October 23, 2007

"I assume there are dragons and griffins and werewolves and homosexual Frankensteins throughout these novels..."

"...but I honestly don't give a shit if my assumption is true or false."

Chuck Klosterman is not reading the Harry Potter novels.
I find it astounding that the unifying cultural currency for modern teenagers are five-hundred-page literary works about a wizard. We are all collectively underestimating how unusual this is. Right now, there is no rock guitarist or film starlet as popular as J. K. Rowling. Over time, these novels (and whatever ideas lie within them) will come to represent the mainstream ethos of our future popular culture. Harry Potter will be the only triviality that most of that coming culture will unilaterally share.

And I have no interest in any of it.

And I wonder how much of a problem this is going to become.
If it's the only shared thing, that means, in the future you won't get any of the references.
... I will not grasp the fundamental lingua franca of the 2025 hipster. I will not only be old but old for my age. I will be the pterodactyl, and I will be slain. It is only a matter of time.
ADDED: The word "hipster" is vastly overused these days. Anyone with a tinge of youth and a shred of knowledge of fashion and pop culture trends seems to be a hipster — at least to people who notice they're aging and don't want to bother with the trends. Hipster — the category should be more elite. Or it seems completely absurd.

We could try to think deeply about the word "hip." For example, why aren't hipsters and hippies the same thing? What is the -ster relationship to "hip" that is different from the -ie relationship? To me, -ster seems to make you more of a knowledgeable proponent or an obsessive devotee, and -ie suggests you're having fun with it. Other -ster words that come to mind: mobster, roadster. Is a mobster's relationship to the mob and a roadster's relationship to the road the same as a hipster's relationship to hip?

Other -ie words I think of easily: foodie, groupie. See? More fun.

AND: A little musical accompaniment to this postscript: here. In the comments, Trooper York brought up The Orlons, but then he didn't quote "South Street." The first time I ever heard the word "hippie," it was in that great early 60s song. Let's check out the etymology:
During the jive era of the late 1930s and early 1940s, African-Americans began to use the term hip to mean "sophisticated, fashionable and fully up-to-date". The term hipster was coined by Harry Gibson in 1940, and was used during the 1940s and 1950s to describe jazz performers. The word evolved to describe Bohemian counterculture. Like the word hipster, the word hippie is jazz slang from the 1940s, and one of the first recorded usages of the word hippie was in a radio show on November 13, 1945, in which Stan Kenton called Harry Gibson "Hippie". This use was likely playing off Gibson's nickname, "Harry the Hipster."

In Greenwich Village, New York City, young counterculture advocates were named hips because they were considered "in the know" or "cool", as opposed to being square. Reminiscing about late 1940s Harlem in his 1964 autobiography, Malcolm X referred to the word hippy as a term African Americans used to describe a specific type of white man who "acted more Negro than Negroes."

In a 1961 essay, Kenneth Rexroth used the term to refer to young people participating in African American or Beatnik nightlife.

In 1963, the Orlons, an African-American singing group from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania released the soul dance song "South Street", which included the lyrics "Where do all the hippies meet? South Street, South Street...The hippest street in town".[9][10]....

The more contemporary sense of the word "hippie" first appeared in print on September 5, 1965. In an article entitled "A New Haven for Beatniks," San Francisco journalist Michael Fallon wrote about the Blue Unicorn coffeehouse, using the term hippie to refer to the new generation of beatniks who had moved from North Beach into the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. Fallon reportedly came up with the name by condensing Norman Mailer's use of the word hipster into hippie. Use of the term hippie did not catch on in the mass media until early 1967, after San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen began referring to hippies in his daily columns.
Nothing there about the more recent transition to "hipster," though there is a section about the pejorative use of the word "hippie." Basically, "hippie" ended up meaning not hip at all. That's certainly the way I use it (almost always in self-deprecation).

