While thinking may seem like an obvious trait in creativity, it’s important to examine what people think is obvious and what it means to the subject at hand. It’s part of being curious. In creativity, there are two accepted modes of thinking: divergent and convergent.
Creativity is filled with diametrically opposed qualities.
The thinking required to get you there is no different. Divergent thinking is
being open to new ideas and is the important part of the idea generation
process. It’s usually done at the beginning of a project and when more ideas
are needed. Brainstorming is a popular form of divergent thinking.
Convergent narrows down the ideas to come up with one that
will work for the problem at hand. If you continually think divergently, you’ll
never wind up doing anything. Convergent thinking allows you to focus on one
idea and bring it to fruition, or at least far enough along to find out whether
or not it will work.
Both types of thinking have their places in the creative
processes if you’re looking to bring something into the world. If convergent
thinking is applied too soon, it could limit creativity. Divergent thinking brought
in at the wrong time could derail a project for something seemingly better. Learn
to apply these to your deep thinking, and get better at creativity.
On April 14, 2019, my 8th book “Penguinate! The
Disney Company” will be released on Amazon Kindle. (That’s just in time for my
birthday!) “Penguinate! The Disney Company” looks at aspects of the company
that Walt Disney would recognize. It includes thoughts on Disney Parks, Disney
creativity, and Disney movies, including “Frozen 2” plots Disney probably never
This wholly unauthorized look at the Disney Company is designed to help you think deeply and share your thoughts. The more you practice deep thinking, the more creative you’ll become. Preorder the Kindle version today at Amazon, or preorder the paperback here.
The Table of Contents:
Acknowledgements iv About This Book 1 The Disney Family 3 Walt Disney’s Road to Creativity 4 Diane Disney Miller, Grandma and Disneyland 6 The Disney Parks 8 Standing in Line Is Part of the Appeal 9 FASTPASS Is too Fast 10 FASTPASS, Reservations and Time 11 Why the Characters at the Parks Matter 12 Disney Parks Don’t Need New Rides to Increase Attendance 14 How Disney Can Save Itself and the World 16 The Disneyland Resort 19 The Birth of Disneyland 20 The Submarine Voyage (1959 to 1998) 22 Star Wars Land Vs. Tomorrowland 23 Put the ‘Tomorrow’ Back in Tomorrowland 26 Investing in Parks Is the Best Way to Deal with Crowds 28 Mickey Mouse Foods and Happiness 30 Disney California Adventure Is still No Disneyland 31 World of Color – Winter Dreams 2013 33 Eulogy for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 34 Walt Disney World 35 Reflections on the College Program 2012 36 Why Would Walt Want to Build a City? A panel with Paul Anderson at Salt Lake Comic Con 2013 38 Walt Disney World’s Internal Communication 40 Walt Disney World’s External Communication 41 Walt Disney World and Change 42 Why MyMagic+ is Genius 43 Crew Spaceship Earth with Aaron Wallace and the Rest of Humanity 45 Critique of Epcot Misses Context 47 The American Idol Experience Will Suck You in like the TV Show 49 Disneyland Paris 51 Disneyland Paris 2015 Is Like Disneyland 2000 52 La Taniere du Dragon: Magic at Disneyland Paris 54 Disney’s Synergy 55 Disney Does the Dumb: No Longer Going to Infinity and Beyond 56 Disney/Fox Merger Sounds Death Knell for Small-Time Writers and Creatives 58 Did Disney Cut the Cord? 60 ‘Agent Carter’ sets stage for Captain America vs. Batman and Superman 62 Let’s Get Dangerous: Disney Dominates Movies and Music 64 Why Fox’s Fantastic Four Flop Is Good News for Disney 65 Disney Jumps to Light Speed with Creative Properties 66 ESPN Fishes for Its ‘Little Mermaid’ 68 The Disney Princess Stories 72 The Saving of Snow White: Rethinking Criticisms of Disney Films 73 Dying Ugly: The Misguided Actions of the Evil Queen 75 Cinderella’s Choice: Rethinking Criticisms of Disney Films 76 ‘Frozen’ 78 ‘Frozen’ Warms the Heart 79 Hans: Clever Schemer, Opportunist, or Love Corrupted by Power 81 Scarcity Fuels ‘Frozen’s’ Fire 83 Possible ‘Frozen 2’ Plots 85 ‘You Can’t Top Pigs with Pigs’: ‘Frozen 2’ on Thin Ice 89 ‘Frozen’ vs. the Super Bowl 92 ‘Frozen Fever’ opens for ‘Cinderella’: What’s at Stake? 94 The Rise of Olaf and Baymax 96 Disneyland’s Frozen Paradise 2015 97 How Disney Changed the Princess Story for Success in the Modern Age 100 ‘Maleficent’: Visually Stunning, Epic Fantasy 111 ‘Frozen’ and ‘Maleficent’ Create Instant Cliché 113 Evil Isn’t Complicated; It’s Easy 115 Maleficent Changes Her Character 117 ‘Maleficent,’ Misogyny and Metaphor: Disney Hits a Cultural Nerve 118 An Alternate Ending for ‘Maleficent’? 119 Other Disney Films 121 ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ Explores Ways to Fix It 122 Why Maui is the bad guy in ‘Moana’ 124 Disney Stuck in a Rut: Sequels Rule the Box Office 126 Keep Moving Forward with ‘Tomorrowland’ 128 ‘Tomorrowland’ Brings to Screen What Theme Park Lacks 129 Society Needs Its Dreamers 131 What Kid’s See in Disney Films May Not Be What Adults See 133 Disney Products 135 Disney Products: D23Expo 2017 Explores Past and Future 136 Appendix 1: Other Disney Books to Consider 139 Appendix 2: Disney Vocabulary 141 About the Author 143
