I love a good conversation, the kind that’s broad and blends seemingly unrelated subjects with ease. That’s one reason Murderati is so satisfying!
Last Saturday, our LCC 2011 core committee met for the last time. We ate lunch together at the Range in Bernalillo. The business portion ended quickly. That’s when the fun began.
The discussion veered from literacy to No Child Left Behind:
“It’s no less than a conspiracy to dumb down America through a systematic homogenization of thought.”
“It’s encouraging a situation where creativity, in the form of instruction and content, is being sacrificed in the name of ‘basic skills.’”
“It’s discouraging intellectual curiosity, the joy in learning for learning’s sake.”
From there the conversation wandered to what’s happening to our children in a society where we’re scared to let them roam free.
“They’re losing the opportunity to cultivate essential skills in independence.”
“If they wander in groups, merchants and policemen likely assume they’re up to no good.”
“But if you can’t spend hours finding ways to amuse yourself – outside and away from electronic gadgets – how can your imagination soar?”
“Who’s to say your imagination can’t take flight in designing a really beautiful stand of code?”
From there we jumped to U.S. cultural values:
“Creativity is dying even though we have more products and means of self expression than ever before.”
“Our culture doesn’t value innovation unless it’s tied to making money.”
“If money were the only factor, literary fiction wouldn’t win so many prizes.”
“Artists need to be paid for their efforts, not just the results.”
On and on we went:
“People in the U.S. are so passive now they just want the same pabulum repackaged again and again.”
“There are too many choices – in books, music, stories, art – with the internet. We’re hitting information overload.”
“We need gatekeepers otherwise we’ll all be overwhelmed with the incredible amount of crap out there.”
“Are you telling me you want agents and marketers – the very people who only want sure things –to be the arbiters of creativity in our society?”
At the end of three and a half hours, we didn’t have any answers. But then answers are overrated. Once you have them it’s easy to stop thinking and assume you know.
I certainly don’t.
And yet, it was a fascinating conversation and I wanted more.
So today’s questions are
1. Is creativity dying or one breath away from life support?
2. Are gatekeepers essential to keep us from drowning in a sea of sub-par products?
3. Are we benefiting from more choices than ever before or is everything starting to look the same – even when it isn’t?
I can’t wait to read what you’ve got to say.