Monday, August 9, 2010

I'm jealous.

Actually, I'm envious. Despite popular use, jealous doesn't accurately describe what I'm feeling. Last week, the movie Kick-Ass was released on DVD, and I got it and watched it and enjoyed it. (I wasn't thrilled with the particular treatment, but I loved the concept and story behind it.) I'm envious of Kick-Ass because it's such an obviously wonderful plot. As the main character says in the opening scenes: "I always wondered why nobody did it before some point in our lives, we all wanted to be a superhero." It then goes on to follow the story of a guy who did it. He dressed up, he jumped around, he went out looking for trouble, and found it.

Two years ago, I was even more envious of the movie Hancock with Will Smith. I won't spoil that one if you haven't seen it, but what an incredible, brilliant, creative plot/characterization. It starts with a superhero that has amnesia and doesn't know who he is or where he comes from, and just gets better from there on in.

Since I'm currently working on a project that involves full immersion virtual reality, I'm also a little nervous of stealing from someone I can't help but be envious of: Piers Anthony. His novel Killobyte is one of my favorites.

I do occasionally feel a little down when thinking of, discovering, or watching what I consider creative brilliance, but mostly I am nervous of stealing the ideas. Shakespeare said there is nothing new under the sun. Considering the recent technological developments of the last century and a half, I'm not convinced he was in a good position to make this judgement. Nevertheless, even something as "recent" as superheros may not necessarily be "new."
"Gods. Angels. Different cultures call us by different names. Now all of a sudden it's 'superhero.'" -Hancock
There is even a book called Our Gods Wear Spandex by Christopher Knowles that discusses this concept of superheroes being a new incarnation of an ancient human concept.

I don't mind running along side creative brilliance in a similar, imaginative footrace, but I don't want to steal someone else's shoes trying to leave my own footprints. In the end, I guess it comes down to this:

Yes, I'm envious, but instead of standing in awe, or matching their footsteps, I'm trying to run my own race and, just maybe, I'll meet them at the finish line.

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