Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Creative Class: The Selflessness of Consumerism

Recently, I was reading the June 27th issue of The New Yorker, which is like totally crazy, since it's only the 22nd. My best guess is that it fell through a wormhole in time, which would explain why the magazine was sort of wet and wrinkly--though that could also be because I do the majority of my reading in the bathroom. Anyway, in this Magazine from the Future is (or will be) an article by Nicholas Lemann called "Get Out of Town: Has the celebration of cities gone too far?," and it's sort of a roundup of various books about the state of cities and urban living in the 21st century.

One of the writers Lemann talks about in the article is someone called Richard Florida, who puts forth the notion of a "Creative Class." The "Super-Creative Core" of the Creative Class apparently consists of people like scientists, architects, academics, and artists. Then, the rest of the Creative Class is made up of "managers, lawyers, accountants, and so on."

"The key factor in determining whether a city is successful," explains Lemann of Florida's idea, "is how significant a cohort of the Creative Class it attracts." Furthermore, he adds that "you would have thought it was dull Babbitts who made a city commercially successful, but no--it's kids with scruffy beards and tattoos who have alt-rock bands, script iPhone apps, and wait tables in vegan restaurants."

In other words, Lemann is saying that the Creative Class consists of the people commonly referred to as "hipsters."

Now, Lemann may be simplifying Florida's concept a bit. Firstly, I've never met a hipster scientist--unless you consider "mixology" a science. Secondly, I'm not so sure it makes sense to lump accountants in with the Creative Class, since a creative accountant is technically a member of the criminal class. Still, what Lemann is saying (or at least what he's saying that Florida is saying) is that hipsters make cities rich:

What's the connection between them and prosperity? (Their parents are probably asking the same question.) They generate an atmosphere of cultural richness and innovation that attracts more obviously productive types, who have lots of choices about where to live and will pick places they find exciting and attractive.

Here in New York City, gentrification is one of our most popular spectator sports, so there's nothing new to us about the concept that trendy neighborhoods ultimately attract people with money. What I did find intriguing, though, was the idea that hipsters "generate an atmosphere of cultural richness and innovation," and it's one that's both comforting and disturbing.

Increasingly, people either like to say that the word "hipster" is no longer relevant, or that it's petty to make the distinction. However, I think it's foolish to ignore a pop cultural phenomenon that's so readily apparent, and that for better or worse will define this time period in the same way hippies defined the 1960s or yuppies defined the 1980s. Moreover, I'd argue that most people have a visceral reaction when they enter a neighborhood like Williamsburg and see, say, a recent Bard graduate loitering in front of a high-end coffee shop with a $4,000 track racing bicycle and a set of brass knuckles tattooed on his arm. It's hard not to be amazed at the irony.

However, for me at least, the idea that these people are simply "generating an atmosphere" somehow makes my own reaction less visceral. Previously when I saw someone like that, I thought they were appropriating a lifestyle with which they had no experience in order to fool people into thinking they were "authentic," and I found this simultaneously humorous and infuriating. Now, though, I realize they're providing "atmosphere," and that they're kind of like real-life movie extras whose purpose is to foster prosperity by visually enhancing a neighborhood so that it attracts "more obviously productive types."

Sure, this notion may be depressing, but at least it makes sense. These people aren't cultural con artists. Rather, they're unwitting dupes who serve as attractive ground cover and eventually become the cultural mulch that fertilizes neighborhoods for the wealthier people who will inevitably supplant them.

They're certainly doing their job well, too. The person with the expensive bike and the expensive brass knuckle tattoo is ideal fauna for the streets of Williamsburg, and he looks just as at home in front of an old building covered in "street art" as he does in the lobby of a building full of overpriced "luxury lofts." His "ink" is the sort of stylized criminal imagery that denizens of such neighborhoods feel comfortable referencing since they enjoy the aesthetics yet are confident that they'll never actually have to encounter it. He's exactly the sort of bandit a wealthy urbanite wants to encounter: he looks like a hoodlum, but the most subversive act of which he's capable is making them a sub-par latte.

