So a few days ago, I featured a song by Journey out on my blog… Here’s the bit where it all ties up.
These days everyone’s talking about how content belongs to the masses; how it’s out of the hands of the elite few; how it’s the complete democratisation of creativity; that finally, (with the advent of the iPad of all things) the power to design/write and be published/acknowledged/applauded is finally here!
And if you believe that, then welcome! I hope the trip out of the trees wasn’t too terrifying. Don’t worry: the sensation of walking upright does take some getting used to, but you’ll get the hang of it.
Yes. That’s my way of calling bullshit on this sudden wave of “CREATIVITY FOR ALL”.
You, my dear anthropological friend, have had this power for as long as you’ve been alive. You’ve been able to create since you had control of your limbs. You could write, paint, sing, draw, sculpt, dance…all of which before the damned internet came along. So why didn’t you? I’ll tell you why: because you were lazy. You were too damned lazy. Or worse…you were scared. Too scared to put yourself out there because believe me, buddy, creating something for an audience takes balls.
This is a crazy/stupid objective/subjective society – and all you bandwagon riders are gonna find that out…
And here’s the next bit of bad news: not everyone can create something worthwhile. Yes, it’s sad but true. Your drawings, the ones that took you days of blood, sweat and tears? Yeah, they probably suck. Your song? It ‘s never gonna be as well-loved as Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” (see?), so it’s never going to get revived on an episode of “GLEE” or in a movie like “THE LOSERS”. Not everyone can create something worthwhile. That’s why we know them by name: Beethoven, Michaelangelo, Hemingway, Nuruyev…
This is the cold-hearted truth: some of us are on the stage, some of us are in the audience. Just because you can sing, doesn’t make you Frank Sinatra. Cynical? No. Realistic.
The dirty secret is we need you. We need the consumer. There’s nothing wrong with being a consumer. Hell, without consumers to keep them honest, creatives would just be indulging in creative masturbation. But if you’re gonna be a consumer, be a good one. Sounds easy but it’s not. Don’t follow the herd. Don’t go along with what’s en vogue. Sniff out what you like. Be brave and tell others about it. Wave a flag, light a match and clap your hands for the stuff you like…even if your best friend doesn’t. That takes as much balls as being creative.
And you can even do it on the iPad…