By Phil Ford

Hipness has been an indelible a part of America's highbrow and cultural panorama because the Nineteen Forties. however the query What is hip? continues to be a type of cultural koan, both fascinating and elusive.

In Dig, Phil Ford argues that whereas hipsters have constantly used garments, coiffure, gesture, and slang to mark their distance from consensus tradition, tune has continually been the first technique of resistance, the royal street to hip. Hipness indicates a selected form of alienation from society--alienation due to not any particular political unsuitable yet to whatever extra radical, a conflict of notion and awareness. From the vantage of hipness, the dominant tradition constitutes a process bent on with the exception of creativity, self-awareness, and self-expression. The hipster's undertaking is hence to outline himself against this procedure, to withstand being stamped in its uniform, squarish mildew. Ford explores radio indicates, motion pictures, novels, poems, essays, jokes, and political manifestos, yet argues that track greater than the other type of expression has formed the alienated hipster's identification. certainly, for plenty of avant-garde subcultures tune is their raison d'être. Hip intellectuals conceived of sound itself as a manner of hard meaning--that that is cognitive and summary, undying and placeless--with experience--that that's embodied, concrete and anchored in position and time. via Charlie Parker's "Ornithology," Ken Nordine's "Sound Museum," Bob Dylan's "Ballad of a skinny Man," and quite a number different illuminating examples, Ford indicates why and the way track got here to be on the middle of hipness.

Shedding new gentle on an enigmatic suggestion, Dig is vital studying for college students and students of renowned track and tradition, in addition to somebody serious about the counterculture flow of the mid-twentieth-century.

Publication of this e-book used to be supported by way of the AMS seventy five can pay Endowment of the yankee Musicological Society, funded partly by means of the nationwide Endowment for the arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Was it gone? ”), and here the hipster was undone, because recognition was somewhere, while the authority of his stance came from nowhere, from the power it defied. Broyard finishes his article by mocking the hipster who has been turned inside-out in this way: Jive, which had originally been a critical system, a kind of Surrealism, a personal revision of existing disparities, now grew moribundly selfconscious, smug, encapsulated, isolated from its source, from the sickness which spawned it. It grew more rigid than the institutions it had set out to defy.

How to circumvent, bypass, or take on the monster. A recurring dream in my teens: I was, alone or with others, plotting an escape from some kind of prison. Prison camp, it was all outdoors. Barbed wire and guards. After many machinations we escape. We really do. We travel far, through woods, various landscapes, arrive at a house. Where we are given shelter, only to find out that the house is part of the prison. We’re still on prison grounds. I usually woke up at that point. —Diane di Prima2 What Is Hip?

For us, in our energy of the fifties, early Buddhism, Laozi, Gandhi, Thoreau, Kropotkin, and Zen were all one teaching. We stood for original human nature and the spontaneous creative spirit. Dr. 31 1. Zen is concerned with reality as it unfolds in the present moment. Our thoughts about past and future, our reminiscences and planning, our patterns of behavior arising from memory and anticipation—in short, the tissue of 30 Dig associations and self-definitions that cohere into a sense of an individual self with a life history and direction—are delusions.

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