Think Again! What has Happened to Original Thought?

Peter B. GiblettStarred Page By Peter B. Giblett, 17th Sep 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3906jxyl/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Culture

Do you simply accede to the other person's viewpoint, particularly if they are your boss? Perhaps now is the time for independent and original thought! Works of art, like Don Mclean's American Pie actually represent streams of thought in society, where is original thought today, or are we simply creating a generation of "Yes" men?

A Book on Marx?

"... and Lennon read a book on Marx. ... Singing Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie..." sings Don McLean. It is always curious what goes through the mind of a creative artist or thinker. Society often points at artists as those who change society, but aren't they the ones who simply reflect societies edges, the good, the bad, the indifferent, indeed they do challenge people to think as more often they are able to interpret what life is like over the edge of the cliff, perhaps they can perceive the precipice more easily than the rest of us. McLean was however no going this far, he was more concerned about the radical influx of new music challenging his accepted norms in the united states, but it also acts as a metaphor for the rest of us, because these lines are likely to mean different things to different people.

Free thought is one of the greatest freedoms we possess, yet how many use it to affect real or dramatic change? How many are prepared to challenge the status quo? Surely the answer is too few!

Creative Art

It is always curious what goes through the mind of a creative artist when producing something like a song or a work of art. This is especially true when the end result becomes a popular icon for a generation or more.

It is understandable why there is a whole genre of literature psychoanalysing artistic works. Even with Don McLean's American Pie there are those that want to psychoanalyse the song, yet the most important justification comes from the songwriter himself... "It simply means I do not have to go out to work for the rest of my life". Generally artists create works either because they wish to make money or because they wish to make a statement, here McLean does both and successfully, because this song is one of the most copied in the world.

The Radical Link

The association of the name of Lennon with that of Marx was undoubtedly because he saw Lennon as a radical thinker, not only did Lennon and his band bring a new genre of music into the USA, he also added credence to particular undercurrents in society at a time when heightened tensions existed across the world, particularly in light of the continued conflict in Vietnam, and Lennon was not afraid to speak his mind - potentially even leading to his own murder. Are you prepared to speak your mind? Whether these views were right or wrong is not relevant to this article, what is certainly true is that artists tend to reflect deeply imbued feelings held in society, even if they are not the official views or the norms of society at the time. This shows within their works whether that is in the form of song-writing, literature, poetry, pictures; they will pick some way of getting the message out.

Whether the message is right or wrong is not important but getting the message out is, particularly in an age when not everyone had access to the Internet, having influential support for any fresh idea was important and that is what the artist brought to society.

Today's Era

Today the world is changing, yet where are today's radical thinkers? Are artists writing profound words or painting in new styles? No! Quite the opposite artists are simply accepting societal norms, the will to challenge what-is seems to be missing, surely; a sad state of affairs. Where is the modern Bob Dylan? Yet with our economy sitting in the midst of a recession that shows no sign of ending there is no one challenging the status quo.

Most radical thinkers do not want to dispose of what is good in society they simply want to replace the bad. Indeed there are elements in Marx's Communist Manifesto, written over 150 years ago, for example "Free Education for all children in public schools" that are now a part of society's norms, even in the USA. To most radical thinkers it is elements they perceive as dragging down part, or the whole, of society that need to be addressed. The challenge is observing the wrong, then identifying how to resolve the matter.

The words written in the songs of 2013 do not challenge the mind, let alone society, indeed much of the modern generation of writing seems flat and boring, or perhaps it is written to a formula when compared to originality of earlier eras. Undoubtedly there is as much talent in the world, sadly much is stifled and no-one is prepared to rebel against "the establishment", yet stirring the pot can often change mindsets for the better which can be at the heart of innovation and ultimately innovative thought is required to move society forward; even when this comes from those anti-establishment figures demanding a complete overhaul. We may dislike what they are saying, but it does challenge us and does make us think - at least a little bit. At first we may not like what we hear but after taking pause for thought and sometimes what was once radical starts to make sense. One challenge is cutting to the heart of the thought, getting to the elements that need to change in order to make society better.

Implementing "green" policy today is seen as expedient, yet in the 1970s these views were dangerous and radical. This is the cycle of life. The whole green movement started because of the perception that there was too much waste in society, today these views are accepted as normal and we recycle everything we use. Yet to make society think a challenge had to be issued at a time when those views were not popular. Without this challenge future change is not possible.

Next Generation

Where will our next generation of radical, or independent thought come from? There is much talk about developing an ability to think outside the box, yet in reality very few people are able to challenge the norms of society's thinking. The twentieth century was one that largely challenged our technical capability, the challenge of the current century should be about moving peoples thinking and ability to reason forward. Interesting times should lay ahead for anyone with an original thought.

This article has been presented to challenge people to take a leap in thinking, this is not intended to demonstrate a specific viewpoint, more the need for people to demonstrate the ability to take a dramatic leap in thinking, it is not possible that all original thought is gone in his world, it is your turn to take a fresh leap.

Other articles of Interest?

The following articles, have each been published by Peter Giblett and may be of some interest to you:

Thinking about making your own personal contribution? You should do something about it now! Your viewpoint is important! The first thing you could do is ADD a comment providing your own thoughts and feedback, which is always appreciated. Sometimes however your thoughts transcend the limits of a simple comment, then you need to make your own contribution of 300 words or more; perhaps penning your own article is more appropriate, well you can make your own views felt.

Join Wikinut today and have some fun telling the world about your views and how the world needs to change.

Tags

Creative Art, Deeply Imbued Feelings, Free Thought, Greatest Freedoms, Lennon, Marx, Original Thinking, Original Thought, Originality, Radical, Radical Thinkers, Radical Thought, Speak Your Mind

Meet the author

author avatar Peter B. Giblett
Author of "Is your Business Ready? For the Social Media Revolution"

Social media consultant, with C-Level background.

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Comments

author avatar Phyl Campbell
17th Sep 2013 (#)

Oh, there are radical things. But there is so much "noise" that pleases the mainstream and often crowds out the radical. Still, it is there for people willing to seek it out -- like diamonds in the rough -- or sometimes manure.

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author avatar Trillionaire
17th Sep 2013 (#)

Thanks.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
18th Sep 2013 (#)

I think that a course on thinking and understanding the various types of thinking should be included in a school curriculum. While most people are familiar with critical, linear, or creative thinking, there are many other types: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_thought_processes

This was a good article and you highlighted valid points of reference for your page. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Peppernina63
18th Sep 2013 (#)

Great piece of writing Peter, we should all speak our thoughts and stand up for what we believe in. Thanks for sharing.

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author avatar Denise Salmon
18th Sep 2013 (#)

interesting article

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author avatar M G Singh
14th Oct 2013 (#)

Wonderful post.

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