February 11, 2013

Hipster Fathering Is Not A Crime!

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I've been cheering on the inside for Kindling Quarterly for over a month now, because I know exactly how it feels to stand on the brink of fatherhood, survey the parenting magazinescape, and see a deep, daunting, me-shaped void.

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And I know what it's like to yearn for a decent diaper bag, preferably a duffel that's handmade from vegetable-tanned saddle leather by veteran Ghurka artisans in Norwalk or wherever, and that can pull righteous duty as a weekend bag when--oh wait, right, no, there's this kid now, which means all our weekends require a Volvo 240 Wagonload of stuff.

Anyway, I also know what it's like to have some media chucklehead completely fail to grasp the vision of your groundbreaking dadness and try to shoehorn you into whatever tired, soundbitey cliche they had lying around. It used to be Mr. Mom, a movie that came out when the Kindling fellows were approximately zero years old. Which didn't stop the NY Times guy from mentioning it anyway.

So what's the 2013 equivalent of Mr. Mom, you wonder? As if you didn't know:

"We actually said at our first meeting that if we make this pretty, somebody's going to accuse us of being hipster dads," said Mr. Heffner, 32, whose long beard and thick black glasses, and his borough, might make the accusation seem accurate.

"This whole hipster thing seems like an empty demarcation," said Mr. Perez, also 32.

Most of the fathers in Kindling Quarterly's first issue live or have lived in Brooklyn. They grow their own food, describe cooking as "an immediately satisfying creative project," and use the word "source" as a verb.

Yet beneath the stereotypes, Kindling may be an expression of a new type of fatherhood.

That's right, the kind of authentic, artisanal, small-batch Brooklyn parenting that Kindling celebrates is as far from an empty demarcation as you can get. Besides, hipster was for, like twentysomethings in like 2006. Completely different.

Buy, bask in, savor, and embrace Kindling Quarterly, on a few indie newsstands now [kindlequarterly]
A New Magazine for Fathers Who Think, a Lot, About Fatherhood [nyt via dt reader and recovering hipster rolf]

3 Comments

$46 for a year subscription (4 issues) so that these guys can tell me how cool they are.

Sounds great!

Not sure if post (or NYT piece) is serious or mock-serious...

Indie kids became hipsters who became...whatever these guys are. Dunno what the label is that's applied to sensitive urbanites who spend lots of money to give the outward appearance of philosopher poet lumberjacks from Vermont in the 1950s, but these guys are it.

I have more rants, but at the end of the day there are $750 duffle bag people and there are not $750 duffle bag people.

They can lament the emptiness of their demarcations all they like but these are the c.2005 hipsters who have gotten older, had a kid, and started some unscalably twee manufacturing operation. OR they work for J. $#%^ing Crew, the Halliburton of the Trad Industrial Complex.

As for the $750 duffle bag people, I'm sorry, but that just seems like a ridiculous choice for a diaper bag. Which reveals the magazine's concept as identity fantasy, the uncritical subsumption of parenting into the idyllic consumerism-as-creativity paradigm which, talk about your empty demarcations...

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