33. Being “Different”

Remember in high school when it was the cool thing to do, to be different?

The funny thing is, while everybody was busy ‘being different,’ we were actually doing the same thing in spite of ourselves. I recently read a long, tedious passage for class about plagiarism, and how artists’ interpretation of plagiarism is different then most of us would think.

The basic premise of this article, and what our class discussed, was the disappearance of ‘Original’ work, and the importance of ‘Authentic’ work. Like the quote from Jarmusch, it has become almost impossible to create absolutely original work! We naturally absorb and produce work that is reflective of the culture that we belong to, it is natural to do so.

This is very relevant to anyone who works in or is interested in production based industries, where you ‘make something’ for a living. We are all sponges, and it is impossible not to leak out a little of what we have absorbed into our ‘original’ work, a good example is Star Wars.

You can imagine my horror, perhaps the very same horror that you are experiencing now, at being told that Star Wars is basically a collaboration of all of the movies George Lukas had seen in his day, but WAIT JUST A MINUTE!

It doesn’t matter where Lukas got his inspiration, the important part is what he did with the material; created a ground-breaking new work of science fiction that have become some of the best loved and well known movies in the history of film.

I have since forgiven Lukas, and I am frankly a little relieved that I am not expected to create original masterpieces every time I set pen to paper, or fire up my WordPress Blog.

“The insistence for something new is so unoriginal. It’s tiresome” – Elaine Sturdevant, Famous for copying artists like Warhol to the T, even using the same screen that he did to screenprint a copy of his works.

So the next time you are making something ‘new,’ and wondering if you hid your sources well enough, or if your creative juices are not flowing, just remember, “Its not where you take things from, its where you take them to”

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32. the art of joking

If you can’t take a joke, I’m sorry, but I probably won’t be friends with you for long.

Life is too short to be taken seriously- something Oscar Wilde said. Yeah, the same dude who wrote The Importance of Being Earnest, and other comedies for the stage. In my opinion, laughter is sunshine to the soul, and as vital a part of life as eating or sleeping. A good sense of humor is an important asset (to being my friend, at the very least).

There’s a trick to it though:

Making fun of autistic children = NO.

Making fun of your friends = depends on the situation, (and how much they make fun of you- it should be reciprocal, to be healthy)

Making fun of yourself = always safe. I find it rather hard to hurt my own feelings, and when I do, I don’t hold a grudge for long.

I found these Lebron/Kobe Muppet commercials a while back, and I love the tone. They are light, irreverent and poke fun at sports stars- also good targets since most everyone has an opinion about them and they are too famous and talented to take themselves seriously as well.

The 2nd one is thrown in thrown in there just for fun. It’s weird, has almost nothing to do with basketball, but it says a lot about Lebron’s sense of humor, as well as his dedication. Check out all the other MVPuppets commercials, they are equally entertaining