“Being an outsider is about liking what you like and having the determination of knowing what is good and what is not.” -Gawker’s Brian Moylan writing on Lana Del Rey
1. Hipsters long for the authentic. Hipsters want to be cool without commitment. Hipsters are insecure. Hipsterism has been called the dead end of Western Civilization. Hipsters never admit that they are hipsters. Who would want to be like one of those people?
2. The Canadian Psychiatrist Doctor Donald Ewen Cameron (of MK ULTRA fame) defined what it is to be a hipster but he was talking about Nazi Germany. He said that the ex-Nazi Germans were conformist,inauthentic, and totally mainstream. After assessing Rudolph Hess’s psychological condition in Nuremberg, Doctor Cameron suggested that the allies disrupt and reorganize Germany, its people, and its culture, and when Doctor Cameron returned to Canada he went on a crusade against what he thought was inauthentic and conformist at home. He spoke out against the kind of rock music that he thought was created by mentally ill people and that he feared might infect otherwise cool people. Bad music, Cameron said, could transmit mental illness into the genes. His solution was to create intense experimental tape loops that he encoded with helpful messages such as “You murdered your mother,” or “You are unloved.” Some claim that Cameron’s secret goal was to create a society of hipsters.
3. In St. Vincent’s 2011 song “Cruel” Annie Clark asks us to forgive hipsters because “the kids don’t know how to live.” But, the problem with hipsters is precisely that they believe that they do know how.After all, they are the ones who can find what is real, sift it out of the thrift store bins, and hold it up for admiration. You should check out her video for “Cruel.” Annie plays the role of a kidnapped woman who is forced to play the role of the mother for a family who appears to have been lifted out of a Wes Anderson film. Annie is totally hot in the video.
4. Doctor Cameron hated mainstream rock music and mental illness because he saw both as empty, inauthentic, and authoritarian just like post-Nazi Germany. His fear of the German authoritarian character transformed him into an advocate of brainwashing. By wiping away the bad and sick personalities of the schizophrenics and neurotics who came to him for help, using hallucinogenics and electroshocks, by putting his patients into insulin comas and subjecting them to months of his special messaging, Cameron could rewrite his patients personalities. He could choose something good and strong and cool for his patients to be, and he could stop them from spreading their disease. “If we can succeed in inventing means of changing their attitudes and beliefs, we shall find ourselves in possession of measures which, if wisely used, may be employed in freeing ourselves from their attitudes and beliefs in other fields which have greatly contributed to the instability of our period by their propensity for holding up progress.” —Cameron on the Germans, in Life is For Living Cameron feared the spineless who would stand for anything. He hated the mainstream zombies of suburbia who wanted to possess everything. What he hated most about them was their insecurity, the way they tried to cling to authenticity and so desperately needed figures of authority. What Cameron wanted to develop were strong people who knew what they believed, weren’t possessive, and weren’t insecure.
5. In their song “Even in Dreams” from their 2011 album “Belong” The Pains of Being Pure of Heart sang “If I could shut my eyes and disconnect my mind there’s just one thought I’d think. I’d think it all the time.”A few years earlier, in 2008, a baby was born with his mind disconnected. The poor kid was born with a penis but without any brain. He was named Nicholas Coke and, because of the little bit of brain stem that he did have, he managed to live. He was, of course, deaf, blind, and all together unresponsive, but he could breathe. His stomach could digest food and, for some reason, his parents took care of him and said that they loved him. A youtube comment on a 2010 newscast out of Colorado Springs (the local news team covered Nicholas’s second birthday) expressed the opinion that Coke’s parents were being cruel. MsFlamingFlamer replied to Wchokjesfabriek that “They shouldn’t let him suffer. time to let him go.” This reaction to Nicholas Coke exposes the hipster dilemma as we wait for the Mayan calendar to turn over. We don’t want to have to believe in anything, we can stomach neither our need nor our responsibility for authority. We look for something natural and authentic, try to eliminate all the bad thoughts and unrealities, but then we are horrified with what is left. All we got for our efforts is this “flesh doll” this “zombie boy” this hipster named Nicholas Coke.
1/2. People say that Hipsters represent the dead end of Western Civilization. Well, Doctor Cameron was a hipster and his approach to protecting and reproducing a sane and democratic social order was a dead end, but if hipsters like Cameron are the problem it’s important to figure out what they’ve done, what they’re doing, that’s all wrong. The hipster tasks himself with deciding what is real and what was false, what is cool and what is out, but he also denies this ability to merely decide and invests in his decision as if the object of his choice doesn’t need him. The hipster removes his own brain, disconnects, and once he’s done this he can’t figure out a reason to put his brain back in again. We’re all hipsters now, and if we want to get better the first step is to face up to what we’ve done.