Above Photo Credit: Christopher Gregory
Miguel Rodríguez Casellas, the author of El Nuevo Día’s recently published editorial “Hipsters,” is just now getting into the whole Analyzing Hipsters thing even though the rest of us have been doing it, like, since before it was cool and were totally into the early stuff and even the New York Times interest pieces on Brooklyn aren’t that bad but oh my God Casellas is a poseeeeeeur and it’s like he doesn’t even get it but whatever.
I know that “hipsters,” whatever that word might mean to you, aren’t a new thing in Puerto Rico, if for no other reason than because at The Spot last summer there was a whole night devoted to acts of Puerto Rican hipstery. Actually, Remezcla knows because we’ve been around since 2006 and Latino hipsters is kind our our whole jam and, let’s be real, our office is located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Publishing a column about hipsters this morning, then, seems a little weird.
But maybe it’s because, unlike the magazine’s earlier celebratory photo piece “El Tumbao de los Hipster Rican,” this piece is filled with scorn! Check it out:
Esta falsa nostalgia de ‘hipster,’ que no deja de ser escapista, responde a la velocidad del consumo rapaz, explotando por segunda y tercera vez productos olvidados para una nueva audiencia sedienta de significado.”
This false ‘hipster’ nostalgia, which is always just escapism, responds to the rapacious speed of consumption, exploiting, for the second and third time, forgotten products for a new audience thirsty for meaning.
Hipsters buy things! Some hipsters don’t know what the hell they’re talking about! Burn them!
El desgarbado modelo mira a la cámara del catálogo de Urban Outfitters sin saberse objeto pornográfico de un hambre ajena a su tiempo.
The ungraceful model looks into the Urban Outfitters catalog’s camera without knowing he’s a pornographic object for a foreign hunger.
They know, Miguel. I’ve been to an Urban Outfitters before. American Apparel, too. Trust me, they know.
Reproduce la rebeldía sin el coraje, pero con la seriedad del gesto, hueco por demás.
They mimic rebellion without courage, but with the seriousness of a movement; it’s otherwise hollow.
Mostly, man, they just want to wear skinny jeans and read some books, man, maybe drink some locally sourced coffee.
Comoquiera, dejará de ser una opción reciclar la ropa vieja, que apenas sobrevive al detergente.
However, reusing old clothes – that would barely survive detergent – will no longer be an option.
Ha! Hipsters are dirty! Miguel, you wit!
I guess what bothers me most about pieces like this is that it holds people referred to as “hipsters,” a word almost always applied to an Other and never embraced by any particular group with any particular aesthetic or set of ideals, to this standard where they are not allowed to have phonies or fashion trends or particular tastes or, in short, anything that anyone else has. The “hipster” is a creation of people determined to find a word for people who are into stuff they’re not into and may not have heard of; since they’re kind of petty in applying labels to begin with, they engage in stupid articles like this because when hipsters don’t live up to what they’ve made hipsters out to be, they call them hypocrites.
And then he concludes with this:
Sólo quedará el presente, y habrá que mirarlo a los ojos, fijamente.
Only the present will remain, and there will be a need to look it firmly in the eye.
So not only is this piece reductive, and entirely based on the notion that a hipster is a person that dresses like it’s the 60’s, but it then goes and takes from hipsters the thing they’re most derided for: that they know more about what’s going on than you do.
Sr. Casellas, what made you want to write this article years and years and years after everyone else wrote this article?