For the same reason, I was similarly vexed by the "bike culture," which is certainly a subculture of the Creative Class and which seems to communicate almost entirely in the language of Product. It's a world of "dropping" and "swooping" and "re-ups" and "bike checks" and "edits" depicting the worst sort of two-wheeled fatuousness. Naively, I once thought, "Don't people ever tire of the new shiny things? What's so interesting about a portrait of a bicycle belonging to a person who can barely ride? Since when did product promotion become art? And how many bags is is possible to own anyway?"

But then I realized something: being attractive urban fauna is work. It's essential that people be told what to ride and how to ride and what to wear what to carry and how to carry it. It's also essential that they see pictures of other people doing it so they can copy the bikes and the bags and the clothing and the tattoos, so that the "atmosphere of cultural richness" strikes exactly the right heady balance that makes lawyers want to buy condos. Really, it's incredibly selfless of people to spend so much time, energy, and money on primping so that our cities become more attractive to people with money. Thank you, human wallpaper, for doing what you do so well.

Speaking of Williamsburg, the Brooklyn Paper reports that it now has more bike shops than Park Slope:

In the spectator sport of New York City gentrification, you're supposed to hate Williamsburg because of all the hipsters, and you're supposed to hate Park Slope because of all the yuppies and babies. Therefore, publications like the Brooklyn Paper must occasionally stir things up with titillating passages like this:

Silk Road’s Brendon Nicholas is not surprised — he argues that Williamsburg has more commuters while the Slope is riddled with “club riders” who train for cycling races or travel in packs like feral mammals around Prospect Park.

It's worth noting that all Brendon Nicholas said was "club riders," and that the reporter seems to have added the "travel in packs like feral mammals" part. Also, evidently it never occurred to the reporter that the people who ride in Prospect Park come there from other neighborhoods--including Williamsburg. However, I was interested to learn that the hipsterization of the Rockaways seems to be driving Williamsburgers away from fixed-gears:

“You don’t have as much here, you have more leisurely riding where people ride out to the beach on a road bike,” said Nicholas. “We’re seeing the trend toward single speed bicycles with breaks — bicycles that coast.”

Once they started riding more than two miles at a time, it had to happen...but "breaks?" Evidently the Brooklyn Paper uses the same style manual as the New York Post.

Anyway, in addition to calling Park Slopers "feral," the Brooklyn Paper claims that Williamsburgers are the better commuters:

Williamsburg has long been home to the city’s most committed commuters.

More than 6,200 people ride over the Williamsburg Bridge each day according to city transportation studies — nearly equaling the number of riders who cross either the Manhattan Bridge or Brooklyn Bridge each day.


If the Williamsburg Bridge sees fewer cyclists than either the Manhattan or Brooklyn bridges, how then is Williamsburg "home to the city's most committed commuters?" Anyway, how do you know where the people who ride over the Williamsburg Bridge are actually from? I use it fairly often, yet I don't live anywhere near the place. But perhaps the most confusing passage in the article was this:

Bike shops in Williamsburg and Greenpoint sell many fixed gears and single speeds while Park Slope shops often sell 21 to 27 speeds to riders who need to climb the neighborhood’s hills.

Ah yes, the famous hills of Park Slope. Who is selling new bikes with 21 speeds anyway? I think the only place you can get one of those now is Walmart:

Speaking of bikes that will help feral yuppies conquer the hills, a reader has forwarded me the most ridiculously Cat 6-tastic bicycle ever "curated:"

Here's what it was designed for:

Specific parameters: Stealth commuter. Half country roads, half urban Boston. 13 miles each way. No fenders. Titanium.

Gruelling. And here's the backstory:

One of the wonderful things about this build was how much freedom we were given (within a specific set of parameters) to create this bike for it’s owner. Alongside the basics of geometry, fit and construction we dealt with interpreting more ethereal parameters like feelings, attitude, likes, dislikes, design sense, specifics of the environment and a lot more. It was a long conversation(s) and it really became one of those magic moments that we strive for as framebuilders. Really getting to know someone, in an intense biomechanical/psychological kind of way.

