GeoCities: “SoHo”

Mon, 12 August, 1996

Since this IS a SoHo site, i’m supposed to deal with “bohemian arts” & such… Now, what, exactly, does “bohemian” mean? At first glance, i see some cool daddy-o hipsters all in black w/shades on, acting like they’re wicked stoned. Then they start spouting off nonsense stream-of-consciousness style, calling it poetry. Then they complain that no one understands them.

But “bohemian” literally means “one who is from Bohemia,” which is part of Czechoslovakia. Historically, this is wrong, as is the synonym “gypsy,” which is derived from “Egyptian.” Bohemians/gypsies were neither from Czechoslovakia NOR Egypt, but rather from way farther east: India & Iran. The Europeans just didn’t know WHERE the hell those roving freaks were from, so they called them Bohemians, probably because real Bohemians (those who were from Bohemia) were low-class paeon scum.

So it looks as if “bohemian artists” in GeoCities’ SoHo sense has the flavor of social outcasts making artistic commentary about society. And it even may be that we make such commentary about society by the simple fact of being on the fringes (or farther out) of normal society. That is, you don’t have to CONSCIOUSLY attempt to make a social comment in yr art; just BECAUSE you aren’t in the mainstream of society, anything you say will be a comment on society. Hmmm… Something to do with objectivity…


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