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.
Actually the attitude is the realization that we won't be working for said firm in 20 years, or even in 15 years. We will be lucky to work at the same company for 5 years (and you can expect at least one takeover in that time and 4 re-organizations).
Hopefully it will compel more ADULTS to start their own companies (upstarts) whether they are internet companies or something else. Good money to be made. Be your own boss. More risk but better rewards.
What kiond of working men could afford to take the time to see those day games?
The 1920s had the Lost Generation. Lots of adults screwed off then too.
While someone is paying $250 for a pair of "designer" jeans, some young designer is GETTING $250 for a pair of scruffy jeans. Money being made.
I've seen the Fonzy-thing, the Mood Ring Fad, the Hippy Costume Fad, Sun Dresses, bell-bottoms, those Buford T. Justice/Peter Fonda mirror sunglasses, Disco, Jams, the Great Bandana Craze of '83( or was it '82), those funny looking square pants that I can't even describe, Tatoos out the Wazoo, and the Tackle Box Face Look. It's all, basically, the same "Quest for Cool" Fad .... just different merchandise.
Life isn't "one thing after another". It's "the same damn thing over and over".
And I remember "grunge fashion" being sold coast to coast in posh department stores in the early 1990s (15 years ago now). Watch the documentary Hype (about the Seattle music scene). It was all a JOKE that the industry didn't care about, someone "validated" it and they had a style guide they could sell to store buyers who in turn sold to the masses.
Cool is eternal. Those were all fruity fads.
You're tellin' me.
You'll find PLENTY of baby boomers in t-shirts and jeans any day at the mall. You'll even find adults over 45 dressed down in some churches.
IN the 1980s ADULTS wore cloth jogging suits (including sweatpants) as a fashion statement (I'm into the "jogging
" craze and don't care HOW I look to you, I'm comfortable).
Hype was a pretty funny documentary. Loved the Sub Pop gal who fooled the Times with grunge terms.
Oh, and don't forget to change the pictures on your myspace.
Oh and one other thing regarding that "shoulder-slung messenger bag"... that my friends is a man purse. If you're a dude + you're carrying a man purse... you're a girl.
Yeah, I was wondering the other day how my grandkids are going to react to me screaming along with Temple of the Dog while I'm driving them to Chucky Cheese in 50 years.
Vice Magazine Fashion Do's and Don'ts
You singled out something important. Some people don't want to be persons, they want to be personas. It is rather creepy when you think about it in those terms. A lot of people are living in a fantasy world based on T.V. shows or music "artists." A lot of folks have been given everything so they think life is a game.
I have no idea what half of these things are.
I think that is good.
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