For World Intellectual Property Day we authors were asked by the White House to fill out this list as part of President Obama issuing a formal Presidential Message celebrating our artists, our creative and innovative industries, and the importance of intellectual property in sustaining them. So here is my completed list and my reactions to the list. We were asked to complete this list in handwriting so please excuse my awful penmanship! I used my iPad and Apple pencil to handwrite my answers (Apple deserves a place on this list somewhere).
The arts have been largely considered unimportant by this country for far too long because the creative act of an artist has nothing to do with making money. If art is created for the purpose of making money then it is no longer art. It is no longer about emotion. It is something other.
This denigration of the arts in our country is in stark contrast to much of the rest of the industrialized world where the arts are supported. In my opinion measuring everything by dollars is a soulless perspective and explains the emotional and spiritual distress from lack of beauty that we suffer as a people… Working 80 hours a week is bad. Experiencing the beautiful is good. One makes us ill and die at a younger age while the other fills us with hope and leads to personal evolution… Which is more important?
To underline my sentiment about the arts I ironically found this list to be sorely lacking for artists. Where is the painter? Where is the choreographer? Where is the poet? Where is the sculptor? Where is the playwright? Where is the architect? And for god’s sakes why is there a sports team on this list at all? (Huh?) What does a sports team have to do with artists, creativity and intellectual property? Sorry, but I think our obsession with extreme competition and sports heroes over artists and intellectuals is a sign of an out of balance society; especially idolizing those violent heroes who later bully and kill people (often women – often their significant other). That’s a bit of “artistry” and “intellectual property” we can do without. Sports does not belong on this list. Its inclusion is a sign of pandering. Don’t get me wrong. Physical fitness is very important. A strong body supports a strong mind and open heart. It’s just that these three aspects (mind, body, and heart) should all be in balance, and in our society they are totally out of balance.
All that said, I wildly applaud with a standing ovation this list and what the President is doing to raise awareness in our country through World Intellectual Property Day.