I'm very excited about the imminent arrival of a book by Stewart Lee. There are extracts appearing on the excellent comedy website Chortle. It appears that Mr Lee is a fan of the much ignored but incredibly useful tool we know as the asterisk or "*".
I've always enjoyed liberal use of asterisks on this blog. I think it's because I was reading Rik Mayall's autobiography at the time I started writing it. He uses the technique to excess* as well.
In fact I believe that it's symptomatic of the creative mind. Diversions are the very nature of creativity. Divergent thinking is the main tool you use when you make something new. This stands in opposition to "convergent thinking". The latter is when you are aiming to focus on one answer or point as opposed to many different solutions.
One way of testing your intelligence in terms of "divergent thinking" is to take the following short test:
Think of as many uses as you can for a brick in two minutes.
The more ideas you had the better you are at it.
I know all of this because I read it in the book I'm currently reading and hope to finish before Stewart Lee's comes out, Outliers by Malcom Gladwell. It's about exceptional people. Recommending it to you now.
*I don't believe excess is always a bad thing. It annoys me that people presume the negative connotations of the word. Excess of a good thing is good sometimes. Don't believe all this, "everything in moderation" BS. It really is just that. BS**.
**BS stands for "belief system***".
*** Pope Bob elaborates effectively with this quote:
"The world is controlled by belief systems - BS. Don't believe totally in anybody's BS. The second commandment is like unto the first: don't believe totally in your own BS. That's my message to the youth of the world."
I love Pope Bob. Read the full interview here. Hail Eris!