Are You an Original?

"Originality is undetected plagiarism." William Inge

I once heard David Foster demand some American Idols to bring 'originality' to the table. Leave aside the cold, hard fact that I don't know what this means these days - especially considering that apparently all has been said and done - last I check David Foster wasn't exactly an 'original.' At least not in the way I interpret the concept and definition of the word. Being anointed the first to do something is a tough lineage to trace back. Was Foster an innovator?

I look around and hardly see most artists bring anything new to the table; just new interpretations and variations of a preceding form or idea. Scratch Bob Dylan and find Woody Guthrie? A more blatant example is remaking films like 'The Omen' almost exactly as the original. What's the point?

This is fine if a new version can improve the last; or enlighten us. However, it annoys and comes off somewhat disingenuous when someone demands you be original - especially if that someone is not so themselves. It seems as though selling and making millions gives you a free pass into being 'original.' Integrity has nothing to do with it.

Ironically, the immensely likable and talented Taylor Hicks won AI - and he sounds like Michael McDonald and bops like Ray Charles. He's a throwback. A neo-soulster. So much for 'originality.' That's a good thing. Right?

1 comment:

  1. The Commentator,

    I am definitely not an original. I am a duplicate.

    Peace and mirth!



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