Sunday, April 17, 2011

Creative economy: It relies on roots

So, let's imagine a tree:

Glossy leaves, wide trunk and branches supporting birds in almost every part of its foliage, shading people and plants all around it.

How do you think it's roots grew? I suspect loads of nutrients in the soil with room and time...

If one is to allow living things to thrive, start by feeding the soil and allow it to grow away from stresses.


Then if we want a creative economy:

We need to support our elders, our neighbors and remember those who came before us. Who built your neighborhood? Where did those floors come from? What do the names on your street signs mean?

All of us need to trace the history of cultural items we talk about here back to their source and honor those individuals, their families and their crafts.

Things that occur to me:

When you take a picture of a Mardi Gras Indian without any credit to him, you take his craft. If you start to mass produce pralines and push out a home business to do it, then you do not honor your creative economy. When you stand in front of a singer's audience for an entire song taking picture after picture blocking those who sat with enough time to view him or her, you steal the moment. Or when you go to a musician's show and talk loudly on unimportant matters and break the moment. (Go.)

When you bypass a mechanic who has a hand made sign on his garage door and head instead for Speedy because you think the corporation has more aptitude based on signage, you slice into our root structure.

When you don't know why building new structures that are completely different in size from their neighboring ones is a abomination. Here's an idea: Take a look at a grove of trees and notice the relationship between them.

Moving into a neighborhood and renovating a house to new perfection, topping it off with a security system and wide fence and cameras is not rooting yourself. It's camping out til everyone else leaves. Your roots don't need to take all of the space.

Who are your area's roots? Who has been here, who knows the stories? Who belongs to that old chair or milk crate by the tree? That old, listing truck in front of you may hold more years of knowledge than your computer chip. Areas of our city are not only headlines: St. Bernard Avenue does not have to be feared, but honored for its past and potential future workers, men and women. Your corner store may not carry your top 10 items, but it's been there and is there for you to use for the other 30 you do need and get there. The neighbor who moved here after a 1970s JazzFest and has defined that corner with life and friendly banter to all. That newspaper-selling corner. Neutral ground activity. The parrot lady on Burgundy.

Those roots can create:
That 1.50 breakfast on Broad . Buttermilk Drops with the old Mackenzie taste, yeah. Kayak lessons on the bayou. Gondola rides in the park. Bird houses on the sidewalk on Claiborne. Electricians who bring you a used light fixture saying "This looked right for you." Bamboo groves in clumps. Recycling through foraging on trash night. Recycling via picking up leaves and then some organic coffee grounds for the garden. Less allergies and more greenery from volunteer plants being passed along. Quiet time at libraries. Music continuing on the street after school with instruments played on the way home. Hand made, decorated bikes slowly making their way down the street. Art, yes, Music yes. Those are the high priests and priestesses of the creative economy. Honor them of course. Make it easier for them to vend, to play, to create.
Just don't forget the bbq pit guys under the tree too.

filibuster part 1

No comments: