At one point living a bohemian life meant embracing failure, squandering the opportunities and privileges of your class background, a deliberate self-impoverishment that rejected the conventional ideas of wealth and success in favour of spiritual and aesthetic riches.
Now certain aspects of bohemianism—a life dedicated to aestheticism, exquisite sensations, “experiences”, the exotic; a systematic derangement of the senses; an unstructured and de-routinized lifestyle—have become compatible with an essentially affluent and careerist existence.
Very interesting points here. I’d say that change might have some connection to the rise of lifestyle marketing, and the fact being incredibly hip is now a marketable skill, and can feasibly lead to making buttloads of money. I seem to recall a story in this book in which a Williamsburg hipster sells the jeans he’s been wearing every day — without washing, for years — to Levi’s, so they can clone them. Strange times.