November 21, 2013

Hipster/homeless ambiguity could be very dangerous.

"Not to offend anyone directly, but this photo could quite possibly be of a homeless man, a street person, or whatever term you wish to use. It could also just as easily be an affluent hipster wearing a highly dysfunctional piece of high-fashion. I think the ambiguity of that is very dangerous."

Comment on a photograph at The Sartorialist.

Follow-on comment: "The ‘danger’ here is somehow thinking that this is in the territory of Zoolander’s “Derelicte” Collection. I don’t know if it’s a ‘trap’ … but when reading some of these comments, I’m thinking Brüno and Zoolander :-)"

19 comments:

Michael said...

Not really. We are past the point where dress is an indicator of status. I wear a coat and tie every day as much as any reason to piss people off. Plus very good shoes.

Carol said...

I remember when we called them Street People before "homeless" got popular. It was Mitch Snyder who made the big fuss back in the 80s and it became a bad thing.

Before that it was mainly a lot of kids hitchhiking around the country wearing backpacks and panhandling on the way. And Bag Ladies.

Carl Spackler said...

The idea of the "ambiguity" being "dangerous" lol!

clint said...

Dangerous to... ?

People who are terrified of not being able to classify people by social or economic class at a glance?

MadisonMan said...

Zoolander is an awesome movie.

EDH said...

Is there still a Mystery Date board game and, if so, with such ambiguity how can a young wom.... er, person, tell the "Dream" from the "Dud"?

rehajm said...

Apparently there's a fine line between visual inspiration and exploitative asshole.

PatHMV said...

That entire comment thread was depressing. So much angst-ridden hand-wringing trying to think about the "right" reaction both to the photo and to the comments of others.

Megaera said...

I concluded long ago that Sartorialist is high-level satire, and that a fair number of the commenters are in on the joke, just there to move it along. At least, I truly hope they are. O Dear God, what if I'm wrong?

Megaera said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crunchy Frog said...

The upside of being a hipster douche is that it gives you the freedom of laughing at anything, especially hipster douchiness.

It is very self aware in its cynicism.

Econophile said...

The posture suggests homeless, yet I can't see The Sartorialist posting that; he seems like rather too kind a person to do so.

I concluded long ago that Sartorialist is high-level satire, and that a fair number of the commenters are in on the joke, just there to move it along.
If so, it's way over my head! But again, I believe Scott is earnest (being from Indiana and all) and the commenters sincere. Also I don't think they're quite bright enough to grasp high-level satire--I'm probably not either. Now I must spend the next few moments thinking about whether intelligence spawns cynicism...

Clyde said...

Is that Will Ferrell?

Looks like Ming the Merciless with a bad peroxide job.

Unknowable said...

"Megaera said...

I concluded long ago that Sartorialist is high-level satire, and that a fair number of the commenters are in on the joke, just there to move it along. At least, I truly hope they are. O Dear God, what if I'm wrong"

Occam's Razor... You *are* wrong.

The commentariat over there are a flock of urban douches (Self-aborsorbus Cluelesserium).

The only question is - is "flock" the correct term...?

Maybe they are a 'fling' of urban douches...

Broomhandle said...



"Shajavi Bahshir

November 18, 2013 at 5:14 pm



Great shot! I love the patina on his coat. I wonder why so many homeless people have such a great sense of style. I think there is a lesson here for all of us ‘rich’ people: you don’t need a lot of money to be fashionable! Just be yourself and have fun!
"
Seriously, in 20-plus years of Internet commentary this is the stupidest fucking thing I've read.

Broomhandle said...

I hope Shajavi isn't Titus'significant other...

LordSomber said...

The garment obviously shows some wear, but it is not at all dirty. I'd rule out homeless.

iowan2 said...

The next time someone asks me exactly what I mean by self absorbed navel gazing, I have book marked the comments at the Sartorialist

Smilin' Jack said...

"Hipster/homeless ambiguity could be very dangerous."

Color me hopelessly blasé, but I don't feel at all endangered.