The Long Cut is a column taking the scenic route through essential music. This column is an outgrowth of Hayden Childs’s ongoing project to listen to and review everything in his extensive music library, which can be found at his blog From Here To Obscurity. The explosion of digitized music in the last decade has led to unprecedented access to albums formerly out-of-print, hopelessly obscure, or simply less immediate needs. With this project, Childs means to slow down his musical consumption and enjoy the ride a little more.
I love a good hiatus, but we liberal rock critic types must keep vigilant. There’s terror centers to build at our nation’s monuments, death panels to oversee, exploding oil rigs to ignore, and most importantly, the trenchant cultural criticism of Fox News to mock. Guess which one convinced me to put my hiatus on hiatus.
Give up? It was this work of genius. It’s so brilliant that the people who gave us Fox & Friends had to publish it, too! In this amazingly well-thought-out piece (which is, I must note, not at all 40 years past its sell-by date, so get that out of your mind now), Mr. Crowder argues that hipsters are a monolithic force of snobbish liberalism, just like those damn beatniks and hippies who keep voting for Gene McCarthy and smoking drugs in our nation’s park systems and supermarkets. Mr. Crowder’s extensive knowledge of hipsters and hipster culture does not preclude him from having a mild case of gender confusion, and when referring to some of these no good youngster, he drops a “he… I mean she… Sorry, IT” line. Hilarious! Henny Youngman used to kill with that one in the Catskills, but hey, Mr. Crowder is a groovy, happening young person for whom the classics never get old, do you grok, 23 skidoo? The icing on the cake is the assertion by Mr. Crowder, whom Fox News helpfully identifies as a comedian, that these hipsters, this scourge of trust-fund liberalism, are so blind to the threat of terrorism that they are – here, I’ll quote it – “likely under the impression that Usama Bin Laden is wearing skinny jeans in his cave, currently listening to Animal Collective as he throws back cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon.”
Ha ha ha! Hipsters are so dumb. Also they stink, says Mr. Crowder’s punchline.
Now I can’t take this stuff personally. For one thing, I’m old and fat and look terrible in skinny jeans. Another, I’m relatively poor and have never lived in New York. (Sidebar: although Mr. Crowder appears to be a young New Yorker himself, he is apparently unaware that “hipster” is a common pejorative among hipsters.) All of this is to say that I am light years from hip, hep, or downtown by anyone’s metric. But as a liberal and a fan of Animal Collective, I feel – somewhat stupidly, I should add – that I must end my long, sleepy, pleasant hiatus to talk about the band and make the simple point that Mr. Crowder’s article appears in the same week that one character on Mad Men tells another that he is confusing a lot of things at once right now. What do these two things have in common? The answer may surprise you!
Continue reading “The Long Cut: Animal Collective Hates Your Freedom!”