Friday links: Get away from that! edition

Oh, Link. Oh, nerds.

It’s Friday, when the week that is becomes the week that was and the work that waits is the week that ends. Or something like that. In addition to hiring Rudyard Kipling’s incompetent great-grandson, Rupert Kipling, to write our lead sentences, Combat! blog has been inundated this week with stories of various fins de siecle. Reporting on the aftermath of the end of things is a journalistic pursuit second in popularity only to predicting the end of things, which pretty much take care of all points on the spectrum. It’s a scam, but everybody loves a good postmortem. A widow is the chattiest person you’ll ever meet, and in that spirit today’s link roundup is a collection of stuff about other stuff being over. Lord knows, it’s less ominous news than hearing a bunch of stuff is beginning.

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Ethical dilemma of the day: hipsters on food stamps

At this point, the iconography of hipsterism has become so esoteric as to just be iconography itself. If your primary focus is your clothes and you still look terrible, you're a hipster. Photo courtesy of

Salon provides us with an interesting ethical question/reminds us of its existence today, with this article about hip, educated young people who use food stamps to buy organic groceries. Much to the consternation of Mose, hipsters have been a perennial object of fascination here at Combat! blog, in part because they’re so difficult to pin down. In reporting the apparent uptick in hipster consumption of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefit cards, Jennifer Bleyer acknowledges the difficulty of proving that what she’s writing about is actually happening. “The increase in food stamp use among this demographic is hard to measure,” she admits, “as they represent a cross section of characteristics not specifically tracked by the Agriculture Department, which administers the program.” When writing about hipsters, one must continually examine the possibility that they do not exist. For Bleyer’s purposes, the hipster is a fairly identifiable, if vague, marketing demographic: twenty/thirtysomething, college-educated, and willing to pay money for organic tarragon. In this case, the money is yours.

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