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I've always been obsessed with sneakers. They're my guilty pleasure. When I was a little kid, I was obsessed with white-on-white shell-top Adidas. It was the easiest thing in the world to get black and white shell-tops. But from the moment I saw Run-DMC wearing the white-on-whites, there was no stopping me from having them. Then in high school, the Beastie Boys brought them back in style, and once again there was no holding me back.

Similarly, back in the early 80s, I saw Madonna wearing a pair of Converse All-Stars. I knew that I had to be the first kid to get them, and I dragged my mother up and down the East Coast in search of peach high-top Chuck Taylors. Years later, and many trends gone by, I wore Converse yet again -- but the next time they were purple low-tops, as popularized by Nirvana and company.

A quick stop into any sneaker store in New York these days will afford you an opportunity to see rows and rows of both Converse All-Stars and Shell-Top Adidas. Everyone from Bedford to Lorimer is wearing them. Within my lifetime, this is the third wave of popularity for these sneakers. And, despite the fact that I remember both my first and second pairs with fondness, I just can't jump on the Chuck Taylor bandwagon and bring myself to wear them a third time. I mean, I have no problem, inherently, with wearing Converse or shell-top Adidas. But I draw the line at wearing them in some self-proclaimed ironic retro way. That's just retarded. Especially when "retro" is dating back to within my lifetime. Seeing people wear in an ironic way the fashions that I wore in all seriousness makes me feel, well, old. And people -- I'm not that fucking old.

The topic of so-called hipsters comes up on craigslist all the time, and, as much as I'd like to, I just can't avoid it any longer. For anyone who has been living in a cave for the past year, this post pretty much sums up the anti-hipster sentiments:

Hipster belt buckles

It's part of their bullshit attempt to act working class and be mistaken as brilliant yet uneducated, all while spending their parents' money on an overpriced hovel in Williamsburg and a collection of trucker hats and tattoos while scoring smack to help unlock their "musical genius" that sounds like every goddamn boring White Stripes/Strokes/Electroclash crapola song that they'll never actually record, much less perform live. As a Southerner, I'd like to kick their asses across the Mason-Dixon and plant a Confederate flag in their butthole, but, hey, that's just me. And I'm not even from Texas. Next time go up to them and utter the immortal lines. "Texas, huh? Only two things come outta Texas. Steers and queers, and I don't see no horns on you, boy." Then pound their poseur asses.

Because I order my life in terms of what pair of sneakers I had at what time, and, unlike this guy, I don't usually plant Confederate flags in people's buttholes, I find myself thinking in shoe-terms about hipsters. And, I think that has helped me put my finger on why I just can't get down with the hipster scene. Bear with me, there's a point in here somewhere.

You see, to me, as a sneaker-person, it's the Converse thing. It really is.

Now, I'm not saying that every single so-called hipster is wearing Converse. But there certainly are a bunch. And that's enough to make me realize that the thing about hipsters is that they're really young. I mean, I'm all for style and making art and listening to interesting music, but there comes a point when you have witnessed the same styles, the same art, and the same music resurface over and over again, and it's just not quite as easy to take so damn seriously anymore.

And that, to me, is the biggest offense of the so-called hipster scene. Being young and excited is certainly no crime; it's taking yourself too damn seriously about seriously non-serious shit that sets me off.

Forget shoes for a second. Take these Bike Gangs, for example. When I was a kid, I was mercilessly forced to watch BMX Bandits over and over again with my older brother. He and his friends had a bike gang, of sorts, and his disassembled pink Mongoose and black and gold BMX still sit in my mother's basement beside his skateboard and his scooter as a testament to his early 80s obsessions. Having ridden on his pegs many times in all seriousness as a kid, how can I be expected to find bike gangs interesting in an ironic way some 15 years later?

bike posse? get a grip

are you actually FROM brooklyn guy, fuck a bike posse. guess what fella, your mesh hat, vintage tee and tight ass jeans with paint on them dont make you the man. the 80's are over, wrap it up. cant you just ride, do you have to call it some gay ass bike posse and take 'weird' pictures of yourself? craigslist is very amusing, i enjoy reading the stuff but I rarely post my own, except I have had enough of the super retro bike posse faggots with their bullshit, live your life guys, no need for a special club and no need to talk about how your so cool because of it, fuck you and your L.E.S, DUMBO, mesh hat, pabst blue ribbon, retro tees, and all the erst of you rtrendy filth, you fucker.

I'm actuallt a very pleasant guy, if anyone has comments, please respond.

Now, it goes without saying that the person who wrote the above post is clearly psychotic. However, I don't get it either. I understand that the bike gang thing is supposed to be fused with irony … but irony implies an expression of meaning based on humor or sarcasm through an action of an opposite tendency. If you remove the opposite tendency ("I'm riding a dorky bike"), what is the actual meaning? I'm cool? If that's the case, how do you flaunt that without being horribly embarrassed by your own lack of ego-check?

And to me, what really sucks is that this is our counterculture, rapidly proving itself as vapid and empty-headed as its alternative.

Once upon a time you could respect the counter-culture, even if you didn't agree with its values and priorities. It's 2003, and counter-culture's a bad joke, spearheaded by an ever-growing movement towards being-cool-is-interesting versus being-interesting-is-interesting.

Really, I'm not a bitter old lady. All I'm saying is that you can't take trends too seriously. And if you have a movement based on trends, and there's nothing beyond the trends -- something inherently slated to fade in and out of use -- what are you left with? A counterculture without resistance and purpose is a sad, sad thing.

I'm all for fashion, but you can't build a movement on it. Mark my word, in 10 years, kids will be wearing Converse All-Stars again. Only, they'll be wearing them with Ladytron T-shirts. To be all ironic, and shit. And what will have been proved?

 

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Amy Blair is eager to be called horrible names on Craig's List. Bring it.