subject: Chomsky v. Hipster either/or Chomsky via Hipster?
Brennan Balestrieri <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tue, Aug 31, 2010 at 7:30 PM
Glad to see your lecture in China, really inspiring insight & advicein the Q&A section. Congratulations on the honorarydoctorate.
Here is an article that popped up in my news search on your recent talks:
The Trouble With Hipsters --By Steven Crowder
AND I QUOTE:
If not for this subliminal indoctrination, people like Noam Chomskywould have few readers, and terrorists would have no young Americansympathizers to call their own. You seethe hipster, often blessed with the luxury of never having had to earna living in the real world (no, college is not the real world) ispermanently perched in the peanut gallery, free to criticize othermore productive Americans.
"I'll never be a corporate suit or sell-out!"..."America is an EvilEmpire that rapes the earth of its resources, and robs fromimpoverished countries!"..."Islamic terrorists wouldn't want to kill
us if we just left them alone and stopped being so arrogant....Wedon't own the world!"
These are all common beliefs of hipsters that can be overheard on aSunday stroll through NYC's East Village. -- Just be sure to avoid thetainted syringes. -- If you were to ask the modern hipster, he" I meanshe" Sorry, IT is likely under the impression that Usama Bin Laden iswearing skinny jeans in his cave, currently listening to AnimalCollective as he throws back cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
As a Milwaukee, WI resident up to my neck in Pabst Blue Ribbonmarketing, I easily found this on Wikipedia:
"Pabst instead targets its desired market as an authentic Americanbeer through product placement in films such as Gran Torino[citationneeded], as well as targeting its niche through the sponsorship of
indie music concerts, local businesses, post-collegiate sports teams,dive bars and radio programming like National Public Radio's AllThings Considered."
It seems the author, Steven Crowder, fails to take the critical stepback to see the New York, heroin junkie, skinny jean wearing "hipster"is a brand & niche created by the corporatism he avidly defends. Asmodels we grow into, these aspirational archetypes must not only beanti-consumption, but actively organizing against the dangerousexternalities of the global capitalist state. Your friend Howard Zinnmade our moral obligation easy to recount: you can't be neutral on amoving train.
So let's suppose subliminally it is "cool" to study your critiques andyour appeal to apply critical thought to our moral obligations and ourcollective accountability for our governments' actions. I'm alarmedthe means of transmission, critical theory grad classes and (accordingto Crowder) drug dens, for radical moral thought is lacking in theACTION category. Some of my favorite ACTION folks:
Yes Men -- pranksters that make popular moral claims through spoofedofficial media channels & earned-media
Adbusters -- design/media/culture collective outlining lack ofcompassion & soul in consumer capitalism
I don't want to create the false dichotomy of 'Chomsky v. hipster'dominating 'Chomsky via hipster'; I'm just interested to hear yourthoughts on how your readers (followers?) first encounter you, and the
thick/act component of your critiques of American action. AllenGinsberg and Jack Kerouac sparked New York Beats and the wider cultureto reply to the demands of modern capitalist society, creating asubversive cultural thread; a Velvet Underground-esque, "syringe"intellectual that Crowder is raising from the dead 60 odd years later. I'mnot sure a Columbia University literary clique will soon again dictatethe young American consciousness.
However the wry, dark humor in Ginsberg and perhaps similarly Capotehave a relation to your stinging creative non-fiction lilt. I hear asimilar tone in NPR and This American Life program especially, aprogram that has been one of the oddly few in-depth reporting outletson the financial crisis, with their tie-in with the the Planet Moneyradio team. I like how you often humbly point to successful modelsinstead of demanding adherence to your solutions.
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I'm a 28 year old organizer & activist from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I'm a trained PV (solar cell) installer, and lifelong progressive. I believe in social justice and celebrating democracy through combating moral outrage & the lack of compassion. I'm (more...