Bourgeois and bohemian used to be in harmony, the yin and yang of white people culture – for every SUV, a patchouli-infused VW van.
But not any more, because boho is dead, guys. Bougie won, and even “blue collar” folks are bougie now. Have you seen their pickup trucks?
At the heart of the Western middle class are these two impulses: bourgeois and bohemian, the former seeking wealth and “success” as the purpose of life, the latter instead seeing pleasure and creativity as its highest priorities.
The 1980s were a quintessential bougie phase, replete with pink polo shirts and Mercedes logos, while the nineties were steeped in grunge-flavoured bohemianism.
When one of these two impulses get too powerful, bad things start to happen – we can think for example of the anomie of the seventies as a brutal hangover of the sixties’ runaway bohemianism.
Now, due essentially to a coup by the ultra-rich and the bankers who serve them at everyone else’s expense, we have the opposite extreme, one in which a lame, soulless corporate class has total dominance and artists are basically serfs.
There are two ways forward from here: maximum bougie from here to eternity – technically known as fascism – or a bohemian reaction in which the tides turn and we return to some semblance of balance in the force.
It’s an irony of history that the baby boomer generation that rebelled against the excess bougieness of the postwar era has essentially frozen society and brought us to the verge of bougie inception by TAKING ALL THE DAMN MONEY.
But here we are.