Isn’t there an irony in the fact that I am a communications major, and I’ve been a blogger for ten years, yet I can’t seem to adequately communicate a simple concept on my blog?
Friday night I posted about hipster Mennonites. I knew it was likely to go Menno-viral, with that picture and that headline, so I was expecting a little misunderstanding. Maybe some hipster-ish Mennos would feel a bit attacked. However, I was completely unprepared for the odd off-topic comments that poured in when I shared it on Facebook.
Which, for me, raised a question I’ve never thought of before:
Are we incapable of noticing interesting and/or humorous things about a culture without condemning, passing judgement, or idolizing that culture?
Exhibit A: “This is exactly the reason I left the Mennonite thing it is not about Christianity it’s about being a Mennonite.”
With all the likes and replies this comment received it seemed to strike a nerve, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how it related to my post. The hipsters put their Mennonite-ness over Christ? I’m putting my Mennonite-ness over Christ by “judging” the hipsters?
Exhibit B: Present day mennonites now wearing all the latest name brands now say….it matters whats on the inside….bunch of wackos with one foot on either side of the fence.
Yeah but…do you know anything about hipsters? Brand names aren’t really a thing. If you’re concerned about it, perhaps you should explore the topic in a blog post of your own.
Exhibit C: It’s pretty easy to point out all the inconsistencies in any group’s doctrine and practice.
Maybe so. But, I promise, I wasn’t trying to point out anyone’s inconsistencies in that post.
Honestly, I just like noticing the odd/funny/unique things about cultures.
I know that Mennonites can get religion and culture mixed up a bit, and it may seem unique in the individualistic western world we live in, but it’s really a universal problem. Similarly, I know that Mennonites steal some of their trends and ideas from the greater American population, but really, as a whole, we are extraordinarily good at nonconformity.
You may have a lot you want to say about the above topics, and if you do, I encourage you to write up your own blog post/Facebook post about it. My own post was about neither of those things. Not even close.
I just like thinking about culture.
It fascinated me when all the fashionable celebrities began wearing the poofed hair that was Menno-fashionable in my mother’s day. I roared with laughter when culottes (briefly) came in style again. I made a friend from Germany recently, and we spent a long and wonderful afternoon discussing cultural differences between America and Germany.
Apparently she came here and was highly amused to see that our world was, indeed, full of giant yellow school buses and to-go coffee cups, just like in the movies.
To me, seeing hipster Mennonites is odd, funny, and interesting, like the culture of to-go coffee is to Germans.