"Beatnik" is a cool word, but I think it's solidly anchored in the 1950s... or to refer to Maynard G. Krebs, the Bob Denver character in my all-time favorite TV show "Dobie Gillis." He also did his beatnik role in a cool movie called "Surf's Up," which came out the same year as "Hard Day's Night." What a contrast between those two movies. I must confess that I saw them in a double feature at the time... and much preferred "Surf's Up." I found this hilarious:

CORRECTION: The movie title is actually "For Those Who Think Young." I went through a long period of thinking it was pathetic of me to have liked this movie more than "Hard Day's Night," but now, much as I know "Hard Day's Night" is better, I think it's perfectly acceptable to enjoy an old surf movie. Look at the cast:
James Darren ... Gardner 'Ding' Pruitt III
Pamela Tiffin ... Sandy Palmer
Paul Lynde ... Uncle Sid
Tina Louise ... Topaz McQueen
Bob Denver ... Kelp
Robert Middleton ... Burford Sanford 'Nifty' Cronin
Nancy Sinatra ... Karen Cross

POSTSCRIPT: If we called monsters "monnies," would we be less afraid?


Ron said...

Don't sweat it. Haven't read them, and I don't intend to. Amazingly, I just don't care what future hipsters will think of me, or present ones as well! And the problem is...?

Bissage said...

What a drag it is getting old.


hdhouse said...

I've made a point to read them all. There is very little need to market the books - as they came out - because they market themselves. Her genius is in her details and to hear kids argue let alone remember the color of Ron's argyle socks is an interesting lesson in how to write for kids (and adults).

I guess you can choose the choice you did of not reading but somehone that seems to be a silly choice, an uncurious choice, a meaningless communcation statement that basically says "I don't care about what you think or enjoy". Well that's fine I guess.

Laura Reynolds said...

HDH: I agree. By the way, his not caring about what I think or enjoy, the feeling is mutual.

bill said...

hipster is just another word for poseur.

MadisonMan said...

It's one thing to choose not to read the books. It's another thing entirely to then complain (brag?) that by not reading them, you'll be an outsider in a decade or two.

It's not all about you.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

What a drag it is getting old.

I guess I'll need a hipster replacement soon.

Latino said...

And a hipster doofus is a whole other animal.
I read all the Potter books, enjoyed them immensely, and immediately forgot each one as I finished it.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

"there is no rock guitarist or film starlet as popular as J. K. Rowling..."

It's like an Onion headline: "Baby Boomer puzzled as younger generations fail to pay homage to his teenage tastes!"

As if the "rock guitarst" was a cultural exemplar worth following into middle age and thence to decrepitude...

Jeff with one 'f' said...


Randy said...

HDHouse and MadisonMan already said what I was thinking, so all I can say is "I agree."

hdhouse said...

I too admit to not remembering the details for more than a second but i enjoy the words and the usage..that alone should make one curious or prompt one to be curious anyway...

In a writing class in college for those starting their dissertations the professor made a great point that when confronted with the prospect of writing dry prose as found in a dissertation at least try and pep it up a bit. One sure way to do that or at least help the process, was to read something of fiction or better yet poetry that was rich in usage and good words....and not ready it like a textbook but read it aloud. He felt your writing would immediately improve.

To the subject, we wonder how the "kids will feel" about this gayness factor etc.. As most of the readers devour every word and phrase in detail, I wouldn't be at all suprised if they figured out some of this before we adults did.

blogging cockroach said...

if you don't mind i'm going to cut and paste
some lyrics about being hip from before
most baby boomers were born
yes capitals etc will be used with no effort on my part--

Lots of people are going around saying "hip"
Lots of squares are coming on with "hep"
Well the hipster is here to inform you what the jive is all about
The jive is hip, don't say hep,
That's a slip of the lip, let me give you a tip
Don't you ever say hep it ain't hip, NO IT AIN'T
It ain't hip to be loud and wrong
Just because you're feeling strong
You try too hard to make a hit
And every time you do you tip your mitt
It ain't hip to blow your top
The only thing you say is, "Mop, mop, mop"
Keep cool fool, like a fish in the pool
That's the golden rule at the Hipster school
You find yourself talking too much
Then you know you're off the track
That's the stuff you got to watch
Everybody wants to get in the act
It ain't hip to think you're "in there"
Just because of the zooty suit you wear
You can laugh and shout but you better watch out
Cause you really don't know what it's all about, man

--from 'it ain't hep'  henry gibson 1947

Ron said...

I guess you can choose the choice you did of not reading but somehone that seems to be a silly choice, an uncurious choice, a meaningless communcation statement that basically says "I don't care about what you think or enjoy". Well that's fine I guess.

