Brilliant. Pure Nathan Barley. I laughed all the way through, in a nihilistic sort of way. You know the end-times are near when someone can call themselves a ‘theological anthropologist, strategy consultant and conceptual artist’ with a straight face.
“theological anthropologist, strategy consultant and conceptual artist”
Next year’s degree course of choice. Don’t knock progress.
When people make these kinds of claims about themselves, we need to ask to see some of their products. Show us one of your strategies, or your art works.
You’ve got to hope the article is satire. It’s either a brilliant wind-up or something quite different.
Agreed. I was especially enchanted by this one: “By celebrating the wonders of a simple, traditional lifestyle surrounded by a bucolic paradise and manual crafts, she made the enchanted Bopea worldview sexy.”
Nothing like a near billionaire celebrating the simple lifestyle after a mad pursuit of the opposite.
Be fair!.I’m pretty sceptical as well, but none of the people mentioned kind of dropping out had been billionaires, or anything close to that.
Why should we think he has a straight face?
Is that really fair tho?
The article puts in a lot of effort to distinguish the new alternative lifestyle movement from shallow hipsters.
Not sure what it really amounts to in the end.
But if it is to survive, it must be nurtured carefully and protected from the trend-market feedback loop, lest it be bled dry and discarded.
Therein lies the rub. I’ve no doubt those present in Haight-Ashbury in 1967 thought pretty much along the same lines, but at least the Bopeas (a pleasantly unfashionable word) have modern precedents to alert them to the dangers of being engulfed by the forces they’re seeking to evade, if not entirely escape. I wish them well, and can see very little to be critical of in their intentions.
One other aspect of the article draws my attention – the term “creatives”. It’s something bandied about as if everyone has to be “creative” or be nothing. What’s to differentiate someone who thinks of themselves as a “creative” in 2023 from someone who ploughed the tenured fields in 1223 to “create” food or watched over a loom in a dark satanic mill in 1823 to “create” cloth? In any of these cases, is there anything original being brought forth, in a fusion of material or ideas which hitherto hadn’t been conceived of? That’s being creative, rather than artisanal (and nothing wrong with the latter at all). But let’s not debase yet another word by making it mean something that it doesn’t, in the same way that “hate” is now debased. Having said that, it may be the hippies who’re to blame for the start of word-debasement with “love”.
You’re reminding me of that guy in Monty Python’s Holy Grail that didn’t want to marry the woman his father came up with, with ” great tracts of land”, but wanted to sing.
to be fair, Shein have been doing a pretty good job of bleeding the cottagecore aesthetic dry for awhile now. Shein are the dark satanic mills of today, with their underpaid workers producing fast fashion styles ripped off from small Etsy sellers.
Isn’t it all just more 70’s recycling ? It’s like a re-working of a commune. We’ve got DM’s, donkey jackets, we’ve had synthpop, I’ve seen Che Guevara posters at the local UNI and everyone’s going on strike. We’re having another green revival with all the apocalyptic chatter and greenwashing. People are wearing political badges again, and workwear. Sainsburys is full of these magazines called ‘Breathe’ and ‘Inspire’ that all have the same washed-out ethniccy look with an article about how to make your own espadrilles. Even the dreaded wedgies and dungarees are having a moment. They’ll all be weaving wallhangings next week. Then when the powers that be realise that the economy is about to collapse, we’ll be off on the next consumer binge all repackaged as progress.
Yea, this is just another reincarnation of it. Add the Simple Lifestyle trend and/or the Minimalists and it’s just history quickly repeating itself, but repackaged with immense wealth. For heaven’s sake, L.L. Bean created a huge business, selling over one of the previous incarnations.
“is there anything original being brought forth, in a fusion of material or ideas which hitherto hadn’t been conceived of?”
Agree fully. Writing a good book may be creative but who created the first book, conceived the idea of something which didn’t exist before. So writing a book is in a sense a reproduction. Conceiving Airbnb, Ueber, the pill etc etc is in that sense more creative than many things we call creative. And up till today it is mostly men who conceive the new and create it.
And yet there are men who yearn to be women …. Creation is in the living of life and reproduction …. even if it is just another book.
Very good point. Gayle.
“Up til today it is mostly men who conceive ‘the new’ and create it”??! Yeah, you tell that to generations of mothers stretching back to… oh, but that’s not PROPER creativity, so that doesn’t count?!! Well, they do say history is written by the victors… (although I swear a load of ‘em are now presenting as victims – go figure ♀️)
Or, as that ‘marvel’ Ruskin put it, “all women’s art is but pale imitation of men’s”… As an artist I’m not offended because I know he was talking about ‘art business’… which is a whole other thing (thanks to the Renaissance) lol
Methinks the Beatles are responsible for this phenom; they urged us with “All you need is love. . .
So true, followed by various gurus.
But not famed Beat poet and erstwhile “guru” Allen Ginsburg, who disagreed with the Beatles’ mantra saying that “awareness is what you need, because without awareness there can be no love”. I don’t know which is correct but the Beatles definitely had the catchier song title!!
I suspect we need more than love and awareness.
