C L A R K  S O R L E Y

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I have huge respect for technical people, those who can solve practical problems and make things work. They make themselves useful and address the infinite needs of ordinary folk. Without techs the race would still be in its primitive state, still dominated by nature, still living in caves.

These days it seems technical people have been relegated to the class of the un-cool. If not tradesmen, they are now nerds and geeks, usually young men who don't interact properly and spend their lives in some semi-autistic nether-world probably in front of a computer screen. Although there might be a whiff of truth in this, it is by and large a travesty.

It particularly annoys me how people wear their non-technical credentials as a badge of credibility. “Oh, I'm not very technical,” they say, brushing it off with a laugh and the implication that they are much cooler than that. They are the creative types, you see, who spend their lives in a whirlwind of imagination and need the technicians to be in service to their wild creative flair.

It further annoys me when the I'm-not-technical crew approach me as if I am. This is usually in the context of computers - i.e. because I use one! I am sometimes said to be computer-literate and will know things. Actually I don't know shit other than how to switch one on and then use it in a fairly limited way. It's rather like assuming a writer must know something about pencils. It is monumentally stupid but is part of this affectation about technical versus creative. Creative is cool. Technical isn't. Creative is sexy. Technical is akin to an oily rag.

In truth all genuinely creative people are technicians. If they weren't they would create nothing. Most of those un-techy types who fancy themselves creative are pretentious and merely cogs in a wheel. They are unlikely ever to have had an original thought in their lives beyond choosing the wallpaper or deciding where to go for the annual holiday. Someone else will create, manufacture and market the wallpaper, mind. Someone else will provide every aspect of service for that holiday cruise. But that is mere detail. Boring detail. It is for the technically minded to provide for these geniuses.

Ok, I'll admit it. I'm not good technically myself. Even as a musician my technique is messy mainly due to not being disciplined enough to work at it. Being a creative genius I didn't have to work at it - see! But seriously, I have known many people who are naturally technical and I understand and respect their talent and their importance to me and everyone else. It is time to stop rubbishing the techs and give them the due they deserve.

creative is sexy, technical is akin to an oily rag



commentary • 02.12.06