That you enjoy them, yes, that is fine, I'm happy for you. But why say that I am uncurious or silly because I choose not to read what you have chosen, for what ever reasons that I have? Such insults do not inspire my desire to look at them.

Balfegor said...

ADDED: The word "hipster" is vastly overused these days. Anyone with a tinge of youth and a shred of knowledge of fashion and pop culture trends seems to be a hipster — at least to people who notice they're aging and don't want to bother with the trends.

Does anyone actually self-identify as a hipster? It seems to be an middle-aged kind of word, for people graying at the temples who want to affect a "tinge of youth." I can't imagine a twenty-something being described as a "hipster." It sounds wrong.

As most of the readers devour every word and phrase in detail, I wouldn't be at all suprised if they figured out some of this before we adults did.

I think anyone with even a casual acquaintance with Harry Potter fandom must surely realise that lots of teenage Harry Potter fans have been fantasising about their favourite characters all being gay for years. It's called slash.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be amusing to see some kid test this guy's implied boast that he grasps the fundamental lingua franca of the 2007 hipster?

Ron said...

Just wondering aloud if the -ie words reflect a more passive involvement than the -ster cognomen? Are the -sters more actively trying to determine the taste and standard than the -ie people? (perhaps foodie is excluded here?)

Prosecutorial Indiscretion said...

Klosterman's article disturbs me. Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs is the best book on pop culture I've ever read, and I don't like that the man is relegating himself to irrelevance in the immediate future. What's the point of immersing yourself in pop culture, plumbing its depths, and contemplating its effect on the human condition if you arbitrarily remove yourself from the stream?

Is this what happens to old people? Do they suddenly decide that they're not interested in the new cultural fad simply because it's new, and proceed immediately to ordering kids off their lawn while they fondly reminisce about The Honeymooners and Jack Paar and other decades-gone television shows?

I always figured this was a gradual process brought on by other responsibilities, increasing commitments to work and family and community that left little time for watching Adult Swim, trolling the message boards for new music recommendations, or playing World of Warcraft until 3 in the morning. And once you get through that first decade of parenthood, I sort of assumed your kids gave you at least a little clue about the state of pop culture such that you didn't feel like a total alien.

But Klosterman's not fading away. He's actively choosing to withdraw, to reject the king mack daddy of all 21st century cultural touchstones, and that makes me sad. His writing will lose its relevance as nostalgia overwhelms him and he can't relate past trends to the now. This article marks the start of the slow suicide of the former king of pop culture. May his career rest in peace.

Randy said...


Am I the only one who has to scurry to the dictionary to find out more about this interesting word?

Trooper York said...

Wah, wah-a Watusi
C'mon and take a chance and get-a with this dance
Wah, wah-a Watusi
Oh, baby, it's the dance made-a for romance (shoo-bop, shoo-bop, ahh)

Baby, baby, when you do The Twist
Never, never do you get yourself kissed
'cause you're always dancin' far apart
The Watusi, girl, is-a really smart

Wah-a, wah, wah-a Watusi
C'mon and take a chance and get-a with this dance (shoo-bop, shoo-bop, ahh)

Baby, baby, when you do The Fly
Your arms are wasted wavin' in the sky
Come on and hold me like a lover should
The Watusi makes you feel so good

Wah-a, wah, wah-a Watusi
Oh, baby, it's the dance made-a for romance

(shoo-bop, shoo-bop, ahh)

Baby, baby, that's the way it goes
Nothing happens when you Mash Potatoes
I just gotta fall in love with you
Watusi is the dance to do

Wah-a, wah, wah-a Watusi
C'mon and take a chance and get-a with this dance

Wah, wah-a Watusi
Oh, baby, it's the dance made-a for romance
(The Orlons)

Ann Althouse said...

Wow! If you're going to quote the Orlons, shouldn't it be "Where do all the hippies meet? South Street, South Street!"

Trooper York said...

Don Corleone: Never let anyone outside the family know what you're thinking.
(The Godfather 1972)

Ron said...

Between The Orlons and Corleone, I suffered a brief attack of Proper Name Dyslexia...

just me here, leaving the gun and taking the canolli!

Trooper York said...

Alex: Don't Judge Me Monkey
(Grandma's Boy 2006)

MadisonMan said...

