Ayn Rand, Michael Jackson, and Egotism

Originally posted on Monday, June 29, 2009  on myspace.com and facebook.com

Ayn Rand states in The Fountainhead that the presence of a self-sustaining ego is what society should strive to have. That we should never conform to the opinions of others, refuse everything.

I disagree.

Where is progress if not in collaboration? We all have our respective egos, yes. But should our egos overpower everyone else’s? I think not. To strive toward perfection is to strive toward the masses. You may always have your own idea, but presenting that idea in an acceptable fashion is key. If we are constantly striving to maintain our self-indulgent fantasies, we will only appeal to the elite few. It takes one man to mine gold. It takes a team of experts to refine and polish that gold.

The beauty of creativity is that it never has to be a solitary experience. Your original idea can be reinforced and improved upon in many fashions. It is these outside opinions that make the good, great.

You may disagree with me, you may say that the only good art is pure art. I challenge you to let the combined creativity of your peers influence your purity. See what comes of it and then tell me your opinion again. If it remains the same, then maybe you were only destined to appeal to the select few; but a true entertainer is one that is universal.

For years to come there will not be a death as widely mourned as that of Michael Jackson. His death not only struck as a tragedy in America; it happened in Europe, and China, and countless other countries. Now, Michael Jackson may be a one man show… but he never would have reached the superstardom that he did without the influence of his family and his friends. Michael Jackson never tried to force an audience to conform to his ideas. He instead took the ideas of society and made them his own. This is true genius.

A close friend of mine once stated that the difference between genius and insanity is tangibility. Genius is insanity made tangible, and insanity is intangible genius. We all have our own innate and varied abilities. The combination of those abilities creates a work of pure genius.

It is the ability to be open that sustains an ego, not self-assurance… at least in my opinion. If you disagree, then I challenge you to prove it to me.