Monday, 23 July 2012
"How embarassing it is to be human" - Kurt Vonnegut
Humans are strange, stupid creatures. Generally speaking, most of us suck. I can probably make a pretty long list of people I want to punch in the face right now without thinking too hard. We are all looking for a life of happiness, fulfillment, meaning, glory, and yet few of us ever figure it out. This is all very tragic, and yet, the universe remains unaffected and unconcerned about the subject in general. Regardless, I hope to figure out whatever 'it' is before my time on this earth is over, and I have a working theory:
All glory comes from daring to begin. All good things come from being vulnerable: love, happiness innovation, creativity. This is my theory, anyway. If you want to be creative, you cannot be afraid of failure; you have to be willing to be wrong a lot if you want to stumble upon something awesome at some point. Earnest Hemmingway himself said to write drunk; edit sober. Once you let go of your inhibitions, good things generally happen, or at least memorable ones. After all, there is a certain beauty in the breakdown, isn't there?
To succeed at this, you must be courageous because you have to be willing to be silly or stupid or wrong. Of course this is uncomfortable, which is probably why Hemingway suggests inebriation. Don't we all go through life trying to numb the galling truth of it all? Still, it's worth it because after you're done being courageous, then you can edit the crappy ideas. All the greats do this. The brilliant Bob Dylan used to just write down random sentences on a piece of paper as they came to mind. Then he would pick the good ones later and create a song. The smart ones have figured out that you aren't going to fart unicorns and sparkles right away, so you might as well stop trying. No one just pulls fabulous, perfect ideas right out of their ass. It's more of a journey full of trial an error, and mistakes will be made. There is no room for perfectionists in this journey and it isn't for cowards either.
So, it follows that as far as creativity goes, there is no point in guarding your thoughts or ideas because no thought or idea is original since we do not live in a vacuum. Every thought we have has been inspired by something else because our consciousness is based on our reactions to what we perceive as reality. Every idea is a descendant of another idea. Everything is a remix. Everything. So share, because this will breed more innovation as everything will come full circle. Forget about competition and just share. And check out this documentary I found on the subject. It's creator is Kirby Ferguson, who is a film maker from New York.