I’m with it. I’m hip

July 9, 2007

Ducka ducka ducka ducka ducka ducka ducka. MAC-arena.

I’m not sure if I got the right number of “duckas,” but Austin Powers fans should remember the scene where Dr. Evil tries proving he’s hip by doing the Macarena for his son Scott Evil. Of course, Dr. Evil’s attempt to “connect” only confirms Scott’s view that his father and would-be master of the world is just an “ass,” and not at all hip. As an audience member, one likely feels some discomfort as the malevolent (albeit clowishly so) Dr. Evil stoops to a new low to get approval from his son… who, come to think about it, has inherited his father’s assishness, but with a Generation X sensibility.

I had a similar feeling of discomfort reading the latest on how librarians are changing their image as younger people enter to profession. Yeah, to quote another Mike Myers character, “As if.” As if tattooed and pierced librarians seem as shocking as Marlon and Elvis in the 1950s. As if the “shush” image of librarians has just now started to subside. As if librarians have just now started to understand the virtues of technology. As if librarians haven’t been trying to change their image to seem more “user-friendly.” As I look it over, the article says little new, though I suppose the general public might seem shocked and surprised at what it reveals about our secret lives, filled with Dewey Decimaled mixed drinks. The article mentions things that we’ve been hearing for the past decade or so. Probably the only thing that has changed is the number of people roughly my age or younger who have entered the profession, which apparently has increased librarianship’s hipness quotient.

Sadly, despite my age, I remain the furthest thing from hip. Looking back on my quixotic attempts to become so many years ago, I couldn’t act hip if my life depended on it, and I like too many things that aren’t hip. Besides, I don’t think I’d look right schlepping around in hip styles, such as “thrift-store inspired clothes.” I don’t understand how one could see that as a fashion statement, much less an “inspired” one; as far as I know, most people get thrift-store clothes if they have few options and just need something to keep themselves warm.

The way I see it, being “hip” or “cool” or “with it” in themselves won’t make people come to libraries. As in the case of his father, maybe Scott Evil would see through the facade and say something like this:

God, all I want is some good service. But you’re just acting like an ass, trying to be all cool and crap. Why don’t you just tell me how to look up stuff on obscure prog rock from the ’80s, and stop waving your supposed hipness in my face? Just be yourself, and not what you think other people or your so-called ‘hip’ friends want you to be.

A bit harsh, but I’m sure Dr. Evil would put his pinky to his mouth in delight. It might also liberate those who have cultivated a level of hipness so high that they have slowly suffocated their true individuality.

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