Friday, May 18, 2012

Look At This Effing Hipster From 19th Century Mexico

By David Downs
Fri, May 18, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Ugh, hipster-bashing is, like, so 1890s.

We were doing research for our column on historian Isaac Campos' Home Grown: Marijuana and the Origins of Mexico's War on Drugs, when we came across what, for us, might be the oldest case of hipster-bashing known to mankind.

Witness the “Don Chepito Mariguano” lithographs — an extremely popular political and social cartoon in Mexican tabloids of the 1890s.

“Don Chepito was the bourgeois figure enamored with all things foreign, the always ostentatious dandy continually showing off his appreciation for the latest imported fad,” writes Campos in the book.

“Such urban figures were commonly mocked from the print house where [creator Jose] Posada] worked, and were often contrasted unfavorably with more honorable, 'traditional' Mexicans. ... mishaps never failed to befall the character and prove the error of his ways.”

Here's a sample, “Don Chepito Mariguano with bicycle”.

Don Chepito with bicycle.
  • Home Grown, by Isaac Campos
  • "Don Chepito with bicycle."

Now, this effing hipster is wearing sneakers, tight pants, and a messenger bag while showing off his track bike. His eyes are all bugged out from smoking the reefer, and he's rocking a Che Guevara-style cap while all the Mexicans in the background are look, 'Eff this guy'.

That's a hipster, and this is super old school hipster-bashing. You'll have to read the book to see the proto-hipster Don Chepito Mariguano go to trendy, interracial boxing matches, engage in Occupy-style protest, and take a beating on a date with a married woman.

“The elites were so Francophilic and Europhilic and so disdained popular Mexican culture,” Campos said. “It's a funny, potent critique.”

Oh, indeed.

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