Saturday, January 2, 2010

Listening to the Classics

Recently, I had the opportunity to listen to A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. The recording, beautifully narrated by Tim Curry, was a gift from my friends at 

Once again, I was reminded what a talented author Dickens was (and what a talented actor Tim Curry is). Dickens’s insight into human nature is just accurate and amusing—and sometimes frightening—as it was when he committed them to paper. There is a chapter in Nicholas Nickelby regarding the relationship between government and commerce that could have been written yesterday.

It is both reassuring and disturbing just how consistent human nature is. Reassuring because we don’t have to re-invent the societal wheel every couple of years. Disturbing because we as humans revel in the same foibles year after year.

Returning to my original point, if you haven’t read any Dickens lately—or at all—this would be a great year to give Charles Dickens a read…or a listen.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Permission to be Absurd

Clearly, you don’t need my permission before embarking on some personal absurdity but if you are waiting for a little nudge, I’m here to give it.

Strict conformity is the death knell of creativity. Most innovations in science, culture, and art are the result of people who did not fear the stain of absurdity.

Absurdity can be taken to extremes, however, and become the equivalent of stupidity. The strict avoidance of absurdity—or the fear of appearing absurd—frequently leads to the same end. And, once any absurdity reaches the point of regulation and legislation it has probably outgrown its usefulness.

Recognizing the difference between productive and non-productive absurdity can be difficult and often subjective. The inventor(s) of bell-bottom pants will likely be alternately deified and vilified as the cycles of fashion grind on and on.
I also doubt there is a one-size-fits-all brand of absurdity out there. When I encourage absurdity I’m not talking about anything on the scale of a social or political movement. Those require too much “inner conformity” in spite of how non-conformist the movement might appear to outsiders. I’m talking about absurdity in small groups where good absurdity can flourish and less productive absurdity can be easily identified and discarded.

CakeFX celebrates the valiant heroes of absurdity. And what better way to celebrate heroics than with cake? I’m talking about a really cool, one-of-a-kind cake. (You can see where I’m going with this.)

So, go ahead and be absurd. You might change the world by changing your own little corner of it. And when you do—if you are located within the CakeFX delivery area—we will be there to help you celebrate with a really cool cake.