When Did The Counter-Culture Die?

Hip. What it used to be was something much different than is commonly referred to as hip today. The past 10 years at least has totally dissolved what hip used to be. Hipsters don’t exist anymore, even though there is a group of people that consider themselves hipsters or that other people call hipsters, they simply aren’t hipsters. It’s been going on for years and i’ve been struggling to find the culprit or the turning point. Was it the 90′s? The last real counter culture movie was Fight Club, however i feel that it was ahead of it’s time, and if released now might actually spurn a counter culture. However it merely reached cult status where people who desired the status quo to be splattered on the walls, wistfully and quietly hoped something would happen or someone would do something about it.

Hip was really defined in the beat generation, hip was someone who ‘got it’ like a secret society member you could pick out in a crowd – a secret scholar, artist, genius, player, socialite – someone who bucked the trends, set the trends or flat out refused to do anything by the social norm. It was the beginning of the counter culture. It spanned decades but seems to have died. I’ve considered the hippie culture as the death before, but i think it was premature, yes the hippie culture was the advent of the new ‘hipster class’ where there is a big social movement that yes is bucking the overall trend of society, however was a marketable group, a group that wannabe’s and hanger on’s would be able to wear a uniform and be a part of the group with out really getting ‘it’. However then came punk, and i’m talking about actual punk, not anything that claims to be punk past 1982. Punk died then friends. Anyone who claims to be punk (rich kids trying to join another group to be cool, and call themselves punk). The reason punk isn’t punk today? Punk was about smashing all the social norms in the face – it was about anarchy. Tell me what ‘punk’ kid you know wants that? Not in a society that accepts punks now – where tattoo’s, weird hair cuts, funny dress are as an accepted part of society as roided out Ed Hardy Douchebags. If you are apart of something that is accepted by society, than you are not counter culture, and you are not hip. But punk did die. Was that the death? In the 80′s the pressure to be cool (look wealthy) started to take off. But you still had the rebels, the undercurrent of hip, people who didn’t accept it, not because they were nerds, but because they were hip.

Hip is not wearing trendy clothes. Listening to trendy music. If everyone does it, it’s not hip. I laughed when someone told me once that they were shocked to see me dressed a certain way because it was hip – i laughed (cried inside) because it wasn’t hip, it was trendy. The two are as a far apart as left wing and right wing americans. Hip was being a part of a small group of people who got ‘it’.

What’s it? Well that’s the thing, if you don’t know what ‘it’ is, you ain’t hip. That was always the definition. Think of Kerouac, think how he’d be acting in this generation, you think he’d be a roided out douchebag? Or perhaps a neo-hipster wearing skinny jeans and pretending to be an artist? Doubtful.

I concede that one of the issues of not having a counter-culture anymore is our post modern world which incorporates everything and references everything ad nauseam. What can you do anymore that is different and unique – it’s all been done before right?

Game. Game seems to me as the only last vestige of counter culture. It’s something not everyone gets, not everyone knows about, not everyone does. Getting game, you get ‘it’. A social way of being that only members or people who know about ‘it’ know what you’re doing. Game is the new hip, the new counter culture. If everyone in the room thinks you look hip, it means you fit in, you look normal, you look status quo, you might look good – but you are not ‘hip’.

At some point hip changed to being with it. But the ‘it’ changed somewhere and i still don’t know where it died. If game is the new counter-culture, it too is being sucked up by the masses by websites like my own, contributing to the spreading of ‘it’ to the masses. It’s an endless cycle. And as much as Game may be the closest thing to the new counter culture, we are lacking in literature (outside of Roosh and others) that create a cultural shift, a change – we lack movies, actors, painters, musicians to change the way we look at the world, who changes the landscape of our culture. By definition game can’t do that, anyone who’s famous is just running fame game, and can’t influence non-famous guys to run the same.

