in 2006 I went to Glasslands (a venue for emerging NYC bands in Williamsburg formerly know as Glasshouse) for the Ofays reunion show. While the next band was setting up I walked into the back gallery and on the wall I saw a caricature in blue marker of a Black man with big lips, a bone through his nose, holding a chicken leg with an arrow pointing to the drawing connecting it to the word Nigger. At first I was confused, looking for the ironic artistic statement contained therein. I mean, I was in Williamsburg – ground zero for ironic expression, but then it dawned on me that many of the people in the room were Rednecks, dressed as Hipsters. Needless to say, this instructional video would have been very useful at the time.
Hip NYC is getting a bit too xenophobic lately. Recent transplants should understand where they fit into the rich lineage of vanguard White NYC counterculture – the Beat, Hippie, Punk, Grunge and early (circa 1999) Hipster movements were much more fearless.