We’re pleased at CDM to introduce a new verb: to Elton John will hereby mean to unplug from the Web in order to do creative work. No blogging, emergency emails only (heck, ignoring the emergency emails will be even more satisfying), no RSS, etc. In all seriousness, it’s a great idea. The Web will be used only to solve, say, bugs in my Processing code. I don’t particularly need to share my own state of Elton John, of course, but I do this only to advocate selective Eltoning to boost creativity. (I don’t think you need to Elton on a long-term basis — even just a day is often enough. A week’s Elton can also be a good idea, especially when on vacation.)

I’ll be Elton Johning today in preparation for an open house showing at Eyebeam tomorrow of a project I’m working on. Create Digital Motion has been a somewhat permanent state of Elton John, but expect it to be De-Eltoned within the week — I’ve got a backlog of stories, and Jaymis is returning, along with some other guest writers.

In the meantime, we strongly encourage you to spread both the act and the term Elton Johning when appropriate to your friends and colleagues. You can also place this on your voicemail: “Hello. You’ve reached Peter Kirn. I’m sorry I’m not available to take your call, but I’m currently Elton John. Leave a message for either of us after the beep.”

What the heck I’m on about

  • I Elton Johned a couple weeks ago. I think I only lasted about four days.

  • _object.session

    can you truly be elton johning if you blog about elton johning?

    i could see the term catching on. i can see it being shortened to EJ, too. like, "i'm taking an EJ today." sounds good to me. also would be a good replacement for AFK (away from keyboard) in an IM conversation. it can even become synonymous with "real world" or "offline".

  • I thought Elton John killed the internets. And yeah, what _object said, you can't pull an Elton John by telling other people on the internet from your blog …. that you are Elton Johning.

    You can only truly Elton John if you tell no one on the internet, especially any persons on a blog, about it. You could walk up to a friend and say, "Hey, I'm EJ'ing today, wanna jam?", but you can not ask a person on the internet to EJ with you. The internet is that which destroys the EJ magic of connectivity and interaction.

  • Adrian Anders

    I think I need to pull an EJ pretty soon. Damn you Digg/YouTube!!!!! Doesn't help that my new laptop DAW is now my internet laptop as well (violating my previous credo "thy DAW shalt not be connected to teh internets").

    I think you're really on to something Peter.

  • I read this on the net when I should be doing some work:

    <blockquote cite="When [EJ] was taking so many drugs that he can barely remember some of the gigs he performed or the albums he recorded – he reached a peak of taking cocaine on average every four minutes">

    I guess we can do a bunch of blow and forget we were even on the internet when we are Elton Johning (or would it be Elton Johnning?)…

  • When he was taking so many drugs that he can barely remember some of the gigs he performed or the albums he recorded – he reached a peak of taking cocaine on average every four minutes

  • sillicon

    Ill be pulling an 2 week Elton John in the sun pretty soon now..

  • In the 70s there were great records released every single week. Unfortunately some time since then all of these records seem to have disappeared off the face of the Earth.

    I think this is the "I'm an over-the-hill-washed-up-hack whose-best-days-are-far-behind-him defense." Elton also claims that penises were better in the 70s and that the interweb is responsible for his withered and useless unit.

  • I'm sure his theory sounded genius to him the night before when he was all coked up and riding a gold plated tricycle around his palace.

    Damn I need a gold plated tricycle!

  • Kyran

    I'm in a permanent state of semi-elton john. I don't have internet access at home, where my music gear is.

    And it does improve productivity

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  • hi DJ McManus,

    I think part of the problem ("In the 1970s, there were great records released every single week") versus today is that one used to be able to put out a two-sided LP and call it an "album". It may have been only half an hour or so.

    Today there's a ton of hip hop and pop CDs being released with "filler material" — skits, sub-par songs– so they can hit 50 minutes. Plus you need more time to put together an album which can be creatively stifling.

    I think part of the challenge and advantage of the new internet age will be to release material that breaks from the old mode … not necessarily singles… but not necessarily 50 or 60 minute albums either.

  • bliss

    I generally Elton John on Sundays.

  • ***News flash*** Elton was just sighted outside of Harrod's on his tricycle. He was not carrying a laptop, apparently.

  • fatlimey

    "I'm Elton John" = gone. It's rhyming slang, innit.

  • I'd like to spend my day, Elton Johning away up in one of these:


    Maybe with a little field recorder and some kind of acoustic instrument like a flute or accordion…

    But I'll sit here and work on this computer instead…

  • quit ejing allready and give us something to read!!


    someone not being able to sleep

  • Ha ha .. I love this expression .. and I alweays have a hard time planning to Elton John, but whenever I DO Elton John I always enjoy it immensely.

    I have no doubt that Elton Johning is a good thing to do as often as possible.

  • mallyone

    I find my creativity goes up when Elton John visits Bob Marley, an Elton Marley break if you will 🙂

  • brilliant name for that!

    I've been aware of the concept fot some time, but I'm so glad it has a great name now.

  • Awesome and seconded as brilliant. haha

  • Successfully added the term to the "Urban Dictionary". Need people to go over and give it a thumbs up by clicking on the icon on the page…


  • bliss

    Done. Andrew. 🙂

  • Great term!

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  • Hehe, "Elton Johning" became "Eltoning" pretty fast, huh? Already in the middle of the first paragraph it had been clipped. Not that there's anything wrong with that – far from it, I just found it interesting how fast language can adapt. 🙂

    That aside, I think it's a great idea, but don't try to Elton John while being bored and stuck at home – it's near impossible if not to say downright dangerous. :-p

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