The Stroke of Genius

The irony of this blog was that it was supposed to document my progress on achieving some of my lifetime goals within seven years only to find out I haven’t posted for months!

The broken record in me wants to write something cliché such as, “I felt like posting something”. But then after so many months have passed, I’ve always wanted to post but have fell under the horrific creative disorder known as writer’s block with all the things that have happened in my life. As redundant as that may sound, I’ve decided today and at this moment in time I’ll write something humorous, entertaining, bittersweet or has any kind of soulfulness an aspiring creative writer and misguided soul can bring about. So let’s begin.

For many perilous months, I’ve tried to accomplish one of the lifetime goals I’ve had = get something good published. Now the reason why I’ve engrained this sentiment in my head was rather to combat the ego a creative person must develop in order withstand the horrendous harshness of literary critique. Critique is an artist’s best friend and absolute worst enemy when it comes to stoking the fires of creative energy or diminishing it painfully like waves to a fragile, damaged but defiant sandcastle. Or more eloquently, the majority of Australians and their reaction towards Tony Abbott’s win over the 2013 Doomsday Elections.

What I found quite interesting is the outpouring of negativity and absolute shock horror for his electoral win. With the benefit of hindsight, the election prospects that he had during the Gillard election were laughable. He, aptly dubbed the mad monk (which now kind of applies to his considerably yet allegedly large fan base) seemed like the laughing stock of Australian politics. Not relatable to the public, fumbling and inarticulate, unmistakably misogynist and an enemy to the hard-working Australian. Yet fast forward three years later, he had won in a practical landslide against the Rudd government. What went wrong? Or in fact, what went incredibly right for Abbott?

As the results came, the majority of Facebook feeds, tweets and Internet went into shock overdrive over the apparent surprise win. Countless facebook groups with legions of support came out with the disaster-labelled ‘Who voted for him?’ slogans that ran rampant like elephants stampeding towards intrusive safari tours (a youtube addiction I have till this day). Even at my University, there was an uproar to how he was voted in, rumours of conspiracy and corrupt tally voting ignited great terror and debate that in comparison to last week’s engagement in national politics skyrocketed from absolute blasé much like the ratio of concerns for Miley Cyrus and her VMA performance across the threat of World War III. What an age we live in!

I literally could not find anyone I actively engaged in discussion with that actually voted for him… Until a thought came into my head. What if people who’ve actively denied that they voted for him… actually did? I know I’m not treading ground-breaking territory here but while I may be a self-dignified lefty (if I haven’t established that, I have now), I’m open for discussion and truth-seeking. I realise that’s probably a pretty hypocritical statement but I’m running with it.

I eventually did find someone who did vote for Tony Abbott – but he was relatively quiet about his vote, only confiding in me as we discussed our tutorial exercise – justifying his quietness to as I quote “…knowing how angry and frustrated people will get at him for admitting he voted…” which I found quite interesting.

So were Labor supporters more vocal? But actually less supportive? Or was there a rising resistance to Labor and prominence to a rather back-burning anti-Labor sentiment?

The reason for this rather rushed analogy… is that like Labor, the writer through years of developing a callous can kind of act as a thing to bite a person back. Labor – although champion of the people, allowed their populist and rather ‘face-game’ of politics – they’ve forgotten their people, their integrity and forgot to see their flaws in their work.

I had the privilege of submitting a piece of work for a competition and read it yesterday. I laughed at how bad it was and apologize sincerely at the judges for having to read the atrocity. At the time, I thought it was a soulful, tearful and emotionally cathartic story about kindness. Now I see it as some weird psychopathic yet well-intentioned thriller.

If I feel like it, I’ll post it up one day… The lesson? What you put out isn’t reflective of the genius within you, but with your audience. As an artist, you give away part of yourself and never should you insult the intelligence of those you give it to. As Franz Boas says… Culture is the genius of the people… And what I’m adding to that is… Art is expressed by the artist, but is created by the genius of the people.


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