Little to be critical of? Knackering our river beaches, over – gathering fungi, wild garlic etc and taking chunks of what 200 years ago was usually common woodland and keeping it in private use?
Social scientist studies social science graduates.
It’s not exactly Tom Wolfe.
A “theological” social scientist, no less.
Well they certainly don’t have any scientific methods to hand ( their choice – even social science can be rigorous) So blind faith is all they have left.
“Bopeaism certainly seems more robust than its ancestors.”
It’s hard to believe someone typed this line unironically, but it’s a weird ol’ world out there.
Yeah, I read this and thought, and precisely how are they different from the first bohemian movement, the arts and craft movement, the hippies and all the folks afterward that did this? I’m not against them. I just don’t think they are new or need a new name at all. Also I think the right name is cottage core, really.
They won’t die out because this instinct is with us.
It’s hard to be original. It’s the same mindset repackaged.
I don’t see any reason to believe this iteration will be either more or less “robust” than previous ones.
I don’t read anything about marriage and children. So I suppose these whatsits will die out after a generation.
Well we’re all dying out for that very reason. Increasingly, young ‘uns are deciding that having children is not a realistic option. The reasons are well known and widely documented.
Or, perhaps, the ‘having children while still living the Deliveroo, 400 quid p/m for the hybrid Mini and going on weekend breaks to Barcelona dream’ option isn’t very realistic?
Ah yes, the reason the youngsters are struggling isn’t due to the fact house prices are now many multiples the annual salary, and record rents make saving the deposit nigh on impossible, it’s because they order a takeaway now and again and have the cheek to go on a cheap summer holiday. I’m surprised the avocado on toast didn’t get a mention as well to be honest
Avo on toast is a cliche. The examples I gave came from an article I read the other day by a mortgage advisor exploding some of the commonly held assumptions about Millennial / Gen Z house-buying issues. TL;DR – there is an unrealistic level of expectation around financial sacrifice involved in house-buying. Ditto, I imagine, kids. Which is why so many 30-somethings buy annoying little dogs and dress them up instead.
It’s not a financial sacrifice for most, it’s a financial impossibility. The older generation love to look down on the young, whilst being completely oblivious to how much easier it was for them to get themselves a foothold in life.
If both my parents and grandparents were young today, and their lives been the same in regards to leaving school and having children none of them would own their own home. In fact they’d all be reliant on government top ups simply to pay the rent
I don’t look down on the younger generations at all. I have an 18 year old who I’m genuinely worried about for the reasons you describe. This isn’t, however, a binary argument. Yes, life is very tough for too many under 40-somethings. Yes, the property situation is screwed (loads of reasons, but strangely the one concerning the numbers of people entering the country is a bit ‘problematic’ for the Deliveroo generation). OTOH, for a goodly number, getting on the ladder is entirely possible. Sadly, they were hatched into a world where sacrificing creature comforts isn’t a done thing, and so they carry on paying half-a-grand a month on a flash car lease and don’t even thing about where that money might be better spent.
I don’t see too many gen z spending half a grand on a car lease instead of saving for a house. However, just for reference, even paying half down, it cost us 325 at 5 years for our Kia. Not a flash car. Way, way back in the day, 25 years ago, buying my late grandmother-in-law’s (so discounted and not new) Saturn cost 200 a month. We had to get the car or my husband would get fired because the other car we had was occasionally unreliable. I expect a similar car & loan would be more now. The repairs certainly would be. We’ve just been through it. They are insane.
Pre 1970 a building society required at least 5% if not 10% deposit for a mortgage, the person to have saved with them for 5 years, proof of a steady job and the mortgage was based upon 3.5 times the husbands salary. Consequently the average house was 3.5 average salary plus 10%. Once the woman’s salary , not the wife’s was included in the mortgage this meant the cost of a home up up to 7 times plus 10% the average salary was possible. Then there was the self certified mortgages.
Britain is politically and economically relatively stable so many wealthy people buy homes in London area. When French tax rates reached 75% many moved to London. This pushes up property prices.
There is then immigration from north to south and into the country.
Much of the legislation for Brown Field devlopment has increased costs. People in Britain has historically not wanted to live in flats because of bad behaviour by neighbours. In countries such as Switzerland and Austria bad behavior is punished. Historically various state bodies bought land from the 1850s which was partly used, for example the massive grounds of mental asylums.
Of all the resources in Britain land which is sensible to build homes upon is the most scarce.
Then there is the nature of jobs. Britain has allowed vast increase in humanities degrees which often result in average and where increases greatly reduce after say 5 to 7 years. Jobs which require professional accreditation such as barristers, solicitors, doctors, engineers may have average pay for the first 5 to 7 years but increases greatly after they pass professional exams.
Someone who leaves school at sixteen years of age takes up a high quality apprenticeship say in electrical engineering, achieves a NVQ 4 or 5, by their mid 20s will have saved money, be well paid and have no university debt. If someone applies to an employer with grade B GSCEs in maths, physics, chemistry, english, history is fit, cheerful, glad of rigorous training, will not have a problem getting a good apprenticeship such as in RN, RAF, utilities, top building companies, manufacturers
Those making decisions lack the breadth of experience and knowledge to apprehend how all thes factors inter act.
