Sometime in the 19th century
, the practitioners
of the Bohemian
(a.k.a. starving artist
) lifestyle began to think of themselves as a sort of oppressed elite
rather than people who were unable to produce art that satisfied the market
. By the latter half of the 20th century
, they became an oppressed minority
instead. They had the likes of Pablo Picasso
and e.e. cummings
to prove that art doesn't always have to be attractive to be popular
Then they began to use that oh-so-common reverse logic: "If they can make art that everyone else thinks is ugly, but will eventually realize the genius of, then so can I!" And now we have thousands upon thousands of bad poets, musicians, painters, lyricists, sculptors, and the like making ugly, bad art "for art's sake" and believing they're just misunderstood geniuses.
This, of course, is just so much egotistical bollocks. There is the rare person in this world who really is a misunderstood genius, who is able to look at the world and present it in a creative but brilliant way that no one has ever done before. But they are truly rare, the Picassos and cummingses. The rest are just snobs who go around every day thinking they know something no one else does, when in reality they could make a decent living without compromising their artistic Muse if they'd just produce art that people would want to display in their living rooms.
Ironically, this attitude is equally predominant among geeks who think a clever idea is the only thing they need to become the next dot-com millionaire. The odds and end results are, sadly, also identical.