Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Esoterica, Misanthropy, Pies

Josh writes:

Originality: tricky bastard, isn't it? I blame modern plumbing -- if there was a bit more lead in our piping, the world would contain many more drooling simpletons, who I could then impress and enthrall with pithy banter and sardonic wit, safe in the knowledge that anyone else who might have come up with it is now chewing on furniture and arguing with the cow. But no, you think you've turned out something that makes you Witty McWitterson of the clan McWitty, and then find three dozen folks who got there before you, wrote the book, made the movie and printed the T-shirt.

For instance, I thought I was being very droll and obscure in the keywords I picked for our Blogwise entry, and for a minute it looked like we were the only site to appear under "misanthropy" -- until I realised I'd spelt it wrong. Nope: 7 sites listed for "misanthropy", 11 for "esoterica", and 33 for "pies". Fair enough on the last one -- everyone loves pies. Big, steamy pies.


Sorry, we were talking about pies?* Oh, right.

Now, while it can be dispiriting to have it hammered home that you aren't the font of innovation you thought you were, it isn't really that big a problem most of the time -- if I've made friends and influenced people with some off-the-cuff rejoinder that some guy in Mozambique also came up with last Friday, well, chances are neither of us will ever know about it. Even the global community of the Internet is still big enough that a bit of repetition is hard to spot.

Go into a smaller environment, though, and it can get to be an issue -- the next smug bollocks I hear paraphrase that Oscar Wilde quote in relation to Katherine Rich's dumping is going home minus their primary reproductive organs.

And you know what? I'll bet you someone else is penning a piece on the current ubiquity of that quote right now. I am not a beautiful, unique snowflake. I am not a beautiful, unique snowflake. I am not a beautiful, unique snowflake. I am not a beautiful, unique snowflake. I am not a beautiful, unique snowflake....

* Joke stolen from Simpsons episode 8F09 ("Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk"). Fuck you.

1 comment:

RSJS said...

You ARE a beautiful unique snowflake, Mr Palanhiuk.