Our good friends at Berfrois have quite a lively Twitter feed, and it’s there we chanced to meet Will Self’s recent article in The New Statesman: ‘The awful cult of the talentless hipster has taken over.’ Out of pure love for your interest in SPR (and our own critiques of hipster moves in poetry), I leave you to link the piece on your own—the joint at http://www.newstatesman.com so teems and blinks and bops with adverts it nearly ended my laptop. This aside is an brief sneer, then, at Will Self, Statesman, and every glossy that deigns to publish articles, stories, and verse alongside their capital click-and-gos.
In the case of ‘The awful cult of the talentless hipster has taken over’—an article of some interest otherwise—how can one possibly take Self’s critique of ‘capitalism’s blitzkrieg,’ his lament over his generation being ‘the idiots who scrumped the golden apples from the Tree of Jobs until our bellies swelled’ with a modicum of seriousness, drowning, as it is, in a slurry one-sixteenth words, fifteen-sixteenths ‘capitalism’s blitzkrieg’? Bopping, blinking, teeming. Let’s get a pair of Levi’s, some uppers from Midwest Sports, W. Self, and talk together.
Considering where the article sits, your ignorance is not short of laughable. You deserve a throttling. To fancy yourself a cultural critic is to be mobilized in diagnosis—and therefore change. You do not have the luxury to soapbox from one side of the maw without proffering to your boys at Statesman with the other, ‘Hey, mate, let’s make sure I don’t look like a cabbage when this hits the www. Keep the bills you’d pay me to make that page exemplify the word-forward bit.’ It takes a rare sort, Mr. Self, to bemoan the ‘world-girldling mass of mindless attitudinising’ alongside the sure composition of gems like ‘we’re the twats’ and ‘dickhead arseholes.’ You’re rather too in on the joke; your article follows a light-fingered lash with the reassuring squeeze that all your ‘Oxycontin-popping’ still left you sober enough to turn a phrase. Who needs such puffy and combed half-soldiers? Line every birdcage with the charades of columnists like these. Stop submitting to the mags that put your words in primary service to coin.