Kurt Vonnegut: 1, Haters: 0

While the internet is great at passing around useless information like spam and buzz about supposedly great media that large corporations are hoping to turn into "blockbusters" or "best sellers," the net is just as good at sharing little moments like people synchronized dancing to "Thriller" at a wedding that would otherwise only be available to the immediate family and friends of the bride and groom.

As such, it makes creating these moments all the more enticing now that there is an opportunity to share our creations with (potentially) the entire world.  And yet there are still people out there that give creators shit for posting these little attempts to do what they can.

Though he was writing this in 1988, just under a decade before the internet really broke through, Kurt Vonnegut talks about this drive in his novel Bluebeard:

How GOOD were those pictures of mine which Dan Gregory looked at so briefly before he shoved Marilee down the stairs?  Technically, if not spiritually, they were pretty darn good for a kid my age -- a kid whose self-imposed lessons had consisted of copying, stroke by stroke, illustrations by Dan Gregory.

I was obviously born to draw better than most people, just as the widow Berman and Paul Slazinger were obviously born to tell stories better than most people can.  Other people are obviously born to sing and dance or explain the stars in the sky or do magic tricks or be great leaders or athletes, and so on.

I think that could go back to the time when people had to live in small groups of relatives -- maybe fifty or a hundred people at the most.  And evolution or God or whatever arranged things genetically, to keep the little families going, to cheer them up, so that they could all have somebody to tell stories around the campfire at night, and somebody else to paint pictures on the walls of the caves, and somebody else who wasn't afraid of anything and so on.

That's what I think.  And of course a scheme like that doesn't make sense anymore, because simply moderate giftedness has been made worthless by the printing press and radio and television and satellites and all that.  A moderately gifted person who would have been a community treasure a thousand years ago has to give up, has to go into some other line of work, since modern communications put him or her into daily competition with nothing but world's champions.

The entire planet can get along nicely now with maybe a dozen champion performers in each area of human giftedness.  A moderately gifted person has to keep his or her gifts all bottled up until, in a manner of speaking, he or she gets drunk at a wedding and tap-dances on the coffee table like Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers.  We have a name for him or her.  We call him or her an "exhibitionist."

How do we reward such an exhibitionist?  We say to him or her the next morning, "Wow!  Were you ever *drunk* last night!"

True enough.  I'm (metaphorically) drunk enough to share this with you, even if it isn't nearly on par with what you might read in The New Yorker or a nationally syndicated op ed column.  You took the time to read this (or to glance at this line at the very least), and I'm here to watch your art as well.

Keep writing, composing, playing, dancing, directing, or whatever it is that you create to share with the rest of us.  This is what the internet is for.

Copyright 2007 Alexplorer.
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