Skip to comments.Does Anyone Want to Be an Adult Anymore? (Up With Grups*)
Posted on 03/30/2006 7:59:55 PM PST by SLB
* Also known as yupster (yuppie + hipster), yindie (yuppie + indie), and alterna-yuppie. Our preferred term, grup, is taken from an episode of Star Trek (keep reading) in which Captain Kirk et al. land on a planet of children who rule the world, with no adults in sight. The kids call Kirk and the crew grups, which they eventually figure out is a contraction of grown-ups.
Lets start with a question. A few questions, actually: When did it become normal for your average 35-year-old New Yorker to (a) walk around with an iPod plugged into his ears at all times, listening to the latest from Bloc Party; (b) regularly buy his clothes at Urban Outfitters; (c) take her toddler to a Mommys Happy Hour at a Brooklyn bar; (d) stay out till 4 A.M. because he just cant miss the latest New Pornographers show, because who knows when Neko Case will decide to stop touring with them, and everyone knows shes the heart of the band; (e) spend $250 on a pair of jeans that are artfully shredded to look like they just fell through a wheat thresher and are designed, eventually, to artfully fall totally apart; (f) decide that Sufjan Stevens is the perfect music to play for her 2-year-old, because, lets face it, 2-year-olds have lousy taste in music, and we will not listen to the Wiggles in this house; (g) wear sneakers as a fashion statement; (h) wear the same vintage New Balance sneakers that he wore on his first day of school in the seventh grade as a fashion statement; (i) wear said sneakers to the office; (j) quit the office job becauseyou know what?screw the office and screw jockeying for that promotion to VP, because isnt promotion just another word for slavery?; (k) and besides, now that shes a freelancer, working on her own projects, on her own terms, its that much easier to kick off in the middle of the week for a quick snowboarding trip to Sugarbush, because shes got to have some balance, right? And she can write it off, too, because who knows? She might bump into Spike Jonze on the slopes; (l) wear a Misfits T-shirt; (m) make his 2-year-old wear a Misfits T-shirt; (n) never shave; (o) take pride in never shaving; (p) take pride in never shaving while spending $200 on a bedhead haircut and $600 on a messenger bag, because, seriously, only his grandfather or some frat-boy Wall Street flunky still carries a briefcase; or (q) all of the above?
This is an obituary for the generation gap. It is a story about 40-year-old men and women who look, talk, act, and dress like people who are 22 years old. Its not about a fad but about a phenomenon that looks to be permanent. Its about the hedge-fund guy in Park Slope with the chunky square glasses, brown rock T-shirt, slight paunch, expensive jeans, Puma sneakers, and shoulder-slung messenger bag, with two kids squirming over his lap like itchy chimps at the Tea Lounge on Sunday morning. Its about the mom in the low-slung Sevens and ankle boots and vaguely Berlin-art-scene blouse with the $800 stroller and the TV-screen-size Olsen-twins sunglasses perched on her head walking through Bryant Park listening to Death Cab for Cutie on her Nano.
Grups - just my style of folks.
How do I feel about Grups.
"Bonk bonk on the head."
I've seen it all.
I'm not sure what the trend is here; there have always been hipster parents. My two toddler daughters listen to Sufjan Stevens, Sigur Ros and a zillion other indie artists... doesn't seem like a big deal to me.
But not just here. This morning I was thinking about all the rap music and ghetto clothing sold around the country (and the world, I suppose) as fashion, and how people affect ghetto dialect when in fact most of them wouldn't last a week in the 'hood. It's silly.
Walking behind a couple of neighborhood kids yesterday, I hear one of them "singing" this (as best as I can remember):
"most nigga's when they in jail are [something]...but I know this one's a snitch..."
and I remembered singing "Ticket to Ride" by the Beatles when I was a kid...and "Time" by Pink Floyd by the time I was a teenager...
I learned all the words to "I'm A Ding Dong Daddy from Dumas," including the patter chorus, when I was 13.
yes, but...it really does get to be a pitiful sight after a while...and if you have any sense at all, you tend to wonder about people who will pay $1.2 million for 900 square foot one bedroom apartment.
It needn't be envy...just amazement...and the usual split second estimates about the state of the real estate market, the economy, and the likelihood that you might be able to pick it up for 300 in a couple of year as a foreclosure.
I think that is good.
Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.
Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.
Ping for later, too long, but must.read.it.all.
Happy to be an old fart at 48. Just saw Steven and Edie in Vegas, seated right next to the stage, too cool. They rocked. If you have to ask, you're too young to understand.
Thanks for posting this SLB, looks like an excellent piece.
Quiting the 9-5 and being in charge of your own schedule sounds good to me.
I had to find out what they were.
I forgot. People in their 30s are supposed to act like they have one foot in the grave and surrender to the nursing home. No thanks. I'm 31. If I want to wear things that are in style, then I will. And the economy and my psyche will be better because of it.
I became an adult when I finally decided that it wasn't much fun trying to keep up with the world and that it was time for the world to start keeping up with me. It doesn't, of course, and I don't care. Before I was an adult I would have.
Those two are still alive? Are you sure? Even Mel Torme croaked. Did you look closely; might be Disney animatronics.
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