..and to round it out…these younger cohorts are increasingly expecting the government (other taxpayers) to come to the rescue with benefits and programs (student loan cancellation) to save the day….hence ‘vote Democrat’ the party that’s keen to purchase votes via handouts.
I do have some sympathy for them. Since mid 1960s, obtaining a degree has become far more of status symbol as other routes to the professions have dried up.
As I have mentioned in other posts one could become a Chartered Engineer, officer in RN, Merchant Navy, Army, RAF solicitor, barrister, banking, stockbroker, surveyor, provided one obtained Higher Leaving Cert/ A Levels. However, entry to the professional middle class has become funnelled through having a degree.
In Young Winston, his Father tells him to make something of his life otherwise he will just be a public school layabout livin off the family name.
Someone who obtained Grade A in A levels and S2/S1 in S Levels ( Special Scholarship ) in classical and modern languages, history, pure maths, applied maths and sciences has achieved a far higher standard of education than three quarters of of degrees on offer.
It seems like you have white males in mind when you suggest possible career paths. Apptitude must be taken into consideration as well as personality type (they go hand in hand). What if one has an artistic temperament? Officer in RN, merchant navy, RAF, banking? I think not.
Historically young people were apprenticed at the age of fourteen years of age. My Grandmother entered an artists studio at this age and started her working life sweeping up and became at artists , later attending St Martin’s Art School as a student attending night school. Michelangelo, Leonardo and Raphael all started their careers as apprentices.
Wht I hve said is that by having a system whereby to enter the professional middle classes one hs to go to university, when three year degrees have become four and then masters are required, means people do not enter the job markets until their late 20s, have massive debts and delay earning money.
Point well taken. When I was young (centuries ago!) it was so much easier to get jobs in art or photographic studios without having to have a 3 page resume or a degree.I wouldn’t have had the opportunities I had, nowadays.
You mean like the older generations who out nothing aside for their pension costs or end of life care, expecting the youngsters to look after them through higher taxation in their old age?
When pensions started in 1905 in Britain there were 7 people working for one person retired. Most men who undertook manual work died by the age of 68 years which was the majority. People now live to their mid 80s and soon it will be two working for one retired.
Actuaries have been pointing this out for decades.
Basically people will have to save more and undertake some sort of paid work after the age of 60 years.
So it’s been known for decades, yet the current crop of retirees didn’t do a thing about it, simply expecting the youngsters to pick up the tab? Sort of proves my point does it not?
What could they do?
As a generation they could have started a superannuation scheme similar to that of Australia’s for one thing, and actually had a pot of money put aside to pay towards their future care
The sort of career which enabled people to enter the professional middle classes which has disappeared is becoming a Merchant Navy officer. Captain Woodfield OBE , a year at Warsash School of Navigation, joined Port Line for at 16 years for 3.5 years as an indentured apprentice and passing Second Mates examination at 20 which meant he could keep a bridge watch on hs own. We now have people undertaking four year degrees instead of three, masters and time off travelling the World. Consequently people are only entering the job market in their late 20s.
All these off shore windfarms will need ships for repirs which means officers with Masters tickets. People who have a Masters Ticket, are RNR and those RN trained divers who have passed All Arms Commando course will be very well paid. Flabby people with humanities degrees from ex polys will not be demand.
The future is bleak in everyway, isn’t it.
No, we are wealthy, there is no threat from Attila The Hun, Genghis Khan, Hitler, Mao, Stalin or The Black Death.
All we need to do is focus on high quality tempering of the mind and body; to produce skilled intrepid resilient and robust people with a sense of responsibility; not flabby effete impractical types; who consider they are entitled to be spoonfed and have their problems solved by others.
Your concluding sentence is an absolute gem! Excellent comment, all told.
They may get in the forces, but increasingly the construction firms want you to have done a pre trade course before they’ll look at you. Very few hire people straight from school these days as was the case when I was 16 and started my apprenticeship.
Look at Switzerland. Basically the progressive education post 1945 and especially massive expansion in humanities courses post 1960s has in the USA andUK has caused many of the problems you speak of; Switzerland has taken a different approach with education and training.
Education in Switzerland – Wikipedia
In addition, competence is increased by National Service and many middle managers are officers in elite units.
Just after my ex husband and I bought our first house: a two up, two down terraced with the bathroom an extension to the kitchen, the interest rate increased to 17%. We had to find a lodger to be able to make the mortgage payments. We saved for the deposit by living off my salary and never going out.
It requires a smaller percentage of the weekly wage to service a 17% mortgage of 3 years salary than it does to service a current 6% mortgage of the current house prices which are around 10 years salary you do realise?
It’s not just the perceived cost though. They might well be hesitant to bring a child into what’s left of a clapped out country that’s only going to get worse.
As opposed to bringing one into a war-torn medieval society, or Victorian slum with a toxic factory as the only income option? That didn’t stop our forebears from procreating. I find the reason you put forward an absolute aberration.
The difference being, of course, that women now have a choice as to when -and if – to procreate.
Our forebears didn’t have a choice in the matter as there was no birth control. You either lived a life of celibacy or you ended up with children, those were the only options
That is a bit OTT – contraception was not available to your examples !!!
