Creative versus conventional

 The 'about' page on  The Idler website . 

The 'about' page on The Idler website

In this short discussion, psychologist Jordan Peterson is using the wrong word: the distinction he's describing is not between 'creative' and 'conservative' people -- it's between creative and conventional people. I'm conservative both in politics and in my personal life -- in the way I manage resources -- but I'm also profoundly creative, in that I create every day that I get a chance, and art is something I need, not just to look at or to appreciate but to do. That's why the logos on my front page is 'making the beautiful life'. The verb is making, not having, buying, hoping for, imagining (though making requires plenty of that), or being idle. Because I need to create, I need the leisure and freedom to create, -- leisure in terms of time, and freedom in terms of peaceable, orderly, rational daily life. I couldn't be creative me in a war zone or in an oppressive regime: for me, creativity requires a certain lightness of being, a suspension of practical care and the capacity to focus entirely on the work at hand, without distraction. A conventional life filled with conventional goods would often get in the way of that freedom. And, apart from the fact that I vote and pay taxes and maintain my property, I don't have a conventional life.