Monday, February 19, 2007

The Last Word (for now, from me) on Hipster Parents

One of the great benefits of running a week or two behind is that when there is reason for a minor kerfluffle (like last week's Time magazine piece on insufferable hipster parents), it ends up getting thoroughly and intelligently discussed before I can weigh in.

But I'll weigh in anyway, briefly:

Full disclosure: I am not a hipster parent. This is mostly because I am not a hipster and have never, ever approached hipness. This has never bothered me much. But I sympathize with the hipsters for the simple reason that you should have as many choices in what your child sees, hears, wears and experiences.

There is a tremendous amount of dreck out there for kids. Mind-numbing children's music. Awful, awful clothing. Entirely content-free television. So if you can find stuff out there that has redeeming value *and* is something you can share with your kids, be it They Might Be Giants music or punk rock onsies, why not go for it?

Yes, parenting is about sacrifice and putting the needs ahead of others ahead of your own needs. But there is nothing intrinsic in parenthood that says you must dress your children like the Little Rascals.

(If you're fine with hipness but have had it with parents that revel in their lack of seriousness about the gig, then I would refer you to Andi Buchanan's excellent The Escalation of Cool. It gets to the point -- all this focus on posturing destroys authentic tales of parenting -- without getting wrapped up in whether the Ramones are suitable music for little ears.)

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