Thursday, March 22, 2007

Hipster manqué

Well, I guess I'm just not quite hipster enough for this segment on CBC Radio One one Monday. Back in February, after I wrote about hipster-parent-bashing (as some of you did, too, and I was writing about it having read Bub and Pie's take on it), I noticed that someone from the CBC had been to read the post. Yes, dear reader, you are so few in number but regular in your visits (and so dear to me, obviously) that odd addresses in my Sitemeter provoke my interest. And so I discovered that producer Michelle Eliot left me a comment.

You have to understand how much I love the CBC: I listen to Radio One, Radio Two, and even Radio-Canada Espace Musique. I was tickled; my interest was piqued. So I emailed her. She never emailed me back, but did visit twice more, Googling her way here with the blog name. I wondered what would come of it, and Tuesday I found out. Pynchon was out walking Miss Baby when he ran into an acquaintance who used to work in the same building as him. They got to talking and the acquaintance joked about how, from the looks of our massive and pimped out carriage, Pynchon must be one of those 'hipster parents' he'd just heard about on the CBC. Did any of you hear it? I missed it, but would love to hear about it ...

So now Pynchon and I have both been mistaken for hipster parents, and I've had a near brush with the Mother Corp.

In any case, the whole near-publicity of it, the idea that I might go on national radio and talk about my blog was attractive and repulsive. And I think I'm actually glad my 'cover' is not blown, and that my Sitemeter reports the same 10-15 of you visiting and commenting. I really do like the communal and reciprocal aspects of this space, and I think that could easily be violated by lookie-loos drawn in for a fast peek after hearing something on the radio. I like that you all found me by blogging, and that you're invested in blogs of your own. Also, I'm a professor of new media theory and practice, and I'm a little uncomfortable blending that part of my life with this part. I think, too, that I'm a little uncomfortable with the idea of making a spectacle of my parenthood--like that might make Miss Baby the soapbox I stand on to get my head above the crowd for my 15 minutes. I kinda know someone who did that, in another place and another time, and it felt and feels icky to me.

Ultimately, though, I guess I'm just not hipster enough. As these seven songs will prove:

1. Rufus Wainwright: "In My Arms"

(I like to sing Martha's part. It gets good here once you get past the banter. Be sad.)

2. David Bowe: "Space Oddity"

3. David Sylvian: "September"

4. Japan: "Nightporter" (yes, David Sylvian used to sing lead for Japan ... nice hair, dude!)

Uh-oh! I've caught new wave fever!

5. Depeche Mode: "Love's not enough in itself"

I really love DM. Have forever and ever. Except that stinker of an album in 1993. Which was, regrettably, the tour I got to see them on.

6. Yaz (or Yazoo, depending on your continent): "In My Room"

Speaking of DM! Look, it's a band with Vince Clark and Alison Moyet. I played this CD on repeat one all-nighter during my PhD (in a five disk set that included The Smiths and some Beastie Boys) and couldn't listen to it for a couple of years.

7. Rosemary Clooney and Marlene Dietrich: "Too Old"

Um, yeah, I have loved Rosemary Clooney since hearing her as the sister act in White Christmas. And my mom was always telling me that I have this Dietrich thing going (I do find her hopelessly cool now, but when I was a teenager? I did not take this as a compliment but rather a dig at my, ur, teutonic features). And this song is a seriously funny duet about men being too old 'to pass the mustard any more'. This is the comic relief song after I've bummed you all out ...

So it ought to be obvious now that I'm no hipster mommy, right? And you didn't even have to watch me groovin' out with Miss Baby to the strains of Salt 'n' Pepa when I got home from work tonight. :-)

Dance, people, dance!

Thanks for the tag, Cinnamon Gurl!


Jenifer G. said...

I don't blame you for wanting to keep this space separate, I can see how in your situation the lines could easily become blurred. At worst you might want to stop if this was in your "public" domain.

Hipster? Who knows anymore. Is being uncool the new cool perhaps? Doesn't matter really does it?

Alpha DogMa said...

Go, hipster, go!

Here, here for Jen G's 'uncool is the new cool' idea. Count me in.

Thanks for the Bowie fix.

