Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hip, and Not the Artificial Kind

I feel pretty lucky. I'm at a good point in life. I'm not sure how long it is going to last, but at least for the moment, I am hip. I know this sounds like an incredibly vain and conceited thing to say. Let me explain. Despite the earmark ridiculous facial hair, I am not a hipster. Oh when I was young, I might have had some hipster traits, but those went away a long time ago. Still, I have always had odd interests. They have changed through the years, but they were always out there a bit.

The thing is, so much time has elapsed, hipsterness has swung back around to me. There are a number of other things in my life right now that ooze of the hipster. It's not a concerted effort to be hip. It's just the way it is:

  • I do steampunk, hence the ridiculous facial hair.
  • I just started playing a ukulele, not an attempt to be hip. It's just something I wanted to do. I used to play guitar, back in college, and I wanted to get back into playing music. Ukulele seem like an easy way to do this.

    ... And hipsterness has got to the point where almost anything eclectic is considered hip. Hence, the following just add to it:
  • I live-tweet and blog about old movies.
  • I do volunteer work for Comic-Con and other fan conventions (been doing this for years, a lot of years).
  • I ride a skateboard, actually, I just never stopped from when I was a kid.

I really haven't changed all that much through the years. See Figure 1. Ten years ago, I was doing mosaics out of broken dishes. Twenty years ago (give or take), I was doing a humor column and gag cartoons online. Thirty years ago, I was trying to teach myself how to draw and trying to break in as a comic-book writer.

Figure 1

The thing about hipster culture is that it has its own completely different elliptical orbit. See Figure 2. 

Figure 2

It was somewhat inevitable that at some point, the two paths would cross. It was just highly unlikely that it would happen in my lifetime. See Figure 3.

Figure 3

Thus, I have had hipsterness come back around to me like a rogue comet. Normally, I wouldn't want this. There's nothing sadder than an aging hipster. But there's one difference for me. I have a daughter who just turned 15 last weekend. While most 15-year-old daughters are embarrassed by their fathers, especially ones who are trying to be hipsters in their fifties. Mine thinks I'm cool. I honestly have never attempted to be hip. Or maybe, I always have and have been missing the mark by so much for so long that I forgot what the original intention was.

All I know is this is a really good place to be. I was explaining this, and my 20-year-old son overheard. He said that his girlfriend whom I've only spoken to maybe a dozen times thinks I'm cool. Just seems strange. It may never happen again, but I'm going to try to enjoy it while it lasts.

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