‘don’t buy the glass-half-empty view…..
It’s not about being optimistic or pessimistic it’s about being realistic.
Or to bring a child into any part of the world.
“it’s because they order a takeaway now and again”
How about everyday? I remain astonished that the youngins’ pay $5 to $7 a day for their lattes…
None of the youngsters I know are buying $5 coffees every day (many older people are though, perhaps they should be putting that money aside to pay for the end of life care they’ll need one day?).
However for arguments sake let’s say they were. A $5 coffee (or around £3.50) 5 days a week is $1300 (£910) a year. The current UK average house price is around £285k, so a 20% deposit is £57k. Therefore by giving up the small piece of pleasure they derive from a morning coffee, they’ll have the deposit saved in a mere 60 years
Particularly since Spain is burning.
Having kids is just an act of narcissism anyway. Maybe they know the carbon footprint of a child is better than recycling your tin cans and offsetting your flight.
..or ‘responsibility’…other than themselves…
Yes, giving birth must pose a dilemma. Hippies weren’t deterred by the prospect of the end of civilization.
Why do we constantly invent new and sillier names for old phenomena. Just call them rich hippies.
They also used to be called trustafarians.
After decades of this in Portland through the 90s I started to refer to this bunch as Poverty Poseurs – they cosplay idealist but are still ultimately bourgeois consumerist, using the extremes of wealth and neo-Luddite pretense to distance themselves from whatever “The Man” is for them. The author really studiously avoids class, as he must to make this all palatable. You can present and self-conceptualize as Earthy as you will, but if you’re sporting $10k in ink and other body modification all done in the last few years, your wardrobe is all $$$ vintage consignment mixed with bespoke small batch hand-sewn organic $$$ tshirts and scarfs, you’re daily drinking $10 specialty Chais and nightly drinking $10 specialty beers, your fridge is stocked with Farm2Table organic produce and grass-fed meat and cruelty-free eggs, and you also eat out at restaurants which specialize in all the above. Then there’s the money for yoga, reiki, acupuncture, and those saunas.
“Downwardly Mobile”, indeed.
Sounds about right, to me. Deeply enjoyed your comment, a neat counter-weight to the original colourful, but surely over-the-top, article.
Here we go again – Boho myth-making and the pursuit of the pure, natural, organic and spiritual life.
Look further back than the post WW2 era to the artists, philosophers and writers of the Ascona, Monte Verita colony in the early decades of the 20th century and you will see we have been down this anti-patriarchal path before. Such cultural luminaries as CG Jung, Herman Hesse, Franz Kafka, DH Lawrence, the von Richthofen sisters, Isadora Duncan, Rudolf Laban, Otto Gross and the unique eccentric Gusto Gräser all came under the colony’s influence. The colony has even been credited as the founding ‘spiritual impulse’ of the European (and especially German) Green movement.
Let’s not forget The Carmel Monterey Peninsula Art Colony – another bohemian effort which was set up following the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and still exists today (albeit as a tourist attraction).
Not so much a Bohemian dawn as the latest iteration of that perennial Romantic urge to escape the mechanistic, materialistic world.
The author isn’t arguing otherwise.
Nor did he mention those cases I referred to – Ascona, in particular, deserves to be better known.
Anyway Murray, try not to be such a bore. As I said the other day, you have an unfortunate tendency to over-contribute. Are you by any chance trying to draw me into some piffling, time-filling argument?
Clearly though, you didn’t learn from the vote-spanking you got for your previous attempt at trying it on.
I must confess it took me by surprise when the article declared Jeremy Clarkson of all people as a Bopea elder. I find it hard to imagine the Shoreditch crowd seeing Clarkson as a fountain of wisdom, but weirder things have happened I guess.
Yes, I laughed at that too and made me think this is an unreliable narrator one way or another. His show is popular not because cottage core/granola crunchy but the juxtaposition of that kinda vibe with Jeremy Clarkson (and all that entails) that makes it truly amusing. And provides the conflict. Getting a truck made by lamboghini that is too big for the field, etc. So yeah, I don’t think the so-called Bopea (nice try author) thinks of him as an elder.
If anything, Clarkson has perceived the moment and is taking advantage of it…there’s a reason why he’s the top paid TV personality in the UK.
Or quoting Steve Bannon as a source of wisdom!
“What next? Will Bopeas go the same way as the hippies?”
Well, the early 70s oil shock did for the hippies. And this time there are multiple enormous shocks, each at least as big as that oil shock in the pipeline on their way. When the oil price shock came, they all, to the last man, woman and somewhat older leftie student activist, packed their backpacks at the holy mystic ashram for relieving idealistic young western idiots of their money, chopped their hair, shaved their beards, put on a suit, joined a bank, and started voting tory. What’s different this time is that there are no bank jobs left, nor will there be any creative jobs left once Stable Diffusion and the like are in full swing.
Why would youngsters today start voting Conservative as they age? What with poorly paid insecure employment, unaffordable house prices, record rents, failing privatised utilities and large student debts, what have they been given that’s worth conserving?
My very thoughts.
