Are We Creators or Just Spectators?


Hey YOU…my eyes are up here”


C’mon Jack…put your BRO back on, BRO!.

I’m a guy, and yet- surprise- I want to scream this out about 3 times every day…maybe 4…maybe MORE! OK, not really! Confused? See if you can follow my 2 hopefully not-too-convoluted points that follow…

The headline above has nothing to do with the push-up Mansierre Jack Nicholson should wear to support his MAN BOOBS, or MOOBS!  It has everything to do with 1. high technology and an anti-face-to-face socialization trend that has spread worldwide. And 2. the impact this has on our collective creativity.

People won’t look me in the eye.


I don’t think most people hate me, although I’m sure there are some. It must be something else. Their eyes are cantilevered downwards ogling their hardware…sorry,  let me clarify … technology hardware! I’m living a solitary life in a world surrounded by people.

Honestly, sometimes this is a good thing. As a self-outed introvert, I know I don’t want to be interacting with people every moment of every day. And I understand that when you’re sitting on a bus or at a Tim Hortons (Dunkin Donuts for US, Krispy Kreme in England, Donut King in Australia), a bit of quiet introspective time is perfectly justified. Plus, you get to read or play games. What could be better than that?

But come on, if we are actually having a conversation CONVO GUY/GAL, look up at me just a bit and exist within the interaction, OK? Look up and interface tete-a-tete…it makes me feel special and human, and you can admire my great unibrow too!

iPhone, Blackberry, iPod, Galaxy, HTC One, Lumia 900.

The names flow like sweet honey liqueur off the tongue and their resonance is SO hip and cool. They ARE cool. They do amazing things and add a profusion of value to our lives. I LOVE a lot of tech stuff. Hell, take me away from e-mail for a day and I go into the DT’s. I lose about 50 points off my IQ if you take away my Google or Wikipedia…DAMN, another secret revealed…

BUT…a big BUT …(Make-Us-Look)-Smartphones take our attention away fully from whatever else is going on around us. We retreat and isolate. Captivating people…soaring, rainbow-coloured birds… intoxicating scents… even blaring car horns are just so much…well…sense-less nothing because we’re not tuned into the radio station of the world around us. Technology has restyled our world in just a few short decades. The way we interact with each other has undergone a tumultuous transformation.

Just a few dozen years ago in what seems like a totally different era we:

  • read books and poetry to each other
  • we played or sang music for each other
  • we played games and sports together…

…and more often than not, we did all of these things as families.

Now we:

  • listen to iPods in solitude
  • we watch TV 
  • we browse and wander through the internet
  • we play games on X-Boxes
  • we observe spectator sports.

Did you notice how the verbs in the first part are active and in the second part mostly passive? What plagues me most about this is that technology has made us less creative and more consumptive – not just consuming material products but also swallowing up the creative fruits of others.


Earlier days of creativity – making music with my friends Nancy and Jim in the bars of Yellowknife…

We used to be the ones on the inside of the metaphoric TV set – making meals, playing hockey, singing along to a fiddle or guitar around the kitchen table.

Most of us now reside on the viewer side of the television/computer screen – observing, laughing, crying, snoring, but NOT participating, and certainly NOT creating.

We WATCH the creative process, we don’t CREATE the creative process. 


I kick myself about once a week because I’m not writing music on my guitar. Good or bad (and most likely it WILL be bad), I want to express myself in song. I want to be James Taylor. I wish I watched less TV (except Tiger Cats Football!). I remind myself to read good quality writing (PLEASE…not Fifty Shades...!) and fewer newspapers. I do pat myself when I hit the Publish button on a new blog post (although I also catch my breath a bit too – is it too racy? have I revealed too much about myself? is it at all interesting?). I purr when I play my guitar and the tuning and notes are JUST right.

