When I have a new blog post, I put a link on Twitter.

I use capital letters for the title.

I immediately get tweeted by the grammar police.

“Stop using caps, it’s annoying” and “Hey dude, take your keyboard off caps lock” are typical.

Apparently there are rules for Twitter.

I find that strange.

‘Creative’ people who enjoy enforcing, rules.

Even where rules don’t exist.

How can ‘creative’ people worry so much about the rules?

Mind you, it would probably make their lives easier if there were simple rules for creativity.

Then we’d know anyone who didn’t follow the rules was crap.

Take art for instance.

Picasso, Cezanne, Matisse, Modigliani, Giacometti, Van Gogh, and Rauschenberg.

They didn’t follow the rules for representational art, so they must be crap

There, that’s art sorted out.

How about literature?

Is there anyone there who doesn’t follow the rules?

Well there’s Damon Runyon, Irvine Welsh, Cormack McCarthy, Elmore Leonard, even chunks of Shakespeare.

They don’t follow the rules of correct grammar.

They must be crap.

What about poetry?

Well, e e cummings doesn’t follow the rules.

He doesn’t even know how to use full stops or capital letters.

He’s obviously crap.


Yup, Giacometti’s figures don’t look like real people, and Antony Caro’s stuff doesn’t look like anything recognisable,

They must be crap.

How about architecture?

Frank Gehry, Richard Rogers and Norman Foster don’t follow the basic rules of Palladian architecture.

They must be crap.


How about fashion?

Alexander McQueen and Vivian Westwood didn’t follow the rules for traditional garments or clothing.

Ergo crap.

What about furniture design?

Well the Bauhaus didn’t follow traditional rules of classical furniture.

In fact they turned the rules upside down.

So they must be crap.

How about engineering?

Dyson certainly didn’t follow the rules for wheelbarrows, vacuum cleaners, hand-driers, or fans.

So you know he’s crap.

How about technology?

Well Steve Jobs doesn’t follow the rules for any of the markets he’s in.

In fact he finds out what the rules are and changes them.

Not only that, he’s supposed to be creative and all he does is wear the same black roll-neck all the time.

How crap is he?

How about music?

John Lennon didn’t obey the rules for popular music, nor did Bob Dylan, or Malcolm McLaren.

So you know they’re all crap.

How about comedy?

Eddie Izzard doesn’t obey any of the rules for comedy, in fact he likes to find out what they are and break them on purpose.

So you know he’s crap.

See how much simpler life is with this philosophy.

It’s so easy to know who’s any good.

Just one problem.

Pretty soon you get the idea that actually it’s the other way round.

All the really creative people are the ones who don’t follow the rules.

From which we must deduce that all the people who follow the rules aren’t the creative people.

From which it follows that criticism from these people is actually a good thing.

It means we’re doing something creative.

Which is why they’re upset.

They’re clinging to the rules the way cold people cling together for warmth.


The rules are all they’ve got.