This is the best surfing song in a movie. Ever.

Ann Althouse said...

So, Trooper, you're saying all your song quotes actually obliquely refer to other songs????

Trooper York said...

Father Peter Lonergan, Narrator: Well, I can't say it's true, and I won't say it's not, but there's been talk.
(The Quiet Man, 1952)

Trooper York said...

Pamela Tiffin, yummy, yummy.

Christy said...

Sounds to me like he needs a little diversity training. Imagine mocking the culture of others!

Has there ever been a wise person who was also concurrently an intellectual snob? I outgrew that crap in my 20s, okay, maybe my 30s.

Richard Fagin said...

"You've got some explaining, too. Who was that chick I saw with you? So talk fast like you always do. Don't hang up. You've got one chance or our romance is through."

As long as we're on the subject of the Orlons.....

I am also reminded of Arthur Fonzerelli thinking Fats Domino was the definiton of "cool" until Howard Cunningham instructed him otherwise.

The best thing about being a set leftover from Ozzie and Harriet is that "square" is compliment.

KCFleming said...

One of the glories of getting older is to admit one's own fading relevance and planned obsolescence, how quickly your moment as a fresh scrubbed youth has passed, and how soon you will pass away and turn to dust and be entirely forgotten.

I watch the late night commercials with awe, noting how the music of the 1940s is ever more rarely advertised, that even the 1950s are being edged out as well. Soon, the sixties will have passed and no one will possibly care anymore about Strawberry Alarm Clock or the Monkees. And how poignant it becomes, not "Stopped and awful as a photograph of somebody laughing, But ten years dead", but quite beautiful.

While I find it a great comfort no longer worrying about the ephemera of culture, still I relish that the newest new flower blooms, and people care about it, talk excitedly, and revel in their spring, thinking it the very first of all.

How wonderful life can be, in this perhaps best of any worlds known to man. And as you age, you put some small mark upon it, if even just a child who will carry with them whatever the family has handed down, and then you go.

reader_iam said...

Huh. I wonder if Bob Denver's singing chin in the sand was the inspiration for the lips in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, itself replete with pop culture references. That's what jumped to mind, watching that video.

Trooper York said...

Rigby Reardon: [narrating] Was she real? There was only one way to find out. But I remember Marlowe's words.
Rigby Reardon: What the hell does Marlowe know?
Rigby Reardon: [narrating] She was real alright.
Juliet Forrest: What are you doing?
Rigby Reardon: Adjusting your breasts. You fainted and they... shifted all outta whack. There.
Juliet Forrest: Thank you.
Rigby Reardon: You're Welcome.
(Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid 1982)

Ron said...

Dr. A,which part do you like better the beat or the nik?

Both seem cool...

Trooper York said...

Heavenly Blues: We wanna be free! We wanna be free to do what we wanna do. We wanna be free to ride. We wanna be free to ride our machines without being hassled by The Man! ... And we wanna get loaded. And we wanna have a good time. And that's what we are gonna do. We are gonna have a good time... We are gonna have a party.
(The Wild Angels 1966)

Maxine Weiss said...

Arianna Huffington going down in flames! I tried to leave something on Huffington Post, and my whole computer froze up. LA Times, AOL, much better. Even lil'ol Althouse has better functionality than Huffington. Hard to believe...

Brian Cubbison said...

Herb Caen is credited with coining the term "beatnik" after the launch of Sputnik.

And the -ie ending is often gently mocking. Trekkies say they prefer to be called Trekkers.

Trooper York said...

Cartman: Naw dude, independent films are those black and white hippy movies. They're always about gay cowboys eating pudding.
(South Park 2001)

Maxine Weiss said...


George M. Spencer said...

From today's NY Times..page A27 or so...

’70s Echo in New ‘No Nukes’ Campaign

WASHINGTON, Oct. 22 — In 1979, in the dark freeze of the cold war and six months after the accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Middletown, Pa., they packed Madison Square Garden for a series of “No Nukes” concerts that seemed to echo a generation’s fear of atomic Armageddon.

Now, the musicians, Bonnie Raitt, Graham Nash and Jackson Browne, aging, activist rock stars, have reunited to battle the nuclear power industry on Capitol Hill.

