By George Tarabay
Rhetorical question, don’t bother.
But if you think not, then look up the word “Rhetorical” because I assume you would not understand that either.
The world is a mess, like literally. It’s such a mess that if Mother earth walked in on us and saw it, she would ground us for not keeping it tidy. (PUN SCORE IS LIT, SON!)
But through that mess of suffering, injustice, theft and pineapple pizza, I believe that there’s one issue that we can start fixing, and fast. Suffering has always been there, it’s how people better themselves. Injustice has always been there, it’s how people better society. But when it comes to the matter of theft, this should immediately be eradicated because it is unnecessary and it causes suffering and injustice (I’m confused). Yet, one type of theft that has always caught my attention because it seldom goes unpunished is intellectual property theft! (I’ll address the issue with pineapple pizza in later articles, believe you me).
I am a big William Shakespeare fan. For a good 6 years of my life, I devoted almost all of my free time to reading his works and understanding them. Yet, through my reading I came across many theories. One of which claims that he copied the works of Christopher Marlow, and that kind of killed my idolatry, awesomely, for a short period.
You see, that disappointment could really destroy someone, especially if they had built their character traits around someone they idolize. It’s really not just about you or the person you stole from, but also the audience. Hence, why we are here laying it thick like pineapples on pizza (sorry, couldn’t wait).
But let us reel it back from that extreme, back to the thread that binds us all in our journey through the 86400 seconds we endure everyday: Attention seeking.
In the era of social media and “every person becoming a performer “(Bo Burnham: Make Happy) I keep noticing that art is deviating from its original purpose of expression. therefore, quality, towards “Production” therefore quantity. And though, there are many out there who still strive to express themselves in the most original way possible, many are just surfing the inter-webs, shopping (like Winona Ryder) and just using somebody else’s work as their own (CC: Cable DJS).
While many suggest that copying is a form a flattery, it is not! It’s pure theft, it’s pure plagiarism and it is as disgusting as the act of taking someone else’s French fries. Be it an artist, be it a musician, a painter, a filmmaker. These people spent a substantial amount of time working on their pieces and trying to make a living out of them, then someone ‘Winona Ryders’ it as their own just because they have 7 KD to pay for a monthly data plan!
How unfair is that, not only to the artist, but to you too? When you mishmash your persona from other people’s art or work, you turn into this complex creature that surfs in depths that they cannot produce. People will taint you with the attributes of the art you stole “Oh Em Gee, he is so deep” but deep down you know it is not you. You are being diluted and projected under the name of the person from which you stole!
So, I am approaching you, asking you: can you please stop? It sucks for both you and the original master of the work and it just kills off the unique voice most have.
What is even more disturbing, is that if you take a drive in the restaurants area, you’ll find many restaurants that stole the exact same logo from international franchises just by tilting their design, or by creating a variation of it. If brands and businesses are doing it, then how can we blame a population that sees that as a normal everyday act?
Okay, technically we can, because you shouldn’t do it.
At the end, all I can say is: this piece was one of the hardest pieces I had to write to date. I had writer’s block for a good two days. It was so bad that I considered copying somebody else’s work to finish it off. But luckily I did not, because I am a strong woman* who believes in originality.
I kept it original, will you Winona?
Editor’s Note: For more on this topic, check out this awesome video!