Sex and drugs and minimal soul
Working in the city can get to be a drag. There are limited experiences accessible in an office life with limited capacity to relax in evenings and weekends consumed with the next chapter of the grind. It’s nice to appreciate the brief and touching experiences which shape the flow into something altogether more eudaimonaic and inspiring.
With hipster trends burgeoning over the last years, one question is “what’s promoting this latest rebellion?”, which produces beards and strange clothes and a new (predominantly white) trending class producing the next refinement of everything from beard wax to another coffee bean extraction tool.
The reality is that people are rebelling and revising their estimations of how to integrate modern trends in a more meaningful way. With women’s rights and place in society more greatly respected, simultaneously men were compelled to become more soft, empathetic and understanding. With this came the metrosexual revolution — an era of compassionate caring and strong men who were no longer the only breadwinner, more connected to the trials and tribulations of their partners and were less likely to ride solo, with more potential for bromance as well as romance in their lives.
However along with the metrosexual revolution, men started to become soft. Soft in ways which meant that men were losing their sexuality, their edge and their traditional persona, which actually both women and men alike found quite desirable. Women want equal rights, and say and also the right to choose things that affect them. Women also simultaneously want to be taken care of both sexually and emotionally, in a way which may suit better a more traditional baby-boomer archetype.
Men struggled to find their place in this mix. How does one become emotionally accessible, and without the cold and distant way of the baby boomer, simultaneously look and feel good, unique and masculine. Adjacent to this trend is the millennial, technological revolution where people become more nomadic, tribal and independent. Financial crises make people realise greed isn’t really that good, it’s not even necessary anymore to make the world go round. Economies function on much more subtle archetypes and programmes which are forming in the new technological connections which have become commonplace and due to their relative affordability: accessible, too.
Enter the hipsters. A subtle movement to help assimilate ideas which destroy old trends of the corporation, the suited breadwinner and the commoditised consumer… for those who can afford the extra 20% for fairtrade, homegrown, organic, gluten free, small batch, or microbrewed.
But there’s a hint of something else too. A redefinition of what it is to be masculine. A movement that can never get press, as it’s perceived as just wrong to have a male movement, when women are still discriminated against.
In the 60s we had sex and drugs and rock and roll. What do we have in the 2010’s? Sex is no longer taboo, it’s commoditised, commercialised and wrapped in rubber. Drugs are a little passé. They offer windows to experiences, but real experiences — kite surfing, paragliding, heli-skiing, or wind suit jumping are tremendously more dangerous and adrenaline fuelled than anything you can simulate with some dated chemical white powder. TED talks replace mushrooms and meditation stands in for more herbal past-times. Less commoditised, more personalised. Rock and Roll just isn’t relevant any more. Ageing white men playing old school electric guitars, are pretty cool, but make up a subset of psychologically and emotionally rich and diverse musical choices. Minimal beats can combine with classical vocals, whilst soundscapes can be edited and refined on ever advancing tech. Combine this with the environments we can create visually and emotionally, and we have an ever diverse set of rooms, people and experiences that are just waiting to be discovered.
So perhaps hipsters are just an experimental and anarchistic class, looking to reshape experiences. Sure 10 out of 11 new coffee bars add little, but maybe the 11th adds something truly innovative and special which we take on and benefit from.
Let’s embrace the flow, and the possibilities that these annoying rebellious wannabes churn out. Let’s replace hipsters with players, cementing trends which bring warmth and experience and redefine who we are as men and women. Let’s push beyond mindless consumerism and towards eudamonaic, feeling based living that we can enjoy and that others can benefit from too.