Graham Nash....wasn't he the Al Gore of the 1970s, or was that Stephen Stills...

...or David Crosby. Yes, it was Crosby! Bing's son...he was the spokesperson of that generation, wasn't he?

Ah, the "aging rock stars..." Soon they'll be replacing Martha Raye for Dentucreme and doing Depends ads like...somebody or other..

Trooper York said...

Mr. Burns: so do u have a way to get rid of the protesters?
Grandpa Simpson: One way to get rid of them is to tell 'em stories that dont go anywhere. Like the time we went over to shelbyville during the war, I wore an onion on my belt....which was the style at the time...you couldnt get those white ones, you could only get those big yellow ones..............now where was I........oh yeah, the important thing was I was wearing an onion on my nelt, which was the style at the time, you couldnt get those... (trails off)
(The Simpsons)

John said...

Oh Ann, "hipster" is such a 90s term. I believe the proper term for the 20th Century is "hipster dofus". In some ways the term is redundant but it is so explanatory of the type of person who would consider themselves a "hipster" that the redundant "dofus" still holds its weight.

The older I get the less interesting I find "youth culture" such as it is. I use that term loosely because in the post baby boom era, there really isn't any such thing as "youth culture" anymore because there isn't any "adult culture" left from which to compare it. Now, the adults do the same things as the children so it is all just one culture.

I just can't imagine being that heartbroken over not being up with current culture. I love being a dinosaur. I only have one life to live and every second I spend of it reading Harry Potter or US magazine and one second less I get to read and listen to everything from the past.

Swifty Quick said...

And I wonder how much of a problem this is going to become.

About as much of a problem as someone who has never seen a Star Wars movie has.

Trooper York said...

Are you as innocent and as clumsy as before?" he asked.
"No, Master," I said, putting my head down, beginning to kiss him on the side of the leg, deeply, puffing, sucking, at the hair a tiny bit.
"I see not," he said, laughing.
I looked up. "I have been taught how to please men," I said.
(Slave Girls of Gor, John Norman)

Cedarford said...

Jeff with one 'f' said...
"there is no rock guitarist or film starlet as popular as J. K. Rowling..."

It's like an Onion headline: "Baby Boomer puzzled as younger generations fail to pay homage to his teenage tastes!"

Quite droll.
Quite right.

Ah, the "aging rock stars..." Soon they'll be replacing Martha Raye for Dentucreme and doing Depends ads like...somebody or other..

Aging rock stars:

Mick Jagger is now looking like one of the California prune ladies and now swirls fine wine around in his mouth and spits it out. Rumored to have turned down money for a Viagra ad.

Bob Dylan drives a Humvee with personalized license plates "Number1 Grampa".

Brian May of Queen finished his PhD in astrophysics at Imperial College. Not only a real PhD, but dissertation work that is called "a substantial contribution".

Eric Clapton has been drug-free and sober for 19 years and looks 10 years younger than he is. Still God, but now God lives part-time in Columbus, Ohio for his wife's ties - and likes it.

Fortunately, there is Keith Richards. His endless summer continues with drunken falls out of coconut trees and being immortalized as movie pirate Jack Swallow.


Trooper York said...

From the Belly position, except hands to her sides, the slave crawls to the Master.

"I crawl to my Master on my belly," she said," and beg for his touch. I smiled. I, a guest in the tent, now stood to her, of course, as her Master. such girls come with the price of the lodging.

"Approach me on your belly," I said. She squirmed to the table, her hands still behind her.
(Beasts of Gor, John Norman)

blake said...


I love Top Secret.

I also have a soft spot for this odd little beach movie.

Trooper York said...

It is well known the slave has needs... strong needs unleashed by Men who made her aware of them in order to better control her... a slave who understands she is slave knows full well that her slavery is in large part due to basic and primal instincts and her helpless need to fulfill them. The Gorean Man uses this need to keep the slave at His mercy... until such a time as the slave herself sees it and surrenders to it completely.

Being slave and finding in this revelation a joy can only be achieved by the shedding of all inhibitions and shames... the slave will try... of course, to fool herself into believing there is in the way men look at her... a place for her to control them ~shaking her head gently~ you may fool yourself a time... but too, you must know this... if indeed you are able to control a Man and feel satisfaction doing it... then you have not the belly of a slave girl... then you have not either... found a Gorean Master.
(Slave Girls of Gor, John Norman)

ricpic said...

