Friday, August 1, 2008

Hipsterism & the Last McCarren Park Pool Show


Adbusters sums it up perfectly in a short article:
"We've reached a point in our civilization where counterculture has mutated into a self-obsessed aesthetic vacuum. So while hipsterdom is the end product of all prior countercultures, it's been stripped of its subversion and originality, and is leaving a generation pointlessly obsessing over fashion, faux individuality, cultural capital and the commodities of style..." read more...
Oh, and if you'd like to show the hipsters what 'cool' really is - get some tickets to the last show at McCarren Park Pool and teach those brats how to dance. The NYT reports today that the McCarren Park Pool will be renovated back into a pool (can you think of a bigger waste of $50 million?) after the last concert this summer on August 30th - Sonic Youth. Tickets are still available here:

http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/000040F57E7D3B88

3 comments:

James said...

Yes, I can think of much bigger wastes of $50 million.

Michael said...

lol - the question was asked in order to produce an effect - to make a statement rather than to elicit information.

however, I agree, there are many worse ways to spend $50 million dollars. I suppose when people are starving and don't have health care and are being evicted from homes and murdered by our military and strangled by our foreign policy and worked to death by our corporate machines, that there is no limit to the horrible uses of $50 million....

In the context of McCarren Pool, though - why not continue to use the pool as a culture venue? For parties, plays, dance, art, fairs, etc. Do we really need another pool of chlorinated kid pee?

It's just funny that a building that is working perfectly well as it is, without renovation - is going to be renovated... whereas buildings and services that need renovation are being ignored.

The MTA is one example. Who isn't sick of of subway stations? They are hot, filthy, disgusting places that smell like something died in them and they're only getting worse every year. It's the most disgusting subway system I've been in anywhere in the world. Let's renovate that...

James said...

Is the question then whether children in New York need more places to play without traffic, etc? They do. I've enjoyed concerts at McCarren Park Pool, and I'll be sad to see them go. It wasn't exactly an underground venue, though. Even the free concerts were big, corporate sponsored events. Restoring the pool to being a pool seems like an OK decision to me. It's not as though the space is being torn down and replaced with luxury condos.

What's outrageous is that the city allowed the space to go unused for decades and only now that upper middle class people are moving to the neighborhood in droves have they decided that the area needs such amenities.

Cultural venue versus pool reminds me of bicycle versus pedestrian in Central Park. The fundamental conflict is between privatized development (including space given over to automobiles) and public space that enriches everyone's life. There's plenty of places to direct our anger other than here.