On the face of it I agree they won’t, but there is a mitigation. Those younger generations who have been so fond of Blarite type progressive causes all these years, could well flip rightwards en masse as they start inheriting the estates (primarily housing) from the older generations, instead of promptly donating said inherited wealth to the local branch of Momentum Geriatric™, and then seeing out their old age in misery in a bedsit. I suspect they might instead show a quivering middle finger to all the left wing causes they used to support with such enthusiasm all the years of their dispossession, and start voting rightwards instead.
That’s assuming there’s much left to inherit, once various care homes and hospices have had their cut.
Also by the time most get the inheritance they’ll be approaching 60 themselves. I don’t think a one off financial windfall in your twilight years will be enough to offset a lifetime of resentment at the unfair hand you’ve been dealt personally
Assuming this is a satire? It reads like Craig Brown, esp the putative links between (say) Clarkson, Kingsnorth and the Bruton Camelot. If not, meh.
I’m immediately updating my LinkedIn profile to say I’m a “Theological anthropologist. strategy consultant and conceptual artist”.
I’ve decided to go with “Theological artist, Strategy Anthropologist and Conceptual Consultant”.
I tried to read this all the way through but the word salad and combination of random thoughts made it a bit tricky for a great hair like me. However I do not roll my eyes too much for I was chatting with my older brother a short while ago who was talking about Freemason Lodges in the US that have sprung up from Deadheads. Makes me think anything is possible in this really odd world we are living in. Why not?
I had to look up “nose-to-tail” as a restaurant description – it was new to me! (It knocks “farm-to,-table” off the #1 spot in the pretentious-foodie-labels hit parade.)
I assumed it meant you had found a dead mouse curled up in your cinnamon swirl.
I’m an actual artist who draws and paints for clients in exchange for money. What does a “conceptual artist“ do, and who for?
They think about drawing and painting then persuade their mates at an online news publication to pay them to write strange articles alluding to it. 4D chess, innit?
Cool gig, I guess, but chess requires skill, and so does creating art people will pay for. I’d say the most lucid and interesting people posting on these sites are commenters – and we’re doing it for free. Now that’s quite the 4-D chess model!
It is a drab Wednesday in April and I am sat naked in a transparent plastic shed. Tucked away in a forest near the sleepy town of Uckfield, a woman starts to hit me in the face with some birch twigs, while another incants tales of Sussex’s dragons.
“No, madam! How dare you!! When I said ‘happy ending’, I meant could you say how the dragon ends up becoming mindfully vegan.”
What a lovely start to the week. I chuckled at this nonsense from the very first paragraph and when if came to the Jeremy Clarkson reference I had to laugh out loud. Humour truly is the best medicine!
How does Jamie (really?) get from her beach home to undeniably landlocked Uckfield twenty miles north? I’d like to think it’s a broomstick but I imagine it’s probably the simple, traditional lifestyle of the commuter motorist.
Good thought. Perhaps a bicycle?
Good grief – Taylor Swift?? “Taylor Swift has served as an avatar of the King’s Bopea ideology”. And she is about to make an estimated £1,000,000,000 from her upcoming tour!
I did laugh 🙂
I also note Ms Swift, as soon as the lockdowns were over, put on her sequinned dress and heels and went partying again (good for her).
Well, if she didn’t meet another bloke, she’d have nothing to write about
I’ve never gotten the Taylor Swift thing. I presume because it’s generational. However, to have her as an example of Bopeaism really confounds me. I can see siteing Gweneth Paltrow as an example.
In other words, the excess children of the Elites have run out of non-jobs to fo, and are making their own.
Thanks for an interesting article with some great & inciteful lines, e.g. “Bopeaism is simultaneously everywhere and totally invisible to those that are not looking.”
I disagree that it’s in danger of ceasing without protection from the “trend-market feedback loop”. Like the article suggests, it’s a diverse de-centralised movement. As N Satori nicely observes, it’s an expression of the perennial Romantic urge. Some local intentional communities & other Bopeas culture will wither, but new expressions will swiftly grow up in their place, especially if mainstream society doesn’t solve issues like elite over production. Some of the communities already know what they have to do to avoid said feedback loop. The classic article ‘Geeks, MOPs, and sociopaths in subculture evolution’ is now rather well known.
Thank you for that last reference. Hadn’t seen it. Have passed it on to my daughters who I think will both find it useful.
Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed reading this. Mind you, I did laugh on occasion, too.
As long as there is a right of private property and undeveloped land, there are places to go and call one’s own. What challenges this is taxation and the rapacious appetite of those who imagine some need and collect the taxes in order to be creative with other people’s money.
Really insightful about this heart-warming trend. Its so good to hear something that not materialistic, nihilistic, corporate or all three. Lets hope small communities and working together with nature thrives.
Taking the Mick?
Perhaps it’s just very subtle sarcasm?
Hardly, since civilization is coming to an end because of over-population causing climate change. Most of the planet will be uninhabitable. I suppose one could find an island somewhere, but it may be a lonely existance.
“They’re not like the winged dragons of Wales. These ones are like serpents, slithering and squirting a deadly and smelly slime that torments the people of Horsham.”
