Tuesday, December 06, 2005

What Is Originality?

Merriam-Webster Online defines it as:
1 : Freshness of aspect, design, or style
2 : The power of independent thought or constructive imagination

And Webster 1828 Diction are says:
3 : The power of originating or producing new thoughts, or uncommon combinations of thought; as originality of genius.

Fresh, independent, uncommon.

Originality does not have to be completely new.

Why Do I write this?
Because I have noticed a cultural drought in the area of originality, especially in the entertainment industry.

I remember Going to the movies and watching the previews, and out of 5 previews the odds would be good that I would want to see at least 3 if not 4 of the movies that where being advertised, lately I go and I am lucky if I see one preview that makes me want to see a movie. Why is this, it seems more and more movies are rely on poor writing, bad acting, no plot structure and rehashed themes, with either a big huge fx buget, or some political speech to drive it. Yes special effects are cool. but fx don't make a movie good.
There are just not that many fresh movies lately, and Hollywood trys to blame the lack of revenues on things like pirated movies, well the immediate cause of why their crappy movie doesn't make any money might be that someone downloaded it for free, but the real cause is the quality of the movie in the first place.

The Music industry is to some extent going the same way, and while taken as a whole it is not nearly so bad, if you look at the individual labels, the main part of the industry is also quite stale, Brittany spears makes it big so suddenly there are 50 spearettes out there (yes I mean Aguleria and Simpson and all the others) seriously listen to a top 100 radio station sometime and the majority of the music will vary by genre, but the any thing within those genre will sound almost identical to everything else.

Even Television is not immune look at the rash of so called reality TV shows, and you begin to see that the attack of the clones is more than just a crappy starwars movie.

Now I am fully aware there are really notable exceptions, there are innovators and risktakers out there, there are people who don't give a damn whether the critics and studios and labels like them or not they are just gonna do it anyway. I applaud those people. There is also the occasional movie/show/music group, that comes out from the mainstream with a refreshing breeze of fresh air.
But these are few, and getting rarer all the time. And the FCC and everybody else can crack down on the "illegal" downloaders and filesharers all they want, but until the root of the problem is fixed its not gonna go away.

We need innovators, we need people that don't just say things to be heard, the entertainment industry needs people with vision and passion for quality.

So this is a call for fresh air, before we all die of asphyxiation.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Interesting isn't it how people are divided on the war, and how people on both sides will get so angry and go postal if you disagree with them.

Even more interesting is looking at this country's history of wars.

Most people will agree that the revolutionary war was a good thing, most will agree that so was World War II and just about every other war we have been in (and I mean real war, not counting conflicts and civil wars)

However it as also interesting to note that in every war we have been involved in people have opposed, sometimes even violently the war effort, and when I say people I mean other Americans. The revolutionary war split the country before it was even founded, newspapers degraded and berated the colonial troops, no not British papers, but American papers.

In world war II the American press was adamantly against what they called the occupation of Germany, and before the war began many people thought it was the wrong thing to do.

It seems in each case history judged what the right course of action was... Does this mean atrocities where not committed no of course not. War is Ugly, it is horrible, it creates an environment where weak men can give in to evil, where evil can even be condoned as the proper course of action... War also breeds hero's and self-sacrifice, and loyalty and a thousand other positive things. It brings redemption , and love, and freedom.

Is the war in Iraq wrong? I think I will let history be the judge of that. Is freedom worth fighting for? Is it worth being disliked for?

In closing I leave you with the words of John Stewart Mill
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.