Stupid enough to be right

A big inspiration for this (almost) daily blog is Austin Kleon. He wrote Steal like an Artist and Show Your Work, and his latest book, Keep Going is right around the corner. But more importantly, he writes almost every day on his own blog.

And when I had trouble writing today, I went to Kleon’s blog for an adjustment. Of all the endless topics we could write about, I found it incredible we were sharing a wavelength - chasing stupidity. In a post entitled A fine line between stupid and clever, Kleon wrote:

Every artist knows the truth in this. I often know an idea is worth working on if I honestly can’t tell if it’s incredibly stupid or absolutely brilliant. (“This idea is so dumb,” I’ll think. “I bet everyone will love it.”)

I need to consider stupidity my new compass.

Especially because what I wanted to write about was what Jerry Seinfeld said on the topic. Reflecting on the two years he spent writing a joke about a pop tart, Seinfeld told The Times:

It’s a long time to spend on something that means absolutely nothing. But that’s what I do. That’s what people want me to do, is spend a lot of time, wastefully, so that I can then waste their time.

Later on, he continues:

I know it sounds like nothing. And it is nothing. You know, in my world, the wronger something feels, the righter it is. So to waste this much time on something this stupid, that felt good to me.

Kleon, you’re in good company.