The Speakers’ Club at Satori School where I lead English Speaking sessions first introduced me, figuratively speaking, to the Nostalgia Critic. When I asked which topics they would like to cover before the Speakers’ Club ended for the season, the Nostalgia Critic was one of the right topics they chose. So, I started doing some research.
First, I filled out the contact form on Channel Awesome. I thought if the kids could actually talk with Doug Walker they would get more out of the session and enjoy it 11 times more (because Doug likes to go one step beyond) than if I conducted the session myself. I didn’t expect a response, but Doug did get back to me to tell me he was too busy to Skype, but he would be doing something special for the kids. And he did.
Then I started looking at the 12 seasons of videos he has
done. I had to cull them by length and relevance. Speakers’ Club is only 90
minutes long, so I tried to find videos that were in the 20-minute range or
less. Relevance was a little more problematic. I tried to stay away from videos
that would most interest my class – the Batman ones – and find videos that
would speak to the American culture.
The tribute to Roger Ebert, the video on originality, and Is Charlie Brown Christmas overrated? are the ones that caught my eye and ear. In these three videos, Doug Walker breaks down the reason why things are the way they are and how it affects the culture at large. His commentary shows that he has thought deeply about these subjects. He didn’t just dismiss them out of hand or accept them as they are, he went beyond to understand what it is that appeals to him, others and how they have altered America in their way. His M&M characters video shows the same amount of thought and research but was too long for inclusion in the Speakers’ Club.
The Nostalgia Critic is loud, brash and swears. Sometimes,
he makes not safe for work jokes that are inappropriate for a younger crowd.
However, he doesn’t just rip things apart – something that would be easy to do
and possibly garner more video views. Instead, he applies his knowledge and
research to whatever subject he’s discussing.
And what he’s discussing is the very essence of American
Culture. He’s discussing the very things that made our childhoods and have thus
made us Americans. He is discussing how we came to be who we are through our media
consumption and what it means to us today. In short, his discussions touch the
very core of our identities, and as such, his show is worthy of our attention.
Dig into the Nostalgia Critic and find out who you are.
Steve Jobs said that creative people aren’t smarter than
other people; they just have more dots to connect. Jobs believed that
creativity came when someone connected two seemingly unrelated things to create
something new that had value. But what is a dot exactly?
A dot is a fact or piece of knowledge that someone has. People
who are trained in baking have a lot of dots about cooking times, what ingredients
work well together, what ingredients do when they are heated up, how long dough
should rise, and everything else about baking. If that’s their specialty, they
will be knowledgeable about baking because they have learned about it. They may
have memorized the recipe for a perfect wedding cake, but if it’s no their own
recipe, they can’t be said to be creative, yet (even though baking does create
It’s not just the dot that has value for creativity. If someone
has two dots and that person doesn’t connect them, no creativity has taken
place. It’s the line between the two dots that is important. This is, what I call,
the “thinking deeply” part of creativity. It takes a thought process to connect
the parts together into something that makes something new. Sometimes, this
thought process is conscious; sometimes, it’s in the subconscious and shows up
as an “AHA!” moment. Either way, the person has a problem that he or she has been
presented with, and the solution comes because of the thinking not only about
the problem but also about everything he or she has learned before.