I wonder why it took a bunch of "long conversation(s)" for this person to tell the builders that he wanted the world's most expensive Specialized Sirrus. It seems to me he could have communicated that in a single text message. Anyway, when you interpret "etherial parameters like feelings, attitude, likes, dislike, design sense, specifics of the environment and a lot more," you apparently wind up with a hybrid bike with Di2:

Yes, it has crabon wheels and electric shifting integrated into the handlebars, but it doesn't have fenders. I also don't know where he's supposed to carry his stuff, but maybe someone's sewing him a $9,000 LeSportsac.

If it were my bike I'd get "If it rains take the bus" engraved in the top tube.

124 comments:

Anonymous said...

first

Anonymous said...

NINE TIMES!!!!

BOOOMSHAKALAKA said...

ant3rd

OBA said...

Scotty don't...

J. Scott. Half Whit. said...

BOOOMSHAKALAKA!

Anonymous said...

First third!

Anonymous said...

top ten? Guess I should read the post first..

Anonymous said...

Great post.. first to read article again?

mikeweb said...

Jason Gay weighs in.

...the world's most expensive Specialized Sirrus.

Brilliant.

theEel said...

topteneel!

OBA said...

"He's exactly the sort of bandit a wealthy urbanite wants to encounter: he looks like a hoodlum, but the most subversive act of which he's capable is making them a sub-par latte."

[SLOW CLAP]

I am a depressed engine said...

Never read the New Yorker, it will just depress you , and subsequently all of us.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, the welds on the Worlds Most Expensive Sirrus are _very_ pretty, as far as that sort of thing goes.

Anonymous said...

How can you look at someone and know he went to Bard?

Gaffer Smythe said...

IIRTTB

The latest knuckle tattoo for those short a few fingers with a pocket full of exact change.

I am a creative engine said...

I forgot to finish my less than creative thought.

"Then, the rest of the Creative Class is made up of "managers, lawyers, accountants, and so on."

That was the part that depressed me the most. "creative accountants"

crosspalms said...

Oooh, stealth commuter. Shiny thing. Must have.
Gack.

About time for architectural rendering programs to have little hipster-with-fixie figures to sprinkle about. Click on the beard and presto, you've got your creative class urban scenery.

I bet Booomshakalaka would have finished higher if he/she had used fewer Os

Marcel Da Chump said...

Creative cultural critique.

WOOF!

craig said...

that firefly Ti hybrid makes me ashamed that I am from Boston. I hope they got paid really, really well for that monstrosity.

"World's most expensive Specialized Sirrus"! Brilliant indeed!

Anonymous said...

Firefly... burned!
It's not lame that they made the bike.
It's all the big word window dressing to justify it's existence that makes this kind of thing completely ridiculous.

Let the clown customer justify the build. Take the check and post the photo.

Stiveau said...

Wow, a different kind of post, serious essay-like. Modest irony quotient. Pretty frickin awesome.

Terre Haute Karl said...

Damn, Snob, you blew my freakin mind today... So hipsters are like the fake stuff that appears to have come out of somebody's old garage that they stick on the walls at TGI Fridays.

Anonymous said...

Hipsters are wallpaper, Hipsters are bait, and Snob is ON FIRE!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Ah recumbabe, the Yin to my Yang.

Chazu said...

Very interesting. And well-written.

I'm sensing that a book along the lines of Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs and Steel" dwells within you. Except your book will focus on the cultural anthropology of Brooklyn.

grog said...

Senator Snob: One can never have too many LBSs. Thanks for Babe.

hillbilly said...

hipsters need shops more than club riders and racers?

Chazu said...

Unless you get out of Dodge. In which case you might broaden the topic to encompass North American cities, at least.

Gas Passer said...

