June 27, 2011

Originality... pfeh!

First of all if you haven't seen em check out the short films "Everything's a Remix" by Kirby Furguson, (there are 3 so far).  You can find them on YouTube or on his blog.

After I watched these films I started thinking about all the different movies, plays, music, video games, books and televisions shows that I've watched, read, played, and listened to during my twenty odd years of awareness (I'm not counting the years of 1-5 since I hardly remember them).  Not one of those things was truly new or original.  I suppose in many ways the differences between each genre or medium varied enough to put a new light on each one.  But still, whether it was a movie or TV series, a video game or book series, or whatever, each one drew from another source.  But I didn't know any better, heck I didn't even care or notice until later in life. 

I strongly agree with the films by Kirby in that nothing is new, but everything is a Remix.  I'm totally fine with that too, because familiarity is king when it comes to entertainment.  For example, when describing something for the first time people tend to use a familiar source to explain it.  The same goes for all forms of media.  This is exploited by Hollywood because they understand that people want to see things that are familiar.  Another example is when describing a movie you might tell someone it's like another movie to get them interested.  This is free advertising for movies in general.  We do the same with music, if you like a certain band you might like another band which sounds similar.

Through this channel of likening things we can share with one another a multitude of media infinitely!  It works for video games and books too.  In example; if you liked Super Mario Bros. then you might like Sonic the Hedgehog or if you liked Harry Potter you might like The Hunger Games.  These are not perfect examples but nonetheless they work.  There is another side to all this and that is personal taste.  Not everything is everyone's cup of tea, meaning just because I like something doesn't mean that you will like it too.  There is also bias, which I'm more critical of since it shows a more narrow path of thought, but it's totally fine, be biased you freaks!  You may be more inclined to one particular genre of entertainment and closed off to all others, I might try to persuade you to try a different genre but you will remain true to your original bias.  I can't change what you like, and you can't change what I like.  We can influence each others tastes through friendly conversations on likes and dislikes.  Then it's up to you to determine whether or not you like it.

Well, it seems this topic got away from itself a bit, but the point I'm trying to make is this: originality is dead, but remixing will live on forever.  There's nothing really wrong with this, by "remixing" we take what is old and make it new and interesting.  There is a quote that I picked up from somewhere, it goes like this; "Good artists copy, great artists steal."  What that means to me is if you want to make something great you will  have to steal from something else.  It's only natural.  In the course of history some of the greatest inventions were "stolen" and combined from already existing inventions. Not one thing can be attributed to one person, it would be totally unfair to those who came before.

The world today is truly fascinating, but everything is not new, it's just been cleverly remixed into awesomeness.

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