February 26, 2007

Paradise For The Bobos! David Brooks Declares Fatwa On 'Hipster Parents'

bobo_grup_book.jpg

Seriously, where to start? It was only a matter of time until NY Times columnist David turned his shopping=culture magnifying glass onto 'hipster parents', who are identified by their "hummus snacks," and their "abusively pretentious children’s names like Anouschka and Elijah" wearing “Anarchy in the Pre-K” shirts.

This was the guy, after all, who spun an entire book out of the idea that his generation of self-indulgent Boomers weren't Yuppies [eww!] because they liked Starbuck's and "flimsy cognoscenti lettuce." [The reality: they weren't Yuppies anymore. But only because they're no longer young.]

The flaws with Brooks' argument are legion--Steven Johnson does a great job at lasering several of them, including the DOA premise that "counterculture" is essentially just a series of "fashion trends", but he doesn't go far enough when he suspects Brooks has never actually listened to Sufjan Stevens [go read it, it'll make sense]. I suspect Brooks has never knowingly met or seen a 'hipster parent,' and Brooks couldn't spot a hipster parent if one ran him off the sidewalk with a doublewide Bugaboo [yes, I know.]

Look at his language:

"the hipster parent moment"
"Can we stop hearing about downtown parents who..."
"Can we finally stop reading about..."
"...don’t today’s much-discussed hipster parents notice..."
"The hipster parent trend has been going on too long and it’s got to stop."
"It’s been nearly three years since reporters...began noticing..."
"...the trend has exhausted its life cycle."
"A witty essay by Adam Sternbergh announced the phenomenon"
"He called these pseudo-adults 'Grups...'”
"Then came the hipster parents’ own online magazine, Babble.com."
"...the movement got its own book..." [which, unlike the Bobos, Brooks didn't write -ed]
Hipster parents aren't the problem; writing about them is. Brooks has no firsthand experience outside his media bubble, where articles, website launches and book releases--shadow puppets on the wall of Plato's cave--are the only observable realities. It's a world where you're only as good as your last coinage. And the man who didn't come up with "grups" is now trying to rouse the bobos to anger. Think of the children, he cries. And to get them punks to turn down their infernal hip hop music.

Mosh Pit Meets Sandbox by David Brooks, NYT Select reprinted [brooklynian.com via curbed]
David Brooks, deconstructed [stevenberlinjohnson]
Hug by Jez Alborough + Bobo plush doll, now $9.75 [limegreencatalog]

3 Comments

I believe the the word "grup" is a plagerism from, of all places, Star Trek ( the original series ).

There is an episode where Kirk & Crew beam down to a seemingly deserted city where they soon discover that only children remain due to some kind of virus that kills adults ( puberty is the killing point ). Consequently, these children have no memory of adults/ grown-ups and have thru the years passed on this bastardized and amalgamated version of the two words. "Grup"

"Children of Men" is the inverse of this Star Trek Teleplay.

{you're right, but it's not plagiarism; the guy who repurposed it was stoked by the Star Trek connection. -ed.]

bobo's so cute with how many words it takes him to say, "get off my lawn!"

Hi I am wanting to purhcase the hard cover book and soft toy of Bobo Hug by Jez Alborough and cannot get it anywhere. Are you able to help me locate a book and toy set?

I would greatly appreciate it. It's for my 13 yr old son and he mentions it occassionally and would really love to suprise him.

Thanks
jess

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