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Saturday, 10 March 2012

A Bit of Nonsense Now and Then is Cherished By the Wisest Men, also by myself and Jacob

I have just returned from a very enjoyable visit to the University of Stockholm where I presented a paper to their Consumer Culture Theory group. Yesterday myself and Jacob Ostberg, of the University's Centre for Fashion Studies met for lunch at a hip downtown bar and supermarket which also serves as a hotel for people's sourdough mix, lest it dies when they go on holiday (sourdough baking has apparently become a key activity among Stockholm's hip community). To our delight we found one of the products on the menu was the Södermalm Hipster Ale, which we immediately ordered. 

Our colleagues Zeynep Arsel and Craig Thompson have been researching hipster consumer culture for years and have noted how hipsters go to great length to avoid being identified as a hipster and so all sorts of ironic interfaces open up between the holders of hipster capital and its mainstream representation (see their hit paper here). With such scholarship in mind and under the influence of the object in question, we wondered what was the appropriate level of ironic detachment for consuming Södermalm Hipster Ale. As Jacob wondered, should the Södermalm Hipster Ale be consumed ironically, inducing a type of double irony; whether one should pursue a post-ironic stance thus surpassing any sense of irony; or whether it is possible to adopt a pre-ironic attitude that nullifies the original irony. Consulting Zeynep, as we obviously were obligated to do, she pondered that perhaps now is the time for hipsters to re-appropriate the word. And hence I could not resist penning the following:

I’ve hung around every hip downtown
From Brooklyn to Berlin
Ate sourdough bread, with pesto as a spread
Played Cohen on a violin
I used to scoff in my Hackney loft
Until ironic became hegemonic
I was left adrift by the cultural shift
That cast aside my hipster stride.
But I went to roam inner city Stockholm
I veered for some wiessbier
When I found that holy grail the hipster ale
The beer so sincere
So I said please ma’am ‘a bottle of Södermalm’
Gave my kroner to that stoner
It was my assumption this was post-ironic consumption
It was ok to be fey
The hipster solution for the counter-revolution
Is to sip to be hip.
So all you petit-bourgeoisie with your trimmed goatee
Follow me to your liberty
You see we cannot fail when we can buy for sale
The Södermalm Hipster Ale!


  1. Wonderful! The good thing about this beer is that you really can't go wrong with it (unless you are gluten intolerant or pregnant that is) - you can drink it both with and without irony, feeling good about knowing that it's main strenght is what's in the bottle! :)

  2. Insanely funnny, but not bound to be viral due to the title. Maybe you could rebrand as "Invoking Double Irony Through Drinking Hipster Ale"