Friday, March 20, 2015

Should the "outside world" matter to creative people?


Should “creative” people follow the outside world carefully?
  
I say yes, even though I sometimes get feedback even from “peers” who say they don’t need to get bad news or scare talk from me on social media.
  
It is true that I am effective in the world only because there is a “civilization” that is stable enough for me to operate and find my niche to fit in.  When I hear about the outside terror threats, or the talk about years without electricity after a massive solar storm, yes, I get where the “doomsday prepper” crowd comes from, and the whole survivalism mentality.
  
And I want to reinforce that I have nothing to offer such a world.  I hope that there is no subsequent final act for me after an “Event” like that.
  
Of course, that begs a question, do I care about the people who read or use my media?  
  
At one level I do, of course. But I seem unwilling to allow intimacy and meaning in relationships where normally it might be expected.  You could say I am not “right-sized”. 
  
For example, in the middle 1970s, I made a lot of the Arab oil embargo, which at the time had the potential to keep me from “getting around” and finding the kind of person I wanted.  (There were those who equated personal mobility then with “power”.)  But the implication is that I am just not responsive enough to people, or else I could find (heterosexual) satisfaction in normal suburban family life and “stay home more”.
  
In the 2000’s, the issue transport to the area of the permissiveness of the Internet world, and the whole downstream liability question I often discuss here.  Translate that to, “open access”.  Yet, this impacts more family-centric people who take more personal risks than I do in having and raising children.  And, yes, they have to make a living, so the breakdown of old ideas of marketing and the “it’s free” concept does tear at them.
  
Of course, this whole idea of personal “right-sizing” invokes the whole question of “belonging” – to a family (even if you didn’t create your own), a nationality, or particularly religious fellowship (or, “the Fellowship of The Ring”).  Then, you have to accept the idea that your group may have to prove itself right, and that invites war (even over religion).  How would I like to be in the moral position of a teen raised on a  West Bank kibbutz? It's easy to be smug about the idea of not having to be jealous, and not having to take up arms over something like religion, and not having to walk picket lines.  There's no honor in victimhood. 
  
In those awful days at NIH in 1962, I used the phrase "on the outside" a lot. I was the only inpatient on 3-W who knew about the Cuban Missile Crisis. 

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