Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Rise of the Douche

     Since when did you have to be a total douchebag to be cool? What happened here? Skimming over the Internets, I've noticed several trends, but most of them can be considered a subset of the ultimate trend: being a douchebag. The Oakland Art Museum recently had an exhibit on the birth of "cool"; that is, the concept of "cool" and how it was first defined, how it began to spread, and finally how it came to be commercially packaged. I think I've hit upon a similar notion. In mathematical terms:

American Apparel
some form of irony
affected androgyny
douchebag behavior

     How did we let this happen? I use "we" in a very loose sense, seeing as how I would like to think that I've done nothing contribute to the creation of this soul-sucking scene. I guess you can say that there's always been an attempt by every burgeoning generation to define itself, to set itself apart from the loins that birthed it, but this is just getting out of hand. The namechecks, the gratuitous drunkenness, the LA-manufactured uniform, the refusal to acknowledge the 80s as the vortex of tacky costume that it was — it's just too much.

     Some folks would like to say that I'm talking about "hipsters" (Adbusters has gone to great lengths discussing the word), but I don't know what exactly I'm talking about. There are some folks that I see, that I sense, that I can practically smell who would fall very much into this categorization, but it's more than just what people have been wearing. Flipping through any catalog, any channel, or any product geared towards youth and you don't see anything of any real value, in either social, intellectual, or aesthetic terms. To borrow a phrase, they all "rook arike".

     Am I part of the problem? Maybe. The problem with discussing the problem is that to engage in any dialogue about the subject requires you to employ the vernacular involved. So even if I were to use the word "hipster", and I don't necessarily always do, but if I were, I would have to talk about it in terms of my own role within the greater orbit of hipsterdom. This doesn't change the fact, however, that the majority of people who are being tagged "cool", for better or for worse, behave in a way that unequivocally demands the label "douchebag".

     This certainly isn't the most articulate polemic issued about the topic. In fact, I'm not very sure what my topic really is. But I do know that there's something going wrong here. When you need to guzzle as much alcohol as possible, make out with as many members of the same sex (despite your oft-repeated love of the opposite one), restrict your wardrobe to a narrow set of ideas, and simultaneously befriend and alienate everyone you see in order to prove your "cool" factor, then there's something wrong with "cool", you douchebag, you.

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Anina said...

word. marcus, you are my hero.

NF Wiggle said...


Jenni said...

haha I was about to say "WORD" as well. the hilarious thing is that I read that adbusters article three days ago and was telling anina about it this morning--she informed me that you were already all over it.

oh well, i guess it's all down hill from here.

Anonymous said...

The problem with hipsters is that they have outspokenly claimed to have control over 'the original' and anything remotely fun and goofy is taken to be entirely hipster. Its stressful to live in a world in which the condescending and in reality, non-original are the ones who have declared themselves at the top of the fashion scene. It's definitely time for a fashion coup.

bomb.ass.ting said...

Your formula is very true. I must say.

thesearchforchic said...

I love you.