Grups Wednesday February 7, 2007

I stumbled across this article on the phenomina of Grups in the online New York Magazine sometime last year. I never got around to writing about it, because I think I got distracted by the eternal debate between fast zombies and slow walking zombies. You know which one of those MOFO is scarier? Anyways this really well written, but longwinded article describes the phenomia of grups, or alterna-yuppie, or yupsters.

So what are grups? Besides sounding like another euphemism for blogging, Grups are 35-40 year-old mums and dads that act cooler than your typical 22 year old.

Let’s start with a question. A few questions, actually: When did it become normal for your average 35-year-old New Yorker to (a) walk around with an iPod plugged into his ears at all times, listening to the latest from Bloc Party; (b) regularly buy his clothes at Urban Outfitters; (c) take her toddler to a Mommy’s Happy Hour at a Brooklyn bar; (d) stay out till 4 A.M. because he just can’t miss the latest New Pornographers show, because who knows when Neko Case will decide to stop touring with them, and everyone knows she’s the heart of the band; (e) spend $250 on a pair of jeans that are artfully shredded to look like they just fell through a wheat thresher and are designed, eventually, to artfully fall totally apart; (f) decide that Sufjan Stevens is the perfect music to play for her 2-year-old, because, let’s face it, 2-year-olds have lousy taste in music, and we will not listen to the Wiggles in this house; (g) wear sneakers as a fashion statement; (h) wear the same vintage New Balance sneakers that he wore on his first day of school in the seventh grade as a fashion statement; (i) wear said sneakers to the office; (j) quit the office job because—you know what?—screw the office and screw jockeying for that promotion to VP, because isn’t promotion just another word for “slavery”?; (k) and besides, now that she’s a freelancer, working on her own projects, on her own terms, it’s that much easier to kick off in the middle of the week for a quick snowboarding trip to Sugarbush, because she’s got to have some balance, right? And she can write it off, too, because who knows? She might bump into Spike Jonze on the slopes;(l) wear a Misfits T-shirt; (m) make his 2-year-old wear a Misfits T-shirt; (n) never shave; (o) take pride in never shaving; (p) take pride in never shaving while spending $200 on a bedhead haircut and $600 on a messenger bag, because, seriously, only his grandfather or some frat-boy Wall Street flunky still carries a briefcase; or (q) all of the above?

I already know a bonafide grup. I’m sure one or two of you also know a grup. My buddy’s a couple years older than me and but he’s a guarnteed grup. Expenisve jeans, kid, the whole nine yards. But what worries me the most is that I can see my future and my future is as a grup. I already have no problems with most of these question and I don’t even have kids. Plus I’m already striving to ensure that any future offspring (well the ones I’m aware of) are to be dressed in old school concert t-shirts. Except replace Misfits with Rage T-shirts.

... the Grup of today is the slacker from 1990 who, fresh out of college, ran smack into the recession and maybe fiddled around with a riot-grrl band, ... Now that woman is 35, a VP at a viral-marketing firm, still dressing down because everyone knows that the youth market is where it’s at, yet is scared to death she’s going to ossify into the same kind of corporate stooge she swore she’d never become. For a Grup, success isn’t about how many employees you have but how much freedom you have to walk, or boogie-board, away.

Okay realistically, i’ve still got a 9 year buffer on this phase, but come on this story is already sounding familar…

...His tale conjures an uneasy vision of an all-too-possible future: of a young boy, maybe 12, in a tiny suit, standing in a hospital room where his dad lies in traction after a gnarly kickflip-and-nosegrind combination gone horribly wrong..

Well, if MCA is getting this sort of flack at 42, I’m just gonna have to toss out that dusty skateboard when I move next. Oh man, my kid so screwed.

Categories: The-Future, The-Inane, The Humourous, The Urban

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