black holes and gray matter. in one thousand tangos.


Hipsterism, as amorphous as we all like to believe it is, is similarly dispositional; you can get away with wearing a Screamin’ Eagle T-shirt if you get it. If modern hipsterism is vague and notoriously difficult to define, that might be because it cuts such a vast swath of cultural inclusion. Across fashion, music, food and taste, hipsterism is all-inclusive, rolling over different subcultural indicators and effectively re-Tumbling them. The hipster himself is incidental. It’s the play of signifiers—blue-collar beer, couture fashion, a Crass-logo tattoo, knowing what sous-vide means—that’s interesting. Pure content. No context. You know it when you see it.

So perhaps Tumblr is less a rock tumbler or a tumbleweed than a sinkhole, a gaping e-maw into which all these pretty, precious poses can be dumped. It may be extravagant to use GIFs as fertile turf for some full-bore generational critique. But Tumblr, infectious as it may be, is symptomatic of a vacuous taste-making culture that thrives on fickle inside jokes and the immediacy of novelty qua novelty. “Look At This Fucking Hipster” might as well be the name of the meta-Tumblr that aggregates all of Tumblr. Imagine it: clumping together the images of a generation, hokey and ephemeral, a steady drip of cultural runoff.”

Against Tumblr

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