I’M SO SICK OF THESE HIPSTER TROMBONISTS
Whether you’re an academic, a luddite or one of those futurists who buys all of their clothes from Cos, you’ll have known for a long time now that we are all living in The Age Of Irony. From Fredric Jameson to Adam Sandler to the Horse_ebooks Twitter, we’ve known pretty much since Camden stopped being a cool place to hang out that none of the great thinkers of our time are truly sincere in their aims any more.
New York Times writer Christy Wampole helpfully reiterated this to the masses in her recent think-piece “How To Live WIthout Irony”. As an article, it’s not terribly written and is actually fairly articulate, but it doesn’t really tell us anything we haven’t been told before – you know, the usual stuff about you and I being nothing but fickle, giggling, retromaniac croutons bobbing around in a post-modern soup clinging to the wreckage of purpose and meaning, bla, bla, bla.
But there was one thing thing in the article that stood out to me. And it arrived in the second paragraph:
“If irony is the ethos of our age – and it is – then the hipster is our archetype of ironic living.
“The hipster haunts every city street and university town. Manifesting a nostalgia for times he never lived himself, this contemporary urban harlequin appropriates outmoded fashions (the moustache, the tiny shorts), mechanisms (fixed-gear bicycles, portable record players) and hobbies (home brewing, playing trombone).
Sorry, what? Playing the trombone? Since when did anyone play the trombone ironically? I can’t think of any buzz bands or moombahton remixes that use a trombone. I can’t remember ever hearing anyone utter the phrase: “Fuck those hipster trombonists.” I can’t even think of any famous trombonists, other than that guy who played Bunk in The Wire in that film about New Orleans. And I’m not even sure that was a trombone.