With popular culture comes counter cultures. Countercultures are defined as opposition of the mainstream values and norms of a culture group. Many countercultures such as lesbian and gay countercultures fought towards making an important change in our world. Even current green-movements can be viewed as countercultures which strive to make necessary changes in current popular mainstream attitudes about waste management, CO2 emissions and energy conservation. Countercultures may start outside of the popular culture circle, but soon make way into the mainstream. It appears countercultures strive towards creating a world where their ideas are not so radical and opposed, and to one day create a world where their views may be embedded in the norms. Countercultures fight to give people equal rights, fight to create healthier-greener worlds, but what about countercultures that don’t fight for anything of any importance? Is this a healthy, admirable counterculture?
Popular culture is always changing indeed; the cycle of countercultures morphing into mainstream cultures, creating fleets of countercultures, once again morphing into popular culture. However, a sort of hybrid counterculture seems to be proving itself a potential ice-age in our culture-cycling world. In last years series of Adbusters magazines, issue 79 offered an article titled “Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization” which illustrates the power of mainstream media and its effectiveness. Douglas Haddow’s article explains that media’s persistent message to “buy, buy, buy” has finally began to take a somewhat permanent toll on our youth. While reading the article and hearing the stories of these so-called “hipster” parties, and the mentality of the people attendance I begin to see how in fact that this wave of being is really soaking up the youth and teens even here in Ottawa. Haddow describes a ‘hipster’ as someone who can be seen wearing vintage band shirts, lens-less glasses, keffiyeh, and riding on impractical vintage one-gear bicycles. The mentality of the “hipster” is one who attends these parties while all along taking picture after picture, so that the next day they can leaf through all the photos of themselves over the internet. Each “hipster” seemingly selects all the must-wear items of the so-called “hipster” for their own personal wardrobe from either viewing fellow-hipsters over some type of internet community or by seeing the fashion styled in the media. However, when a “hipster” is asked if they are in fact a “hipster” they most certainly deny any connection. Haddow pokes fun at this ridiculous sense of behaviour, by pointing out that if you were to ask a punk-rocker if they were in fact a punk-rocker, they would most definitely and proudly say “yes!” for they stand tall in fighting for or against whatever coincides with their beliefs. Along with the stylish apparel and ‘costume’, cultures and counter-cultures come with one prominent thing; this being meaning. The idea that a culture/counter-culture exist without any ‘meaning’ is a ridiculous thing. The capitalist ideas of consumerism have most certainly taken affect on this generation and have created a culture, or should we say poor-excuse-of-a-counterculture, that’s only meaning is bathe in a world and mental state of mind that aches for anything that to do with ones self in all aspects.