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Hipsters in Historical Context


Are hipsters here to stay? Richard Rushfield suggests it may be true.

Hipsterism is the only major trend in American cultural history whose name is used only pejoratively. Punk of course was a term of scorn, but it was gleefully adopted by the tribe themselves. Hippie was also meant as an insult, the beatniks mocking the mini-hipsters with a belittling name. But such was the nature of the 60’s that they actually took the belittling mockery as a compliment. Goth of course was meant as an insult back in the middle ages, the proper severe guardians of the Romanesque and Italianate styles threw the term around to express how gaudy they found all those flying buttresses and foliated capitals, they were downright Gothic, just like something those barbarians up North would do. But I’m not sure that today’s kids in capes and black lipstick are really thinking about that.

May a higher power of your choice help us all.

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