|Someone doesn't quite fit into Nazi Barbie's gang|
First, I should explain my terminology. Trends in popular music, fashion, and beauty ideals are my focus here. “Pop culture aesthetics” is greater than these three parts, but it is in these areas that the black and white shifts are most obvious, at least to me. My aesthetic designations of “black” and “white” are, very loosely, derived from certain stereotypes about relative differences between the white and black races. (And beyond race, the symbolic darkness vs. light dichotomy, which we all understand, is appropriate here.)
|"of the earth" (possibly a euphemism)|
The white pop cultural aesthetic is more difficult to pin down, even in a general sense, because in practice it manifests as an alternative to some aspect of the black aesthetic. I think this is because while everyone has both “white” and “black” inclinations, on the whole, most people are “black.” Obviously, though, this is a relative judgment based on where I choose to draw the line.
It is easy enough to define the abstract characteristics that have long set white civilizations apart from the rest—more contemplative, a greater tenderness, and a striving for something transcendent. But the subject of this paper is something much smaller and more immediate.
The white pop cultural aesthetic—which, by the way, is not necessarily the creation of whites, just as black pop cultural aesthetics are not necessarily creations of blacks—is, as I have said, an alternative, or a reaction, to the generally dominant black aesthetic. This white alternative might be more restrained and somber, and sometimes it is more contemplative and transcendent, but the best way that I can think to describe it is that it is less “of the earth,” and even this vague description is not comprehensive. You simply know it when you see it.
In the early 90s, alternative rock became mainstream. Sex is always a focal point for rock and pop music. But, compared with what came before it, this was less true for alternative rock. Its outlook was much less exuberant and more melancholy, and, yes, more contemplative. At the same time, the outlandish fashion styles of the 80s gave way, and the cool kids started dressing like disheveled hikers from the Pacific Northwest. This represented a white shift. Shortly thereafter, the “waif look” replaced the bombshell physical ideal of the 80s.
|The antechamber to nihilism.|
After the dramatic swings of the 80s and 90s, the pendulum seemed to oscillate nearer its equilibrium during the first decade of the twenty-first century. And so the minor black reorientation early in the decade was followed by a minor white reorientation, sometime around the middle of the decade. Rock staged a mini-comeback, and folkish music gained in popularity.
In other times, folk music might qualify as relatively black. It is a close call. But here it was relatively white because it was (partially) displacing pop music. Alternative rock DJs joked about the dark days when they had played Kanye West songs. The wigger population declined. The trend in sports team logos and uniforms was towards simplicity and restraint. Young men stopped dying their hair platinum blond. And of course, there was the rise the hipster.
|The implicit Whiteness of beards n' tats.|
But now we are back into the black, guys. The metrosexual of the early twenty-first century is back, only this time it is blacker because there is more of an emphasis on being buff (within the metrosexual community and without). The preferred body-type for hipster men (and women) was a sort of lissome medieval ideal. The intuition behind this was that excessive devotion to ones physical body was unworthy of their time, and at the same time, to encourage the perception that they were thin without working at it. Thinness always signals that one is less “of the earth,” but all the more so if it comes to the person naturally. Conversely, the buff metrosexual of today wants you to know that he is working for ‘them gains.’ His social media accounts are full of progress pics and photos taken at the gym. (The shameless narcissism on social media is probably the blackest development of all.)
|Kardashian upping the ass stakes.|
• • • • •
My point is not that the white pop cultural aesthetic is better, though I generally lean that way. And, using recent history as a gauge, the prominence of a white pop cultural aesthetic does little to foster white racial identity. I just think that (1) we are due for a white aesthetic revival and (2) it may as well be led by people interested in affecting an actual white revival.
Aesthetic taste is a judgement of what is attractive. Most people are “black,” but the people who matter, who guide the course of history, are “white.” We want to be attractive to the people who matter. How do we do this? I am not the person to penetrate that mystery. I think in words, not images. If you are interested in an aesthetic prescription for intellectual literature, I think I have something to offer, but as for the how and why of pop culture aesthetics, I am lost. There are certain aesthetic trends on the Alternative Right that I would like to see discontinued (lets save that for later), but any positive recommendations must come from elsewhere. Hopefully, the sketch I have provided will inspire someone in this direction.
Ultimately, the future success of our side depends on us developing an intellectual argument that flows from a compelling first principle. Cultural and political gains by other means are not sustainable without a philosophical core. Even the most masterful pop cultural aesthetics die within a generation. Still, like all ideological movements, our goal is to make the world more beautiful, and aesthetics, even the pop culture sort, must be part of that. And while most people are black, they want to be white.