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Douglas Haddow’s article “Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization” predicts the end of the globalized hipster as a decline of the counterculture movement. Published in Adbusters, the Canadian activist magazine “...concerned about the erosion of our physical and cultural environments by commercial forces,” it is a profound insight about a hedonistic generation with no precise goals.
The twentysomething so-called “hipster” generation has a fashion awareness conducted by magazines, dressing, acting, and partying alike. They are a pastiche of different tendencies, trying to belong to a street rebel universe, but nonetheless they still are bourgeois kids just having fun.
As the article points out, this generation is also the first generation aware of the advertising industry. So things that in one minute defines them become considered a mass commodity in the next—a trend they quickly try to escape. That wishy-washiness leaves no trace of loyalty to any ideal. These individuals are just a consumer group, and exist only to follow and be followed.
This may seem the end, in Western civilization, of youth as a symbol of rebellion. They’ve stopped to be the new creators and are becoming the new consumers.
Douglas Haddow finalizes his article with a poignant, almost regretful dismissal of his own generation:
We are a lost generation, desperately clinging to anything that feels real, but too afraid to become it ourselves. We are a defeated generation, resigned to the hypocrisy of those before us, who once sang songs of rebellion and now sell them back to us. We are the last generation, a culmination of all previous things, destroyed by the vapidity that surrounds us. The hipster represents the end of Western civilization—a culture so detached and disconnected that it has stopped giving birth to anything new.