Those god-damn*d Horshamites! Always knew they were up to no good….
Can someone please explain how this pseudo hogwash was passed for publication ; presumably the editors are on holiday leaving the kids in charge.
So that it can elicit comments to give them a laugh whilst they lounge on the beach.
They’ve either (a) disappeared up their own fundaments or, (b) are having a laugh.
A much more simple explanation would be that it is precisely because of the loss of vitality of the creative class in urban centers that they now work their creative jobs remotely from more affordable locations.
Our burgeoning creative economy of the early millennium was sold for parts by the asset class. Creative people are now seeking a place to assemble it again, and it looks like it won’t be in cities.
It seems fair, frankly, that cities lose their value and flail a bit (especially from my Torontonian, North American perspective) until they think about what they have done and remember that they are not just units to be sold to the highest bidder, but also places for people to live in.
You do lean on simple explanations don’t you, Mean Mr. Mustard?
*I apologize for this rude comment
Mean Miss Mustard, please.
Fair enough, ma’am. You didn’t deserve what I wrote either. I’m in a mood and they keep publishing my invective. Have a good evening.
You as well – everyone has their moments.
Remember, AJ,you don’t have to say everything you think, or even believe everything you think.
True. That’s deserved and I totally agree but back at you, Clare.
Surely it’s Ms Mustard?!
She’s made that clear. I was thinking of the Beatles song.
Scratch beneath the surface and look for the indigenous east Sussex population. We are descended, for the most part, from the people who became Protestant Martyrs, people who fought for the Parliamentary cause, freethinkers and egalitarians. Our philosophies are those of artisans and people who tamed the Weald. Sturdy Yeomen, we do not need incomers nor do we need a king who talks to plants. We just need outsiders and pseuds to get of our backs.
My cousin lives in Horsham. She hasn’t mentioned the dragons. Hold on while I ask her …
Unsurprising result of their East Sussex new bourgeois social mountaineer co- inhabitants obsession with having a bigger Tesla, lower Golf handicap, more exotic holiday, higher paid job, and accompanying massive chip about Etonians, and real upper classes!!!!
They’re spoilt all right, but not for choice. Thankfully the fashion seems to be receding as it’s come to the attention of journalists. My family has enjoyed foraging and preserving food and booze as well as open water swimming and more for years and i can’t say we were too pleased to see these types getting in our space. Thankfully they are only playing at it and rapidly tire of the effort. Helpfully the eco-fascists and their media puppet masters are yapping about faeces in our water – this has cleared the riff raff out, and our local rivers have not been this clean since the early 50s. Its great to see otters, trout, grass snakes etc thrive and beavers in Scotland and Devon. Mink not so much but then we did kill off all the martens. Sadly these critters continue to defecate in the water – selfish bunch eh? especially those otters and beavers who could easily do it on land though i guess we have to forgive the trout.
Interesting article, and I feel a certain sympathy. I even see a bit of myself in it. But why are these movements so lacking in (even antipathetic to) intelligence, and so drawn to complete silliness.
they seek wisdom that provides lasting guidance to shape life, even if it comes from ancient practices and traditions
But that “wisdom” is just half baked, half digested new ageism – practised, in my experience, without the slightest irony or self or social awareness. If you’re looking for “lasting guidance to shape life” would you not look (and read) a little deeper.
Louis, the whole gist of this could be summed up as a demographic that’s fractured and provisional. It’s not an emergent phenomenon, it’s the simple result of a civilization that has not passed down coherent inherited wisdom, so those who have been cut off have to invent pale imitations.
Pretty much what has happened on the collapse of most other civilizations…
First paragraph was a pitch reject from both Blackadder and AbFab (although Midsomer Murders liked it for Season 43).
Ah! The Eloi!
“Then I heard voices approaching me. Coming through the bushes by the White Sphinx were the heads and shoulders of men running. One of these emerged in a pathway leading straight to the little lawn upon which I stood … He was a slight creature—perhaps four feet high—clad in a purple tunic, girdled at the waist with a leather belt. Sandals or buskins—I could not clearly distinguish which—were on his feet; his legs were bare to the knees, and his head was bare. Noticing that, I noticed for the first time how warm the air was.
He struck me as being a very beautiful and graceful creature, but indescribably frail. His flushed face reminded me of the more beautiful kind of consumptive—that hectic beauty of which we used to hear so much. “In another moment we were standing face to face, I and this fragile thing out of futurity. He came straight up to me and laughed into my eyes. The absence from his bearing of any sign of fear struck me at once. Then he turned to the two others who were following him and spoke to them in a strange and very sweet and liquid tongue.
There were others coming, and presently a little group of perhaps eight or ten of these exquisite creatures were about me. One of them addressed me. It came into my head, oddly enough, that my voice was too harsh and deep for them. So I shook my head, and, pointing to my ears, shook it again. He came a step forward, hesitated, and then touched my hand. Then I felt other soft little tentacles upon my back and shoulders. They wanted to make sure I was real. There was nothing in this at all alarming. Indeed, there was something in these pretty little people that inspired confidence—a graceful gentleness, a certain childlike ease. And besides, they looked so frail that I could fancy myself flinging the whole dozen of them about like ninepins…
“And then, looking more nearly into their features, I saw some further peculiarities in their Dresden china type of prettiness. Their hair, which was uniformly curly, came to a sharp end at the neck and cheek; there was not the faintest suggestion of it on the face, and their ears were singularly minute. The mouths were small, with bright red, rather thin lips, and the little chins ran to a point. The eyes were large and mild; and—this may seem egotism on my part—I fancied even that there was a certain lack of the interest I might have expected in them.
