I've always had a bit of a hate-hate relationship with Dalston, North East London:
Dalston is supposedly the coolest place in Britain. Italian Vogue says so, and Christ knows I've always listened to what they have to say about pretty much anything. Not only do they plough on with all of Vogue's best modern qualities, like keeping anorexia as the teenage girl's number one pastime, but they also show an appreciation of the classic Vogue sensibilities by staying vaguely racist wherever possible, like segregation on their website - how timeless.
Now, you can accuse me of not being religiously on-trend, but Dalston is a fucking dump. Not because of the areas of deprivation, the lack of social mobility, or the exclusion that lots of the people have to experience. No, I can safely say the reason it's a real culture abscess is because of the sheer volume of people who want to be erroneously regarded as creative. They don't understand: to be creative they actually have to produce something. Dalston epitomises the post-2000 London of obnoxious irony and rudeness disguised as self-belief. They'll fucking inspect you before moving out of your way, if they move at all. They'll not lower their entitled public school voice when I'm just trying to have a nice quiet pint of Life Invigorator.
How much can I hate? I don't know, but you're fucking testing it right now, pal.
The new influx enjoy regarding themselves as coyly positioned at the artistic vanguard. They know people who write for Vice. They know people who DJ. They might even know someone who knows someone who designs clothes. Regardless of whether you like the kind of stuff that these people in Dalston produce, and I really don't as I'm a joyless misanthrope, at least they are creating. However, that's about sixteen people. The rest are only here to regard and appreciate without reservation.
"Dalston epitomises the post-2000 London of obnoxious irony and rudeness disguised as self-belief."
You can spot them at four hundred paces. They've got a shaved back and sides coupled with a Morrissey quiff. They've got sockless loafers or boat shoes (what diversity!) and rolled up skinny jeans. You can tell if it's raining or not, because you can look out your window to see if their barbours are on their backs. Despite being devoted to originality, they can't register the irony in their hipster uniform. It seems the only irony they enjoy tallies with Jimmy Carr's irony about racism and misogyny. They don't understand irony, they're racist and misogynistic.
The reason they find it so hard to criticise anything is because they're so desperate not to miss out on the new. The Dalston Superstore that opened last year is regarded as the balls-out-of-the-bath coolest place to be in Dalston. In reality, it's filled with with desperate post-25ers, clinging to their last vestiges of youth. They drink a lot, not for a good time. They drink because the belly has started to go, the hangovers have started to tell. There are crows' feet landing, and the crows are taking a dump on the rest of their face. They're so self-obsessed that my friend shone a keyring light at the people there and watched as they posed, thinking it was a camera.
Opportunity has evaded them. They don't know what to do, but it looks increasingly likely that in real - crushingly real - life, they'll be moving from office admin to office supervisor pretty bloody soon. Always assuming that they'll eventually make it, but with no idea how, they now find themselves working in slate-grey office life in an industry they've not got an interest in. They're now subscribing to the belief that once they finally stop having to cover reception or get the food for meetings that they're somebody, because that's the only measure of progress they've made. As much as they believe they deserve it, nobody's reading their blog about their weekly k-hole and hilarious friends. The Sunday Times Style section won't be slavering over them any time soon.
These people believe that a justifiable status update on Facebook is to announce where they are at that given time. 'I'm in the pub about to go to watch the xx!' Call me a miserable bastard (I am), but when did people start treating their Facebook page like it's their fucking fansite? Since they moved to Dalston. Does anyone have a place to rent?
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