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Jameela's May 2014 Column: "I Am A Useless, Worthless Bum!"!

 

I am sitting in a café in the heart of Rome and I am overwhelmed with a feeling. It’s guilt, sprinkled with a little shame...

You see, as I sit here, I’m awestruck by the architecture and art on every street corner. The care and love poured into every inch of every building. Most of which have sat here, dormant and extraordinary for, literally, thousands of years. Built in a time when there were no machines or tools, and no cranes to lift the stones. And many of those creating these masterpieces were young. They were our age.

All the tourists here are walking around, mouths open, marvelling at these sights to behold, as if they were created by aliens of another dimension.

Then… I suddenly feel so embarrassed for our generation! What are we doing with our lives? I am mortified to admit that my most artistic contribution to the world of late is using a cool new filter on my goddamn Instagram pictures! I can’t even hand-write any more. A birthday card I wrote recently looked as if I had written it with my feet. Only my thumbs work on my hands – to furiously type. I am a useless, worthless bum. And I’m not alone.

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We are a generation of bums. Technology has disabled us from a hunger or purpose to truly produce. Everything is a cheat. A lazy guide to a false declaration of creativity. Don’t get me wrong; I am aware of the internet’s ability to spread artistic work to the millions. And that is brilliant. But why are we just circulating other people’s work instead of creating our own? I know that artists still walk this earth, and that writers and filmmakers still produce masterpieces now and then. But, if we’re honest, it’s a dying breed. We are losing the camera industry to the iPhone.

BUT this doesn’t have to continue. We are no less capable or magical than those who walked these streets of Rome 2,000 years ago. We should use our technology to create more, rather than use it as a crutch to aid us in making less. We need something to show for ourselves when people walk our streets two centuries from now.
What did we make? Why were we here? Other than our blogs and Facebook pages, what will be our cultural stamp on a generation?

So, I am going to vow from now on to create one thing every month that I have made or contributed to. With my bare hands. And then I’m going to Instagram it and put a filter on it. Obvs.”

READ ALL OF JAMEELA'S COLUMNS HERE!

@jameelajamil

 

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