In this week's CultureMap article, "More than Trader Joe's in store: Seaholm development targets 'urban bohemians,'" managing partner of Seaholm LLC, John Rosato, used the titular term when describing the sort of clientele they want their future tenants to cater to. A lot of you thought the phrase "urban bohemian" sounded like the verbal equivalent of dragging your nails across a chalkboard, but I have news for you, it ain't nothing new.
Try on this word for size: Bobo. Bourgeois bohemian. Does that make you want to throw up a little in your mouth, too?
We "lobos" (lower middle class bohemians) try to partake in the ideals of bobos, but only when we can afford it.
"Bobo" was coined by David Brooks in his 2000 social commentary, Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There. The book describes the rise of upper middle class and their penchant for spending big bucks on organic food, brand new electric cars and all-American clothing.
They are a hybrid of the "liberal idealism of the 1960s and the self-interest of the 1980s" a.k.a. hipsters with money. Bobos are essentially good people, but their image evokes a twinge of jealousy and hate from the rest of us in "lower middle class." We "lobos" (lower middle class bohemians) try to partake in the ideals of bobos, but only when we can afford it.
Thank God for food trucks.
If you're not sure if you're a bobo, here is a self checklist to find out:
- You start a minimum of five sentences a day with, "I heard this story on NPR about..." — Somehow you always manage to bring a conversation back to a story you heard on NPR. If you're a true bobo, you're even able to reference something John Aielli said in a normal conversation.
- You use a Car2Go as your made mode of transportation — Because you can actually afford it.
- You've self-diagnosed yourself as gluten-intolerant — When in reality, your Xanax is not doing enough to calm your nerves.
- You're the only person defending the show Girls — You're the only person writing in the comments section of multiple Girls' commentaries, "I don't understand why everyone hates on this show! I find the characters enjoyable and relatable."
- You have the job title "New Media Sage" or "Design Ninja" — And that's what it says on your Moo business cards.
- You go to Marfa every other weekend — And plan on opening a food truck/art gallery mashup there one day.
- You are torn between American Apparel's "Made in America" ideology with the owner's overt chauvinism — You still think they have the softest t-shirts though.
- You decry gentrification — But you built a brand new house with solar panels in East Austin.
- You donate to every Kickstarter campaign that pops up on your Facebook feed — And you feel a sense of accomplishment for the rest of the day.
- You were not born in Austin — But you live here now.