Why wouldn't you use crabon fibre lugs on that bike? The crabon could save perhaps 2 or 3 milligrams and drop your commute times by atleast a femtosecond. And titanium is just so passe. Our lab is working on a pure helium based frame that will be even more light. Its actually a prototype for our hydrogen based frame, but there are some Hindenburg style problems with that design that we have to work on.

Indy Falconheads said...

Damn you Snob! I don't come here to "think" and "ponder", I come here to laugh.

And thanks for both today.

sweatpants cyclist said...

My girlfriend and I are acquainted in an "intense biomechanical/psychological" way, but the only bicycle I gave her was a used Raleigh 3-speed.

Anonymous said...

My balls are Fredtastic.

Billy said...

I have a bike that looks just like that! Oh wait, it's a Specialized Sirrus from which I removed two of the chainrings.

crosspalms said...

@hillbilly
Someone has to fix their flats

A more obviously productive type (MOPT) said...

All you haters mulch my future neighborhood

Anonymous said...

WALL PAPR
GRND COVR

le Correcteur said...

Wow, at the end, that's the dumbest commuter bike I've ever seen.

And this is classic, Snob: "He's exactly the sort of bandit a wealthy urbanite wants to encounter: he looks like a hoodlum, but the most subversive act of which he's capable is making them a sub-par latte."

thegock said...

RAIN =BUS

tbaier said...

Your mea culpa. Well done, sir.

Anonymous said...

FYI: Franklin St is in Greenpoint not Williamsburg.

And another thing that never gets mentioned... Back in the day you more or less HAD to travel by bike if you lived in Greenpoint. Either ride into the city or ride to the L or 7 train. Taking the G train took forever (and was a nightmare) and the Gold Card didn't exist yet so bus/subway transfer was double fare. So in the early 90's bike commuting was more of a necessity than a transportation choice.

ken e. said...

fire and wednesday equals?

PhilboydStunge said...

Snobbie, you should be writing for the New Yorker. Getting on to the lady's bookshelf was a big deal; you could make it onto her bathroom magazine rack!

Until today I only had boring ways to refer to myself: dad, citizen, engineer. But now I have cool classification, just call me a MOPTer.

Stupid Name said...

Didn't you know, add stealth to anything and it triples the price.

I tried to leave a comment at Firefly, " You pretentious bastards have created another stupid bike abortion."

They did not print it, who would have thought.

Anonymous said...

Slow clapping the shit out today's post.

gene99 said...

I see a self-described snobby nerd who secretly wishes he be on the stylin’ merry-go-round, but, just like in JHS, when he chased the popular crowd in his utilitarian PF Flyers and Lee Jeans, he can’t.

Boohoo, Snobby puss.

ukweli said...

The closing line is brutal. Great post.

Tifoso di Oak-ah-land said...

Wow Snob! You kicked the shit out of it today! Post of the Month!

BikeSnobNYC said...

Gene 99,

PF Flyers...? I had to look that one up.

--RTMS

gene99 said...

LA Gear? Please, don't say Sketchers.

Anonymous said...

You made todays post your bitch.

Bike Snob said...

Gene99,

I forgot all about LA Gear!

--RTMS

bikesgonewild said...

...@mikeweb...good link...astute article in the 'wall street journal' by jason gay...

...re: the boston stealth commuter...it really does need fenders to make it an ultimate if overly pricy commute bike...

...all the hyperbole & bullshit 'backstory' is basic tripe used to sell the sizzle to the upwardly mobile 'creative class' but the bottom line is this...

...if you can afford that kinda shit for that kinda purpose & you ride the damn thing & enjoy it, i say props...total fucking props...

...it's your cash, it's your commute...it means you're not sitting around in some latte lounge whining about what others ride...

...awesome machine...

wishiwasmerckx said...

PF Flyers had a brief flirtation with hipster relevance a couple of years ago when Martin & Osa started carrying them nostalgically.

I predict that Red Ball Jets will become the next big thing in ironic footwear.

Keds said...

What about me?

wishiwasmerckx said...

