Shit, now I'm going to have to start living underground before other people catch on so I can have done it first.
well, I think you are late, there are many people living underground in Beijing nowadays because the rent is cheaper. lol @Kieran
I think it's unavoidable in modern society, it's hard to make historical things left untouched. It's like the old controversy between whether we should preserve the ancient buildings or we should replace them with new ones. The original residents live there want modern life, but the public-usually those who enjoy modern life themselves-says: no, we should preserve them, they are the invaluable things. So real residents move out, some business people or indepent workers move in and everything changes at the same time. You can see that from all the so-called ancient culture historical places, they are all commericalized.
I find it so humorously ironical that people will spend hours writing, complaining and whining about "hipsters making stuff uncool". But the complaint about hipsters is that THEY blame other people for "making stuff uncool". So that makes you a sort of meta-hipster or what? (and me a meta-meta-hipster)
I'm too meta for this shit right now. Anyway, I don't think Lee spent "hours" working on this bit of satire (he definitely didn't spend hours proofreading it...snap!)
I think the main complaint directed at hipsters is that they take themselves too seriously. That isn't necessarily the main point of the piece, as I think it's directed more towards the hypocrisy that these folks exhibit when they complain about the gentrification of certain areas of Beijing while simultaneously being the root cause of said gentrification.
But yeah, despite the fact that I largely identify with the group of people he's talking about, I won't hesitate to mock them. You just have to have a sense of humor - every sub-culture is worth taking the piss out of from time to time.
I am not complaining, I accept it as a trend of social development. Good or bad, it's not in the control of any single person. You are coo if you are being yourself. lol
The only reasons i love to live in a hutong is:
- big beers are just a kuai-fifty at the local xiaomaibu
- if your bored, you usually find other bored people to play cards / get drunk
- rent is piss cheap (more money for beers ^^)
- you can steal internet from about 20 unsave wifi signals around you
And if i call the food delivery i can say: " wo shi zhe ge laowai" and they know, i have luckly no other fonign neigours here, that makes things more easy ...
But i don't care much about so called Traditionally hutong live style, anyways, i have no courtyards around here, just wild constructions of new build light weight second floor building all over the roofs of this area, no hutong feeling, but 3rd wold feeling ^^
Haha, I like the last 2 reasons, maybe I should move there when I lost my job. lol. But a firend once told he don't like there because people are very noise day and night, and many other inconveniences. I'd like to visit there every now and then but definately not to live there.
@mengmeng: yeah, thats the down site, you have grabage collectors who scream all day, the vegetables guys who scream all day, some neignbours usualy argumenting, dogs that fight and bark all day and usually they crash a hutong ( actually here not even hutongs, just single rooms ) down to rebuild it 2floored every here and then and make lots of noise...
I remember blogging about this shit last year when I was living in the 山寨四合院. I've been a step ahead of the hipster curve ever since I started wearing thick-framed nerd spectacles as a high-school freshman, long before it was cool.
Among hipsters, the quickest way to become cool is to be transcendantly uncool.
Anyway, the most authentically hardcore "hutongster" I've ever met never even went to Wudaoying hutong. She bought 3 kuai Tsingtaos and chatted with old Chinese folks outside of the neighborhood convenience stores. She actually had a great sense of humor about her lifestyle, and constantly joked about studying "Chinese culture and history" at Renmin.
The only way she contributed to gentrification was by paying rent. But with so many Chinese folks around, that's just a drop in the bucket.
Anyone who complains about hipsters taking themselves too seriously are just terminally unhip yuppies who don't understand the myriad levels of meta-irony one must traverse in order to understand the core wisdom of hipsterism.
I'm like Dildando - I was mocking hutong hipsters years before it was cool.
I still do it, mind. But ironically.
Do you hear that vast sucking sound? It's the implosive force of Western subcultures collapsing in upon themselves into a monolithic hipsterism, which is composed of hyperdense irony, black humor, and other dark matters.
If we told you, they would cease to be hip.
I take the mickey out of another kind of Beijing hipster.
But you probably haven't heard of them.