The Internet is both good and bad.

5 06 2010

About once a week I come across something on the Internet which grabs my attention and gives me little thrills of geek-joy as I eat up every morsel of it. This week it has been the “RedLetterMedia” reviews in which some guy on Youtube disects the first two lamentable Star Wars prequels in the guise of a serial killer with a hilariously droll and slurry voice. Not only is his schtick funny, with various cuts to captured hookers in his basement and pictures of clowns but his analysis of everything that is wrong with the prequels is spot on and very smartly edited together to prove his point. I’ve lost about 8 hours of my life to this and other reviews he has done but after gorging myself of this delicious treat and having everything I personally thought was wrong with George Lucas done in such an entertaining and expert way I’m feeling a little sour.

This is because once again somebody on the Internet has done something I would have done had they not got there first. I wouldn’t have gone for the same serial killer character as RedLetterMeida did but I would have done something dark along those lines, possibly with more sexual overtones (as is my style.)  No matter, any notions I had of doing sarcastic and entertaining reviews of big name Sci-Fi franchises are six feet under now as I would only look like a poor imitation of this guy.

This is what both great and terrible about the Internet. In the days of TV when you needed to convince lots of people with money that your idea is a winner and then only way to get your idea to the masses is through the “top-down” medium of broadcast television. Few people were lucky enough to find a platform for their vision, and those that did had to make it have as wide a market appeal as possible to justify the airtime and expense. Now with the Internet everyone has a chance to share their creativity and this is great. But it also means every time you’ve had an idea you think is stunning original  you go onto google and find somebody already did it two years ago and probably better than you had imagined in your head. Which is kind of disheartening.

But it is not just the Internet which has been stealing the ideas in my head, James F*cking Cameron has been doing it too! Around when I was doing my GSCE’s in Art (1995 if you can convince of such a distant time) I had an idea to put into the science fiction universe which kept a awkward teenager amused while others of his age were peaking too early with sex and booze. I did a landscape painting of a scene  featuring a race of blue humanoid aliens living on an Earth-like moon of a gas giant in a nearby star system. The idea developed in my head long before a certain recent movie came out, they were various shades of colour from blue to grey (mirroring how human beings come in different colours) the planet wasn’t toxic to human beings and the nearby star was Tau Ceti rather Alpha Centauri (where Avatar’s Pandora is situated) but little details like those are not going to convince the general public, should my fevered dreams ever come to fruition, that my race of blue (and grey) humanoids living on a moon around a gas giant are vastly different from Cameron’s gigantic space elves.

My race of blue/grey humanoids would also be very different culturally, I modelled them more on the French rather than the generic tribal society at harmony with nature. Haughty intellectuals with a backstory of making terrible mistakes fuelled by hubris and then pretending it wasn’t their fault or just irrelevant. They would also have a snide view of Humanity’s attempts at culture and art (much like our gallic cousins see of us Anglos) but this would never result into open hostility between the two speices, just endless arguements and bickering between otherwise allies. They would be as roughly technologically advanced as Humanity was in the setting and there would be a damn good reason why they were so human-like rather than freakishly alien as current theories suggest ETI could be like. This was all conjured in my head long before Cameron got his pretty little 3D movie out in cinemas but now even though the similarities are superficial it’s kinda deflated me.

Really, I should lock myself away in my Polar Sex Dome (see my previous blog post) for ten years with no access to outside culture and just beaver away at translating the universe inside my head into some kind of real narrative. Unhindered by the de-motivational blow of someone else coming out with something a little similar to my ideas and then being worried whether my work seems hackneyed in comparison I would return after ten years of hedonism and creativity in the Arctic wastes and unleash my vision upon the world. Some would say “oh, this species of interstellar socialist environmentalists who are descended from Neanderthals are a lot like such and such” and I would reply, “maybe on the surface but as I’ve been locked away in a tundra sex palace with no connection with the outside it’s just a co-incidence. So fuck you.” Then I would finally get things done instead of being constantly distracted by the million other creative minds all working towards similar goals.

This is why the Internet is both good and bad for someone like me, it’s both inspiration and demotivation. I guess the trick is to balance the two without giving up and becoming a soul-less office drone (and believe me, my universe is going to address that particular life choice……..unless somebody else beats me to it!)

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