Religious tomes aside…The biggest and best CREATOR today in this world is the creator INSIDE ourselves…and we let it sleep, or at least nap for long periods. The creative germ is there. We knew it was with us as children, and we cultivated it. We sang, we drew, we played. It didn’t go anywhere just as we never gain or lose mass on this planet.

Creativity rests, twiddling it’s thumbs until…when?? If I want to be reborn, this is where I want to start. I need to park the techno-gear and let the inner Larry’s song burst out.

The Sleeping Giant that is our muse, our imagination, our creativity is sitting, waiting to be stirred, maybe even shaken, to life. 

Walt_Disney Creative

Walt Disney…a Creative Giant…

50 Shades of…GREEN?


In the name of research, I’ve just finished reading “Fifty Shades of Grey“.

Uh-huh, sure, you say…research!

FULL DISCLOSURE: For decades, men (including me) have bought/read PLAYBOY magazine, all the time insisting that it’s all about the great articles we find there. LIARS! As one man representing every other man on this earth I’m going to boldly state that men buy PLAYBOY because we like to look at pretty, naked, young ladies. We drool a bit and fantasize about what we would like to do with them or with someone who maybe resembles them in some part of our life (come on guys, you remember the waitress at that restaurant last week…the one you gave the big tip). This is news to you?…I think Not!

GREAT…there’s that article on Samuel Jackson I’ve been dying to read…

Women didn’t embrace the nude photos of hot young men in PLAYGIRL magazine in the same way that men flocked to their girly mags. Which brings me to the shock I feel about the sensation that Fifty Shades of Grey has become. I’ve always believed women fantasized in the Harlequin Romance sense of love and sex only in the sweetest and most romantic ways; daydreaming about handsome men with rippling muscles who sweep them up tenderly in their arms and occasionally whisper a naughty word to get the juices flowing. Then along comes a book like this that romanticizes BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, Masochism) and becomes a mega-colossus hit.

The fact that it deals with what we might call kinky sex is fine, and I’m not surprised that it would strike a chord with a small’ish sector of society…to each his or her own, I say. BUT…Fifty Shades is selling at a faster clip than the paperback versions of any Harry Potter book released, and that was a huge phenomenon. Women are snapping it up  (or downloading onto their Kindles and Kobo’s, perhaps fearful of the world’s passing judgment on them) and passing it along to their (female) friends and relatives for a shared experience.

What’s really weird is that I can’t help substituting Tom Cruise into the role of “Dominant” Christian Grey and Katie Holmes as his “Submissive” Anastasia Steele. Maybe this is what the tabloids have been missing all along. Katie has just grown weary of her own Mission Impossible of sitting on BDSM-thrashed buttocks while Tom takes our breath away with another dazzling- might we say CREEPY– smile.

English: Cropped image of Tom Cruise and Katie...

Are we certain this isn’t Christian and Anastasia?

Ultimately, it shocks me that I got it all so wrong. We men with our walloping dollops of testosterone are expected to enjoy the heady mixture of rough, hurtful frolics with lustful fornication. Down and dirty sexual activity is an integral part of the male evolutionary climax, so to speak! If men got off on this book, it wouldn’t surprise me, although there is WAY too much dialogue and internal “female-speak” to hold the male readers’ attention.

It’s what this says to me about today’s “Womanhood” that has me worried. Do intelligent ladies really fantasize about being denigrated and dominated by a handsome behemoth, seeing this as a desirable interconnection with their men. This is not romance and lust between equals where “you can tie me up if I can tie you up” affair, it’s a one-sided version of sexual slavery combined with mental and physical abuse.

In reference to the title of this blog, I’m not GREEN with envy (I don’t think!),  I’m just GREEN with distasteful and  bilious thoughts. Why haven’t women torn into this as they have so many issues that portray them as anything less than equal?

Maybe I’m crazy and should just accept it- life is full of surprises and this one is at the top of my list right now. Have I missed the point?

(THIS kind of romance makes me feel GREEN with envy)

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