AntiNote: The following is an extended excerpt of a radio interview, edited for readability.
On 12 April 2014, Chuck Mertz of This is Hell! Radio (Chicago) talked to activist, educator and author Paul Buhle about bohemians.
Perhaps mainstream discourse has already wrung every last drop of usefulness from the topic of “bohemians” (or “hipsters,” or whatever term we’re using for this amorphous subgroup of people)—it has become as much of a cliché as “fratboys” when trying to shoehorn people into categories. But sometimes much more vital questions are embedded in these discussions, like those of gentrification, right to the city, the aristocratization of creativity, and the convergence of art and radical activism.
We find Buhle’s perspectives on some of these questions to be of particular interest because in some cases they contradict our own current understanding—and are based in large-scale historical thinking that demands to be taken seriously.