We Burn Books

Burning the library in slow motion: how copyright extension has banished millions of books to the scrapheap of history Boing Boing. I came across this nice article by Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing wherein he makes some interesting points on how current copyright laws have censored the majority of books. the legal changes introduced in the years after Fahrenheit 451 did more than just extend terms. Congress eliminated the benign practice of the renewal requirement (which had guaranteed that 85% of works and 93% of books entered the public domain after 28 years because the authors and publishers simply didn’t… tell me more

Stomping on the Embers of 2009

While many will bravely take their birthday spankings, no secular ritual seems to incite more whining than that of the New Year’s Resolution. Those who do not participate do so with scorn and derision, you can almost see the spit fly from their lips with their ready quip about why they are better than such a ritual. Others list their resolutions with the temerity of a spurned lover waiting by the phone. For a ritual that more of my friends participate in than Christmas Mass, I can’t name anyone who actually likes New Year’s Resolutions. Well I like them. Yes,… tell me more

Society: Hipster Subculture Ripe for Parody – TIME

Yes, I am harping on this one again. I wouldn’t be, if someone hadn’t sent me a link to this article in Time under the subject heading “Well stated.” Below is my point-by-point response. Society: Hipster Subculture Ripe for Parody – TIME. Hipsters are the friends who sneer when you cop to liking Coldplay. They’re the people who wear T-shirts silk-screened with quotes from movies you’ve never heard of and the only ones in America who still think Pabst Blue Ribbon is a good beer. MESSAGE: It is not possible that someone might have legitimately liked a movie that you’ve… tell me more

Hipster Hunting

Janet said she wanted to go the Missouri Lounge to make fun of all the hipsters. Everyone agreed that The Missouri Lounge was just crawling with the little buggers.

I was surprised. Not about the Missouri Lounge—though I’d always thought the shack looked like more of a redneck dive—but that Janet wasn’t herself a hipster. She had the chunky, short-cropped hair and the thick black plastic glasses. But no. She was a hipster hater. How could I get them confused?

We ordered drinks and Janet picked out the most egregious violators and made fun of their outfits and drink selections. We did not stay long. Janet made a request from the DJ and there was some misunderstanding, or altercation. So we left.

That incident got me thinking. Did those people deserve to be made fun of? What made them worse people than Janet? What the hell was a hipster, anyway?

Since that day many moons ago, if I hear someone use the word I always ask them what it means. Two things quickly became apparent: 1) no two people seem to have the same definition 2) never have I ever heard the word used in a positive context.

For my money, a hipster is a person with an overly-developed sense of irony. But by that definition, the guy I know who is most likely to be a hipster is a 35-year-old Indian metalhead. He’s also the biggest hipster-hater I know. The “H-word” also seems to be associated with indie rock, though no one seems to know what the fuck that is either.

Here is what some of my research has come up with:

* “Hipsters are trust fund babies that go to expensive private art programs.”
* “Hipsters are people who wear mismatched, ill-fitting clothes and think they are hot.”
* “Hipsters are the shallow types that live in the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn.”
* “Hipsters drink Pabst Blue Ribbon and ride fixie-bikes and make fun of normal people.”

Oh well then, that’s clear. If I am in Williamsburg and I meet someone in an art program I can assume they are shallow and living off daddy’s money. Additionally, if I meet a girl on a fixed-gear bike in Goodwill frocks I can assume she is a snotty bitch that can’t wait to talk about me behind my back. It would do the world a good deed to run off with her inexpensive union-made brew, taunting and laughing. tell me more

Song Lyrics and TV on the Radio

SeeqPod – Playable Search provided the songlist for the tunes mentioned in this blog I have a long running argument with several people that love music but ignore song lyrics. Their thinking tends to be that they listen to music for the music, any poetry is incidental. I reply that by paying no attention to lyrics they are missing out on a huge facet of the experience, like watching a ballet without any music. True, not every great song has great lyrics. But finding out that a song you already love has an interesting story woven throughout adds a new… tell me more

Another Excuse For SUV Drivers to be Arrogant

Have you seen this commercial? A young girl asks her dad to drop her off on the corner; she doesn’t want her friends to see her parents car. Not because she is worried, as the old story goes, that her friends will know that she comes from poverty. No, all her friends’ parents are driving Hybrids and she doesn’t want them to see dad drive up in the SUV. At first, this is heartening. Clearly this is an advertisement marketing hybrids to the middle class folks so invested in TV culture. And truthfully, this was how I felt when my… tell me more

We Are Not At the Center

This blog is in response to Joysette’s beautiful blog “On the Passivity of a Generation” summarized briefly: Have we become so comfortable, with our “on demand” society, that we’ve failed to struggle for the things that are truly important? Too distracted by the 47 ways to manipulate something as simple as coffee to understand the complexity of human nature?..I believe there was a time that people cared. I’m beginning to think that it’s not en vogue anymore. It’s not plastered on the cover of a magazine, nor can I sense that any periodical is telling the true story of our… tell me more

Update On the Neighbors

I am classist after all! I was saying hi to my neighbor the other day, he is about my age, Mexican, drives an SUV. I got up the will to confront him about throwing away furniture. I told him about the place up the street where they take furniture donations. He said that that wasn’t their furniture at all. Random people had been dumping it by our trash. That is why they had started locking the gate at night (another thing they were doing that was really annoying because it doesn’t make me any safer and it takes extra time).… tell me more

Frank Talk About Racism and Classism

I was sitting on a bench during my ten-minute break from work when I was approached by a young black man with dreds. His clothes were shabby and his eyes were damaged and baggy from the level of exhaustion that usually only comes with the assistance of drugs. He offered me a quarter to use my cell phone. This reminded me of my boyfriend, who looks a little like a “terrorist.” We had an argument once because he walked a mile home to use the phone rather than asking a person on the street to use theirs. He told me that… tell me more

Fashion Designers Have a Sense of Irony

I was in denial for a long time but it is time to admit the eighties are truly back in fashion. The teenagers that come into the hat shop wear flourescent colors and big plastic bracelets. None of their clothes match They sport bright polka dot leggings with black and pink striped shirts with yellow shoes. Speaking of shoes, I actually saw someone wearing jellies the other day. Jellies! Where did they find them? I’m not happy about this. While I am nostalgic about the movies and music of my childhood the clothing choices of the time are regrettable. It… tell me more