The inventor of the Flash Mob, Bill Wasik, recently revealed his identity. Wasik is a senior editor at Harpers Magazine. The flash mobs were gatherings of hip, strangers via high tech means (text message, email, etc.) to do something pointless, but quirky and cute like hold a tissue in the air and drop it or gather around an expensive rug at Macy’s. They started off in Manhattan in the summer of 2003 and spread all around the world according to their entry in wikipedia. When Wasik claimed credit for starting the micro-craze, he announced that his intention was to mock the youth hipster culture as nothing more than a race to the next trend. He purportedly intended to draw attention to the hipster’s blind faith in anything with a whiff of irony, despite the stench of confusion, creative want, and conformity.
Unfortunately for Wasik, smug mockery, especially mockery followed by denial of ones own hip-itude, is the cornerstone of all things hip, and by mocking the mockers Wasik may have made himself into the biggest hipster of all. Did Wasik not simply apply the hipster formula of irony and cuteness above reason, and then take that formula to its logical conclusion? Could the meta-mocker be the smuggest and most nauseating of all hipsters?
The answer is obvious: probably, but who cares? I care because like making mocumentaries about mocumentaries or adding razor blades to disposable razor heads, this could easily spiral out of control. What if someone tries to mock Wasik for mocking hipsters and then someone mocks the guy who mocked Wasik for mocking hipsters and someone mocks that final guy too and then on and on… I could meet the meta-meta-meta-meta-mocker at a party and feel socially pressured to laugh like a Senator forced to applaud at the State of the Union. Oh, I can say I won’t fake laugh now, but if it gets me out of the conversation I’m sure I’ll fake laugh, escape for more drink, and then be left feeling like a washed up, broke whore. What will be left of me then?