On October 7, 1955, between 25 and 150 people (depending on who you ask) gathered at an art gallery where a poetry reading was being held. Among those poets reading was Allen Ginsburg debuting his poem “Howl”. A drunk Jack Kerouac was in attendance, reported yelling “GO! GO!” at the poet. Thus began the “beatnik” movement. Those artists who colored outside the lines and didn’t care if you liked it or not. They were lazy communists who were looked down upon by “good, clean Americans”.
Going forward 62 years, we now have another generation that is generally marginalized by their collective views which lie outside the cultural mainstream. This new “hipster” generation is “normal America’s” new scapegoat. We now blame them for today’s moral degradation, economic problems, and even say they lack responsibility. Sounds familiar. Hipsters are the new hippies.
Hipster critics are forgetting that Generation Y grew up in the technology age and their work ethic is completely different than that of previous generations. That paintings and books and poems and things created by millennials will look different than those who were not shaped by events in the 21st Century like 9/11 and the housing market crash and the Silicon Valley technology boom.
The next time you judge a hipster’s flannel as something you should never wear outside a sawmill, remember what Ginsburg wrote: Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent kindness of the soul!
Don’t judge! Peace!