Raw, adjective: 9. disagreeably damp and chilly, as the weather or air: a raw, foggy day at the beach.

Another foggy and cool Monday morning, and I'm curled up with a blanket trying to stay warm while thumbing recklessly through the Sunday papers. Now that the world's begun spinning again on news of Brangelina's double arrival, we can get on with our lives.

But I'm frustrated. After a week of coddling and extra-careful yoga and walking at half-pace up the hills, my torn calf muscle was just about back to normal, and then yesterday afternoon at Golden Gate Park, too consumed with being fabulous-frisbee-star Rach, I jumped up only to feel the audible rip of tearing the goddamned thing up again. And haven't been able to walk since. I'm so sick of hobbling. And I just want to go running!!!

So back to square one. Heat and ice and elevation and all that shit. Thank god for the Sunday papers. And gin.

Did you read Campbell Robertson's rumination on disappearing bohemia and gentrification in NYC, bracketed by thoughts on a decade-old "Rent" about to close at the Nederlander? I love when writers can manage to capture the feel of a social shift via the framing device of something ostensibly popular and, well, politically irrelevant, like a Broadway musical. Robertson's reverie manages to pull together thoughts on aging and cultural shifts and commodification and the bourgeoisie all through the lens of a musical theater-goer, watching the once-edgy and subversive "Rent" morph from an off-Broadway fluke success into a middle-American juggernaut. Who would've thought 12 or 13 years ago that this AIDS-ridden, anti-corporate screed would be a behemoth on the par of Les Mis or Phantom, drawing tourist crowds more accustomed to cul de sacs and suburban mega-churches?

Something about Robertson's article feels sad to me, bittersweet, and others of it feel kind of triumphant, in that the supposed markers of la vie boheme - yoga, yogurt, Sondheim, Sontag - are now quite "establishment." So is that bohemia lost or bohemia co-opted or bohemia reclaimed or bohemia commodified? I dunno.

But read the article. "Rent's" trajectory seems to reflect a great deal more than just a musical's popularity. More like cultural shifts.

Bohemia Takes Its Final Bows (NYT)


Popular Posts