I stated last week that I’m writing a neo-bohemian manifesto… yeah? I must point out that I’m not attempting to rewrite the old ways, rather I’d like to draw parallels between periods from the past and today, in order to reflect on how things might be different, the same, or better. I’m doing this to understand what makes neo-Bohemians unique, so that those of us who identify as such can celebrate this common identity.
The periods of time in question are those which provided a fertile environment for creative folk to thrive, enabling an overlap of disciplines that resulted in high concentrations of revolutionary innovation [ ! ]
Why does this sporadic burst of new ideas happen? I believe that the intersection of professions, skill sets and cultures concentrated in a consistent public forum during unique social circumstances (like a war or regime change) results in action backed by fresh thinking.
Is this happening now?…………… Yes! But where??
CROSS-POLINATION OF EVERYTHING
I don’t have to argue this idea much; when different people meet who have the common desire to make stuff, creative dialogues occur… ideas are exchanged… influence takes hold… and you end up with a bunch of new things that are a sum of the added components.
At the heart of every bohemian movement was a slurry of inputs that resulted in an infinite potential for unique outputs.
As necessary, some level of migration occurred in order for people to participate in these movements. To meet and mingle with those stirring the waters, you had to stand on the boat they were rocking (a hundred years ago this pilgrimage would land you in Paris, a thousand years ago it may have led you to Alexandria). You simply had to be where the stuff was happening.
Due to the relocation of people from many different areas of the world to one city or region, there was a byproduct of cultural overlap. The cross-pollination of ethnicities, cultures, and religions manifested in all forms of creative expression.
Now is just another one of many similar points in history, however it’s different and remarkable in that today’s creative epicenter has no physical location. The bohemian heart of today is the internet. With blogs, forums and youtube channels acting as caravans and stages that feed us the content we are influenced by, social media functions as the coffee shops and bars where we meet to discuss how and why we’ve been effected by these exposures.
UNIQUE SOCIAL CIRCUMSTANCE
Wherever you’re from, the current and trending flavor of the world is freshly licked butthole. Whatever your beliefs, there is something in the media attempting to incite an emotional response from you. You are bombarded by this daily. It’s slowly chipping away at your otherwise *relatively-stable* emotional foundation; distorting you into a paranoid, pissed off person (at least it is to me, so I figure I’m not alone). At the end of some days, you’re completely exhausted and you aren’t sure why.
It might be local politics, mass shootings, the shit show running the government, the unnecessary reminder that your race, gender, or sexual orientation is still mistreated and unequally regarded in society, the fact that religion is still a thing, tax reform, net neutrality, dogs and cats, lions and tigers: – because we are so connected we are that much more aware of everything, even the stuff that might be bullshit trying to get the best of us.
While this sucks… and I agree wholeheartedly that it is a tremendous emotional burden and does make for a constant distinct butt-flavor in your mouth, it can also be seen as catalyst.
Those with the most adversity to overcome typically end up achieving the most. Without something to push you, animals tend to stay comfortably in place. So maybe all the inflammatory garbage in our face is a blessing in disguise?
To conclude this meditation,
In a funny sense, Reddit is the Montparnasse of now. Twitter is the shitty coffee shop on the corner that we keep going to even though the people who work there suck, and the coffee kinda sucks too.
We, humans of now, aren’t limited by our geographic location as were the movers and shakers of the past. Everything is happening everywhere and we are intrinsically tethered to all of it as participants, due to accessibility. If you want something, you have it (and because of Amizon, typically next day). If you want to know something, you’ll learn it (because we are all students of youtube). If you want to meet someone, you can with little effort, usually without having to leave your desk. Even if some things going on in the world are toxic, we aren’t helpless to fight them. If we want to speak out, our voices can reach farther than ever before and are immutable. Every one of us are potential all-knowing, all-seeing, influential vehicles of change. So what are we going to do with the power?
I think in my next meditation, I will discuss the bohemian principles a little more:
TRUTH, BEAUTY, FREEDOM, LOVE… that old bag.
I’ve come to realize that the principles shouldn’t change just because we humans have… but there is still much to discuss.
As always, if you have input, or just think I’m full of shit… I’d love to hear your thoughts.
All is full of love,