Prepare My Bathosub
Elsewhere (281)

Dirty Secret

Readers may recall our various, quite lengthy discussions regarding the desperately bohemian Laurie Penny and her enthusiasm for supposedly radical lifestyles, which often entail parasitism and tend to have ruinous effects on those born without means:

Laurie is following the standard trajectory of her type. Her status and career would have been much less likely without the very same bourgeois values she claims to despise and urges others to reject. If instead of a stable, rather comfortable middle-class upbringing she’d been raised in keeping with her own professed values – say, by a welfare-dependent single parent with multiple transient partners and no stability or commitment - I somehow doubt she’d have been able to spend time at Wadham College finding herself politically and playing “riot girl.” And I doubt she’d now be able to flit around the world while tweeting about how oppressed she is.

Likewise, her self-imagined role as a wordsmith revolutionary would be much harder to sustain without a great many other people cultivating those same bourgeois values and keeping things ticking over. A fact that Laurie counts on, despite her pretence. In effect, we, the bourgeois rubes whose values she rails against, are her safety net. The fact that few of us are credulous enough to take her at her words and follow her advice is what allows her to mouth it in relative comfort and security, knowing that the destruction of capitalism, marriage and the family unit (and all that would go with it), which she claims to want, won’t happen just yet.

Well, a self-styled bohemian type seems to agree:

I’m a Boho, and square society should indulge and appreciate Boho contributions, IMHO. But I also think that Boho values are RUINOUS for everyday people. Seriously: for 5% of us, living the Boho way is excellent, but for most people Boho values and life-techniques will wreck them. That’s where I differ hugely from my fellow Bohos: I WANT square society to prosper, to be proud, to do a good square job, etc. Bohemia (which I love and am committed to) is dependent on a vigorous, healthy conventional society. It ain’t the reverse! Don’t let me down, squares.

At least the honesty is refreshing.