Archive for February, 2011

Long live Jerry Sadowitz

Posted in Inspiration with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2011 by Gideon K

I went to see Jerry Sadowitz do a show at the Leicester Square Theatre the other night.

I don’t really keep up to date with the world of stand up comedy, only go to shows infrequently, but it has become a yearly ritual of my brother and I to see Jerry. We’ve been to see him play in London for the past 5-6 years I think.

What is it I love about this guy?

He’s so offensive an all fronts, such a full-on assault – that no one is safe. The only true equality – he’s not racist or sexist, he hates everyone equally. Nothing is sacred.

He’s fast, brutal and unrelenting, he goes through about twice as much material as other comedians. (That’s one of his jokes/rants).

All this and he is still kicking it, despite being banned from most of the larger venues and TV channels in the UK.

It’s not just that I think he’s the most hardcore guy in stand-up and has been for a long time, I come away feeling cleansed almost, refreshed. That nice rollercoaster feeling of having all your hairs stand on end.

I get off on proximity to that kind of flamethrower approach to art and performance that he has. I need to be near it every so often, like a reminder almost.

It gives me a sense of hope about humanity to know that people can BE as extreme and full-throttle as that and still survive in this world, without becoming bland or losing colour.

I have a theory about that kind of comedy too.

That assault on everything considered taboo and un-PC. It’s necessary to destroy it all. I hate political correctness; it’s a gross assault on our freedom of speech, thought and expression, and by liars and cowards.

The need to plough through and destroy that, to me, comes from a deep sense of disgust at the way the world in general handles the every day madness and brutality of our species and lives, that it’s not just the way these things take place, it’s the way that they are talked about by people, in the news. That kind of layer of deceit, the casual lies – just as offensive and deadly.

So this kind of scorched earth approach act is an attempt to level the field back to zero, to gain some realistic perspective. Outright rage is the only reasonable answer to it.

Just my theory.

I doubt Jerry would agree, but who cares?

Long live Jerry Sadowitz

‘They didn’t want to write. They wanted to succeed at writing’

Posted in Inspiration with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2011 by Gideon K

I’ve recently read ‘The Last Night of the Earth Poems’ by Charles Bukowski, one of my favourite poets. He’s pretty much the only one I’ve read that I can just pick up a book of his poems and read them front-to-back, without wanting to put it down.

One of the poems in there is called ‘between races’ wherein he describes an encounter with a guy who approaches him at the race track. The guy says he reads his stuff and wants to interview him, and is a writer himself.

Bukowki’s advice to the guy?

just pull up a chair

and sit down at your

typewriter

I think he’s right in so many ways.

He goes on to describe all the different ways these guys who talk about wanting to be writers get it wrong. The part that stuck out to me the most was:

they didn’t want to

write

they wanted to

succeed at

writing.

This is great. I love this because it encapsulates what I feel is the mistake of thinking ahead of the creative process while you are in it. Of not doing justice to the creative urge, tarnishing it unnecessarily, making it defective before the damn thing has even been born.

It is from this idea of ‘succeeding’, of ‘success’ that people censor themselves worrying about how other people might react, don’t say what they really think, try and dress something up in a different way, trying to second guess themselves. This is why so much of what gets put out there is such a pale imitation of the initial spark that caused its creation, rather than the blazing fire or cannon blast that each could be.

If you concentrate on digging up the treasure, you won’t have to worry about who you’ll have to sell it to when you wash up on the beach.

They’ll see you shining from miles away.

They’ll come to you. And you’ll be ready.

Doing My Bit

Posted in Creativity with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2011 by Gideon K

I know what I want from the Gods of inspiration, but what do they want from me?

When you’re writing or creating, sometimes it all just comes together magically and effortlessly. It’s beautiful when it happens, but it’s not like that all the time for any of us.

You can’t rely solely on that big shot of inspiration – that’s the Gods gifting you.

I want to talk about the artists’ end of the deal.

Imagine you were some winged messenger dishing out your cart of inspiration. Who would you be more disposed to give it to:

–          Those sitting idly, smoking cigarettes by the window, waiting for you to arrive.

or

–          Those making themselves busy working at something, whether you got there or not.

If you think anything like I do, then it’s the latter.

“If you think the bird of inspiration is just going to swoop down and peck you on your ass, you’re wrong.” – Anon

Sometimes you bash your head against the wall for ages trying everything and still… nothing. Only for you to wake up the next day or even an hour later and the whole answer arrives peacefully, fully formed.

I can’t help feeling that the banging and toil lay the groundwork for some of that. You can be open to inspiration, but I find it comes a lot more frequently when you are actively involved in working already.

Firefighters have a saying:

“If you treat every alarm like it’s a fire one day you’ll be right and everything will go smoothly. If you treat every alarm like it’s nothing one day you’ll be wrong and it’ll be a nightmare for all involved.”

My point is that the trick is to show up, and be ready for work.

If I hold up my end of the deal, the gods of creativity have more reason to trust me with their bounty.

…and if the winged messengers don’t show up just yet – keep at it.

See what happens the next day.

By Way of Introduction…

Posted in Me Oh My with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2011 by Gideon K

Is it possible to put your passions and dreams first, and let the world fall in place behind them?

 

I don’t know the answer. I only have a gut feeling that it is, but it is the way I want to live, and I’m going to give it a try. The alternative stinks, so I’d rather fail at this than succeed at that.

 

Since before I can remember I have always been building something, drawing, making, playing, writing, dreaming… it used to be constructing things out of blocks, furniture, toys, now it’s mostly via words and sounds, guitar and voice rather than water paints or lego, but to me the urge is the same.

 

“There is no delight in owning anything unshared.” – Seneca (Roman philosopher)

 

I get the feeling that there are other people out there who have similar questions I do. I believe thoughts and ideas are meant to be shared, fed back to you via other people so that you can see their true shape. Like bouncing a basketball off a backboard – how it comes back to you can show you the way you are putting it out there. Thus you can change it for the better, and I’m all about getting better.

 

I’m going to be writing about creativity and how my endeavors relate to this. I will be posting my thoughts and ideas, things I have learnt or am trying to figure out. I’m not here to give anyone advice necessarily or tell people what to do, just to tell stories and speak my mind. This is all about exploring and keeping creativity flowing.

 

I’d love to hear passionate, compassionate, well-thought out responses to anything I’ve written. If you agree, disagree, or have anything to share then the comments section is open. I always make time to listen to what others have to say whether I agree or not.

 

I hope you get something out of my blog.

 

Thank you for reading.

 

Gideon K