LA Gear sold white leather sneaks with interchangeable colored inserts on the side so you could coordinate your shoes to your outfit.

Of course we preppies mocked such a ridiculous notion, all the while changing our grosgrain ribbon watchbands daily in order to coordinate our watchband to our outfit.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Just read the New Yorker article. Richard Florida's book was one of four referenced. And with all that intellectual gravitas at his disposal Lemann writes: "Is city life productive or merely interesting? That's what we don't know".

yogisurf said...

One thing that bike does not have....a dis-embodied hand holding it up. Spooky.

Anonymous said...

WORM HOLE

ant1 said...

ant1st!

bikesgonewild said...

...@keds...you do have history on your side, babe...you hit the streets in 1916...a year later, your pal chuck taylor made the scene but he headed straight for the b-ball courts...

...ol' johnny-come-lately pf flyers weren't around for another 20 years...

...just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

Creative accountant

military intelligence

jumbo shrimp

the 20th century's greatest philosopher (after groucho), George Carlin, would be so proud.

cycle

Anonymous said...

human wallpaper OMG!

Anonymous said...

Snobby and fans - check out this article on city living being bad for your mental health.

cycle

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/06/22/scitech/main20073387.shtml

ant1 said...

great one today snobby.

ant1 said...

but what do you folks have against creative accountants?

William Willywithers said...

classic fucking post! don't ever ease up on em'.

SingleSpeedMark said...

Best. Post. Evr.

Favorite line: "he looks like a hoodlum, but the most subversive act of which he's capable is making them a sub-par latte."

Genius. And I'm an architect, so I should know.

Anonymous said...

only 10% wheelbrow palpitude in my stable .... if it rains go commando!

bikesgonewild said...

..."consumerism" along with it's attendant advertising, is a black art...

...it doesn't matter where you think you are in the social stratus (no, bucky, not status...stratus) there are people looking to find ways to make you buy & consume in excess of what you might otherwise...

...think you're different, march to the tune of a different drummer ???...don't follow trends ???...

...there's somebody out there counting on that & designing a method of appealing to you & your 'different' lifestyle...guaranteed...

Anonymous said...

British Knights! BKs with a Troop suit!

Anonymous said...

if you liked the "sirrus" i will not spare you the 10000 Euro+ monstrosity, which was unveiled by seven at the Berlin bike show this year

http://berlinerfahrradschau.de/files/image/berlin%20bike.jpg

crosspalms said...

bgw,
Up here on the social cirrus we laugh at the foibles of those on the social stratus

Alt.Trans.Bikes said...

Do I detect a note of the studious today Sbob? You starting night school?

The Yellow Kid said...

Would a Charlie Brown zig-zag shirt be ironic or would it be a tribute to the great great man. I have only managed a Pig-Pen sort of aura so far.

bikesgonewild said...

...@crosspalms...now that, sir, is truly proper 'one-upmanship'...

Lost Art of Heckle said...

Great post, Snob...but aren't you going to claim likeness royalties from Silk Road Cycles?

I, a cycling/musician lad in Willimsburg/Greenpoint who palps a fixie, often have to refer to your epic article on The Great Hipster SILK ROUTE, just to make sure i'm doing it right. Looks like these shop owners may have done so as well.

See you at the Astoria Beergarten.

Anonymous said...

Snob,
This post is your master work. I suggest you print a copy on archival paper and immediately forward to the Smithsonian.

A fan

Anonymous said...

" attractive ground cover and eventually become the cultural mulch that fertilizes"

so, you're saying they are bullshit artists. can't agree more.

Bikewritercat said...

I thought "managers, lawyers, accountants, and so on" were members of the Reactive Class. Or have we repealed Sarbanes-Oxley?

Assos Up! said...

What a probing post today!

Samuel said...

I'm liking the solid slab of serious writing in this post - don't get me wrong, love the comic grab-bag approach too, but this stuff is what the blog's motto is all about. Shades of some of the great previous posts on 'cycle culture' and its meanings (if any).

LK said...

