Two unrelated events this month – David Davis’ resignation to fight a by-election on the issue of 42-day internment of suspects without trial, and the ‘no’ vote in the Irish referendum – seem to me to be connected. The connection is the conservative journalist Peter Oborne’s theory of the ‘political class’.
Doing some electronic filing today, I came across a keynote speech on creativity and its sources which I gave while working on interactive television in the 1990s. It seems to stand up pretty well a decade on, so I have posted it to my selected articles page (scroll to the bottom of the page).
The paper argues that creativity is a tension between the group and the individual, and that successful creative teams share four creative characteristics: porousness, persistence, partnerships, and opportunism. It draws on examples from across creative media, from Orson Welles to Gene Kelly, from Bob Dylan to the Beatles and Bruce Springsteen, from Charlie Parker to his radio producer namesake Charles Parker. And look out for the cameo appearance from Marie Osmond.
There was a moment in the recent Robert Plant and Alison Krauss concert when Krauss sang part of the traditional English song Matty Groves. The band, led by T-Bone Burnett, was from the American South, and it was a reminder of the connections between the English folk song and the musical traditions of the white American south. But it was also a reminder, at a high profile event, that musics which have been marginalised are pushing themselves into the mainstream. This is partly a story a diversity coming full circle. In England, at least, it is also a story about politics.