Wednesday, May 28, 2003

hip hip

Did anybody catch that NYT magazine story this weekend about the "Hipublicans?" I didn't get a chance to read it, but I saw it and I think I got the point. Young conservatives on campus are cool. Now, everybody who knows, ever has known, or wants to place money on the chance that they ever will know a "hip" republican, please raise your hands. Thank you. I mean, really, you could say the same thing about people who identify themselves as "democrats" rather than just liberals or progressives -- I'm sorry, but most kids who take an inordinate interest in politics and punditry and Beltway brouhahas (go alliteration!) in college are generally not the vanguard of cool. I mean, are our heads really supposed to spin at the earth-shattering cultural trend of Young Conservatives shedding their cardigans, white linen, and tennis rackets? Do we marvel at their willingness to look just like normal people? Now, I don't want to pick on on them, but let's face facts. I've met a lot of republicans. There are friendly, engaging, principled, generous, fun, and charming republicans, but hip? Methinks the NYT just couldn't resist coining a new term, even at the expense of relevance. (gasp! The NY Times??)

Want some hard evidence? Try this on for size. The gaggle of Republican fundraisers/lobbyists/staffers with whom I've become acquainted recently attended a concert at the respectably cool 9:30 club. Who did this hipster squad flock to with such exuberance? What band have they been gushing about for the past two weeks as the most fun ever? The Faint? Fischerspooner? The Rapture? No, ladies and gentleman, it was a Neil Diamond cover band called Super Diamond, and it was not attended with the slightest hint of irony. Actually, that might just be so lame that it's cool. Republican staffers: hopelessly without taste, or forefront of detached ironic hipster geek scene? I'll do more investigating if Neil Sedaka comes through town.


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