Last weekend, the “b Plus,” section of the Lewiston Sun Journal did a feature spread on “Hipsters.” According to writer Max Mogensen, “hipsterism” is now on the wane, but lives on in Maine because we’re at the tail end of marketing trends and waves. Ah, Maine…the last bastion of “hip.” The state is kind of stuck out here in the Atlantic Ocean, practically part of Canada. Send us your flotsam and jetsam of commercialization. Dredge up the lagan and derelict, the last soaking shoe laces of an old pair of Chuck Taylor sneakers and bring them to the Maine border. We’ll take them!
The question the article promised to answer (and what initially piqued my curiosity to read the piece) was “What’s Bing Crosby got to do with hip?” Mogensen’s piece stated “Clarinetist Artie Shaw famously cited Bing Crosby as an early hipster.” I eagerly read through the rest of the piece, searching for clues. Was der Bingle a dope smoking bohemian, building bombs and fomenting anarchy between crooning songs on NBC Radio’s Kraft Music Hall? The article never told me, but a basic query on my favorite search engine (“Bing” of course) haphazardly helped me find Artie Shaw’s 1992 quote:
“The thing you have to understand about Bing Crosby is that he was the first hip white person born in the United States.”
Wow, that’s a lot to unpack at this early hour in the morning. I didn’t find an answer in the article, either.
Was Bing Crosby hip? It’s a question requiring time and research and it will have to hang out there like a loose tooth today. It’s the Monday of a late-arriving Thanksgiving week. There might be time to research Bing Crosby and his hipness…later.
We know how Herman feels about der Bingle.
Meanwhile, in unhip Lisbon Falls on Saturday, Holy Trinity Church had their holiday fair. I bought some red berries and a couple of Christmas wreaths; the festive church hall was full of people I knew and the joviality inspired me to start my own holiday decorating on Sunday.
There’s a lot to do to get ready for the “most wonderful time of the year.” It’s pressing down on us like an off the tracks locomotive. Weekends are never long enough to get it all done, but hey, don’t blame Crosby.