Ode on Seeing Past

by lisa st john

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Thank you magnesium chloride and the smart people who figured out that you melt ice. I was going to title this blog something lame like, “The next person who tells me they love winter is going to get this hammer I am using to pick ice off of my roof right smack in the eye” but then I thought about thanking science instead.

Thank you engineers, for putting cup-holders on strollers. Thank you chemists, for making vitamins gummy.

Thank you Alan Turing. Thank you Grace Hopper. Thank you Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

Scientists are the most underrated artists. Art is about taking risks and sharing and seeing past the obvious. Sounds a lot like science to me.

So instead of blaming snow (I could always move if I was determined enough. There are plenty of lovely places to live that are snow and ice free) I will praise science and art.

And all you neo-luddites out there need to behave and back off with your holier than thou sneers while we are using our gorgeous technology. While you look down on me as I stand in line at the grocery store, thumbs flying, the invisible cartoon bubble above my head says, “SHUT UP YOUR EYES. I am writing A NOVEL on my iPHONE, OKAY?” Science. Art.

I could be donating to save elephants from circuses on crowdrise or sponsoring upcoming musicians on bandcamp (shout out to Mad Satta here). No. Science and technology are not the bad guys. They are revolutionizing Art as we know it.

How beautiful is the Millennial Generation (also known as Generation Y, but that’s too derivative)? The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation identifies them as, “the connected, diverse collaborator, shaped by 9/11, texting, and the recession.” They have given us crowd-sourcing; they ARE social media. And social critters they are. They blend the real and virtual worlds with an ease that is awe-inspiring to us digital immigrants.

As Amanda Palmer says in her brave memoir The Art of Asking, “…working artists and their supportive audiences are two necessary parts in a complex ecosystem.” No judging the future, please. We just need to see … past.

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