I have not been posting for the last month because of intense grad school schedule, but I have noticed that you, my readers, have been looking at my page. Thank you, all, for not forgetting about me! Let’s have a healthy and happy New Year!
I have been observing the following tendency among my fellow peers [mostly graduate students, undergraduate students and recent university graduates]: everything that is ‘non-mainstream’ (whatever that really means) is becoming extremely popular, while anything that is ‘mainstream’ is being looked down upon.
The terms ‘mainstream’ and ‘non-mainstream’ are extremely vague and the line between them is so blurred, we can consider it non-existent. Many hard-core ‘hipsters’ would not deny the ‘coolness’ of reading Shakespeare. But everyone knows Shakespeare. Does that make him too ‘mainstream’? Slavic-American youth seems even more radical in terms of ‘hipster-approved’ and ‘hipster-inappropriate’ art, literature, music, films, etc. For example, any artists that have become popular at the beginning of the 1990s – usually referred to as ‘estrada’ artists – are totally off limits for some Slavic-American young adults. I know numerous people who would rather be caught without their underwear than in a room where a record of Alla Pugacheva or Philip Kirkorov would be playing (for non-Russian readers – these are the two very prominent representatives of the Russian ‘estrada’). These people propagate the view that intelligent youth absolutely cannot be interested in such artists for two reasons: they are too popular, therefore, their art is not meant for refined tastes; and they are too ‘shallow’ (I have heard this term many times and each person endows it with a different meaning, so I will not attempt to list all possibilities).
I do not like labeling people as ‘hipsters’, ‘intelligent’ or anything else. Each of us has their own name – the only label that I think we should maintain (or use interchangeably, if we have more than one name). Then each of us has a set of unique intellectual characteristics. Some of us may love to listen to a band that plays only in underground clubs, but do not mind listening to Pitbull once in a while. Others may experts on Dostoyevsky, but also in love with silly teenage romance stories. The ability to CHOOSE what to read, listen to or look at is precisely the trait that distinguishes mindless consumers from people who want to think for themselves regardless the endless messages that popular culture is propagating.
So on this note – I would like to say that last Monday, despite the numerous ‘boo’s’ from my ‘hipster’ friends, I went to the concert of Lara Fabian and enjoyed it! And I think my aforementioned ‘hipster’ friends would have enjoyed it as well, if only they allowed themselves to listen to their intellectual and emotional intuition, not the ‘popularity index’ of certain artists.
pic was taken by me