As they made no effort to communicate with me, but simply stood round me smiling and speaking in soft cooing notes to each other… The question had come into my mind abruptly: were these creatures fools? You may hardly understand how it took me. You see, I had always anticipated that the people of the year Eight Hundred and Two Thousand odd would be incredibly in front of us in knowledge, art, everything. Then one of them suddenly asked me a question that showed him to be on the intellectual level of one of our five-year-old children—asked me, in fact, if I had come from the sun in a thunderstorm!”
Welcome to the Eloi!
Welcome to the Idiocracy! (at least, we hope, they’ll have Brawndo)
It’s got electrolytes.
Nick Cave is a Christian, so this makes him a Bohemian Peasant evangelist? Has Louis Elton read any of his Red Hand Files items? There’s not much in them that could be called earnest or evangelical — heartfelt would be a more accurate label. I’m not even sure he calls himself a Christian, just that he acknowledges some sort of God and sometimes goes to church.
“Of course, God may not exist, let’s say. However, I think, on some level, that is a detail, you know… it’s a mere detail” – Nick Cave, in his recent conversation with Freddie Sayers
Note to self: Never again read anything written by a combined theological anthropologist, strategy consultant and conceptual artist.
I don’t think our views overlap much, but I’m with you on this one. What an absolute failure to matter or mean much of anything at all from Mr. Elton. Any article that is sufficiently negative seems to garner rave reviews at this site, especially if it at least hints at anti-Wokitude . At some point, you have to be for something, or you are part of some larger problem. Another performance for a favorably disposed, likeminded herd of self-styled freethinkers. I’m grateful for the minority of commenters here who aren’t boring and predictable.
Does that include yourself?
I can’t be objective on that. And, of course, whether there are many or few of my preferred type of commenter, that level of interestingness is just my opinion, not fact.
No that you asked but I’d put you in the good group. You go after people a lot–perhaps it takes one to know on that front–but that’s not all you do and you provide a counterweight to center-right (and also farther right) average views here.
Thank you for that AJ. Yes, I like to go where angels fear to tread. It’s more challenging to comment where one knows one is the minority opinion. “It’s a nasty job but someone has to do It”.
Just reading this article gave me a glimpse of eternity.
“They cultivate meaning and status in ways that expand the ideals of success beyond conventional material accumulation and instantly decaying “cool”.”
Or, as a psychologist might say, “They assiduously seek excuses to serve a narrative in which pretending not to want the things they can’t have is the predominant theme.” Aesop was ahead of them in this game.
“…they seek wisdom that provides lasting guidance to shape life, even if it comes from ancient practices and traditions… They curate their own constellation of ideas and wisdom from a dynamic fusion of writers, podcasters and micro-influencers who align with their particular Bopea passions.”
In short, they loot up and down the timestream in a desperate, grasping-at-straws search for the least transparent rationalizations compatible with their evasive fantasizing, without much concern for whether the “fusion” of these ‘fragments shored against their ruin’ coheres or not. Welcome to the human condition, o Bopeas, where everything old will masquerade itself as new once again. 😉
While cultivating “meaning,” though, consider heeding Marcel and Jaspers: we are essentially pilgrims and wayfarers in life, embedded in a history which remains always equivocal, the final meaning of which, even when we commit ourselves to it, is never known to us. Camus called our situation “absurd;” nothing I’ve encountered in books or ‘real life’ since Camus died in 1960 (absurdly, in a meaningless automobile accident) can contradict him. Most people aren’t up to the task of constructing “new paradigms;” in reality they’re simply pushed around by the things they live through and, ultimately, shaped by influences they can’t control. “Wisdom” lies in acknowledging that, whatever “guidance” one imagines will enable us to “shape life,” every step into the future is a step into the unknown. Alas, even the most fervent Bopeas can never “differentiate themselves” sufficiently from their fellow wayfarers to escape these common limitations; but that’s okay. They’re still welcome constituents in the human drama, and it won’t discommode their “predecessors” to make room for them, if not for “eternity” then at least until the next wave of evangelists arrives on the scene.
Well stated. But why attempt to spread, or bother to articulate, your Philosophy of Absurdity? You espouse Camus’ absurd existentialism then presume to talk of wisdom–though you do put the word in “scare quotes”. Is there some “point” to your musings, beyond the fact that you’re obviously quite clever?
There is no answer to the question ‘Why?’ in any ultimate sense, as anyone who’s been interrogated by an innocently inquisitive toddler will find him/herself obliged to admit; but there’s still a provisional point to puncturing pretension in the context of forum responses to articles, don’t you think? As for being clever, that isn’t something I’d claim for myself, nor do I think it’s inferrable from my ‘musings.’ What you might more legitimately have inferred is that I’ve done enough reading to gain a sense of historical perspective, more at least than the article’s author demonstrates.
