Why I Fucking Hate Kickball

05/05/2010 1:49 PM |

i hate kickball
  • Our generation’s Neal Cassady?

Yeah, so kickball’s back in season, which, ugh.

I’ve wrestled a lot in my day with hipster signifier ephemera (hard to wrestle with, srsly), trying, and generally failing, to salvage the idea of a “hipster” as a good thing. How can a hipster be a good thing? Well, I’ve always seen the city as an ecosystem, and that ecosystem has always had a niche for young people who come to the city to make art, be beautiful, be smart, be tragic, and subvert convention; and to me, these people—from Burroughs to Basquiat—are “hipsters.”

So, kickball, insofar as it has metastasized into the one and only “hipster sport,” is really fucking up my perpetually failing attempt to rehabilitate the idea of the “hipster,” because hipsters don’t play sports (and if they do, they try to keep it a secret).

As with so many hipster signifiers (from the trucker hat to PBR to beards)—appropriated as a way of subverting the pretensions of the self-serious, patriarchal mainstream—kickball was adopted to mock the “serious” players of sport, all the Docker-wearing, Boston-living, business-type jock fascists who’ve traditionally been the enemy of the hipster.

But that ironic pose lasted for maybe a weekend, because hey, sports (even kickball) generally appeal to people who like to play sports, aka, jocks. Things got pretty serious, pretty fast. As with the appropriation of other hipster signifiers (there’s a centuries-old tradition of aristocratic tourism through bohemia), the cooler jock types saw a great opportunity in kickball: a chance to covertly display athletic prowess (without the explicit fascist overtones), wear tight clothes (without being thought gay), get drunk, and have sex.

So now we have giant, drunken gym classes in McCarren Park filled will libidinous post-collegiate youth enacting all the lousy conventions and codes of your most traditional American high school. This is what the world sees as “hipster” culture, and it ain’t good.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem at all with post-collegiate youth getting drunk and fucking, under any given stage-managed pretense for social interaction, but let’s just see it for what it is: one more version of your conventional American mating ritual.

6 Comment

  • I don’t think you know what explicit means.

  • Oh, this is gonna be fun.

  • @cousincole2305
    Would you prefer the adverb? That’s fair. And I suppose the use of “explicit” doesn’t work with “overtones” in the same sentence, insofar as “explicit overtones” is a bit of a solecism. THANK YOU FOR YOUR IMPORTANT INTERNET COMMENT.

  • Dear Jonny Diamond,
    You are a fucking hipster.
    Sincerely,
    Everyone’s Opinion

  • Yea, Jonny “hipster” Diamond. I bet you play beer pong in a basketball uniform from the 70’s and a pink headband (because you’re so cool, you can wear pink) and whenever you win you make it a point to slap as many of your guy friend’s butts because that’s “how you roll.” You negative prick. Instead of having a “Why I Fucking Hate” why can’t you try “Why I Fucking Love.”

  • Unfortunately, all hipsters are followers, not creators. That’s why you cannot claim Burroughs, Basquiat, and many others under this term.