Friday, December 14, 2012

"Now I'm playin' it real straight"

Okay, as of today I am letting go of the hipster meme. It's time to move ahead. In all actuality my embrace of the snide insinuation that I am a hipster (an insult, not a compliment), while it has served as a source of amusement for me, really made me realize, even more deeply, just how unhip I am. Like most terms of this sort, "hip" is an equivocal term. Being a "hipster," at least to my way of reckoning, means being a person who hops on every band wagon slightly before it goes mainstream and then denounces said book, group, song, trend as soon as it becomes popular. Someone who is obsesses with being "hip," or "cool." I suppose there are other similarly negative ways of defining a "hipster," but it just goes to show that it is an insult, not a compliment.

On the other hand, it seems that being "hip" (but not a hipster) is still alright, I think. To my mind this would be something like being a trend-setter, a person who, while "with it," does not necessarily let trends dictate their attitude (i.e., someone who is "cool," or "bad," or whatever the current appellation might be). As the 47 year-old father of three teenagers, I am well aware that I am not hip, but to use a term that also fades in and out of use, I am a "square."

Bass Weejun "top-siders"

I came of age in the early-to-mid-1980s, during the Reagan years. It was a pretty conservative time, a time of Levi's 501 button-up jeans, button-down Oxford shirts, Izods and other brand polo shirts, top-sider shoes and penny loafers- I had black loafers (worn without socks, or with colorful argyle socks), etc. A favorite television show of mine from that time was Square Pegs. The term "preppy" came into vogue back then. One of the most popular bands of that era was Huey Lewis and the News. The films of the late John Hughes captured my high school time brilliantly.

All of the above is just a big wind-up to this Friday's traditio, an oldie and goodie: Huey Lewis and the News' "Hip To Be Square," surely a song beloved of "unhip" Dads of a certain age- a song also featured in American Psycho. I would be forced to concede the horn section is "hip"- that's the positive one, remember?

I like my bands in business suits, I watch them on TV/I'm working out most everyday and watching what I eat

And so, I am who I am, someone in the process of becoming (hopefully) who God created and redeemed me to be. I think that is precisely where all of this has some relevance to Advent.

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