A bit of history: the beats were dubbed beatniks by the old yiddish speaking immigrant Jews of the lower east side. Nik in yiddish is a diminutive: partly affectionate, partly contemptuous. The Jews took note that the beats who settled among them were barely capable of coming in out of the rain, ergo: beatnik.

Trooper York said...

I thought that the term beatnik came about from the headline when the Daily News published a picture of Allen Ginsberg masturbating Nick Adams in the bushes of Tompkins Square Park in 1953.

ricpic said...

Nick Adams lowered himself to Ginsberg's level? A shanda!

Revenant said...

The Harry Potter books were wonderful. I wish they'd been around when I was young, as I imagine they are even more wonderful to a child.

Trooper York said...

The poor shlemazl was drunk out of his kup, and you know Allen couldn’t resist the goyish treyf. At least the nebekh kept his pisk to himself. A mitzvah!

ricpic said...

Oy that shmutsik Ginsberg, feh feh feh!

Trooper York said...

He was just lucky he wasn’t in Boston this weekend. The schmeil could have got a lot of shmootz on his tuchis. Oy.

katiebakes said...

I think the -ie words sound somewhat pretentious in comparison to -ster. Maybe it's just the "foodie" example.

Balfegor said...

I think the -ie words sound somewhat pretentious in comparison to -ster. Maybe it's just the "foodie" example.

I think it must be the "foodie" example. I mean, between "hippie" and "hipster," "hipster" is -- for me -- far and away the more pretentious. And if you try it in other fields, like Star Trek, you get "Trekkie," which is diminutive and unoffensive (unless you are a Trekkie, and demand to be addressed as Trek-ker!), but if you called yourself a "Trek-ster," you sound . . . well, pretentious, and yet someone awfully pathetic.

For my part, I think part of the difference in the way they sound is that the vowel ending of "-ie," when in English, has a kind of feminizing/diminutive feel to it. Mary. Sylvie. Charlie Brown. Huey/Dewey/Louie. Fuzzy Wuzzy. If English had gender, it feels to me that "-ie" words would be feminine.

But "-ster," on the other hand, has that masculine Germanic feel. Ein Hipster. Ein Roadster. Ein Mobster. Stark and full of Macht.

Ron said...

the yentzing gonifs are tsedrayt!

Jeff with one 'f' said...

Der Bingle was the original hipster.

Revenant said...

The term "foodie" makes me want to run people over with a truck.

The Monster said...

"Are the -sters more actively trying to determine the taste and standard"

I think the point is that -sters have standards, while the -ies rebel against the very notion.

"But '-ster,' on the other hand, has that masculine Germanic feel. Ein Hipster. Ein Roadster. Ein Mobster."

And yet, auf Deutsch, ich heiße «Das Monstrum».

Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

A remake of the beach movies, circa 1987, was "Back to the Beach", featuring Annette, Frankie, Connie Stevens, and Bob Denver. Denver was in more of his Gilligan character than his MGK character.


SRV and Dick Dale ripping up Pipeline from the movie.

Balfegor said...

And yet, auf Deutsch, ich hei├če «Das Monstrum»

Well, yes. And in real-world etymology, I think the "-ster" suffix in most of the ordinary nouns that have it actually comes from Latin -- the same transformation that converts Latin Monstrum into English "monster." Registrum => register, plastrum => plaster, etc. Doesn't make it sound any less Germanic, though.

Kev said...

I hadn't thought much about Harry "The Hipster" Gibson since I had a college radio show, but I used to really enjoy playing him in those days. The songs were very short and quite amusing; my favorite was "Who Put the Benzedrine in Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine?.

Also, I really liked the Potter books. I devoured the last one in one really long Saturday the week after it was released (and I had quite a time avoiding the spoilers during that week). It was quite an accomplishment for Rowling to get so many kids interested in reading a book again.

K T Cat said...

I read the first one and enjoyed it. I think. Maybe I didn't. It was a long time ago and I saw only the first half of the first movie. I slept through the second half.

Maybe I'm a sleepster. Or a sleepnik.


