Malcolm McLaren: The Quest for Authentic Creativity


In early October of 2009, Malcolm McLaren was nearing death but didn’t know it yet. He showed up at the 2009 Handheld Learning conference feeling fatigued, but managed to deliver a provocative and heartfelt speech titled, “Never Mind the Bullocks, Here’s the Txt Pistols,” in which he reflects on his life growing up in post-World War II England and expresses dismay over the rise of what he called “karaoke culture.”

“All popular culture today,” said McLaren, “goes to great lengths to promote the idea that it’s cool to be stupid.” He championed instead the “messy process of creativity” in which struggle, failure and the acquisition of skill and knowledge are valued above instant fame. You can watch the complete speech above.

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