“When Hipsters Dream of the 1890s” – an abridged version of my hipster essay is now in Briarpatch Magazine

Fur trade beard - heritage hipster poster

Briarpatch Magazine, one of Canada’s oldest lefty political mags, has published an abridged version of my earlier essay on heritage hipsters and colonialism redux.

If you want to read the original and longer post (with a far drier title) it is here: Settler & pioneer “heritage hipster” styles in the age of Idle No More, Chinatown gentrification, &c.

Thanks to Briarpatch for republishing this essay & thanks to its chief editor Andrew Loewen for doing such a nice job with it, both in print and online (different for each).

Canadians and others, please support independent publishing! And subscribe to Briarpatch here.

By the way, I realize that for many people, “beard” now seems to stand in for “hipster.” So it has now become a standing joke, possibly started by Andrew, that I am a ‘notorious anti-beard activist.’ I’m not! Maybe if you were to mix a beard with suspenders and antlers and a monocle, and perhaps a mason jar, and also be in league with a local condo developer or mining interest, I would start to have a problem with it. But this isn’t about beards, and it isn’t personal. The essay is really just tracking a particular historical fantasy—the colonial 1890s—and asking whether it’s any coincidence that colonial fashion is appearing alongside a new set of land grabs. But even without beards and suspenders, most of the society as a whole is complicit in the continuation of our colonial culture and political economy round these parts. Yes, masculinity is perhaps even more caught up in this phenomenon, but the problem is not beards. I need to get a button made up that just says YOUR BEARD IS FINE.

PS I sincerely apologize for the photo in this post.

Leave a comment