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  • Writer's pictureBill


In my last post (Hardbacks and Bestsellers) I gave an example of one author’s creativity.

In the past 24 hours I’ve run across these disparate examples of enviable creativity.

1. Music: Both the composer and the musician.

2. Dance: From renaissance men.

3. Writing:

Posted by Ted Tarkow on FaceBook

• An Oxford comma walks into a bar where it spends the evening watching the television getting drunk and smoking cigars. • A dangling participle walks into a bar. Enjoying a cocktail and chatting with the bartender, the evening passes pleasantly. • A bar was walked into by the passive voice. • An oxymoron walked into a bar, and the silence was deafening. • Two quotation marks walk into a “bar.” • A malapropism walks into a bar, looking for all intensive purposes like a wolf in cheap clothing, muttering epitaphs and casting dispersions on his magnificent other, who takes him for granite. • Hyperbole totally rips into this insane bar and absolutely destroys everything. • A question mark walks into a bar? • A non sequitur walks into a bar. In a strong wind, even turkeys can fly. [actually some can even without a strong wind, I don't think this one works.] • Papyrus and Comic Sans walk into a bar. The bartender says, "Get out -- we don't serve your type." • A mixed metaphor walks into a bar, seeing the handwriting on the wall but hoping to nip it in the bud. • A comma splice walks into a bar, it has a drink and then leaves. • Three intransitive verbs walk into a bar. They sit. They converse. They depart. • A synonym strolls into a tavern. • At the end of the day, a cliché walks into a bar -- fresh as a daisy, cute as a button, and sharp as a tack. • A run-on sentence walks into a bar it starts flirting. With a cute little sentence fragment. • Falling slowly, softly falling, the chiasmus collapses to the bar floor. • A figure of speech literally walks into a bar and ends up getting figuratively hammered. • An allusion walks into a bar, despite the fact that alcohol is its Achilles heel. • The subjunctive would have walked into a bar, had it only known. • A misplaced modifier walks into a bar owned a man with a glass eye named Ralph. • The past, present, and future walked into a bar. It was tense. • A dyslexic walks into a bra. • A verb walks into a bar, sees a beautiful noun, and suggests they conjugate. The noun declines. • A simile walks into a bar, as parched as a desert. • A gerund and an infinitive walk into a bar, drinking to forget. • A hyphenated word and a non-hyphenated word walk into a bar and the bartender nearly chokes on the irony. [I don’t get this one]

It’s impossible not to try it on your own after reading the above. Here’s mine. An oxymoron, obviously a writer, walked into a bar and was too clever for words.

And two more examples from an article in the Jerusalem Post on Aug 14 by Benjie Hersokowitz:

4. Sculptor.

Michelangelo would personally select slabs of white marble from the stone quarries of Carrera, Italy. He’d claim that he was not so much sculpting as releasing the figure he saw imprisoned in the stone itself. In his day, there were critics who, upon seeing his lifelike sculptures, accused Michelangelo of actually covering live models with stone. Of course, his sculpture of David, perhaps his most famous, laid those rumors to rest as it towers nearly 5 meters [over 16 feet] tall.

5. Teaching.

On the first day of our graphic design course [School of Visual Arts, NY], our instructor enters and without a word posts a picture of Abraham Lincoln. The instructor hands out pencils and paper and instructs us to draw Lincoln.

For the next three hours, hardly a sound was heard, but much sweat dripped, as we all worked intently, trying to do our best to impress the teacher as well as the other students.

Finally the instructor collects all the drawings, gives a quick flip through the stack as though they were a deck of cards, and then proceeds to rip them all up into tiny pieces before our unbelieving eyes.

We were all outraged, to say the least.

The instructor looks up and says words that still echo in my memory: “My lesson for today is that one need not know how to draw beautifully in order to be creative. Class dismissed.”

Honestly the memory still pains me. However he taught me two important lessons.

1. A message is especially effective when—ta da—presented dramatically.

2. He was 100% correct; there are numerous ways to be fulfilled creatively without possessing superior drawing skills.

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