Could being anxious millennials make us better creatives?

Avocado

I’m a millennial.

(Sorry).

And along with the rest of the world – when I’m not monopolising avocado yields or just whingeing somewhere – I hate the term. More than that, though, I hate what comes along with it.

The always having to be ‘on’, always worrying about what’s next, always judging yourself against others because you’ve been conditioned that way. Yada yada. A recent BBC article on ‘millennial burnout’ explains that ‘it’s all about being hyper-healthy, hyper-clued-up, hyper-fashionable – and it’s exhausting.’

It sure as hell is exhausting and more than that it’s boring.

But an intriguing thought struck me recently:

Could all this ‘millennial anxiety’ be positively fuelling our creative careers?

Let’s see.

The always ‘on’ mentality?

It means thinking about and documenting words and ideas whenever inspiration strikes. Working on the go and never being limited by the surrounding set-up. Texting on the night bus? How about tactics on the night bus?

The dependence on technology?

It means writing for any platform or format. Twitter? Yep. Web? Yep. App? Yep. When the machines enslave us all, maybe I’ll curry favour through delightful binary.

The narcissism?

We’re all obsessed with ourselves, so naturally that extends to our jobs. Being a millennial means I know my work is the only significant work going in the land. Everything I do is of crucial import and no one else could possibly get me.

The self-doubt or ‘imposter syndrome’?

It helps us to stay modest and powers us to work harder in the creative industries. I’m constantly expecting my boss to stand up and bellow ‘get out, fiend’ in his best Ian McKellen voice.

The worry?

It adds pressure that forces us to hit deadlines and fuels us to produce the best work we possibly can. It also leads to crippling mental and physical health issues but let’s just sweep that under the rug.

The comparison with others?

It keeps us competitive, researching what others are doing and always topping up the inspiration. It also means we’re constantly coveting other people’s wondrously emerald grass.


So what do we reckon then? Could being an anxious millennial make us better creatives?

Maybe I’m asking the wrong question. Maybe the real question is: how do you be a millennial and a creative…while being content?

[Adapted from an original guest post for Bank of Creativity]

8 Reasons to Stop Everything and Watch ‘It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’

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all image credits: FX

Are we alone in the universe? What’s lurking under Trump’s wig? Is Shia LaBoeuf insane or just trolling us? These are legitimate life questions. One question, however, that I just don’t understand, is why more people don’t watch It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia? Carol Vorderman herself could not answer this conundrum.

This blog is for any of those annoying on-the-fencers, anyone who thinks the show is “not their bag,” and for anyone who needs to send a would-be fan some much-needed literature. I’ll try not to include any big spoilers but it’s going to be a struggle so bear with me. Or just do us all a favour and go and watch it…

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is the best TV show and people need to know. Here are my reasons why.

1. Every single character is despicable

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In “the Gang,” we find Dennis Reynolds (Glenn Howerton), Deandra “Dee” Reynolds (Kaitlin Olson), Charlie Kelly (Charlie Day), Ronald “Mac” McDonald (Rob McElhenney) and Frank Reynolds (Danny DeVito).

Or in other words,

  • a sexually-charged, self-obsessed psychopath
  • a delusional, fame-hungry bartender
  • an illiterate and quirky “wildcard”
  • a closet-bound fitness freak
  • and a grotesquely fun-loving pervert

They’re all just awful.

2. The supporting cast is disgusting

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If it wasn’t enough already that the main cast is awesome, the supporting cast is equally spectacular. There’s the milk-drinking, robe-clad, incest-loving McPoyle Brothers (a great Halloween costume if ever I’ve heard one), the “street rat” Rickety Cricket (who used to be a priest) and Charlie’s creepy uncle Jack, a man obsessed with his small hands.

3. You can’t imagine Danny Devito like this

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“I don’t know how many years on this Earth I got left. I’m gonna get reeeeeal weird with it.”

Whether chasing “delicious nose clams” or crawling out of a sofa oiled-up and naked, Devito’s Frank Reynolds is beautifully repulsive. Most people will have seen him as the crazy dad in Matilda or the pasty villain in Batman Returns, but he’s even more over-the-top here. Every self-respecting person needs Frank Reynolds as their spirit animal.

4. There’s music to rival broadway

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“The Birds of War,” “I Like Paddy’s Pub,” “Dayman,” “The Nightman Cometh.” For the uninitiated, these are just random words. Fans of the show know these musical numbers as pieces of strange, strange genius. Get on YouTube and check it all out for yourself.

5. The writing is hilarious

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For this point I’m just going to list some of the best lines completely out of context that showcase the show’s crass intelligence:

“Any amount of cheese before a date is too much cheese.”

“Here’s a confession: I’m in love with a man. What? I’m in love with a man. A man called God. Does that make me gay? Am I gay for God? You betcha!”

“Do not plug an open wound with trash.”

“Hi. Um, I’m a recovering crackhead. This is my retarded sister that I take care of. I’d like some welfare please.”

“I’m not fat. I’m cultivating mass.”

Words to live by.

6. There’s absolutely no character development

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In fact, there’s the exact damn opposite. The best example? Rickety Cricket. He goes from a successful and healthy priest to absolute rock bottom on the streets of Philadelphia with half his face burned off. Every character on the show gets more selfish, more disgusting and more pathetic over time and it’s just great.

7. It tackles ‘The Issues’

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Just read some of the episode titles. “The Gang Gets Racist,” “Underage Drinking: A National Concern,” “The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis,” “Charlie’s Mom Has Cancer,” “Who Pooped the Bed?” Compelling stuff.

8. It gets weird

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“Kitten mittons.” Rum ham. Incest. Golden gods. Fat Mac. The gruesome twosome. Motown. Green man. The D.E.N.N.I.S. system. Paint huffing. Dumpster sex. Dance offs. Rats. Trolls. Wine in a can. Karate. Hitler paintings. Ghouls. Pepe Silvia.

Pretty weird.


If I haven’t demonstrated the value of the show by now, then you don’t deserve it. The show is a veritable mecca for anyone who’s sordid, depraved, cynical, eccentric, disgusting, or just wishes they were. I’ll let you decide which camp you fall into.