Just don't fall off the monkeybars
June 11, 2013 7:31 AM   Subscribe

Well, maybe Twitter is just another big toilet wall, but there's as much clean space and spray paint as you'll ever need. What are you going to do with it? Create something or destroy someone else's picture? Ricky Gervais on the Internet as creative playground.
posted by maxim0512 (10 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Isn't Ricky Gervais the guy who's always acting like a massive jerk on Twitter? This reads a lot like an attempt to justify that.
posted by koeselitz at 7:36 AM on June 11, 2013 [8 favorites]

You have to let yourself go to be creative. Children possess this quality but then seem to lose it as they are told, "It's not the done thing." Pablo Picasso summed it up well: "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."

You hear this claptrap a lot in art school, particularly from freshmen who are about to flunk out. "These rules are stifling my creativity, man." Bollocks. If learning technique and craft stifles your creativity, then you weren't creative to begin with.

Children draw and paint, but that doesn't make them artists. They have little and limited conception of other people. Hence, they have little to say and limited idea what "saying something" would even mean. Sure, their freedom to fill a page is something to admire and recapture. A blank page can be intimidating to somebody old enough to have conceptions of message and audience. It's not entirely inaccurate to phrase this as learning to "let yourself go," but that's a small piece of what Gervais is suggesting—which, yeah, seems like mostly a lame defense of his antics.
posted by cribcage at 7:56 AM on June 11, 2013 [5 favorites]

Am I the only one that imagines that entire essay read in the voice of David Brent, Motivational Speaker?
posted by jadayne at 7:58 AM on June 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

What Gervais doesn't mention, and ought to, is that an important part of playing is learning to play well with others. That frees you up to play bigger games with more people at once.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:04 AM on June 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Everyone is famous on Twitter.

Alternatively, no one is famous.

Twitter seems to be most powerful when used as a tool of mass protest ("deadlier than a car bomb" according to thuggish Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan). In a mass protest, Twitter is powerful not because any users are famous but because fragments of information from anybody can be passed around at ridiculous speed, confirmed by multiple eyewitness accounts within seconds.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 8:09 AM on June 11, 2013

Unfortunately, Twitter has revealed Ricky Gervais to be an enormous bellend.
posted by mippy at 8:54 AM on June 11, 2013 [3 favorites]

Ricky Gervais on the Internet as a delivery mechanism for Ricky Gervais
posted by blue t-shirt at 9:05 AM on June 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

i like Gervais but I disagreed and tuned out as soon as he said that creativity can't be taught. In my opinion, creativity is the recombination of known concepts in a novel form - without having a massive archive of known concepts, it's impossible to be very novel. That's why I'm always seeing new versions of the same old canards like this, this, this, and this (god, I think i actually had that one back in the 90s).
posted by rebent at 11:51 AM on June 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

i like Gervais but I disagreed and tuned out as soon as he said that creativity can't be taught.

Huh. I read that as "open-mindedness and curiosity come naturally," not as "creativity can't be nurtured."
posted by maxim0512 at 2:30 PM on June 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

My problem with Gervais is that like a lot of UK comedians these days who suddenly sky rocket to fame is that he hasn't done the work. He is a talented man and has made some very funny programs, but hasn't needed to think deeply. His behaviour and actions, and some of his more recent comic efforts indicate to me someone who doesn't think enough about the meaning and impact of his work and comedy. He is endlessly sicking twitter on people then apologising later when someone points out to him that that was a shitty thing to do. There are comics I like who think he is worth my time, so I won't dismiss him out of hand, but it must be hard for anyone to keep their feet on the ground when mainstream critics (who are frequently clueless on comedy) act as if he is the second coming.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 1:44 AM on June 12, 2013

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