Bohemias - a quote from William Gibson

Bohemias. Alternative subcultures. They were a crucial aspect of industrial civilization in the previous two centuries. They were where industrial civilization went to dream. A sort of unconscious R&D, exploring alternate societal strategies. Each one would have a dress code, characteristic forms of artistic expression, a substance or substances of choice, and a set of sexual values at odds with those of the culture at large. And they did, frequently, have locales with which they became associated. But they became extinct.


We started picking them before they could ripen. A certain crucial growing period was lost, as marketing evolved and the mechanisms of recommodification became quicker, more rapacious. Authentic subcultures required backwaters, and time, and there are no more backwaters.

-- from All Tomorrow's Parties, 1999

"We" being the monoculture (as voiced by the corporate bigwig who gives this speech). This quote gets more prescient every year--"mechanisms of recommodification became quicker, more rapacious" was written several years before social networking's omnipresent "like" buttons.

(Hi, bloggy - hope all is well.)

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Published on November 3, 2010 11:54 PM.

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