Tuesday, August 04, 2009


Uh oh.

I'm in one of those moods again. (Sorry.)


Right now I only see three types of people out there: 1. those that create, 2. those that consume, and 3. those that serve as middlemen between the creators and the consumers.

The artists, the visionaries, the free thinkers, the creative, they . . . um . . . create. They spin something new out of other stuff. They have the only thing close to magic in this scientific, rational world. They harness emotion, reshape definitions, bend rules, shake preconceptions.

They make something new--even if they are using something old to do it. But what comes out has a particular stamp on it, something that makes the new thing unique, worth of attention, pause, or even just brief thought.

The consumers, on the other hand, take that which is new and bring it into themselves. They define themselves by what they consume. They make it disappear. They might enjoy it to its fullest, sucking all that wonderful newness right out of it (and the creators say a hearty "Thanks" . . . and why not?). But the consumer is (at worst) a hole where created things are made to go.

And then there are middlemen. They don't create, necessarily, but they make it easier to connect the creators and the consumers. They package, they interpret, they categorize, they tag, they blog, they shout "Hey, over here." But at least, they are doing something. At least they are serving as an interpreter between Lewis & Clark and Sacagawea. They don't lead the expedition and they don't have the innate knowledge of where the expedition should go . . . but without their service, no one achieves much of anything.

Creators, middlemen, consumers.

Wanna guess where I am in all this?


Sven Golly said...

a. all of the above
b. Make a circle graph showing your proportions of each.
c. You, being David, are unique and therefore transcend all categories.

jack thunder said...

to return a validation, Sven is right. besides: (1) there's probably no such thing as "creation," anyway, besides that of the one true God or evolution or whatever, and (2) these days the definitions for these things have been blasted, anyway.

Tracy S. Altman said...

Further ponderation:

The idea of a "consumer" is itself a creation--or rather a perversion. (Remember your Tolkien: there's a difference between what the Elves do and what Morgoth & Sauron do. The Elves "create"--not ex nihilo, true, but secondarily (Tolkien's "sub-creation"--have your read "Mythopoeia" and "On Fairy Stories"?).)

The creators should not say thanks (or at least not any HEARTY thanks) to the "consumers" of their creations, because "consumption" is a misuse of their creations.

To be a "consumer" is to identify with a bad creation (a perversion).

To identify oneself with any creation (even a good one) is to commit idolatry (in the terms of Romans 1, to "worship the creature more than the (divine) Creator"). And therein lies the root of our problem.

--You should read Dorothy L. Sayers' "The Mind of the Maker" sometime, too. She was dealing with some of this back in the '30's and '40's, when it was starting to emerge.

Tracy S. Altman said...

(Clarification: the perversion with which a "consumer" has identified is the idea of a "consumer.")