Nath has plenty to say about hipsters. Most of it is does not really make use of his otherwise extensive vocabulary, nor is it really suitable for general audiences. Which is strange, considering how ridiculously pretentious I can appear. This post spurred some more thought on the subject – I am sick in bed, Nath is painting his little guys, so I am left with nothing better to do than ruminate for an audience!
After describing the music and literature that drives him, David says this: “I fully accept and admit my pretentiousness, because if I don’t, my bookshelf will pretty much scream it at you if you ever visit my house.”
I suppose I have to disagree, in a rather long and boring post.
At university, I am doing literary studies, philosophy and art history. I am a huge geek for classic literature, especially poetry (am currently working on a verse novella in sonnet form, don’t laugh). I’ve studied philosophy since I was 9. I can speak Chinese, am learning Norwegian and have plans for French and Spanish.
Some of my favourite music: My Dying Bride, Zulya and the Children of the Underground, Björk, Satyricon, Belle and Sebastian, Pink Floyd, Tori Amos, Shostakovich, Blonde Redhead, Julia Fisher’s take on the Four Seasons, Lama Gyurme and Jean-Philippe Rykiel.
Some of my favourite books: Orlando by Virginia Woolf, The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, Ariel by Sylvia Plath, All My Pretty Ones by Anne Sexton, Philosophical Fragments by Søren Kierkegaard.
Some of my favourite films: Howl’s Moving Castle, Eat Drink Man Woman, The City of Lost Children, Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill!, Amadeus, Marie Antoinette, Dancer in the Dark, My Life Without Me, A Clockwork Orange.
Pretentious, much? Apparently so. But does this change if I don’t give a damn? Add Spice World and Showgirls to my favourite films, Spice Girls and Lady Gaga to my music, Harry Potter and various Marilyn Monroe biographies to the books – does the picture change a bit?
To me, being pretentious happens when someone is intent on cultivating a particular image of being cultured/grim/fantastic/sparkly/intelligent/whatever to fit a particular label like hipster or goth or artistic, without actually being cultured/grim/fantastic/sparkly/intelligent/whatever. Intrinsic to trying to creating the illusion of being ‘fill-the-blank’ is another layer of illusion; the idea that you aren’t trying at all to fit into that particular cultural subtype, you just somehow fell into it (which obviously isn’t true at all).
I have given up subscribing to labels, or caring what people think about my interests. It just seems so counter-productive, and people that label themselves as something only end up losing credibility – if you say “I’m a hipster”, I automatically think, “Mmmm, okay, so what you are really saying is that you are suppressing everything ‘unpopular’ or unusual about you and projecting yourself through the socially-categorized lens of ‘hipster’ instead”. The whole notion of pretentiousness reminds me of this scene from another one of my favourite movies:
Nobody wants the same thing all the time. Nobody could honestly say that they liked every single characteristic of a social label and nothing else beyond. That’s like deciding your favourite 100 songs are the Triple J Hottest 100, and that you hate everything else.
Ultimately, invented personality is pretentious. Honest individuality is not. To the uninformed outsider, I probably appear very pretentious; I’ll wear that because I don’t really care. However, I think it’s revealing that Nath won’t lump me into the ‘hipster’ category with all the people he mercilessly pays out – ironically, it is ‘real’ people with honest interests that are often the ones that pretentious people are so eager to emulate.
Rambling. Flu. My brain feels like mashed potato. Bedtime.
A loldog as a prize for anybody who stayed until the end (looks just like baby Posie):
xx Bunny Florentine