What is hip?
At some point, the popular idea of “hipness” changed from something that was knowledge-based to something that depended upon how much money you spent. Suddenly, everybody was a hipster, or at least everybody who had enough disposable income to position themselves as somewhat au courant. The problem with this newer breed of hipster is that they messed with the equation, foisting inferior ideas into the slipstream. No, money does not equal taste, contrary to what you may be reading elsewhere these days. Don’t be swayed by disinformation.
A society needs its hipsters to help art and culture navigate through the stupidities of commerce and bureaucracy. But not jiveass bullshit hipsters, but real hipster people who are awake to what’s going on and have some idea of possibilities to where things might be going, and how to get there. There are arcane streams of data and little signposts along the way that might be missed if awakened people aren’t paying attention. People who are so busy powershopping for the next accoutrement of hipster chic are most likely going too fast to read the signs.
Hipness isn’t a tribe, it’s a priesthood. A secret priesthood. A lot of the tribe that people identify as hipsters? Those people are really scenesters, man. There are people out there who are hipsters who, well, you’d have no idea as to how hip they are, because you never sat down to share a cup of coffee, or whatever they put in their cups, to catch what’s going on behind their eyes. There are ascended masters walking among you. They’re not showing up on TMZ.com’s latest flash of some Tinseltown casualty stumbling out of whatever Hollywood watering hole is fashionable this week. You’ll never notice them if you’re tuned into the wrong channel.
Hipness is part of the watery bailiwick of Neptune. It shifts, constantly, but underneath those shifting oceanic currents, there are certain consistencies. Like: Hip doesn’t need to ride a fixed gear bicycle to get where it’s going, because it’s already there. And: Hip doesn’t tweet like the cranial diarrhea of celebrities unhinged; it whispers like the saxophone of Paul Desmond, just before sunrise. And, also: Hip doesn’t have to go looking for some arbiter of hipsterist hipness to verify anything, because the knowledge is already there. And, finally: If you went out and dropped a huge chunk of change at some hipster emporium on a totem that will automatically bestow hipness upon your parched and craving visage, what you bought was counterfeit. It wasn’t even a reasonable facsimile.
Welcome to the scene.
Oh, and by the way, I make no claims to being hip. I’m really pretty L-7: Like, total squaresville, daddy-o. I will say that I’ve been around long enough to know the genuine article when I see it or hear it, however, and what’s getting passed off as “hip” these days is anything but. Life is a mystery.
And, you know, there are some things I just don’t get. And I’m totally okay with that. —Jackson Griffith