Thursday, 26 April 2018

The Hipster

According to Wiki, "The hipster subculture is stereotypically composed of younger and middle-aged adults who reside primarily in gentrified neighbourhoods. It is broadly associated with indie and alternative music and genres such as chill-out, folk, modern rock, pop rock, and post-Britpop. Hipsters also frequently flaunt a varied non-mainstream fashion sensibility, vintage and thrift store-bought clothing, generally pacifist progressive and green political views, veganism, organic and artisanal foods, craft alcoholic beverages, alternative lifestyles, and snobbery."

I decided to delve a little deeper, discovering that the slang word 'hip' began with reference to the American Jazz scene in the 1940's. The term was derived from the use of opium, when the drug smoker would lie on his smoking a pipe. Soon being hip was applied to those who were 'turned on' or 'in the know'.  "Hip" eventually acquired the common English suffix -ster (as in spinster and gangster), and "hipster" entered the language

Initially, hipsters were usually middle-class white youths seeking to emulate the lifestyle of the largely black jazz musicians they followed. In The Jazz Scene (1959), author Eric Hobsbawm (originally writing under the pen name Francis Newton) described hipster language—i.e., "jive-talk or hipster-talk"—as "an argot or cant designed to set the group apart from outsiders". This group crucially includes white jazz musicians such as Benny Goodman, Al Cohn, Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra who ought to be counted as some of the true original hipsters as they were instrumental in turning the white world onto jazz and its underground culture in the 1930s and 1940s.

So there is nothing new in the current hipster fashion but I do have to say that is great to see British men taking pride in the way they look.

The Hipster

He stands at the bar with a craft brewed beer,
In his Oxfam tweeds and his time worn brogues,
A pocket watch chained to his waistcoat front.
He’s the hipster

His beard is trimmed and his moustache waxed,
Sports socks of the colourful jacquard type,
Across his body a tan leather bag.
He’s the hipster

He likes art exhibitions and poetry,
He’ll show you his vinyl collection,
A vegan perhaps, he's politically green.
He’s the hipster.

Seen at Art House cinema screenings
Or walking with stick or umbrella,
A man for all seasons whatever the weather.
He’s the hipster.


Steve Rowland said...

Counts me out then - too long a check-list (LOL); and waxed moustaches? I don't think so... I enjoyed this Adele. I'm sure there will be a Ladybird Guide to Hipsters on sale at all good book stores soon. Back to my poppies ;-)