I kind of scanned the last paragraph and clicked on your last youtube clip expecting Rosemary and Marlene. And when you are expecting Rosemary and Marlene and you get Salt 'n is a bit disconcerting.

So I guess I am alone in not being a fan of the Wainwright children? I think at least part of this is fall out from my dislike of Kate and Anna McGarrigle. They have that wandering-ministeral-take-myself-too-seriously-vibe going on.

If Leah MacLaren drops by the site, give her hell from me.

Em said...

I'm so hip I don't even know what hipster parenting is!

Beck said...

Oh, I'm another Wainwright children non-fan. But I love Rosemary Clooney.
The number of readers I have is a bit odd for me - I have trouble talking about it, for whatever reason, but I do have a fair number of readers and it DOES influence how much I share. That's neat about your CBC lurker. I'm a bit jealous, actually. Green.

Bloor West Mama said...

Just stopping by to say Hi. My brain is not working so well today, so I can't think of something interesting to say. So, Hi :)

Mad Hatter said...

Apparently Kerry from Crunchy Carpets was one of the talking heads.

The link to the archive is here:

I haven't listened to it--can't get it to work on my computer.

I know what you mean about wanting to keep this space "your space." I think of my blog like my living room. I'm getting to the point now where more readers are starting to come than I can read back. It unnerves me. I want to read back. I'm here for the community.

Unlike you, I spend a bit of time (a lot of time lately but usually it's only a bit) theorizing all this blogging stuff on my blog. Sometimes I envy your ability to take that part of the equation and move it over to your work-a-day life. For me, the blog is the only place that I can think about the implications of blogging. Such posts bring a different kind of reader and that always raises my anxiety level just a bit.

Mimi said...

Em, I think hipster parenting is a current north american obsession. Lucky you!

BWW - hi! It's nice to see you again.

Mad, I'm going to listen to this after work, thanks. It never occurred to me that I'm lucky to do my blog theorizing at work, but of course I do and I am. The only downside is that I blog in part to let go of work once I come home at night, and all this good thinking about the genre going on now just makes me hyperventilate from WORLDS COLLIDE!!!! Must Take Notes! (etc.) (as you note, Jen ...)

AD and Beck: sorry to go all Rufus-y on you. I heard him interviewed once and found him a real twit. But goodness I love that first album.

And Beck, the only reason it was me is a confluence of happy Google search terms. And recall that I was not hip enough to actually merit an answer to the email she asked me to send. I see it was Crunchy Carpets and Philosopher Dad who got the nod, and I can only imagine that they are at once cooler and higher up in the Truth Laid Bear ecosystem than me.

I wonder if reader stats are the salary of the blogosphere, you know, like we're not supposed to talk about how many readers we have, that it's tacky in the same way as talking about salary?

NotSoSage said...

Hey! I'm late to all parties this week (it's been busy) and I'm sitting here blogging while trying to let Mme L CIO (I don't know how she/we fell off the wagon, but it happened) and I'm going crazy.

A friend of mine just mentioned it to me. I want to listen, but I'm a little worried it might send me over the edge.

Cool music! I'll have to check out the David Sylvian stuff when I have more time.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

My husband says that in this town, the westside moms (aka SAHM)sitting in the park in the sun with their kids are the Top of the Foodchain. The top, baby! I'm not sure if that makes me hip or not. I think to be hip one must be ironic, no? Too sarcastic to actually enjoy life? If that's the case we are none of us hip : )

I have a readership smaller than yours and while sometimes I admit I get a little jealous, ultimately I like it that way. My living room's pretty small!

Her Bad Mother said...

I spoke to Ms. Eliot on the phone, and they definitely a wanted a very clear for and against angle (I actually gave her Kerry's contact info, because Kerry had come out very clearly anti-hipster in the context of some other discussions). They also wanted 'out-of-Toronto' people - Toronto being too, I don't know, Toronto-ish?

LOVE your list.

gingajoy said...

I officially love you. David Sylvian???? JAPAN?! YaZOOOO?! AND BOWIE? I can;t tell you how much I love all this music too. I must now go and dig out my Japan albums. Too bad I can't put vinyl on my Ipod.

The bus post--I hear your moral dilemma loud and clear. There's a bus stop by our house too, and actually it's really not bad at all. Honest.