One of my favorite connect-the-dots moments comes from the story of Velcro. Invented by Swiss engineer George de Mestral, who loved hiking in the woods, Velcro came after a hike when de Mestral found burrs on his clothes. He was curious if the burrs could have a commercial application. He studied the burrs under a microscope, did eight years of research and product development and created the hook and loops to make Velcro work.
This story has the dots – hiking and engineering, the curiosity to ask the question, and the thinking deeply – studying a burr and working to create something like it. Velcro was patented in 1955, the same year that Disneyland was opened. De Mestral was ridiculed, suffered his fair share of failures, but thanks to his stick-to-it-iveness, the company sold 60 million yards of Velcro during his lifetime. When you learn something new and think deeply about how it can be applied to a problem, you’re opening up your imagination and opening the door to creativity.
Kaws, Sesame Street and Uniqlo have teamed up to kill your favorite Sesame Street characters. Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, the Cookie Monster and Elmo are dead as evidenced by the exes in their eyes and the inert way they interact with the Kaws character himself.
Exed out eyes are a long-time symbol of death used in comic strips and by serial killers. The eyes are the mirrors of the soul and the accusers. The stare at the killer until his guilt causes him to kill the staring entity and remove sight from this world, either through a plucking out of the orbs or through a closing of the eyelids.
What is Kaws trying to assert with his exed-out-eyes Sesame Street characters? Do they sardonically grin while representing the death of childhood and innocence, or is something more sinister afoot? Perhaps, Kaws is looking to represent the death of American education through the death of the most recognized symbol of learning in the Western World.
The sales team at Uniqlo will tell you that it’s just theartist’s signature style; the characters aren’t dead. No one should be naïve enoughto believe Kaws doesn’t know the significance of the exes. For that matter,Uniqlo and Sesame Street shouldn’t have missed the meaning.
Like this article about Kaws, Sesame Street and Uniqlo? Be sure to share it!
One of my favorite renditions of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”is from Haley Reinhart and Casey Abrams. I showed it to my wife, and she said,after seeing a couple of other versions, “That’s a miracle.” I’ve led a singalong with the song at the Speakers’ Club in Blagoveshchensk to help improve English skills in a fun way, and after listening to, and singing, the song a half dozen times this season, I thought we should delve deeper into its meaning. Words like “scurry” and phrase like “pacing the floor” aren’t everyday English that people here may have encountered.
Frank Loesser wrote the “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” in 1944 and performed it with his wife at parties. (That was something famous people did back before television and high fidelity.) The song let the guests know it was time to go home. It was so well received that Loesser and his wife were invited to several high society shindigs, so that they would perform the song. Loesser sold the song to MGM who used it in the film “Neptune’s Daughter.”
The song has a call and reply setup. The first line is labeled as “the mouse” (I really can’t stay) and the second line is the wolf (Baby, it’s cold outside). Most people will say that the male part is the wolf and the female part is the mouse, and because men still predominantly hold the power in society, this isn’t questioned, even though the first mass media showing of the song had both a man (Ricardo Montalban) and a woman (Betty Garrat) in the wolf position (while Esther Williams and Red Skelton sang the mouse parts).
Art is what you bring to it. In the 1940s and ’50s, this song may have been seen as a call to empowerment. The mouse, male or female, is trying to throw off the shackles of society and judgement. If the mouse is vocalizing an internal struggle and the wolf isn’t interrupting but vocalizing his or her feelings about the whole situation, the song could’ve been read this way, especially if the audience was unfamiliar with the labeling.
In the age of #metoo and hyperawareness of consent, “Baby It’s Cold Outside” becomes questionable. Whether the wolf part is sung by a male or female, it’s about one person trying to convince another to stay inside and cuddle, or more, depending on what’s in the drink. Even if it’s just alcohol, consent could become a further problem. Worse, these types of arguments are the same ones that people who commit sexual assault use to get the other person in an uncomfortable situation.
In a fantasy setting or movie, the song is enjoyable, flirtatious and fun. In real life, when “no” means “no”, there’s no place for this type of coercion. If s/he must go, call her/him a cab and facilitate a safe departing. If you have to invoke this song in your decision to do so, remember, it was originally written to signal to guests it was time to leave the party. Share this article if you liked it!