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Ironic "Y"

  I was surfing around the web, as I so often do, revelling in the sensation of my fleeting youth being squandered away in front of a computer monitor, and a random trail of links led me to this site: IndieClick . Or, oops, I mean "indieclick", with lowercase letters. It wouldn't be indy if it was capitalized, cause that's what conservatives do, or whatever other group of people fall outside of the vaguely defined culture of "indy". They capitalize, cause they're all about oppression, and they don't get how young people can be so deeply connected to the arts, and indy film, and indy music, and blogs...most commonly ones documenting things also preceded by the word "indy", or "indie", I guess. Y is so fake, all trying to be a vowel when it really isn't. Real indie culture is all about real vowels...unless I was being ironic using the "y"...which I was.

  Anyways, seeing this site, which appears to be for a company that provides advertising and marketing services to businesses looking for an in to the "indy" (remember, ironic "y") culture, drudged up all kinds of bile-dipped rage from deep inside my gut, and I knew that I had to get all pissy and reaffirm the fact that I'm the world's oldest 23 year old.

  I'm sorry, but I hate "indie kids". Why? It's the complete and utter, blatant, almost spiteful hypocrisy that comes from basing a culture around being "independent". I'm sorry, that's just stupid. It's asinine. "Counter-culture" fails to be true counter-culture once it's been defined as counter-culture. It then just becomes a demographic that marketers study and craft ad campaigns around, as this website so wonderfully demonstrates. When a whole generation of pasty white kids has decided to dye their hair black, wear ill-fitting faux-thrift store clothing and listen to packaged boy bands who scuff up their hair and swing guitars around their neck instead of doing synchronized dance routines and feathering their follicles, and then has the audacity to claim that this somehow makes them "independent”?

  No. Like...no. And I'm not talking about much-maligned "emo kids". They're fine by me. They may be annoying, but it's due primarily to their overbearing sense of sincerity, their need to have too honest a connection to the world around them, instead of willfully building up that callous on the soul that's pretty much a necessity for making it through life. Maybe it's willfull ignorance on their part, a refusal to embrace reality, but at least it's a journey that searches for some sort of truth. I personally don't believe in absolute truths, but that just makes the journey towards them even more important, even if in vain. The alternative is simply to float in a void, to let cynicism at its most toxic become the only truth.

  That's what I see as the poison of "indie" culture, the need for everything to be "ironic", joyous nihilism, in a sense. It's the idea of "kitsch". It's the devaluation of any display of sincerity. It's the desire to mock and subvert the past without taking responsibility for rebuilding the future. It's taking the position of the outsider and then mocking those outside of what you determine to be "in". It's "art" that concerns itself more with being clever than being honest (or good, for that matter). It's every bratty kid who thinks that emulating a scene by dressing a certain way and listening to certain kinds of music equates to a personal statement. It's the concept of "nerd chic".

  It's people who refuse to ever stare straight into the goddamned camera when they take a picture. It's everything that I got sick of dealing with when I was a fine arts major in college, and it's everything that this stupid website and company sell to kids who each apparently have an influence over 6.8 other purchasers, on average.

  There's what your "indie" scene has evolved into, folks. The yuppie for the digital age.

© Kerry Daniszewski 2005 - 2008.  The character Bubsy is property of Accolade, or whatever still exists of it, and Mai Shiranui is property of SNK Playmore.