Monday, September 21, 2009

Hipster (2)

What's the connection between "hipsters" and kitsch?

11 Comments:

Blogger Bobby said...

Good question. Here's Rancière, from the article I quoted:

"Flaubert already deals with what Adorno will spell out as the problem of kitsch. Kitsch does not mean bad art, outmoded art. It is true that the kind of art which is available to the poor people is in general the one that the aesthetes have already rejected. But the problem lies deeper. Kitsch in fact means art incorporated into anybody’s life, art become part of the scenery and the furnishings of everyday life. In that respect, Madame Bovary is the first antikitsch manifesto."

2:40 PM  
Blogger Johannes said...

Great quote.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

they wear the douchiest t-shirts ever. (patton oswalt explains):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-wyZty-rsU

9:06 PM  
Blogger Kent Johnson said...

Don't know how "hip" it is, but here's my new book:

http://www.digitalemunction.com/

Kent

10:33 AM  
Blogger Max said...

Perhaps it has something to do with irony? I don't normally associate hipsters with kitsch, per se, but rather with general dilletantism.

3:50 AM  
Blogger William A. Sigler said...

These are two words commonly thought to have the exact opposite meaning: hipster being the alien aesthete, the Roderick Usher dandy trying to create a presence of absence in the non-hip world; kitsch being art without the discriminations hipsters feed off of, sentimental and pretentious and reflecting common taste (which of course for certain rebellious hipsters becomes a standard for taste in and of itself).

Yet time, in its wonderful abrasions and erasures, unites the terms. The term hipster easily becomes kitsch, as its demographic keens older and more ossified in reference. Kitsch becomes just another antiquated word used by hipsters and other old-fashioned people.

This is all in the reactionary nature of aesthetic judgment. The hierarchies of the hyper-hip are like feudal estates, forever vigilant against the perceived offenses of the past.

3:45 PM  
Blogger Johannes said...

I think the key here is that "hipster" is used derogatively, to suggest that their aesthetics is shallow. I also hear a lot of people - particularly quietists - refer to new aesthetic ideas as "fashions" - ie not real ideas - to insult and cast dispersions.

6:16 PM  
Blogger Bobby said...

I think the key here is that "hipster" is used derogatively, to suggest that their aesthetics is shallow.

I realize you're probably speaking generally, but just so no one's confused, this certainly wasn't how I was using the word in my post.

6:51 PM  
Blogger Johannes said...

Yes, I'm talking about how people generally use the word "hipster." And some of the folks who have written in.

Johannes

7:02 PM  
Blogger Max said...

I don't think we can really understand "hipsters" outside of history, though. It would seem to me that, while there were once hipsters like Momus--i.e. truly creative, "hip" people with interesting ideas and outlooks--today's hipster is more the fluttery dilletante.

I don't think hipsterishness actually corresponds to creativity, or even proximity to creative processes, very much anymore.

2:14 AM  
Blogger Johannes said...

But Max, I actually do want to understand Hipster historically - that history being right now. I'm not talkign about "hipsters" as if there was some kind of objective definition, but rather I want to understand how it is used as a way of criticizing a certain impulse in poetry.

J

6:32 AM  

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