On China’s “cultured youth”, aka hipsters, or at least their version. Almost hipsters.

It’s happened all over the world, and it’s happening in China too. As the country’s middle class swells in number–and its people discover the pleasures and disappointments of a life spent pursuing material comfort–there comes the emergence of a distinct counter-culture.

Of course, the adaptability of corporate America continues to prove itself, and in the last decade we have seen hipsterism well and truly enter the American mainstream. Where recycling ideas from the past or from the working class was once a kind of anti-fashion, it is now fashion. And yet hipsterism has retained a flavor–however empty–of rebellion.

By contrast, China’s wonderfully sincere “cultured youth” lack the irony and apathy integral to hipsterism, characteristics which nonetheless can be found in China’s “2B youth.” These are young men and women who have nothing much going on in their lives (or, in some cases, their heads). As the photo collage suggests, “2B”ers like to engage in pointless and deliberately self-defeating behavior, all, it sometimes seems, for nothing more than the “lulz.”

via @marginalutility & tea leaf nation