Alright, so nothing is really original. Not really. All the words have been categorized as noun/verb/adjective; they’ve all been defined and put in a big book. They have been uttered before (except those words that I make up). All of the musical notes have been named. There are only thirty some odd story lines in all of writing, so they say. All the planets and continents have been sorted out, all the oceans sailed, the forests mapped, a lot of species have been classified and so on into infinity. Creative thought is dead, or at least, recycled.
Recycling has become a big thing these days. Everything from computers to batteries to plastic bags has a recycling center. It’s a big business with lots of money and a teeny-tiny bit of altruism for the planet Earth. Not only are consumer goods being recycled, but everything else is, too. Movies, books, music, even politics have all been churned through the big cultural homogenizing machine and placed before our gaping maws as we greedily lap up the flavorless mash with abandon and lack of thought.
Once upon a time, there was a band named Joy Division. They were a good band and about as original as you can be in this crazy, recycled world. They were part of that mixed up, unclassifiable, ‘what the hell do we call this’ punk/post-punk movement of late 70’s. Two of its members were in the crowd at that oh, so fateful first Sex Pistols show when all hell broke loose and the world would never be the same again. Now, that was original. They existed before the internet when you still had to find music the hard way. It all ended when their tortured and epileptic lead singer, Ian Curtis, committed suicide in 1980. He wasn’t the first musician to do so, nor the last. Even Joy Division’s name was not original since they stole it from the Nazis (supposedly, it’s what they called their house of prostitution made up of female Jewish prisoners).
Almost thirty years after Ian Curtis’ untimely death, along comes a band called She Wants Revenge. This band is (was?) very popular with the teeny-bopper, spoon-fed set, from what I hear. From a garage to massive fame in 2.5 seconds – like they do nowadays – flying on the wings that Joy Division sprouted. I happened to hear one of their songs and honestly thought it was an unearthed Joy Division song for a minute. Even the name of the song, Tear You Apart, bears a striking resemblance to Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart. You don’t believe me? Click on this link for She Wants Revenge and then click on this one for Joy Division. Pretty scary, eh? Meanwhile, Joy Division is dead and these plagiarist idiots are raking in the dough.
I would be alright with a remake of Joy Division if they gave credit where credit is due, but these people actually have the balls to say that they’re NOT ripping off Joy Division. “Justin Warfield has stated many times his band is more electronically based often referring to She Wants Revenge as ‘Dance Music’.” (Wiki) Yeah, sure, buddy. You go ahead and pull a Vanilla Ice if you want to, but you can’t fool me, asshat.
And then, there’s The Departed with its 49 wins & 53 nominations internationally. Winner of an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay among others. Adapted from what exactly? It already existed as a brilliant Hong Kong film called Infernal Affairs. Hollywood doesn’t even have the decency to wait a decade to remake movies anymore. As soon as they’re available in English, they’ve already got plans for the American remake. Sometimes, even before that. The Departed won an Oscar for adding 50 unnecessary, dull minutes onto a slick, tight film. Oh, and also for filming it in English because Bog forbid the American viewing public should have to read a movie. “If I wanted to read my movies, Ida got me a magazine! Snort!” How many people are actually aware that The Departed was a remake? How many even care? The Departed disgusts me along with most other crap produced by Hollywood these days.
Hollywood has a long and storied history of remakes. Especially those that make money the first time. How many film adaptations of Shakespeare are there? A lot. Every actor just has to play Hamlet once in his life otherwise he can’t call himself an actor, or some other such rot. This is nothing new. What is new lately is that, in addition to the 800th “new” Shakespearean-inspired teleplay, there is nothing but a sea of remakes of foreign or old TV shows, movies, biopics and the like. When did the last truly original film come out of Hollywood? This also applies to television, not that I watch it. American Idol is a remake of a British show. Yep, not original. SHOCKING.
So, I ask you, American public, is that alright with you? I mean really, is it just fine with you that you’re watching and reading and listening to the same thing year after year? It’s just dandy that you’re just getting repackaged stuff over and over and over again? Do you not yearn for something new? Maybe not necessarily better, but at least different? Something you haven’t seen a million times? Because I do. I want people to push boundaries. I want original thought. I want to hear/watch/read something that makes me think/feel/squirm and I’m not finding it. Not in Hollywood nor on the radio nor on the TV anyway.