Forget all about these baffling labels - why can't we just '˜be'?

Gareth Bale sporting a man bunGareth Bale sporting a man bun
Gareth Bale sporting a man bun
Last week I watched a documentary about hipsters. This is a word that's been around for decades, but has had quite a resurgence since the early Noughties and particularly over the past five years or so.

We all know the supposed look of a hipster – beard, man bun – and the programme went into great detail about clothing and other quirks.

It even paid for the presenter and the film crew to tootle off to Brooklyn in order to investigate the hipster further.

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But what it did not do was simply suggest that perhaps some men just enjoy sporting a beard because – radical idea approaching – they like the way it looks. Which would have signalled a very short programme, I suppose.

Much was made of all things artisan (what is ‘artisan’ anyway? A linguistic device to charge more?), bare boards, exposed bricks and pipes, and Edison bulbs.

These, plus checked shirts, are all quintessentially hipster. Apparently, hipsters enjoy such things because they are a return to ‘realism’.

Hmm. Not simply that people rather like the look of bare bulbs hanging on wires and exposed copper pipework then?

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The entire programme, to my mind, smacked of when you suffer through your English A-level, and some teacher forces you to stop enjoying the moment and start analysing each syllable that Jane Austen allegedly chose for specific effect, and not simply because it got her point across or she liked the way it rolled off the tongue.

Sometimes, perhaps, people just choose to do or decorate or wear things because they like them.

Does there need to be a deep philosophy behind each whisker on your face?

My husband’s beard was born out of sheer laziness on holiday and has stayed ever since.

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Originally because he’d have had a big white tan line otherwise and then because it kept him warm that winter.

All these labels that we throw at people, with no thought for the eclectic mix of human nature that means nobody can ever be placed in one little neatly-hewn box, are baffling when you think about them.

Can’t we just ‘be’?


Craft’ is another word of the moment, up there with ‘artisan’ and currently placed in front of everything.

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Craft coffee, craft beer, crafty marketing to make more cash.

The Mast brothers of Brooklyn and their chocolate bar are one example.

At £10 a bar, one would be expecting gold dust as opposed to cocoa as a core ingredient.

These guys extol the virtues of their chocolate whilst sounding marginally like an M&S advert.

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This was no ‘ordinary’ chocolate, this was chocolate with a ‘story’.

Sadly for them, that story ended with allegations of melting other chocolate into their story-laden craft beans in order to bulk them out and make artisan cold cash.


I’m no longer reeling from the Brexit decision earlier this year, but I am astounded that all those who voted to leave are now moaning that Parliament will have the power to decide what happens.

Wasn’t this what the Leavers all wanted? Or was that only if it was a decision in their favour?

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And surely, before voting, if one were fully clued up and knew what was happening, then one would have realised that a referendum is purely advisory and not defining?

Or does that mean that the Leavers did not, perhaps, know fully what they were doing?

Finally, didn’t myriad Leavers suggest that Remainers not complain about Brexit but just get on with it?

Welcome to your own advice.

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