So i’m reaching the end of this article and i’m left wondering if this mundane bland politically correct world will suffocate in it’s replication of boring sameness. Recycle everything and you are left with nothing new. A strong telling of the true state of decay our society is in. I figured the first decade in the new millennium would be this way, and that we wouldn’t have a generational imprint until the new decade awaiting us. I may be right, but i may be wrong. I however do not think i can endure another decade of the same. I’m bored, i thought i just had a.d.d. but it’s not that, it’s just that no one is interesting anymore, not in the least. I’m literally bored to death with most people in 20 minutes. It’s only the dying and out of date hipness in my brain that keeps me entertained with people these days, as internally i shake my head at them and mock them endlessly, while smiling and nodding on the surface.

The times my friend, are not changing.

10 thoughts on “When Did The Counter-Culture Die?

  1. Ingraining compliance and continued school system as we are brought up, it was obliterated by the state, of what is proper to think. Being nudged little by little and constrained in a thought jacket until we all became consumers of our own bs and believed most of the things around us were true. If you only strive you will achieve! an epithet of being sheep number one.

  2. Yes, it appears we are reaching an end of the baby boomer-influenced society, where superficial domesticity was prominent over independence and inquisitiveness. But Islam is waiting in the wings and anyone hoping to make a mark has to be aware of the many forces aligned against him.

    That is why, IMO, the men’s rights movement is showing signs of breaking new ground, with men like myself clearing away the underbrush and scaring off the infiltrators and saboteurs.

    Political correctness is dead. Long live the new chaos!

  3. “hipness”=knowingness, being in on secret knowledge, secret music from earlier times–designers and artists on the fringe, the state of the art

    the INTERNET killed hipness with endless instantly accessible knowledge

  4. The hip-ness isn’t dead- it’s metastasized; the ready availability of information online has only intensified and exponentially expanded the wealth and breadth of the knowledge and awareness necessary to correlate our experiences into an expressible and communicable deftness at social interactivity.

    Game appears to be the transitional state of “knowing” which lays a foundation for an even greater level of individual awareness and sensitivity(because that’s what it is) to our surroundings at some point in the near future.

    I can see a direct current between my life in the “hipster” scene throughout the ’90′s thru today’s Game community into an even more subtle, far more complex future. The Singularity has always seemed to me like the point at which “society” evolves into de facto chaos due to it’s inherent complexity and the inability for the majority of mankind to navigate the intense, unforgiving, impersonal future of the Techno Age.

  5. A very valid article, something that has been playing on my own mind for the last 12 years or so – as, by my reckoning, 2000 is the year where things began to crumble, regards modern counterculture. Where all art forms, music and film right at the top, started becoming overly commercialized. The main reason this has happened, though, which you do not mention, is because society, now, is solely corporate-controlled. Everything is corporate; they dictate everything. During the 70s/80s, the corporate mentality started to recognise that the arts/entertainment industries were places they could capitalize on and make money – it took them a long time to take control of things, to ‘impose’ themselves, so to speak, but the full effect occurred, as I’ve mentioned, in 2000. And ever since then, things have got progressively worse, stale, simplified, watered-down, especially regarding arts and culture through society (to such an extent, it’s not even ironic anymore). If something isn’t commercial, within their framework, then it won’t have an outlet. And there lies the problem. All the great forms of counterculture of the past that had an impact on you, the only reason it did was because it had an outlet, an avenue, to reach you – it was out there, in the open, amongst all the mainstream forms, being allowed to compete; a relevantly equal playing field. But that simple is not the case anymore. It’s why we no longer have impacting bands such as The Beatles, The Smiths, Nirvana etc, or filmmakers such as Kubrick, DePalma, Scorsese, Coppola etc, or novelists such as Orwell, Kesey, Dostoyevsky, Huxley etc (or even very modern counterculture novelists, ie Luke Rhinehart, Bret Easton Ellis, Stephen King, etc). If people were around with such talent now (and trust me, there are), how would they have any outlet to make an impact? Where would they go? Who would give them a chance, as was given to the creatives of old? And there’s your answer….

  6. I realize that spreading your ideas through text is important to you, but do you also realize that by us being able to share this to social media cites, you are explicitly being a sellout yourself. This is what’s awful about counterculture, no one man can be truly a symbol of rebellion and against everything. Hence the name Paradigm Shift is perfect for this site. Thank you for the brilliant writing, my friend.

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