsters, I was the grumpy over-30 lady whose feet you tramped on in your high heels the other night. Who wears high-heels in a pit? I was the one who kept taking advantage of the vacuum and getting in front of you every time you got shoved to the side by one of your fellow hippies. It was my face that you bonked repeatedly with your big hairy fake fur hat. I was the one who didn't move out of your way just because you tried to push me deliberately/accidentally.

Actually, in very good humor I waved away your tepid apologies, when they were offered. I've been in a million pits and had my feet stomped, my kidneys kneeed, my ribs elbowed, my tits twisted, my head kicked, and my nose broken by a feet-first-stage-diving metalhead at an Agnostic Front show in 1987ish. I understand the risks of standing front-and-center. I even understand that you might not have taken a shower before the gig, and I certainly have been drenched in other people's sweat after a show many hundreds of times. But there's something about your anti-style that is worse than all the ones before it. Is it because I am old, or is it you?

You don't really smell like B.O. Your problem isn't necessarily your failure to wear deodorant, although I have heard that as many as 20% of you never use the stuff. I've rubbed up against enough sweaty young boys and girls (I've been one myself! it gets hot in the pit) to be resigned to smelling other people's odors until I get home, strip, take a shower, and throw show-clothes in the laundry. But you guys don't smell like sweat. You smell like trash.
No, literally- do you bunk with Oscar the Grouch? Do you live in a dumpster? Do you sleep in gutters routinely? Do you mop up spills with your wormy cardigans and then put them back on?

I'm all for belonging to a counter-culture and expressing yourself as a unique individual. When I was a teen I thought that meant a painted leather jacket and studs and spiked green hair. I still let my mother wash my clothes, though, and I even showered routinely! Not like those gutter-punks you're probably also emulating.

Neo-hipsters, you are as much of a cliche as any other cliche, just like hippies and punks. Thanks to the internet, you've achieved this in record time. Congratulations! Now take your stank-ass and get a shower already. Then get your moms and dads to take you to the mall and buy some new clothes from H&M.


  1. I agree- I actually like a lot of their stuff.

  2. omg so next time you get a day free let's go to the mall!

    i wanted to go today in all seriousness, but i didn't have time this morning. they sell two packs of long tank tops!!