"“You don’t have as much here, you have more leisurely riding where people ride out to the beach on a road bike,” said Nicholas. “We’re seeing the trend toward single speed bicycles with breaks — bicycles that coast.”....

Weird! That may be correct. Like "give me a break" or "I'm taking a break from my fixie. I tires me so." Taking a break with brakes my be the new Woodstock.

LK said...

Ooops..."It tires me so."

It's its, short conversation about grammar said...

“One of the wonderful things about this build was how much freedom we were given (within a specific set of parameters) to create this bike for it’s owner. Alongside the basics of geometry, fit and construction we dealt with interpreting more ethereal parameters like feelings, attitude, likes, dislikes, design sense, specifics of the environment and a lot more. It was a long conversation(s) and it really became one of those magic moments that we strive for as framebuilders. Really getting to know someone, in an intense biomechanical/psychological kind of way.”

Obviously those long conversations and the freedom, parameters, likes and likes, dislikes, design sense, specifics of the environment and a lot more that went into this build included the “Coffee Shop Lift!”

“This is because, just as dogs like to sniff each each other's rear ends, Freds like to lift each other's bikes at coffee shops, and it's important that the bike feel as light as possible. This is also why so many Freds will spend thousands of dollars on crabon wheels, yet are content to carry midriffs that make them appear to be great with child. If the "coffee shop lift" were done with stomachs instead of bicycles then the high end component market would simply vanish overnight.”

Anonymous said...

"Rather, they're unwitting dupes who serve as attractive ground cover and eventually become the cultural mulch that fertilizes neighborhoods for the wealthier people who will inevitably supplant them."
It's quotes such as this that maintain my adoration of your blog while copies of the New Yorker pile up around me mostly unread.
Thanks so much for the treats you give your readers.

Doug said...

@Anon 5:48,You said what I wanted to say, but better.

Anonymous said...

The best predictor variable for a city's success -in the Western world at least- is the sexual promiscuity of its inhabitants (direct correlation).
Promiscuous inhabitants include hipsters, too. So yeah.

Anonymous said...

Snob, I like it. A lot. When you get all academic. Thanks.

I Go Around and Around said...

Wouldn't Riccardo Ricco qualify as a stealth commuter?

I need a ruling on this. What does the UCI have to say? Are there measurements to be made?

GDMT I hate when people write "breaks" instead of "brakes". That's like a creative class sperm defect right there. Weakening the gene pool.

Central Park was like a warm swirly today.

And that's the news....

Anonymous said...

Epic post, snob!

Rol said...

This seemed like a particularly awesome post. Maybe it's just the doobie I smoked earlier.

Also note: mention of time travel, without automatic reference to the TTTSWRFFTPT. Showing restraint and resisting the temptation to harvest all low-hanging fruit!

leroy said...

My commute tonight:

Tailgated by cab with inexplicable need to get to a red light who then explained that I should be in the bus lane.

Found an isolated thunderstorm halfway home and remembered that there is dried ink in my bag that runs when wet.

Wobbly salmon on 2nd Ave came at me through a red light on a purple kid's bike with white tires.

Poked along behind a Sirrus up the Manhattan Bridge.

Saved a driver about to run a red light at Cadman Plaza from a ticket by warning him about the traffic camera.

But riding makes me happy so life is good.

Just hope I don't encounter a sub par latte.

Anonymous said...

My name is [redacted] and I approve this message. Great post.

Anonymous said...

Astoundingly well written. quoting you on williamsburg hipster mulch repeatedly. that is all.

Anonymous said...

These panties are making me thirsty!

sufferist said...

I think that "bikes with breaks" is a reference to the psychic ability of the reporter to know about the faulty welds on the cyclists bikes.

Anonymous said...

Great post! It made my balls all tingly.

(Yup, I guess @Anon 5:48 said it better).

Anonymous said...

LA Gear = Sketchers

Brightlightsaftermidnight said...

