Thursday, September 6, 2007

A Nation of Artists

I think the creativity I see all around me is getting to critical mass and we are about to become a nation of artists.

The Internet has its users making their own films, posting their own writings and music and art, organizing and collaborating, and sharing ideas, opinions, and new software. But the Internet is only part of the arts revolution. The postal carrier does crafts; the doctor paints; the street kid makes up poems; the stay-at-home mom does Japanese-style gardening; the teenager designs and sews her own clothes; Grandma writes and publishes her own cookbook.

Somewhere I read that "The M.F.A. is the new M.B.A." and I believe it. Employers used to shun "creative types," thinking them too dreamy or weird to become compliant worker bees. Now these companies are clawing the walls to get creativity.

During the T'ang Dynasty, if a man wanted a high-level job he had to go to the regional capital and take exams. One of the tests was whether he could write a good poem.

1 comment:

  1. The information you give us about the T'ang Dynasty reminds me of a wonderful story by Suzette Haden Elgin, "For the Sake of Grace" in the Norton Anthology of Science Fiction, 1993. I first read it in 1969 when it was first published. And I planned (in my fantasies) to read it aloud at a podium as I accepted some grand lifetime achievement award for my own writing, of course on behalf of all women writers the world over. If you've already read the story, or read it now, you'll know what I mean.