A voice crying in the wilderness

Posts tagged ‘Critique’

Defining the authentic hipster

How does one separate the genuine from the counterfeit? The wheat from the chaff?

When the first real hipsters appeared – not the shopping centre cardboard cut-out wannabes – what was it that they were searching for?

There is always a trend in youth to reject the habits and values of the previous generation but that is typically an inevitable stage of growth – a point where all teenagers rebel without a clue.

But what of those who rebel with reason? Those who seek justification for using or possessing something beyond it being a cool or fashionable thing to have. People who have turned out the popular fashion of their wardrobe in favour of comfortable clothing made from natural fibres not made in a sweatshop. People who seek out obscure bands who want to make a statement or unusual sound, as opposed to major record labels churning out soulless, disposable pop fodder. Music that will last through the ages instead of a week. There is real justification for organically grown vegetables – its not productive on a large scale but still manageable for the market gardener.

I had to look up “artisanal” to confirm its meaning – something handmade in a traditional manner, taking the long way around instead of lazy shortcuts.

But there are aspects of hipsterdom that don’t make any sense – eschewing computers for typewriters, digital cameras for film, CDs and digital media for records, geared bikes for fixed gear. Such ideas tend to be the province of the try-too-hards. The argument that records have a greater dynamic range than CD is fair but countered by records wearing out enough after a few plays that, with rare exceptions, the range shrank dramatically. In my own experience, the record aficionados and audiophiles always tended to be half deaf – they had the money to afford the best equipment but were no longer in a position to appreciate it.

Melbourne is considered the hipster capital of Australia – the suburb of Fitzroy particularly so, Smith Street being hipster central. I’ve been harbouring an urge to visit Melbourne again after a brief visit on my honeymoon. It seems stupid that its cheaper to fly to Bali and stay in a luxury hotel for a week than it is to fly to Melbourne and stay in a mid-range hotel even for a few nights. I find myself wondering if I can create my own Poor Man’s Melbourne in Perth, the same as I want to Balify a section of my garden.

So as I write this, I’m sitting in a hipster coffee shop in King Street, Perth, drinking a short black single origin coffee in a vintage, underground café with rustic, recycled décor – a shame about the background music, which sounds like Fatboy Slim being thrown down a flight of stairs.

Maybe I can find some Bali hipsters…

The hipster label suits me even if I don’t fit the hipster label. But it is the nature of hipsters to reject labels. I am defining myself by being indefinable.

God and The Untitled Document

God cannot be explained with logic – at least, not with logic alone. God can only be explained through faith and trust.

Non-Christians want a simple, one size fits all explanation for who or what God is, but if you try to give them one, they will refuse to accept it. How can you give a simple explanation for the most complex and comprehensive being in the Universe. He is the creator of all things. This Universe is of God, God is not of the Universe.

When people try to apply logic to God, they try to compartmentalise Him. They want to break God down into smaller, more manageable pieces, each with its own label and classification. Essentially, its a human trait to try and dismantle something, find out what makes it tick and rob it of its mystery and power. We don’t like the idea that something is unknown and unfathomable. Humans don’t like the idea that something is bigger than us and we certainly don’t like feeling small.

Status symbols – you’re doing it wrong

They are the signs that we perceive as markers of success – the big house in the expensive suburbs, the expensive car, the latest and greatest accessories.

I consider status symbols belittle a person – that you having to advertise your success is an indication that you aren’t. All you are advertising is your insecurity – you need to impress and have peer approval. If you are really successful, people already know who you are.

So how do we identify when enough of something is truly enough? Possessing a dishwasher when you have a large family makes sense – but do you require a unit that merely washes, or do you really need one that pretends that it isn’t there, that opens and closes the door itself and can dispense its own detergent?

Should a car need be anything more than four wheels and an engine? If it gets you from A to B reliably, doesn’t cost a fortune to maintain and has a reasonable safety rating, do you need anything more? When I was doing the delivery run for a computer shop I was working for years ago, I would often park the company van next to a BMW or Mercedes of a consultant. Such a vehicle is intended to impress and advertise success but all it said to me was that this person charges far too much and isn’t competent enough to get a vehicle suitable to the job. Let’s see you fit an A3 colour laser printer in your convertible Audi, mister.

The most expensive oven and cooktop on the market can’t save you if you are the kind of of cook who burns water, no matter how many episodes of Masterchef you watch.

The Rules of Misconduct

Rules for driving in Albany:
1) Never slow down for roundabouts – especially if you don’t have right of way
2) It is normal for teenagers to walk out in front of moving vehicles
3) Don’t indicate – it confuses people if you tell them what you intend to do
4) If you stop at a roundabout for a teenager crossing the road whilst indicating, the driver behind you is at risk of having their head explode – or they will just start beeping and screaming abuse