Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Shame on us?

Reading comments on Tim's videos has been an amusing pastime in the last few weeks. One of the comments really stuck with me though. It said, essentially, "Shame on all you people who watch this because you are supporting this man in wasting his life."

The reason it struck me is he expressed a pressure that we've felt all our married life--that pursuing creative things is a waste of time. I have struggled long and hard over whether I should even allow myself to write because isn't that a waste of time? I mean, nobody gets published/famous anyway, right?

There are so many fallacies in this that it's unbelievable that I even struggled with it. For one thing, who said the end purpose of doing something creative is fame and fortune? Why is that the only thing that makes a pursuit valid? For another, the implication of the pressure on us is that music is a waste of time because it doesn't make money. So is money the only thing we should spend our time working on? Nobody would claim that.

Now, I do agree that people should work hard to become self-sufficient and try their best to earn what they need to live on.

But for some people, creating is not a hobby. It's not even a passion. It's a necessity, as much as food or sleep. More than sleep. Thing is, even if you don't listen or watch or publish and read, we're creating these things. So what's the harm in sharing them?

I think the problem comes from the disconnect between product and producer that we have in our society. You like ice cream? Have a favorite flavor? Someone 'wasted their time' messing with ice cream flavors to create that. Ever read a book? Listen to a song you like? Watch a movie? SOMEBODY had to make that. If we tell all the creative people they are wasting their lives, does that mean you don't want any more music? No more comedy? No more murder mysteries? Don't want any pictures on your walls except ones you paint yourself?

You see how ludicrous it is to say "Creating things is a waste of time"?

I just can't see how making people happy is a waste of time, even if a given story/joke/song/movie/etc only makes one person happy. Especially if that person is me. Or my kids. There should be no shame in enjoying the good things in life--even the silly good things.

So, yes, it might be possible that Tim is 'wasting his life'. After all, he could be flipping burgers. Or playing World of Warcraft or looking at sleaze, like so many other men do in their free time.

In times of crisis, people should help each other, right? Well, we can't provide those things that keep people alive. We can't give anyone food or a place to live--we're just barely making it on those counts ourselves, and we're wearing our clothes so much out that they fall off before we get rid of them, so we can't even donate them to the homeless. So what's the harm in making something available--for free, no less (You can watch it at any public library)--that makes people's existence a little brighter for 3 minutes and 17 seconds? We can't keep you alive, but we might be able to make your life a little more worth living. And, as my Dad says, "It's really the things that make life worth living that keep us alive."

Even God had this in mind when he made the world. In D&C 59:15-20, God tells us, "Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart; Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul. And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion."

And, in John 10:10, Jesus says, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

And God gave us talents, not just to gladden our own hearts, but to share--and not just during church services or with religious topics, although Tim does that, too. You can hear some of his less comedic and religious stuff here: http://www.mistertimdotcom.com/hymns/ and here: http://www.mistertimdotcom.com/christmas/

So is creating silly things a waste of time?

I think not.

Sure we could live without any of the creative things in life. But who would want to?

1 comment:

Brooke said...

I suppose the only true waste of time here is that spent fretting over thoughtless comments made on YouTube. Other people have no say in your life -- tell Tim to stick it out, we need creative people like him to make life worth living!