During the years of the 1990′s, one of the mainstream conversations that you’d find yourself overhearing, in one of the many new wave lounge coffee shops, (that thanks to the popularity of the TV show, Friends, have spouted out in almost every major city of the world) among two people that enjoy a good old debate, would be that the nighties had nothing on the sixties! The cultural revolution of that particular decade, can be blamed for any number of turning points, that all seemed to meet at exactly the same time. Free love, perception altering drugs and music that pushed the boundaries, all of which encouraging the other, wrapped up in a marriage of experimentation and innovation of the free thinking rebellious youth of a generation. The children of the sixties with names like Moonbeam or Skyriver, were encouraged for the first time since the beginning of education, to make mistakes, to take things apart, to boldly answer the question that has haunted the universe ever since God decided he needed some illumination in his life, (only then to find he got a bit carried away) one question, one word, every subject, why.
Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don’t have time for all that.
It would appear that garages and sheds have a lot to answer for. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates would certainly agree with me, that these sacred places are indeed where a million mistakes are made, yet in the chaos of wonder, fascination and determination, successes that stand the test of time and inspire the generations are born in an environment, that houses the old beaten up sofa, tins of paint and hardened cement bag seats, for the friends, that didn’t quite cut the ranks of that damp flea riddled couch! It is always these tombs of a families history, the most humble of settings, where such incredible things begin. However one of these creations, as ground breaking and innovative as it is, and continues to be, creating an industry that drives more profit than the movie business, has within its highly inspiring, time consuming enjoyment, an ironic and relentless grip, that is crushing the creativity of our children, one risk taking, rebellious thought, at a time.
This generation is so dead. You ask a kid, ‘What are you doing this Saturday?’ and they’ll be playing video games or watching cable, instead of building model cars or airplanes or doing something creative. Kids today never say, ‘Man, I’m really into remote-controlled steamboats.’
It promotes problem solving and physiological tests have shown that it encourages children to face up to their antagonists during nightmares, however it is without doubt, going to be the cause for a serious lack of biologists, physicists, musicians, artists and architects of the future. As all will want to be, a computer game designer. It is the enemy that holds the hands of children, and blindly we welcome it; after all, it keeps them quiet right? It is this attitude among parents, that needs to stop. Last Christmas, like most Christmas’ I found myself a little bit strapped for cash. I had been out partying at the endless soiree’s of my rich, over indulgent friends, that like nothing better, than to host a good old masquerade ball in their 6×9 kitchen, as the iPod playlist of this current generations terrible excuse for mass produced noise blasts out of it! I find myself spending more money than I should on my elaborate outfit’s, sadly and regrettably having to limit the funds for my family and close friend’s Christmas presents. This lack of cash quickly put into gear my creative think tank. The only person that was taxing to buy anything for, was my twin. As both he and I share a common theory.
My family makes these vinegars – out of everything from grapes to peaches and cherries. We go through the whole process with the giant vat and drainer, label them, and give them as Christmas presents.
A present reflects everything that its presenter feels about you, their thoughts regarding your character, their entire internal relationship to you. There is without doubt nothing that you can not read into more, than a present. Like for instance the selfish boyfriend that buys his girlfriend a ring, only for her to find that the stone matches the colour of his favorite football team, with absolutely no bearing on what she liked, or even wanted. This year I decided that I was going to give James the gift of creativity. It was Christmas morning and we’d just finished the ritual bacon sandwiches that our Mum makes in her dressing gown, every year. We are of course all still in our PJ’s and James is currently making his epically fast way through the presents, (being twins I found this most frustrating as a child, as we always had identical presents and as I would take my time, he would steamroll ahead, I’d always find out what presents I had before getting the chance to open them, this is still the case every year) he eventually gets to mine and reads the label. “Merry Christmas James, this year, have whatever you want it to be” A little cryptic I know. James opened his present. At first he didn’t really know what to say, however, he now had the tools to make exactly whatever it was that he wanted, and I of course, was given the gift of his expression when realising that the heavy brick like object, he was holding, was in fact, a lump of clay.
The whole earth is the tomb of heroic men and their story is not given only on stone over their clay but abides everywhere without visible symbol woven into the stuff of other mens lives.