Of course, it’s possible his credulousness is a pose and he’s simply declining to share with us… except for the wee detail that this would make his writing perversely fraudulent–yes?–leaving us wondering just ‘why’ he bothers.
[Edited to add:] It’s also possible theological anthropology simply doesn’t attract first-rate intellects. I suspect someone of intellectual integrity would find himself needing to engage in a great deal of bobbing and weaving to style himself a theological anthropologist, not unlike the contortions conscientious Bopeas must themselves be enduring. Maybe the author just recognizes Bopeas as sympathetic fellow travellers. If that’s the case I’m sympathetic too, and still inclined to welcome Bopeas and theological anthropologists alike to the human drama. I just wouldn’t count on them being reliable analysts or perceptive critics of that drama. (We can debate how essential the critic’s role is, but I think you’ll agree it’s not one usually well played by the actors.)
In other words, the excess children of the Elites have run out of non-jobs to do, and are making their own.
“Sedlák” would be a lot snappier.
It is very easy to parody this kind of movement. However I think many of us share some of the sentiments within it, not least some on the populist right railing against technocratic rule etc. We live in a complex global economy which none of us can fully comprehend in principle. We are in fact actually completely economically dependent on it – and what I mean by this is our lives depend on it. But we also often feel very alienated from it, for reasons of comprehension, aesthetics and scale. This has been the case since the Industrial Revolution – and probably in England since the Enclosures. Most people probably didn’t understand the improved crop rotation agriculture in the 18th century, or the need for people to be chucked off the land to make way for sheep, but we now tend to consider the consequences more picturesque than what came next. This is not to say that there are not some very real ‘hard science’ problems such as the loss of biodiversity etc.
Actually achieving some physical transformation by making a pot or some clothing probably creates a much greater sense of satisfaction than designing a good spreadsheet (arguable!) but it would be grossly economically inefficient to run our economy on this basis. We would be much, much poorer.
“Just Stop Oil” and similar groups are perhaps one manifestation of this feeling. Just stop oil – and we die in short order in fact. But then we’d also die in short order without the intensive farming we rail against that’s endlessly attacked by environmentalists.
Of course the Bopea movement can’t escape from a modern capitalist economy anymore than anyone else. It is very unlikely that in Britain anybody can truly be self-sufficient, certainly the vast majority of the population cannot. I remember reading that Thoreau would have taken 40 person hours to make his own jacket from materials available on his land around his famous Pond.
Sounds like breath of fresh air.
Are these Bopeas not the definition of “woke”? That label gets bandied around but it would seem to fit this movement very well.
Spirituality is the last refuge of the ageing female narcissist.
Too late I’m afraid – wild swimming changing robes are already being worn on the high street and to the school pick up by middle class yoga mums everywhere. Soon there will be package holidays, and sneering middle class snobbery towards those who are behind trend.
Large numbers of middle class women already believe in angels, karma and astrology – a widespread belief in dragons and portals could easily follow.
What a load of rubbish. A first world take on life if ever there was one. Tell this to the avocado farmers in the far east who can’t afford to eat their own produce. Go to rural Wales, or Goa, and see for yourself just what a life of fatuous pseudo-mysticism does to you. Gordon Bennett.
We’ve already been through this (I have already been through this). The “Back to the Land” movement of early ‘70’s in the U.S. I don’t know if there was one anywhere else.
Conceptual Pseudery. As existence gets ever more self-indulgent, and people become ever more cosseted, so thinking becomes increasingly flaccid, and fatuous.
In a world in which people still go down mines and dig coal, don’t talk to me about the arduous ordeal of “scrolling and swiping”.
Exterminate the brutes.
‘Boppers’ would be catchier.
The only reason ‘Bopeas’ can exist is because of the people supporting below them and because of their own lack of integrity…. Didn’t that occur to you in your small mindedness?
‘Bopeas’ received better education, less stress, safety nets and opportunities that the working class of our time rarely receive and now they are trying to escape reality whilst still maximizing their freedom.
Notice that the most likely success of working class people is now to hunker down, invest their wages into some property and try to do the same kind of upscaling of value, but crucially to suck the funds out of the middle class and above since they aren’t given enough access to roles in society that allow upward mobility. I know guys that managed it but they certainly didn’t think they were going down in class or becoming some fantasmic creatures, and they aren’t consultants.
This whole article is insufferable. But to be clear there’s nothing wrong with fantasy except when it’s built on the premise that reality already is one. Because elite overproduction doesn’t exist! There are more than enough problems, contentions, lack of clarity and sufferings that need people who are brilliant and imaginative to solve them (real elites of mind and action), it’s just that these Bopeas are not brilliant, they have nothing to offer except escape and folly.
More accurately it is entitlement overproduction.
A bunch of sneering emptiness. Vanity and vexation of spirit through and through. What hint of a point is there in this article? Intended-to-be-clever garbage. Arrogant, unserious, and unfunny. (I can’t look into a mirror right now, but I stand by my reaction).