Monday, September 16, 2013

Why Hipsters (and all other subcultures) are a Joke

The radio is a success story of ruining songs after repeated use: “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke being the prime example. My eardrums have been trained to repel the unfortunately catchy tune, making it painful when I hear the first strains wafting from my car stereo for the 700th time.

Overplayed songs make me seriously consider taking the hipster-y “radio no-go” approach to music. According to my own observation as well as commonly held stereotypical beliefs, someone who labels themself as a “hipster” carries a vintage safety pin in the pocket of their plaid, flannel shirt to “pop” culture, letting the media buried under the Billboard charts and box office rankings ooze awesomeness into their earthenware mugs of black coffee.

Maybe that’s why they seem so chill, I thought. Not listening to the radio eliminates the rise in blood pressure from grossly overplayed songs. 

Subcultures (such as that of hipsterdom) are pervasive in the American macro-culture. The human consciousness is attracted to building walls and drawing lines, assigning people and things to categories based on similarities. Hipsters are just one example of a subculture having its own uniform, language, and thought patterns.

Despite subcultures like indie rockers, athletes, rednecks, swaggers, techies, youth pastors, dead beats, preps, and emergent professionals holding their own unspoken constitutions and pre-conceived notions by onlookers, no culture is sterilized and boxed existing only in conjunction amongst others like eggs in a carton.  

Every person, within every subculture, beautifully bleeds across lines drawn in our minds into a messy, amazing conglomeration of being. I’m sure I could find a hipster that secretly jams out to Chris Brown, or a redneck that reads Tennyson, or a football player that collects vintage photographs. People limit themselves to cultural lines based on an idea of “normal” that only exists because those it constrains have never thought to fight it.

While Robin Thicke’s obnoxiously overplayed song is about lines in a different context, I think every line dividing people is “blurred.” Every person on this planet is “an exception to the rule;” a blend of character and interests and attitudes that create a striking jumble of interesting imperfectness, unable to be clearly defined or categorized. And this is why, not only hipsters, but every subculture, is a joke. Because every dividing line between people with perceived differences is blurred; common experience and shared perceptions blending together to create uniqueness within every person.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

3 Non-Techy Things I've Learned from my iPhone

The Apple has once again been chucked into the global lake of technology when the iPhone 5S and 5C were officially announced, and I officially won the round of Battleship. Cue worldwide fanfare as the splash creates a digital tidal wave.

My feelings on emerging technology are ambivalent. My iPhone is certainly a handy piece of equipment, and I can give you the entire spiel of why mobile apps are an essential marketing tool (for $25, of course), but in the corner of my brain housing a rocking chair and knitting needles, I keep my “old-fashioned” preferences.

Now, contrary to popular belief, one neither has to completely accept or reject technology in their daily dealings. I think a 26-year-old guy who doesn’t remember how to use a pencil is just as unfortunate as the 72-year-old woman without a digital alarm clock. Like many other facets of life, I’ve learned technology is another area where balance is essential.

1. Downloading your entire library to one place is super convenient, but what happens when you want to show of your collection to a friend? How anti-climactic to see a screen full of titles as opposed to this:

2. Getting emails to my phone rocks, especially when they say class is cancelled. But, I fear the feeling of opening the mailbox to find a crisp, hand-written letter addressed to you will soon be lost.

3. Posting a way-artsy, vintage photograph on Instagram is a creative way self-expression, but, I’ve found, the things in life worth being captured in a photo are the things that are impossible to capture.

Bring on the iPhone 5S, 5C, 7J, 13xy, but let us not forget that life exists outside of a screen. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Under-appreciated Things in Life

Hello friends.

Contrary to popular belief, I did not fall off the edge of the world and into washed-up blogger oblivion. Hooray! For the past month or so, I have been so busy carpe-ing diems, blogging became a bit of an afterthought, and I took an unannounced hiatus of sorts. With that said, I'm back with a vengeance, bursting with words to send into the sky for all to see.

After all, words are just one category of things I've found that receive much less appreciation than is truly deserved.

Here are some others.

1. Old family photos
2. Curry
3. Sunglasses

4. Well-worded quotes
5. Strong coffee
6. The perfect pancake
7. Markets
8. Check marks
9. Cool, Indian-summer nights
10. Perfectly executed victory dances  
11. Getting so lost in something that time, usually grasped tightly, escapes
12. Lists, especially the bucket variety
13. Climbing trees
14. Crisp apples
15. Earning your bedtime
16. Making up raps
17.The perfect pair of shoes
18. Espresso
19. Old keys
20. Chewy popcorn
21. The perfectly twisted ice-cream cone
22. "7's"
23. Shiny pennies
24. Plot twists
25. Filing cabinets
26. The first sentence of a book
27. The last sentence of a book
28. Colorful movies
29. Unexpected metaphors
30. Used bookstores
31. Someone's "to-do" list left on the sidewalk
32. Remembering your dreams
33. Deja vu
34. Ice-cream that slightly melts as you scoop it

35. Cacti 
36. Black and white photos
37. Finding perfect food combinations
38. Catching fish
39. Cinnamon
40. Mail  

Happy Friday!