Tag Archives: creativity

Chuck Berry and Creating Commercialated Culture

chuck berry sailor cap

Chuck Berry may be dead but you know he won’t stay buried.  He’s just too irrepressible for confinement to such a singular state.  He was like his music:  audacious and muscular.  His huge hands easily enveloped the fretboard of his Gibson ES-335 and pulled sounds from it that would electrify the soul.  Is it possible to remain still while experiencing the pure energy coming from ...

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Time To Rethink A Certain Reindeer Story

santa rudolph reindeer rankin bass

It’s December and the ubiquitous holiday music – playing since mid-November – reminds us that Christmas is just around the corner.  I’ve always been troubled by one particular Christmas carol I first learned at the tender age of 4: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. You know the story, right? Young buck born with funny nose. Ostracized and bullied for it. Naturally, an extenuating circumstance (“one foggy ...

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When Intelligence is Artificial

eliza artificial intelligence footlights

If you follow the popular tech press, it’s likely you’ve seen a number of stories about artificial intelligence.  The term “artificial intelligence” is somewhat loosely defined.  It fits under the category of “we’ll know it when we see it.” The mathematician Alan Turing defined artificial intelligence as an “imitation game.”  If a human couldn’t tell if the origin of the responses on the other side ...

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The Anonymous Creator

galaxy footlights

If you’ve ever walked through a museum like LACMA or the Norton Simon, it’s likely you’ve run into art objects from antiquity.  These objects are not signed.  There’s no clue as to the artisan’s name.  They are of anonymous origin. And yet the objects are undeniably true works of art, representing aesthetic sensibilities and skills requiring years to develop. I was reminded of this anonymous ...

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A Classic Tradition

classic film bogart casablanca footlights

In the Oxford Dictionary, the first definition of the noun, “classic,” is classic (noun): A work of art of recognized and established value. The inclusion of the words “of art,” however, makes this definition unnecessarily narrow.  Here’s a better one: classic (noun): A work of recognized and established value. It’s necessary to widen the definition because works of science can also be classics.  Examples include ...

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Cousin Gary

cousin gary marcus

My mother and father always referred to him as “Cousin Gary.”  I’m not sure why the family-tree relationship became a permanent part of his moniker.   Perhaps it was a reminder that his father and my father’s father were cousins. It may also have referenced the improbability of his friendship with my father.  My father had voted for Richard Nixon in every presidential election until 1980 ...

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10 Things I Try to Remember While Writing

Picasso Woman Writing - 1934

0. Trust. 1. It’s not a blank page; it’s a clean slate. 2. If you can’t play like a child, you can’t create like an adult. 3. Always work with your muse. But also work without her. 4. The audience is not that patient. 5. Structure is for the audience’s unconscious mind, not their conscious one. 6. Everybody likes a surprise. 7. Tighter. 8. Nothing ...

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