austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Candles at the spinet

And as the day went on what else might we do but watch the traditional Christmas far of The Wanderers? bunny_hugger's father grabbed onto the film early, and hard, and by reports went through a phase where he'd insist on making sure everyone in the world had seen the movie, and if they maybe would want to see it again. He's several times asked if I'd seen it (I hadn't), which always tickled him partly because there's a line in the movie about Trenton, New Jersey, so he had an immediate reference for any of the times my ancestral homeland came up. He'd been eager to see it again, and everyone gave in, and yeah, it's a pretty good film, and now I have directly experienced where many of his references are from, and yes, it's one of many films he showed his kids repeatedly and with little concern about whether they were age-appropriate.

I should mention --- and this is related --- one of the gifts my father-in-law gave his son was a faded-print Brooklyn T-shirt, which he quipped was something he could never get back home in Brooklyn. And here we had to share something his father had done that we just found utterly delightful. When he bought the shirt and got it shipped he saw the fabric was worn and the print faded and all that, looking like it was a bit distressed. He was upset about that until bunny_hugger assured him that kind of shirt was supposed to look like it was worn out. ``Oh,'' he said. bunny_hugger made him promise not to complain to the company about it. He had already written a review complaining about how the shirt was disappointing because it looked thin and worn and faded. bunny_hugger was mortified for the imagined oh-god-what-a-hick-this-guy-is whoever in the company reads complaints must have said, at least until I pointed out, they might be supposing that he was delivering an extremely slick ironic review of an ironic T-shirt.

Now, something that bunny_hugger's father wonders, almost to obsession, is whether his son might be a hipster. He asks bunny_hugger about it at least once pretty much every time they get together and she finally said you have to ask him. But that would likely be flawed since, as bunny_hugger notes, ``hipster'' has such a negative connotation that nobody self-identifies as one, except maybe ironically somehow. And indeed he did say he probably wasn't a hipster, on the grounds of being too old, and of being too sincerely into the many odd interests he has, although someone who just looked at him would probably say, yeah, that's a hipster. Unless he were back in Park Slope, where he's not hipster enough.

But, he pointed out, bunny_hugger might be more qualified as a hipster. She's got her distinct style, she's got a number of niche hobbies. I was reminded that back in summer we went to the Common Ground music festival and didn't go see the night's headliner of MGMT just because she was really there for one of the more obscure bands. She's got giant 80's glasses and giant 70's glasses and a really good record player supplied with records ranging from excellent choices to the nonsense that pops into my fingers at record shops. Oh, there are the age and the sincerity things counting against her but, after all, hipsters have to get their models from somewhere, don't they?

And come to think of it ... consider their father. He's always been into an eclectic collection of pop culture, from movies and bands (he likes to point out he was into David Bowie so early that the record store had to special-order Space Oddity from Britain, which puts him ahead of the North America curve at least). When he gets into niche hobbies they'll be on the order of 3-D stereophotography, of course, on film. Without thinking of it he'll write what would be a ferociously archly ironic review of a distressed T-shirt. He dresses in an aggressively midwestern style. Could he be a pioneer hipster, blazing the trails for later generations? If they start wearing cargo pants and sitting in reclining loungers so horribly misshapen it would probably be more comfortable if you left a bowling ball in the seat. I realize this doesn't seem like much of a case, but, the more we thought about him in person the more we realized it kind of makes sense. We're not sure whether he's flattered.

Trivia: Advertising on WABD, the DuMont network's flagship station, started at $25 for a short spot when network operations began in November 1948. Source: The Forgotten Network: DuMont and the Birth of American Television, David Weinstein.

Currently Reading: Suited, Jo Anderton.

PS: Something Neat About Triangles, a theorem which I only just learned about and which I bet makes you smile because it's just that neat.


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