Tag Archives: blogging

Input/Output: Feeding Creativity

11 Sep

I have a rule that I tend to follow a lot better than any other self-imposed restriction I place on my life. Its stuck just a little bit behind “brush your teeth every day, you mongrel” and is thankfully ignored far less than “no pints on weeknights”. It’s a simple rule, and one that may seem painstakingly obvious to anyone with a creative drive, but it works for me in so much as I truly believe that it helps to keep me engaged and aware (although it does nothing to further my quest for immortality) and it is this: Consume one piece of art every day.

Now I know what you’re thinking, and so far there has been only one instance when I have been dragged from a museum, wielding a knife and fork, and begging for my condiments to be returned to me. But I adapted, I said to myself, “Gavin, rather than literally ingesting the art – No, hear me out. Why don’t we try this in a more metaphorical sense?”

When I was finally released from the overnight lock-up, I walked to the nearest cinema and instead of running for the projection booth and feeding the roll of film up one of my nostrils, I bought a ticket and watched the film.

I try to do something like this every day. I watch a film, I read a short story or part of a novel, I visit a museum and look through the galleries (now avoiding one particular establishment not too far from my house, the bastards). Every day I feel more accomplished. Every day that I take something in, whether I like or not it, I can feel it change me. I feel my opinion of it form and this shapes another (albeit miniscule) part of my personality. It helps me to grow bit by bit.

When I talk about consuming art, I‘m not talking about the latest Summer Blockbuster or marathoning a season of your favourite TV show. Although I wouldn’t necessarily discount these. I mean something that challenges you, something that makes you question yourself or the world around you. By art I mean something that has been created out of passion. An honest expression, an insight into the mind of another person. Its too easy, for me anyway, to forget that something else exists outside the trawl of normal life. Something inspiring and awesome and just a tiny bit magical. Consuming art helps to curb my overwhelming desire to procrastinate meaninglessly, and it makes me want to create something myself.

I do this because, if I don’t, I find myself sitting in my pants watching the X-Files on Netflix and sucking cheese dust off my fingers while I fight the urge to open a fourth bag of wotsits. “There is nothing in there but cheese,” I tell myself, “and you still have plenty of that beneath your fingernails.”

This may seem like common sense (it is), but it is frighteningly easy to forget how much your creative input affects your creative output, so remind yourself often.

Gavin

How To Be a Good F**king Person

25 Oct

Today’s blog post isn’t a humorous observation. It isn’t a discussion about music, film or literature. It is a lesson. An essential lesson. A lesson that many people fail to learn and subsequently fall into the trap of becoming annoying and downright shitty.

So, let’s learn about communication. In today’s age of technological wizardry, chances are that many of the conversations that you have each day occur using some sort of electronic medium (Facebook, text messaging or even blogging). You may think that using these means of communication is fairly simple. You open up the program and you press a few buttons. Easy, right?

Wrong. At least, for some people. Let’s look at an example of a conversation and try to work out what’s wrong.

Me: Hello, how are you today?

Simpleton: hey f**k all, wht bout u?

*Me is now offline*

The first mistake should be pretty obvious. This terrible trend of tlkin lik dis. I hate it. It’s an abomination. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not above using the odd acronym. They can be useful, I’ll admit. But this bullshit business of taking out letters and sometimes even replacing them has got to stop.

There is another mistake. One you may have glossed over. One that is even more unholy than the last. “Text speak”, as it is commonly called, can be forgiven on occasion as often the user is using it to disguise a lack of education with regards spelling. The other mistake is, of course, the censorship of “bad” language. If you do this, then f**k you.

What really brought this to my attention was Louis CK. In one of his shows, he talks about people saying “The ‘N’ word” and argues that by saying this, you’re forcing the listener to mentally say ‘nigger’ and thus making them the bad guy. It makes sense, but I want to talk about this a bit more.

Typing out ‘f**k’ is only different to typing ‘fuck’ in one way, it makes you look like an asshole. The meaning is still there. The feeling behind the word isn’t removed because you’ve replaced a few of the letters with assorted symbols. It’s the same thing. It’s even a little more difficult to type.There is literally no reason to do this. It isn’t as if a child, that is capable of reading, is going to look at the word ‘s#!t’ and not be able to work out what the fuck you’re talking about.

“C**T? WHAT DOES IT MEAN? CURSE THESE INFURIATING CENSORS!”

If you’re one of the people who participates in this foolishness, I hope that reading this has saved you. You are a better person now. You can go and live life to its fullest, having a great fucking time like the rest of us.

Gavin