Invasion of the Hipster Bodysnatchers

Following up on my recent article about how we all think hipsters are everywhere, but nobody actually self-identifies as a hipster, I was delighted to run across this video of a song by My First Earthquake, a band from Oakland, California: Besides just being fun, it got me thinking again about this issue. I mean, to many an outside observer, it would seem that the "before" and "after" versions in the video are both examples of the modern urban hipster. But we get the point- the "before" is just geeky awkward people doing their own thing in terms of dress, music, and spazzing out on the street, who are then assimilated by the slick, uniform hipsters who otherwise would be too cool for them. I can identify with the feeling. I originally gravitated toward "indie" things because they were idiosyncratic and spoke to my budding teen feelings of alienation and exclusion. So it is with some considerable irony that, a decade or two on, enough people gravitated to enough of the same of things that it can all now be summarized in an "indie tool kit" on CNN. Are the outsiders now a cool homogeneous group that serves to exclude new outsiders? Or are the cultural insiders trying to package us as such to understand, control, and, as always, SELL to us? Disturbing as that may be, the song made me think of "indie" in another way too. This is a local band, putting out their album on a small indie record label and independently producing videos for their songs. Technology, increasingly, is making it possible for people to create and distribute their work on their own terms and with high quality. DIY has been around for decades, of course, but the production and distrubition possibilities opened up by online media truly do enhance what all us "Y"s can "D". That, I think, has got to be a good thing.

About the Author

kc! Bradshaw is the Creative Director for LEGENDmag, a founder of CircleSavvy and works as a freelance graphic designer for Exkclamation. In his spare time, he enjoys the finer textures of life; rides his classic motorcycle; and absolutely loves music. Stalk him on Twitter.