In any case, Rowling is a pathetic, greedy coward. She didn't come out and pull Dingledork's robes off and reveal his passion for little boys until the last book had sold millions.

All she wanted was your cash and when she had all she could get, she wanted to be in with the in crowd by sticking it to the squares and showing them that the books their kids had read had a major character who was gay.

What a creep.

Steven said...

Christy --
"Has there ever been a wise person who was also concurrently an intellectual snob?"

Well, was Plato wise?

(Me, I tend to think "no", but . . .)

XWL said...

I think Klosterman's basic assumption is false. One doesn't need to have read an iconic work to be conversant enough in its details to understand its use in metaphors and associations.

I've read a handful of sonnets and 4 plays by Shakespeare, but I understand references as filtered by other artists.

I dislike the Beatles, but love most Beatles influenced pop, and unless somebody is quoting one of their more obscure tracks, know when their work is being referenced.

So even without ever picking up a Potter novel, you could have learned bits and pieces about Hagrid, or Dumbledore, or Hermione, and would be able to follow what someone meant if they brought them up as a point of reference.

Besides, is it a good idea for a 35 year old man to be too conversant in the pop milieu of 15 year olds?

Back to Klosterman, he has this whole Advanced Theory thing;

Advancement is a cultural condition in which an Advanced individual—i.e., a true genius—creates a piece of art that 99 percent of the population perceives to be bad. However, this is not because the work itself is flawed; this is because most consumers are not Advanced.

Now, don't assume this means that everything terrible is awesome, or vice versa; that contrarianism has no place in Advancement theory. The key to Advancement is that Advanced artists a) do not do what is expected of them but also b) do not do the opposite of what is expected of them. If an artist does the direct opposite of what is anticipated, he is classified as "overt" (more on this later). The bottom line is this: When a genius does something that appears idiotic, it does not necessarily mean he suddenly sucks. What it might mean is that he's doing something you cannot understand, because he has Advanced beyond you.

Seems like he's purposefully rejecting Rowling cause everyone else is saying it's good. He states contrarianism has no place in this theory, yet his recent statements would seem to be full of contrarianism.

Nobody ever said you have to be consistent all the time, I guess.

Patrick said...

Homer says: JK Rowling? Mmm...boobs.

Curly Smith said...

-ie words: how could you miss the quintessential -ie word -> cookie? Oh, don't like the cookie, how about a brownie?

Now, about porkster and porkie, the porkster is clearly the one who steals the pork but is the porkie the one that gets the pork or the one that got porked?

comatus said...

Good linguistic analysis from Hebrew and Latin; true that the L. construct implies agency, but I don't think the "nik" ("Kibbutznik" is where I first saw it) is as pejorative in H. as it is in English. The "-ie" ending is, of course, the English diminutive, famiiar and belittling as "du" in German. "Buddy" comes from "buttie;" make of that what you will. And all this ignores the real Big Daddy word, "hepcat."

Aren't we being a little silly? Law professors in the 50's, just to grab at an example)would admit (at a "smoker"!) that they liked hot jazz and had a raccoon coat in the attic. It doesn't show up in their work much. The mark of Boomerdom is that Ginsberg=Homer, The Orlons=Schubert, Clapton is God, and I ain't buying. I'll bet on the current crop to grow up sooner or later, as we have not. And you shut up about Dave Brubeck.

jagcap said...

Those who know, do not speak. Those who speak, do not know. -Lao Tzu
As for me, I am the black hole of hip, as soon as I like it, it's passe... just ask my kids.

will freismuth said...

Buddy comes from "buttie" as the
"scuttled butt" ( a water keg with
one end open ) was the water cooler of the day.
On the canal dig or shipboard you
went to get some water with your
"buttie" and killed as much time
as you could get away with.

Unknown said...

"Murder murder murder
Someone should be angry
The crime of the century
Who shot little Bambi
Never trust a hippie
'Cause I love punky Bambi
I'll kill to find the killer
In that rotten roll army
All the spikey punkers
Believers in the ruins
With one big shout
They all cry out
Who killed Bambi"

Methadras said...

Spoiler yelled out in a Barnes & Noble when the previous book was released:

"Snape kills Dumbledore!!!"

reaction to spoiler:


Spoiler made by Rowling:

"Dumbledore is gay..."

reaction to spoiler:


end of line.