creativity, the internet, and commas

A couple of good links here. One is short and one is longer, but both are worthwhile.

The shorter one is about the ever-popular serial comma.

The other an interview with Dave Allen, of the band The Gang of Four, about the effects of the Internet on musicians (and on the arts more generally).

He makes a lot of good points, though with one important point he circles around it pretty well but doesn’t really nail it. He gives some examples, but it’s important to say it clearly: Whether something is good for creativity and whether it’s good for artists getting paid — those are two very separate questions.

One point that he made which really hit me was this:

One falsehood, that always trips up the argument of blaming the Internet for musician’s woes, is the idea that there was some golden age of music where every musician could be famous and live better than the rest of us. It never existed. Competition today is the same as it ever was.

The most popular musicians get rich; the rest, not so much.

As Jean Shepherd always said, “Nostalgia is based on the idea that things were ever better than they are now.  They weren’t. Things have always been lousy.”

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2 Responses to creativity, the internet, and commas

  1. Maggie says:

    Haha — that is the reason I use the serial comma, but then again, so many funny sentences arise without it. 🙂

    I think a lot of people who are just getting into music and starting a band (especially teenagers) think that they will automatically achieve fame because they hear about all these famous bands. But they forget that for each band/artist that makes it big, there are many, many more who are unknown.

  2. That’s more generally true, too. It’s true for writers, of course, and in sports as well.

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