Monday, September 17, 2012

From the Hipster

There’s something magical about approaching the world on two clumsy, bi-racial feet. One sock is black, the other white. Each coddles the hair near the top of my shins below my knees. I have just walked out of a feature film on a Monday and the sun is berating me a 5 out of 5. I Yelp.

I check-in on the group I have come with. They are waiting by the water fountain. Two are talking animatedly, sparring inchoately with each other, giving and taking with fervor. One other of my tribe ponders a new Barnes & Noble with legs crossed and eyes pinched. The sun has not given up. The last, an etched sketch of imperturbability, is my sister. She is yelling at [insert person, place, thing, or common sexual disease here.] She’s yelling at Republican tater tots dipped in goose fat.

I think, shit, what are we doing here? Not confused about location. We had just finished watching a movie. Not confused about how we got there, I understand locomotion.

It was a natural progression: mall food court > Barnes & Noble > TCBY/yogurt-squirt-place > Urban Outfitters > 16-screen American Sinema.

What I really meant was, what kind of show are we putting on here? Who are we acting for? Why am I dressed like a naughty father? Why are we fishing for judgments and looks from passersby?

We think we’re in a movie.

We’d like to think we’re acting for ourselves. We: some of the smartest, logical, well-fed, well-bred group of uncynical people you’ll ever meet. We hold down fantastic jobs and do very well at them. We visit church when we go home, we hold hands with our grandparents when we go home home, and we give thought, action, and hugs to the local needy when we stay close to home.

We are by no means abnormal. But then, why are we trying to be so shocking?

Why am I wearing dark-framed glasses with a gob of cheesy Gorilla Glue smeared up the side, holding everything together? And wearing mismatched socks, inserted into shoes which sport what is either a ketchup or blood stain? And wearing a “shit-eating” grin?

Why do we swim backstroke into clubs and bars acting out like flamboyant piranhas? Toss insults into passing traffic? Threaten to punt kids, when kids and their shocked parents can hear what we’re saying?

Ride with at least one person in the trunk every weekend night? Blitz anyone who bothers to affront, or even look, at us? Break into rooms that are locked? Conveniently walk into the wrong sexed restroom?

It’s not that we’ve lost God. We found God, watching Lost.

I think it more likely that we’re – and by this “we” I mean my generation, not just my friends – are smirching the line between public and private lives. Fuck that, we’re burning the line. Lighting that line on fire with lighter fluid, cocaine, and napalms to the face.

With the prevalence of fast-action sharing, the world is at a finger-tipping point. We could point our fingertips at hipsters and blame them.  Or, we could holster those tips and embrace this chaos – this search for meaning in life. Or we could try to die faster than we already are.