Here's the thing: the late, great Spy Magazine called it 24 years ago in 1989 (see p. 92 below for a walk down memory lane). That's half my life ago, and I was tired of it then.
A little irony is a good thing (thrift-store spaceman Santa statue, anyone?) but it's like putting Liquid Smoke in a pot of vegetarian chili. A capful is just right, but more than that and it spoils the whole thing.*
It has to be at least partly a function of the fact that our technology bombards us with so much, so often, and erases the notion of things taking time to acquire genuine historical authenticity, that perhaps people are just surrounded with too much stuff to be able to quiet their own minds and think about who they are and what they want to say/do/express. Or as Blaise Pascal said much more succinctly:
Problem: when hipsters or whomever passes for this generation of the anointed cool co-opt faux awkwardness and geekiness, where can truth live? For many, it's too dangerous to risk exposing one's authentic self, especially those parts that are permanently unhip.
Which is why I have for many years tried to live and promote the tenet that what's really cool is to not care whether you're cool, but to figure out who you are and be that person. And there's plenty of room in that worldview for odd obsessions, viewpoints, etc., under the rubric of silliness and genuine appreciation.
In short, we are all weird, and that should be a good thing. In that vein, I'm plugging a book I haven't yet read by the same title that sounds intriguing. We Are All Weird by Seth Godin.
Happy Black Friday, all!
UPDATE: And in case this seems like a new thing, Susan Sontag noted the conversion of the serious to the frivolous way back in 1964 in her outstanding Notes on "Camp."
Update #2: Sontag, in turn, cites Christopher Isherwood's description of "high camp" in his 1954 novel, The World in the Evening - "you're not making fun of it, you're making fun out of it." So as my grandpa Southard used to say, "SOSDD. Same old shit, different day."
*Someone recently pointed out all my analogies are food-related. No surprise - gluttony is my worst vice :)