Independent of Indie

Trucker hats have played an important role in the "indie" (e.g., indie music, short for independent) scene. My friend thought it would be really "indie" — and a bit recursive — if he wore a trucker hat with a picture of a trucker hat on it. We went down to the public market and asked the custom trucker-hat painter (we really have one in Seattle) about this. The painter said he could do it and added that he’d actually been commissioned to do them in the past.

My friend was immediately turned off knowing that they idea was not original. I think he was foolish to think that being indie had anything to do with being independent from other people in the indie crowd.

It drove home the interesting question about what being "indy," "indie" or "independent" as a group of people or as social or cultural movement really means. This is a question that I used to think about a lot when I did Indymedia; it’s not always entirely apparent what one is trying to be independent of. In many cases, I think is the concept of idea of independence that is central — not independence from anything or anyone in particular.

Of course, it was still a great idea for a hat and my friend was more foolish for not taking the opportunity to procure such a fine accessory.

One Reply to “Independent of Indie”

  1. Just for the record, trucker hats were only really hip for a brief period of time… under a year, certainly.  And that was more back in like 2003.

    Anyone who wears a trucker hat these days is definitely a hipster with an out-of-date fashion sense who is trying too hard.  Look around the next time you’re at a hipster rock show.  It’s unlikely you’ll spot more than one or two.

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