Has this ever happened to you?
Tonight I was watching Cougar Town, and the info on my guide told me that it was the Thanksgiving episode from the past season.
"Oh," I thought, "This must be when Monica doesn't want to make Thanksgiving supper but everyone convinces her to do it anyways."
Then the cognizant side of my brain caught up and reminded me that I was not watching "Friends" but a different show starring Courtney Cox. Then I thought about how extremely hard it would be to right a television show. I've never met Courtney Cox, but I can imagine it would be hard to sit in a room and write words for her without being bombarded with the ghost of hilarious one liners coming through me. The ghosts of words she had already spoken before. Would I be aware I was doing it?
Like this past week on Mad Men, when Don Draper stole that kid's slogan about "the cure for the common breakfast" and then (spoiler alert) Peggy woke him from his weekend blackout and told him that he had to make it right. And in the end he hired the kid. And just like Don Draper (the only commonality we could ever share. God Dammit) if I was a writer of any sort of television show, I would have to constantly trace my train of thought back to their origins, and cross reference them with every television show. Ever.
Which started me "down the rabbit hole" (not my words.) Do I actually start these little phrases I annoy the crap out of people with; or is "Umm.. Cat Food?" (my only claim to fame) actually from an episode of Three's Company. Did I steal it from John Ritter and play it off as my own. How can we really ever truly separate us from the television scripts me know and love. Is there a separation? I don't know.
Take today for instance today; I had a good text message conversation with a friend, in which every text contained some sort of quote, allusion to, or straight out conversation about 30 Rock, and various other TV shows. Were we having original thoughts? The conversation was really funny, but I feel like I should send Tina Fey a royalty cheque. Yes, we were being clever and funny, and using her words to express ourselves, but was I committing a type of plagiarism? Or is imitation the highest form of flattery?
I hope it's the later. For, I am sure, buried deep within the foundations of this blog are the words of every TV show writer, author, poet, or clever person I've ever heard of, that I could have unintentionally passed off as my own. And here is the scary thing: without even knowing about it. As I was telling a friend the other day 99% of what I write on this blog is the way I see things, and the other 1% is probably me not understanding situations and memories the clearest. And Of that 99% I said probably all of it was exaggeration meant to entertain. But if I learnt how to entertain by mindlessly sitting in front of a TV screen for hours on end, can I really deserve all the credit?
The answer: Yes. Why? Because. Because Why? Because, I painstakingly type every word of every post, and arrange them in order. And no one, and I mean NO ONE, else would ever want to take credit for that. (ha ha)