Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I am a Bohemian

Not "Bohemian" as in originating from Bohemia, nor bohémienne, that is a Romani.
I am an intellectual artist with unconventional lifestyle.

I don't work, but I do a lot.

I pursue all forms of art, from music and literature to arts and crafts and architecture and theater. All of it.

I come from noble blood, and am the seventh child of my parents. I am a witch and consider myself not on the hierarchical pyramid, but outside it. I socialize as easily with kings as with homeless people. (Which actually are more close to each other than the Dursleys of this world.)

I have nothing against polygamy, pansexualism and free love, though I choose to live in a monogamous marriage. I think I might be polyamorous.

I don't think I'm a wandered, a vagabond, an adventurer... But I do admire people who are.

I am an eccentric, an aesthetic and somewhat of a hedonist. Epicurean, I'd say.

Do I have unorthodox or anti-establishment political or social view? Not really. I'm social liberal and I consider all people equal, and I don't much care about money... not enough to actually do something to get it. I am more for the economically free Star Trek society, of bartering and collectives. I'm for all things frugal, sustainable and ecological, and skilled in homely arts and crafts. I could support me and my family in forest with nothing but a knife.

I do think "bobo" - bourgeois bohemians - are a joke and an offense. Just like Christian Pagans. The idea of bohemianism is to be exactly not bourgeois. Bourgeois is the wealthy middle-class, "white wannabes" (and "white" in this doesn't mean skin color, but the class system of Finnish civil war), people who think things are "good" because they cost a lot, and rich people are always right simply because they are rich. These people usually vote for conservative - or what everyone else votes. In Sweden they are mostly social democrat. Which has less and less to do with socialism, because the people who vote for them want to be rich and grand and... bourgeoisie.

Why am I saying all this?
I encountered a Pinterest "person" (I don't know if this entity is one person or many, but at Pinterest a "person" is an entity with a profile and a board. Like "Ketutar" or "Martha Stewart".) calling herself something bohemian, and she has named all her boards "bohemian ---". And she doesn't seem to have the slightest idea what bohemian really is.

 Dries van Noten coat

Her idea of "bohemian fashion" is really fashion. Haute Couture. Catwalks and Vogue.

Her idea of "bohemian interior" is minimalist. Yes, with a little Moroccan influence, and "old, worn" things, but the industrial chic "old, worn", not the folklore "old, worn". If it only looked like something a homeless person could live, but, no, it's very stylish and expensive. Straight from any high street interior design magazine. I really can't see artists and outsiders and eccentric people living in these rooms. I can see people like... not bourgeois, not the new rich, no, artistic, yes, but jet set. Fashion designers who really don't make clothes I'd wear, editorial personnel of magazines of style and fashion, people with a lot of money, people who dress in neutrals. People who don't have kids or relatives. People who wear shoes and go to a hairdresser regularly.
The style is not rich, it's expensive.

And neon? Neon has nothing to do with Bohemian! Not after 80's when it was made for everyone.

The thing with "bohemian" is that it does include such unlikable attributes like "dirty", "shabby", "messy", "unkempt", "laissez-faire", some "je ne sais quoi" indifference, but also unmistakable fantasy, richness of imagination, whimsical, amoral, childlike wildness, certain horror vacui.
Minimalism might have been bohemian in the 60's and 70's when it was new and fascinating and different, but... today? No.
I should be thinking of gypsies and singing, dancing, merry-making combined with passionate creating, painters who would cut their ears off... except for when they are being flirtatious and having fun with their friends in a taverna somewhere. Or in the wilderness. Doesn't matter. But these people would not think twice walking barefeet in the grass.

I really don't associate words like "dry-cleaning", "time manager" and... clean... with bohemian. Cold. I keep getting an idea of a person with cleaning obsession. Germ phobia. Rigid, very organized, precise, very intellectual, but totally unimaginative person. With black glasses and geometric hairdo. Pedantic.
Sure, creative. Artistic even. But... they probably use rulers or computers a lot. Graphic designer, perhaps. Potter, even. Could be designing fabrics. Rather abstract, geometric things. Precise, mathematical.
I can't see the person living in this house laughing a lot, or doing anything spontaneous and unexpected. I would say this person looks down on real bohemians. The dirty, unreliable, strange people. The romantic and poetic souls who would gather flowers just because they are so pretty, a whole bunch of flowers, arms full of flowers, and then just whack them into some pot or another, that wasn't even designed to be a flower vase, and it looks amazing. The people who build vardos and make them so not sleek and aerodynamic and designed and white, but full of carvings and colors and colors and forms and texture upon colors and forms and texture, and make it look all perfectly wonderful, wild, vivid and... just gorgeous... with every meaning of the word. Alive, sexy and joyous...


  1. i ran across this and my heart is fluttering with praise and adoration. This is something I have said for so long. wow. *squish*

  2. I love everything about this post. You are right about the bourgeois, It saddens me to think that we've grown a society that believes if it's expensive it's better or better than on the flip side I'm annoyed by people that try too hard to look like what a "Bohemian" is suppose to look like. Why the spirit of a bohemian is captured beautifully via your words. My two favorite examples of Bohemians were Dora Carrington and Lytton Strachey :)