Theodore Roosevelt's line 'comparison is the thief of joy' has been quoted a million times, but, like many a meme/cliché, is profoundly true. Still, you can't help but do it. Especially when it comes to something creative. Why pick up a pen when there's been a Shakespeare, or touch a guitar after Hendrix, or dab a canvas post-Picasso? As great and beyond the pale as those artists were, the world would become a pretty stale place if everyone just sat around and revered only those works- if we just shut down all creativity and wallowed in others' greatness. Most of what you produce is shit, but you have to just plow along with blinders on- you never know when something great might come along. And great stuff does constantly come along. While the above artists are safe in the pantheon, there are brilliant works being made right now all over the place- in down and dirty bars, concert halls, black box theaters, favelas, your garage. And, even if your work never does make it, by being part of the process, you at least experience the excitement of the new and the bold, of the good, the bad, and the ugly.