By Óscar Broc
Now that the 'tache crowd has stopped sending bomb letters to PlayGround HQ and are no longer hiring gypsy ladies to put spells on yours truly, it's time to rock the boat again and make the little squirts jump up like live shrimp in boiling water. I know, it can end in tears. But don't worry, I'll send pieces of my hair myself to those who, after reading this piece against hipster daddies, want to do some serious voodoo on me (Lisa Bonnet and chicken included). For if my piece on a badly grown bit of facial hair can tempt the in-crowd to dust off the Enola Gay and turn DWH into the new Hiroshima - I don't know what will happen when we're meddling with their offspring.
Oh, don't worry: those who don't want to see the other side of the abyss out of fear they'll get upset, can just stop reading this column and go do something else. But the dirty work has to be done here and now. And yours truly has already got his black rubber gloves on, the butcher's apron and the mask made of human skin like Hannibal Lecter. But let it be clear that this second episode of Down With Hipsters is a cry for help, an outcry in defence of those poor kids who - without having asked for it, without holding the blame for their existence - are forced to live with the surreal whims of their hipster parents. Because to grow a ferret under one's nose is one thing - to have a kid and treat it like some little doggie, a Mr. Potato puppet or, even worse, some kind of test lab with which to find new meaning to the concept of frivolity is another thing entirely.
We're not going to act as if we're defending the rights of the minor. Kids are noisy humanoids, extremely annoying; evil Critters that get their way by means of the classic screaming like a pig in a slaughter house, producing a sonic frequency unbearable to the adult human. How many kids will have spoiled my lunch at my favourite restaurants? Thousands of them. I don't like the little buggers, but something is very wrong in the hipster universe if - in this sprint to the podium of my phobias - it's the parents, and not their offspring, who cross the finish line first. To the point: enough already with the original names, hell, you're not baptising a bloody monkey or a lemur, for Christ's sake!
Tell me the name of your kid and I'll tell you who you are
Of course, hipsters have children too. And the first grandchildren of Sónar, the present crowd at the marvellous invention called SónarKids (and people say I don't like anything hip), are already experiencing a complicated existence. Their parents have turned them into an extension of their hipness, worse; they act like they're their pets. In fact, they weren't afraid to play with one of the most precious and valuable things a child has, an element that will determine their health and well-being in their teens: their name. The maths is easy: you're not a hip daddy if your kid hasn't got a weird name. The umpteenth Beckham brat wasn't named after a bag by sheer luck (although they did call her Harper Seven); Nicholas Cage's son listens to the Krypton name Kal-El (I'll admit: it's the only one I like); Gary Oldman held Gulliver in his arms; Ashlee Simpson thought it a great idea to ruin her little one's life right from the start by calling him Bronx Mogwli; Jason Lee decided to give his boy the name Pilot Inspektor and the American government, believe it or not, has not put his moustachioed mug on a poker card with “Wanted dead or alive” written on it.
You can call your kid American Apparel or Gatorade for all I care, the world will keep on turning - not caring about the crimes against humanity you're committing in the name of hipness. Well yes, the coolest Hollywood actors, so-called rock musicians, hipsters, all of them are to blame for the fact that the virus is spreading among the cool people and that the guest-list at SonarKids seems to be written by Hunter S. Thompson in collaboration with a Klingon. The hipster is frivolous, we've known that since human kind started to reason, but this is just too much. Is it really necessary to let a poor innocent child carry the heavy weight of coolness just because the hipster wants to show how hip he or she is?
The name of the thing
An embarrassing trend can be seen among parents to remodel the role of their offspring, now turned into little billboards for their parents' egos. While not so long ago the old hipsters left their mark on countless youngsters by treating them like adults (the worst thing you can do to a child is substituting its comics with books by Nick Hornby), now they look at the other side of the ocean. The kid thus becomes another element of that post-modern inventory the United Hipsters of America use to define themselves in front of the common folk. Gratuitous frivolity is the rule. In an absurd race not to stay behind, the hipsters drag some poor brats with them in their particular madness, brats who, when they have to go to school, will have to overcome the added obstacle of their name, be it Dolce & Gabbana Smith, Soup Nazi Johnson or Pokemon Wilson. I'm not saying we should go back to Horatio, Archibald or Bartholomew, but between that and giving a baby the name of a shoe brand lies an ocean... of radioactivity.
It's terrible to see how a child becomes a pet. Because not only do the hipsters want to reaffirm themselves and stand apart from the rest in this competition for the coolest name, they also go all out when buying clothes for their offspring. It's painful to see the little nippers turn into puppets that can be dressed and combed whichever way their daddies want. Hair gels, quiffs, Heidi Slimane foulard, trouser skirt, Ray-Bans: we don't care if the kid walks into a lamp post, we're going to a festival and we're going to walk around showing our child of as if it were a trophy for all our cool friends to see, no matter how much the brat wants to go home and play with his Kenner Star Wars toys.
Hipsters, listen up, be reasonable. Leave your kids alone, dress them like children, don't give them asymmetric hairdos or dye their manes, okay? If they want to be part of the Cool Family when they grow up, they'll get their membership cards themselves, but at least leave them some kind of option. And most of all, give them a name that won't send them to the shrink before the age of ten. After all, if exclusivity is what you're looking for, if you want to be ahead of everyone else, you're wasting your time. Because you're not the first people to give their children impossible names. Eons ago, the Mike Sorrentinos of this world were already doing that, and I would say they did a hell of a lot better job than you ever will. The second part of our anti-hipster crusade will most likely backfire on us. But sometimes it's good to bite the hand that feeds us. Today, we're outraged with cool parents who use their children as pets.