Lost in the Shadows
Everything old is new again? No, it’s still just old.
Short Description: Corporate neo-Hipsterism. An ongoing mass Mid-life Crisis.
Dress: Clothes that nobody under thirty would wear and nobody over thirty should wear. Casual scarves and wraps, non-prescription reading glasses (often with smartglass displays so they can keep up with work), combat biker caps and old tweed driving caps, vintage t-shirts tight enough to show what they had for lunch, and specially aged faux-vintage t-shirts with designed ‘Neo-Nostaligic’ characters, flannel overshirts (formal cut for the office) and the sort of jeans that might as well be painted on, often implanted with smart-fabrics that create a mild static charge so they actually cling to the legs.
Symbols: Favor pop culture icons, preferably ones from before living memory, with a special love for animated characters. The bigger the failure or one-hit wonder the more ‘ironic’ that they find it.
Lingo: MainScene is expressed in a flurry of what I can only call pretentious cognitive dissonance, neo-hipsters pepper their speech with a seemingly random selection of vocabulary taken from nostalgic lingo, snobbish (and usually ill-informed) connoisseur’s jargon and corporate buzzwords. Hence “This ’34 Cabernet has a really deck bouquet that works synergistic-ally with this.. what is this blueish cheese?” (Which, swear to Spirits, is something the Vu actually heard at the Drowned Cat the other night). They sound precisely like what they are, which is shallow corporators trying to sound like the Vu’s wacky great-aunt Steve. ‘Deck’, ‘Sick’ and ‘Wack’ can all be expected to make an appearance. Try not to make eye contact.
- Styles: Synthcore, Gothabilly
- What’s on Their Playlists?: The Shadows, Astral Lightning, DNA, Midnight Clerks, Bennie and the Jets, Jetblack or really anything where the lead singer is dead.
- Local bands: IFZ (Irony Free Zone), Rhinestone Warthog, Synesthesia, Psychoderm, MC Ego
MainScene is what happens when hipsters grow up and gets corporate jobs. The Scene goes Mainstream = MainScene. In one way, MainScene can be traced back to the early 70’s, when the Comet generation started to come of age and have to get jobs in their parents’ companies. But in another way, undeserved arrogance and ill-informed pretensions are eternal. The disease of hipsterism had its origins in the 1940’s to describe middle class whites acting like black musicians. However, it took the form we’ve come to know every decade or two at the beginning of this century, defined mostly in opposition to the “mainstream”; embracing tuneless garage bands, retro clothing, obsolete technology, ironic nostalgia and a never-ending pissing contest for ‘authenticity’ and for who knew the most obscure bands. Oh, sweet Spirits, my grandmother was always like “They were, like, totally better before they went mainstream and sold out. I saw them with like 10 other people”. And were always like “Grandma take your damn meds and go to sleep”.
Sorry, digression (or trigger or whatever) anyway, like a lot of the subcultures that grew out of the first years of the twenty-first century “Hipster” was another one of those subcultures that was hard to nail down. It can refer to any number of bands, people or situations. But just like emos had bitchiness and goths had acne scarring, hipsters could generally be identified by their completely unwarranted arrogance.
But as the teens of the early 2000’s grew into adults, and took jobs at companies (mostly in the IT industry) that allowed them to retain their preferred style (or total lack thereof) and the new ‘hipness’ became the cutting edge of the growing corporate culture and later the standard of certain sectors of the corporate landscape until it was hunted down and eaten whole by the juggernaut that were the Japanese fashions of the ‘Zaibotsu Era’ of the 2020’s. It was not to reemerge until the ‘Sickster’ revival in the 2040’s. So really, the current MainScene comes out of the Comet kids of the 60’s growing up and shucking the glitter of the pre-Crash for their parents’ childhood in a neo-Sickster revival.
As much as MainScenesters love irony, they have a pretty poor grasp of the concept. Not caring is cool because the individual ignores the rules to get something, usually laid. Hipsters of course can’t risk looking like they want something. As a wise commentator once said: “Everything about them is exactingly constructed to give off the vibe that they just don’t care.” Neo-hipsters of every stripe ignore rules because they think it will make them look like they don’t care. There is no end result, just a continuous cycle of mediocre indie rock and scruffy looking dudes. By basing their actions on avoiding the mainstream, they are in fact guided by the mainstream, which has led them to become the mainstream. Assuming you’re not hitting the pipe too hard, you now understand the worst thing about neo-hipsters: they don’t realize that they’re a big joke.
Which is just all the Vu’s roundabout way of saying that this whole empty exercise in bad fashion has gone on too damn long. Come on people! I get that Corp Culture isn’t precisely a hotbed of creativity, but even the Suits (or rather, the Flannels in this case) should be able to come up with something more creative then a revival of a three-quarters of a century old… oh, wait, that sounds exactly like Corp thinking.
Or maybe the Vu is just tired of the smell of PBR at the Vu’s favorite restrooms.
Hey! Shut your fancy mouth, what’s wrong, too good for a good, old fashioned American beer?
Uhm, yeah, no. After ‘55 corporate headquarters in Illinois moved to their Chinese Branch. Soooo… good ol’ fashioned Chinese beer these days.