There was a time when I had to find the new and hidden. As much as I hate to say it, I was pretty much the very definition of hipster in the sense that I sought out things to like before other people liked them. I’ve never cared about being “in,” but I was obsessed with finding “new.” If too many people liked something, I subconsciously found myself backing away from whatever it was. I’m contrary like that. I can’t help it. I blame my grandmother for that ridiculous trait.
Nowadays, not only do I not dig as deep for new stuff anymore, but I don’t even care whether it’s liked by the masses or not. If it’s good, it’s good. If it’s new and good, that’s fine, too.
The problem is that I still find most mainstream stuff to be boring, and this applies to all facets of popular culture from movies to music to books. With rare exceptions, becoming even rarer, I find most blockbuster Hollywood movies to be hackneyed crap. This is nothing new. Hollywood has always repackaged old stuff and sold it as new.
It has only gotten worse over the years though. Today, it’s rare that Hollywood studios even bother taking a risk. Why bet on something original when you can just make another Transformers or Batman movie for guaranteed box office sales? Hollywood is a business just like any other. With torrents and downloads, the studios have to rely on box office sales more than they have since television was invented, because they won’t make as much from the back-end DVD sales anymore. Hence the resurgence of 3-D movies. They have to get your butt in the seat somehow.
I still find new things to watch, read and listen to, but now, I’m more like Hollywood. I don’t take as many risks. I don’t search something out just because I like the name. I don’t care how many people like something.
The other day at the dog park, one of my dog owner friends called me a hipster. My initial reaction, like every other hipster on the planet, was to argue, “I’m not a hipster,” because every hipster thinks they’re not a hipster. But, then it struck me that I’m really, truly not a hipster anymore. I’m old and I just don’t give a flying fig about what’s cool or hip or in. And you know what? It’s really, really awesome not caring. I am no longer hipster and that’s rad.
Finding new stuff took up so much of my time and money. It takes a lot of energy to be ahead of, or even in step with, everyone else. It’s not that I consciously tried to do this, I just did. It was in my hipster nature to find the new, the hip, the happening.
I’m old and I like it. Just like always, I don’t care if what I wear, listen to, read or watch is cool, but now I don’t even feel the longing for new. I’m perfectly alright with old. I’m cool with listening to music that other people would find embarrassing. I’ll go ahead and wear my muddy Converse All Stars all the way to my grave just as I have always done, whether they’re cool or not. I don’t have a single ironic T-shirt. All of my T-shirts are of things I genuinely like.
Every hipster says they’re not a hipster, but I’m not a hipster. At least, not anymore. Just like always, I like what I like, but now, I don’t care whether you like it or not. These days, I’m more like the technicolor 1939 Wizard Of Oz, not the 1925 version. The hipster in me is dead. Long live the hipster. Cheers to being old and not giving a crap!