adjective: considered to be in poor taste but appreciated in an ironic or knowing way
Let’s talk about hipsters…
Their whole shtick is to be into things that are clearly in bad taste and like them ironically. I’ll never forget seeing hipsters on the streets while I lived in Brooklyn. Girls were wearing Peggy Hill glasses from the ’80s and guys were wearing Mack Truck hats. If I had a nickel for every ironic t-shirt I saw, I would still be able to afford to live in New York!
I never really got the joke if there was one.
I don’t understand why anyone would spend time and effort to pretend to be into something when they’re clearly not. Eventually, the ironic hipster fashion just became their fashion. The joke was on the hipsters. It all reminds me of line from Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Mother Night: “If you pretend to be something long enough, you will become it.”
The whole ironic hipster trend would be considered kitsch. Tiki isn’t.
There’s a misconception that people are into Tiki ironically. This is the farthest thing from the truth. People like Otto Von Stroheim and Sven Kirsten have been into Tiki since the ’90s! Otto started a fanzine called Tiki News and went on to organize Tiki Oasis, which thousands of people attend yearly.
Sven has written several books on Tiki and Polynesian pop. Tiki is no joke to these fellows: it’s their lives!
The idea of a Tiki bar is to create the illusion that you are relaxing on a beach somewhere in the South Pacific. The more bamboo and thatch, the better.
The famous Tiki artist Dawn Frasier actually called Fiji her home while I was still in high school!
How is wanting to or actually living on a Polynesian island ironic or in bad taste? I think it’s cool, really cool!
Speaking of cool, check out this guy…
This is Justin. He’s the Tiki bartender at the Diller Room in Seattle. I find it very hard to find anything ironic about Justin’s style. And speaking of style, women’s Tiki fashion is very retro, stylish, and full of class.
How is dressing and looking amazing kitsch? It’s not.
When I saw pictures of places like the Mai-Kai…
and the Tonga Room…
My first and only thought was wow! I need to go there, now! I have thrown down tons of cash to travel around the country checking out Tiki bars. If I was living the Tiki lifestyle ironically the joke would be on me—and my bank account!
Is Tiki kitsch? No. No way!
If you think Tiki is considered bad taste, it might just be you.