Tuesday, October 21, 2014

"Hipsters? You mean beatniks?"

I forget sometimes that I really do have an unusual job.  Comic book guy.

Everyone I deal with is younger, (mostly by decades), everything I sell is meant for them.

So I was reading Tuskers in writer's group and one of the older members objected to me using this phrase, "He was glad to be away from Bend and all its hipsters."

"Hipsters is kind of old-fashioned, don't you think?  Like beatniks?"

I look at him somewhat in shock.  "Uh, hipsters is a very current term.  It's very, very current."

He looked at me skeptically, but let it pass.

Meanwhile, my editor (who is younger) wanted to know what "noodling" and "pickleball" is, so it goes the other way too.

I'm surrounded by 'pop' terminology so much that I just assume that everyone I talk to is aware of it all.  But in fact, I'm probably talking a foreign language much of the time.  I still can't get over the fact of my own very smart, educated family not knowing what Cthuhlu was.  It is such an everyday reference in my world.

I don't think I speak in jargon, but in fact I probably do. 

I'm dealing with a hard-core fan base for Doctor Who, and Star Trek, and Marvel and DC, and the Indies, and the Horror, Science-fiction, and Fantasy crowd, and many, many others.  Even if I don't watch Adventure Time, or My Little Pony, I have to know what they are referring to.    I have to know what everyone is talking about, and try to anticipate what they're going to want to buy.

It isn't hard, because it's the milieu I swim in.  But sometimes I get the indication that other 60-ish something people really aren't much like me...

It sometimes scares me that I might become as out of touch as they are.  And then I realize that in the more important scheme of things, it really doesn't matter. 

I have a friend who is very ascetic.  No T.V., no movies, mostly-non-fiction, philosophical leaning preoccupations.  Not saying his lifestyle is better (though he thinks it is) but it probably isn't any worse...

I just have to remind myself that most of this pop-culture knowledge is peripheral and ephemeral and somewhat trivial.

But oh how I love it.

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