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Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Writers' Strike and Robbie Burns' Birthday

How many poets lived in severe, even harsh surroundings? Did that inspire poems?

There may be a resolution to the Writers' Strike here in the States. I don't watch much TV, I prefer to read, but even for me, it's gotten grim on the tube. And since yesterday was Robert Burns' birthday, what better time to post about what our world would be like without creative people?

What would it be like? No books. No art. No music. Okay, so you don't like to read, you've never understood modern art and you have a tin ear. Who cares? But also: no movies, no tv, no internet. No internet? Of course not. The internet was created by creative people.

So why don't we honor creativity and exalt the great artists of this world? Oh sure, Burns' gets a birthday bash with haggis, but how many even know who he is, even though they sing Auld Lang Syne ever New Year's Eve? Creative people should at least be paid extremely well for all the joy, pleasure and problem solving they bring into the world.

So why isn't this true? Is it because art happens all the time all around us, so we don't realize it's import? Is it because it is so much fun to create and therefore can't be difficult or real work? Or is it something else?

7 comments:

Kathy McIntosh said...

I'm not sure I agree that artists are not exalted; it's just that you and I may not agree with the choices the majority has elected to honor. Today's creative "stars" are actors and directors. Dickens and Twain gained some of that "star" quality in their lifetimes.

Conda said...

True, Kathy, I hadn't remembered that. And of course, there are still "stars" in writing, Stephen King to name one off the top of my head.

But I still think the "stars" may be the exception that proves the rule. For every Stephen King there are thousands of excellent writers unnoticed and unpaid. Or, for every Ansel Adams (a great artist) there are thousands of ignored but superb photographers.

The Muse said...

No Internet! I just could not have that.

Conda said...

Me neither, Muse! I am very addicted to the Internet. And amazed at my (few) friends who don't have a computer or the Internet--sometimes it's hard to even talk to them ("Oh look it up on...never mind.").

Dave King said...

At risk of becoming the all-time bore, can I say again that a big part of the problem (in the U.K. at least) would seems to be the expectation of grants and other handouts from the state. Our ex-minister for the arts made a forecast that we were on the edge of a new renaissance, but my understanding is that the last one was fuelled by commissions, not hand-outs. Just a thought - one that I seem to be endlessly repeating just now.

Conda said...

Dave, is it fairly easy to get grants in the U.K.? I'm curious, because here in the U.S. there is even the requirement of hiring a professional grant writer (who has to attend quite a few classes learning grant writing and who charges accordingly) to write grants that even have a faint hope of being granted. Bad sentence, but hopefully you get my drift. Unless you're an entity that always gets grants. And even then our public tv has to beg 4 times a year for money...

Conda said...
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