Monday, March 7, 2011

Cthulu - Hipster God or Hipster Kryptonite

So, Cthulu is some mythical monster with tentacles right?  I think a decent number of people could tell you that.  Especially since it is referenced by the non-conformist, "independent thinking", effortlessly cool, Hipster community at every possible chance.  But, where did the idea of Cthulu come from?  I didn't know and I guarantee you the guy with the "ironic", trying to be weird, "un-ironic" Cthulu t-shirt has no idea either.  The Cthulu character is referenced so much though, that it is becoming a real threat to the Hipster community.  One more seriously, unserious, counter-culture, "I agree but disagree" reference to Cthulu and we could be looking at one of the most damaging social, economic and political collapses in history.  Thrift stores would be the first to go, then goodbye Urban Outfitters.  Dick Cheney would immediately become president.  Fixed gear bike companies would be forced to build Hummer's to survive.  The thick rimmed glasses populace would fall and in turn all social change would come to a grinding halt.

I am calling it Cthulu-11.  As offensive as that sounds, imagine if Grizzly Bear, The National, Built to Spill or other bands you've never heard of just up and disappeared.  You want to see another Wes Anderson film?  That won't happen after Cthulu-11. 

Cthulu references are challenging the very essence of Hipsterism: "I liked it befor it was cool."

Here are a few examples from the internet:

 The t-shirt examples above were from a site that listed 1,220 Cthulu themed t-shirts out of 13,000 possible products.  So, nearly 10% of this company's product is Cthulu related. 

The picture to the left was on BoingBoing, a great, preachy, this is what's cool, hipster-intelligent blog, with the title: Awesome cardboard Cthulu costume.

As if, the t-shirts were not mainstream enough, now we have playing cards, cakes and even ski masks.

What's next Cthulu mints!?

So, I did some research and it turns out Cthulu is a hideous monster created in the 1920's by fantasy sci-fi writer H.P. Lovecraft.  He became one of the few well known authors to be grouped into a sub-genre called weird-fiction.  So there you have it, the three main ingredients for a Hipster internet meme: 1. It's "weird"  2. Nobody knows what the hell any of it means 3. It's horrible and patently uncreative.  So in Hipsterton, by propping up a long dead, nerdy to the point of being cool, fantasy writer you in turn become cool.  Why?  Because you name dropped an obscurity and you are the first to do so, before it is realized that it is cool or referenced constantly on the internet and deemed uncool.  Then again, you can recycle all of this, call it "ironically, ironic" and it is cool again.  If you are questioned on the validity of it's weirdness or "mainstream-ity" you can just rename it again and say that you were commenting on the over exposure of the subject.  Kind of like what I'm doing now.  I'm going to be so cool for the next 10 minutes!

At this point the only thing preventing Cthulu-11 is the universal balance created by the anti-hipster:  Jersey Shore People.  Whereas the Hipster will go to great lengths to hide their vanity and efforts to improve their appearance, Jersey Shore People embrace the endeavour and even carry it with pride.  On both ends of the spectrum (Hipsters to Jersey Shore People) there is good and bad.  On one side you have a group of intellectuals who strive to have as little fun as possible and appear not to care.  On the other side you have a group of straightforward individuals with nothing to conceal who have committed to having fun at almost any cost.  According to absolutely nothing by my own opinion it seems both sides put in an equal amount of effort to acheive their goals.  (and for the sake of America, MTV and IFC, lets hope it stays that way) But if given a choice between the two,  you would find me on the Jersey Shore.

No comments:

Post a Comment