Friday, November 23, 2007

Hipster motifs

What is up with hipsters and the following:

--ice cream cones
--keys and locks

(See: " Panda vs Robot wallet," for an example of several conglomerated hipster motifs. Also has a dragon on it.)

--stuff like hearts, stars, and even rainbows I understand more, if only because those seem like more generic motifs, albeit twee ones.

Of course it's interesting why/how those might have become decorative motifs, through various processes of abstraction, symbology, cultural permeation, repeat, etc.

Reminds me a bit of Egyptian hieroglyphs. How much does the heart-shape, and what it represents--love, romance, innocence, five-year-old girls, tweeness--actually resemble the tough, hardworking muscle in our chests? There have been multiple transmutations of both the symbol and its meaning, since then, whenever Then is. Similarly, some abstruse Egyptian hieroglyph might once have indicated--what, a trachea and lungs? Some sort of hoeing tool?--but they have become their universally understood symbol for something else, in a way that seems to us random and inexplicable.

But hey, if ancient dead saurians can evoke the whimsy and imagination of childhood.

(I'm not sure I want to mention octopuses or dinosaurs, because although those are also hipster motifs, the interest and value of those two seem self-evidenced to me, because I am biased. But presumably the appeal of dinosaurs is the same for us all: that lots of kids were obsessed with dinosaurs in childhood, so there's that nostalgia flavor as well as the fact that dinosaurs are just cool.)

I would also like to complain about the limited palette of insect motifs available. There seem to be basically: butterflies, ladybugs, dragonflies, and bees. But usually stylized bees that look more like smiling, striped blimps, possibly because something actually bee-looking would be too scary.

I am okay with butterflies, and I like dragonflies a lot, and bees. It's just that they are all overused. I would like to see more ants, non-ladybug coleopterans, wasps, realistic bees, and mantises, for starters.

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