I know a creative guy who doesn't fit the hipster mold, but certainly overlaps some of the traits. He lives in an illegal loft in a building with a custom corset factory and a porn distributor. He has a tattoo ("0001 1011" on his arm.) He wears skinny jeans. He gets his hair cut only when he visit Europe. He smokes incessantly and drinks gin.

He has created an ISO standard for data interchange, amount other things. Sadly, he doesn't have a bike, fixie or otherwise.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Brightlightsaftertwelve (whew...wait...sorry),
Our friends are the real deal.
Everyone else,
Where are Breakdances &commie canuck?

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine how this could have been better thought out or written. Thanks.

mander said...

best of bsnyc

Evan said...

Great post, but if you've never met a hipster scientist, you aren't trying.

The Cat Whisperer said...

I attribute the serrius-ness of this post to 1:47. Damn him! Damn him all to Hell!

Anonymous said...

...An example of good writer reacting to (most probably) a well-written article... I'll find out on the 27th!

JennyAnnyDots said...

Oh, thank you for your post! Those were my exact thoughts of Brooklyn, (Cobble Hill,Wburg, Park Slope) when I lived in South Slope in 2000. So it is still the same. sigh. I left New York because of this. I was a naive child of hippies from the South thinking I would be amongst the next milieu of Bob Dylans. Damn wrong. BTW there are hipster scientists in Chicago (ie Hyde Park.)

bikesgonewild said...

..."...bikes with breaks..."...hmmm - is that the mechanical equivalent of "...friends with benefits..." ???...

Marc said...

i feel the need for a "if it rains take the bus" sticker for my toptube

or maybe a custom tattoo?

Anonymous said...

I want to second whomever earlier who suggested that you _should_ write for the New Yorker. You're a fucking good writer, and they might pay you in the high two figures (to borrow a phrase from the great Calvin Trillin).

Anonymous said...

You say "hipster" way too much, get over it for fucks sake.

Anonymous said...

"GDMT I hate when people write "breaks" instead of "brakes". That's like a creative class sperm defect right there. Weakening the gene pool."

The point is that the new "creative class" - writers are not that creative when they rely on a spell checker rather than an expensive liberal arts education which required creative writing classes.

leroy said...

Psssst....Anon 6:01--

hipster hipster hipster hipster hipster hipster

Sing along, it's fun!

ce said...

What they said. I love the pseudological* humour that features so strongly in today's epic post. Snob wasn't on the bus when he wrote this one. But, I still love the completely retarded humour that Snob also does. The two forms of humour in balance are like the harmony of Sweet and Sour in the culinary sense or Recumbabe and Recumbent Conspiracy Theorist in the intense biomechanical/physiological sense.
*I just invented that word, then searched it and found that it already exists, damn!

ce said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ce said...

Oh, and just a little insight I thought I should lend: In the study of Ecology the plants that emerge first in a disturbed or rundown patch of land are referred to as "Pioneer" species. These plants mulch the hard ground and dampen the harshness of the elements. They provide a more favourable environment for the grander species to then succeed in the process of afforestation. In the process of gentrification described by Snob/Lemann/Florida the hipster is the "Pioneer". Could this explain the misconception that axes, beards and flannelette shirts are required?

Alt.Trans.Bikes said...

Chubbuck Rock Machine gets it done!

JJ said...

"Human wallpaper." Instant classic. I will borrow and use that, liberally.
Made me think of the faux wood panelling we had in our house when I was a kid.

Anonymous said...

Richard Florida goes on to associate bike commuting with the creative class and (therefore) happier cities:

http://www.theatlantic.com/life/archive/2011/06/americas-top-cities-for-bike-commuting-happier-too/240265/

Thing is, if you think of a couple places in Si Valley that's ground zero for innovation and productivity in the high tech sector, I would not use "hipster" to describe them. Cupertino? think bilingual mandarin immersion elementary schools. Menlo Park? trying to be hip with pedestrian friendly shopping, but really they're chain stores. Uh, Palo Alto?

I had Richard Florida in a couple graduate seminars back in the day. I think he definitely is creative!

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