This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 31; the thirty-first edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is ‘Strangers in the Night’
If there is any one thing that these times are having an abundance of, it is a lack of proper interpretation. It appears that all the interpretations and conclusions have already been drawn by the past generations and this new generation is busy simply discovering them all one by one. No wonder then that the social media is full of exclamations like ‘yippie!’, ‘I’ve found it!’, ‘Yaaaaa! I’m here!’, ‘Wow! Wow! Wow!’ and you just stand aloof and think: ‘Can’t these dodos do some original thinking?’
‘Gen Y or the Yippie-Generation can either go ga-ga over nothing or the most surprisingly innocuous fact and they leave you breathless by their fascination with the hollowness of their existence,’ fumed a female guest in a bluish-black dress with a low-cut blouse. We were at a party and it was nearing midnight. She turned as she said this and came face-to-face with me. We stared into each other’s eyes like any strangers in the night would… that is without fear of having been discovered thinking aloud a thought that would otherwise be a political and social gaffe!
‘Well, you can’t be meaning only the youngsters of today,’ I said softly and with a slight soufflé of a smile. She was silent so I continued, ‘Age is no bar for being a dodo in 2012, if I may add.’
Her smile became more indulgent and she nodded in agreement. She said, ‘The dodos of 2012… now that is such a charming epithet!’
‘Charm is the most lethal killer,’ I replied and then went on, ‘but I wonder if these dodos are actually interested in the pursuit of creative expression or wish to remain content with the short bursts of applause that they manage to get for their cut-copy strategies?’
‘Are their wows too some secret recipe of cut-and-paste strategy?’
‘Not the wows and the yippies,’ I said, ‘but after their loud offerings, a lot of these people go ahead and paste little interesting nuggets of creative expression as their statuses on their Facebook wall or tweet them with the right fluff of their plumage.’
‘But that then becomes a serious case of plagiarism, doesn’t it?’
‘Not really. Most of the time these copied gems are copied by even the genius that they had copied from. But then this blatant copying really doesn’t bother me.’
‘Really?’ she said and then indicated that we move to a less intrusive corner. We walked to a couple of nicely placed seats near the bay window overlooking the slowly moving traffic. The view from the twenty-second floor was fascinating and now we were in a comparatively quieter and darker side of the huge party hall.
We were silent for some time and then I spoke, ‘I don’t think these dodos copying short ideas, sentences, phrases, and expressions are actually criminals in their own mind. They’ve just not had the right education and tutoring and are like restless souls who dream of getting into the creative limelight fast.’
‘How can copying lead them on into the creative limelight?’ she asked with a cynical smile.
‘They try to learn by copying. Haven’t all the masters done that sometime or the other in their lives? They copy, get applauded, get the energy boost from this applause and then one day they wake up to realise that status updates need to evolve into blog posts. First short posts and then the longer ones. They may even go ahead and use ideas and expressions but will gradually weary of it all. Plagiarism is actually more difficult than the original creative thought.’
‘Are you actually defending plagiarism?’
‘Yes, I am,’ I said, and then continued, ‘these cut-copy artists either fade away into some distant reality of their own existence which has nothing to do with creative expression or metamorphose into their new life of a creative soul.’
‘Don’t you ever write this thought in a blog post,’ she said with a tinge of fear in her voice, ‘or you’ll be torn to pieces by those who take joy in hunting down the plagiarists.’
There was silence for a while until she came close to me… so close that I closed my eyes for a moment.
‘Cut!’ shouted my wife. She was directing this short clip on a new angle on plagiarism. The female in the bluish-black dress with a low-cut blouse sat at a comfortable distance, smiling… as strangers in the night normally do, especially when they know they’d remain close only in a short clip on plagiarism!
02 September 2012
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