Monday, December 12, 2005

A2 Hipsters

Bouncing from here to here to here, it landed here, where it was pimped, polished, and shined like the fine ride it is. In the end, I ended up subtracting multiple 5 point blocks for being too old to be considered "hip". That's one fact that will never change, regardless of how many "vegetarian supreme's" I eat at Big 10 Burrito, how many band flyers I tape to the street light posts on Liberty between Division and State Streets, or how many Red Wings I pound at Leopold Brothers. It's alright though, I'm just as comfortable popping in for a "Homewrecker" at Moe's Southwest Grill in the Colonade or an Old Detroit at Old(e) Town(e).
... the modified quiz actually reminded me of a painting that once graced the walls of "the now extinct" tavern, The One Eyed Moose, on Main Street. The painting originally hung in The Pretzel Bell, according to the owner, and was painted in the early '20's by a U of M art student. The center of this work of art was a globe, positioned to highlight an exaggerated Michigan, a maize and blue flag marking a very exaggerated Ann Arbor. Could it possibly be the origin of this locally popular world view, or, does it only reflect how firmly entrenched this concept is? The artist manipulated the viewers eye, moving it in a clockwise circle to a variety of timeless scenarios in which life in Ann Arbor and life at U of M collided and merged. One sees football players, in barely recognizable (and barely padded) uniforms receiving long passes and hockey players executing shots on goal. There is a young, almost Rockwell-esque, couple, kissing on a park bench in autumn as a squirrel scampers away with an acorn. A favorite scene depicts a bleary eyed young man, dressed in a suit considered "hip" for the era, raising an icey mug of draft beer with his right hand and waving a smoldering cigar with the left. Any one of the carefully painted scenes is still recognizable in town today, as long as you take changes in fashion and technology into account. I truly believe that this quality of timelessness was part of the artist's original idea as he stood in front of a blank canvas, paintbrush in hand.
...with that in mind, I remind everyone that "hip" is all too often passing and fickle. True style, classic and timeless, is much more difficult to identify and far more fulfilling. In support of my theory, I leave you with THIS
and the song "Come On A My House" by
Rosemary Clooney (1951).