The Definition of Bohemian

Many moons ago I was having a conversation with a friend after laughter yoga about what it means to be bohemian.

But, but tell me, that ending does not uphold the Bohemian ideals of truth, beauty, freedom, and love?

– MOULIN ROUGE

According to Wikipedia: “Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people, involving musical, artistic or literary pursuits, with few permanent ties. Bohemians can be wanderers, adventurers, or vagabonds.”

Someone has even written a book called Bohemian Manifesto (which I have yet to read, but helped me in the development of my own manifesto).

Bohemians are quite popular in the Musical Theatre genre, appearing in Moulin Rouge and RENT most notably. RENT even has a song called “La Vie Boheme” (the bohemian life) which offers a pretty comprehensive example-based definition. It’s quite long but i’ve bolded some of my favorites.

To days of inspiration,

Playing hookey,

Making something out of nothing,

the need to express, to communicate,

To going against the grain,

Going insane,

Going mad,

To loving tension,

No pension

To more than one dimension,

To starving for attention,

Hating convention,

Hating pretension,

Hating dear old mom and dad

To riding your bike midday past the three piece suits-

To fruits-

To no absolutes-

To Absolut-

To choice-

To the Village Voice-

To any passing fad

To being an us, for once, instead of a them

Wine and beer!

To hand-crafted beers made in local breweries

To yoga,

to yogurt

to rice and beans and cheese

To leather,

to dildos,

To curry Vindaloo

To Huevos Rancheros and Maya Angelou

Emotion

Devotion

to causing a commotion,

Creation

Vacation

Mucho masturbation

Compassion,

To fashion,

To passion, when it’s new

To Sontag

To Sondheim

To anything taboo

Ginsberg, Dylan, Cunningham and Cage

Lenny Bruce

Langston Hughes

To the stage!

To Uta

To Buddha

Pablo Neruda, too

Bisexuals,

Trisexuals,

Homo Sapiens,

Carcinogens,

Hallucinogens,

Men,

Pee Wee Herman

German wine,

Turpentine,

Gertrude Stein

Antonioni,

Bertolucci,

Kurosawa

Carmina Burana

To apathy,

to entropy

to empathy,

ecstasy

Vaclav Havel- The Sex Pistols,

8BC

To no shame- Never playing the fame game

To marijuana

To sodomy, it’s between God and me

To S & M

To dance!

Masochism,

Pain,

Perfection

Muscle spasms,

Chiropractors,

Short careers,

Eating disorders!

Film!

Adventure,

Tedium,

No family,

Boring locations,

Dark rooms,

Perfect faces,

Egos,

Money,

Hollywood and sleaze!

Music!

Food of love,

Mathematics,

Isolation,

Rhythm,

Feeling,

Power,

Harmony,

Heavy competition!

Anarchy!

Revolution,

Justice,

Screaming for solutions,

Forcing changes,

Risk, and danger

Making noise and making pleas!

To faggots, lezzies, dykes, cross dressers too

To people living with- Not dying from disease

La Vie Boheme!

Personally, one of the categories on this blog (the most popular) is titled Bohemian. To me it’s all about living unconventionally in an environment of diversity and acceptance. Think Commerical Drive and the Kitsilano of the past…

Viva la vie boheme!

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