Sunday, 17 August 2014

Writing - Dream jobs and daft ideas

As I have aged I have noticed a propensity for the validation of daft ideas. Writing stories allows you to stretch your ideas into all kinds of shapes, sizes and functions but that is because they are accepted as not real, but since the advent of health and safety, political correctness and other such nonsense, it seems that writers no longer have cornered the market in imaginative creativity.

Cambridge University are offering a doctorate in chocolate! They are looking for someone to study the biochemistry of temperature stable chocolate so that the product can be made not to melt in hot climates. Really! Let me see, we have cancers aplenty, power shortages forecast for the future, and Ebola but we want to waste money on stopping chocolate from melting in the desert!!!!

Other creative arts showcase the ridiculous also. There are legions of examples but let me share some of my least favourite pieces.

Damien Hirst's half a cow!

Now I'm sure some art critic or even Mr Hirst himself would be able to justify this but I'll put my cards on the table and say that this was never or ever could be art. Honestly, I arrange the same with half of any creature preserved but it wouldn't make it art. As a 6th form Biology student we dissected rats weekly, and the final lay out could look quite interesting, gruesome but interesting!

by David Mach 1983

The submarine was created as a protest against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. So it had a purpose of sorts but then it was set on fire by a protester who subsequently died as a result of burns.


Sorry this is not art, its a pile of bricks laid out on the floor in a rectangle. The frightening thing is that someone probably received a degree education with all the financial subsidies that entails!

Pompidou Centre, Paris

I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a week in Paris in 1986 and while there visited a modern art exhibition in the above centre. Two exhibits stand out in my mind. The first was a steel girder about 12 feet long and with a piece of cotton wool wrapped round the centre. The second was 144 blue ceramic tiles laid out on the floor and called 'The Sea'. Now I think they were examples of artists taking the mickey out of the gullible onlookers, like me!

The point is, apart from a little light relief, art is whatever it is and some people will enjoy and appreciate different things. It is the same with writing. Critics who laud certain styles of writing and criticise others are expressing personal opinions. People who read will like some works and not others and we as writers have to accept that. If your focus as a writer is money then you will find the current most popular genre and attempt to produce that sort of story. However, if you write because that is what you enjoy doing then you're in the realm of pleasing some of the people some of the time. Whichever you are, enjoy the writing first and worry about the marketing later.

God Bless