Monday, April 29, 2013

Jesus-The Original Hipster? Perhaps.....

I spend a lot of time in neighborhoods where "hipsters" live and work. They're great neighborhoods to try new restaurants,  to people watch and to visit with friends and family. There's the well known hipster capital of the world and the place where the word hipster evolved from-Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We go there regularly for brunch, to visit our friends' art gallery or just to walk around. Recently we waited two hours to eat in the trendiest of restaurants (according to my sons) in nearby Greenpoint,  called "Five Leaves." Heath Ledger (deceased actor) had a connection to this restaurant which probably is what all the hype is about, but the food was delicious.
But getting back to the new ad campaign by the Diocese of Brooklyn which calls Jesus, "The Original Hipster," in an effort to attract young adults to the faith. It seems to be getting a lot of media attention and seems to be successful as traffic on the diocese's website has gone up 400% since the ad, so that's fantastic. The ad shows Jesus wearing converse sneakers-pretty cool and creative, though the image I've seen only shows Jesus' robe with the sneakers, no view of his face but we can imagine he would have had long hair as well......
In one article I've read, Msgr. Kieran Harrington was quoted as saying, "We understand the importance of relating to the people in the area...Jesus appears (in these ads) like people of the L train. What is a hipster anyway? Someone who stands against the mainstream culture. Jesus stood against the culture."
And I would add, Jesus also has an influential Father, a lot of  hipsters have parents who are well off. According to urban legend, many hipsters can afford to live in expensive hipster neighborhoods, while following their creative, artistic, non-conformist dreams, with a little financial help from Mom and Dad or their trust funds. Of course that is a generalization but it holds true in some cases. Presently, one bedroom condo's in Williamsburg are selling between $500,000 and 700,000 and higher. Prices of apartments and rents in hipster neighborhoods have gone through the roof. Apparently, everyone wants to live near hipsters, after all they're soooo cool and hip, on the cutting edge. Walking down Bedford Ave. on a Friday night was like going to a carnival, I couldn't believe how alive and upbeat the area was. In Williamsburg you can hear accents of people from around the world, it's incredible how popular it is.
Jesus was (and still is) counter-cultural. Jesus was a non-conformist and He was non-judgmental when He walked this earth. The Divine Son is "the way, the truth and the life." Any ad campaign which helps young people to realize that is a great thing. I'm a fan of this ad  but realistically Jesus couldn't afford to live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I don't know who can at these elevated real estate prices.