Earl Gray

Earl Gray
"You can argue with me but, in the end, you'll have to face that fact that you're arguing with a squirrel." - Earl Gray

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Earl the Squirrel's Rule #102
    Previously, we've talked about technicians/geeks, jobseekers, performers, poets, editors, publishers, critics and "the public" (i.e. everyone else).  Two groups we haven't examined are audiences and hipsters.  This is because, unfortunately, the former don't exist and the latter do. 

    For our purposes, a hipster is defined as a pseudo-sophisticate.  These range from the pseudo-intellectual jabbering on endlessly and exclusively about empty, content-based "-isms" (e.g. ideationism, conceptualism, etc.) to the gadfly who knows how to enter the poetry world but not what to do once there.  If nothing else, these parrots serve to remind us of a fundamental principle of hypermodernism:  what is fashionable can never be original.  

     From the gabby to the groupie, no hipster will self-identify as such. One can always find a bevy of them barnacling themselves to the nearest critic, editor or publisher.  They are almost as numerous as cockroaches and every bit as welcome.  The only thing sadder than a young hipster is an old one.  Indeed, it seems their main function in our society's fabric is that of pity-point:

    "I may be jobless, homeless and 6 digits in debt paying for a degree that doesn't even get me into Hamburger University but, hey, at least I'm not a hipster!"

Earl the Squirrel's Rule #96
    Contrary to popular misconception, hipsters come in both genders.  Or neither.  Whatever.  At least it isn't hard to distinguish them from their professional counterparts:  careerists want to get paid while hipsters want to get laid.  Similarly, the difference between hipsters and hucksters is that the latter occasionally succeed.

    Never lacking in confidence, all of these wannabes believe they live in a dark age, their prodigious genius unrecognized.  They can be spotted at open mics and slams, trying to leverage sparse talent into boisterous applause.  You've seen them laugh at random moments during poetry readings, hoping you will assume they have caught a humorous nuance you missed.  Contrary to popular misconception, a hipster does cast a reflection in the mirror, leaving us to wonder why they dress the way they do.  Because their imagination begins and ends with the delusion that they have any imagination, hipsters will often scour journals looking for ideas to borrow and trends to overanalyze.  That brings us to a sobering realization: 

     Hipsters may be the closest thing to an audience that poetry has. 

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Earl Gray, Esquirrel

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