Blogging: the sudden expiration of an inspiration

    (Or: “The Unbearable Lightness of being be-Mused”)?

I‘d thought about little else all day. Somebody had played Carly Simon’s ‘You’re so Vain’ as I
unloaded my tools. And it hit me, you know, that eco-friendly fluorescent lightbulb hanging over the head: “Perfect song to parody, to ‘Weird-Al’, Johnny.” Just write a first verse, an adoring rhyming account of my early years, with enough detail to justify the first chorus:

“I’m so vain/ I’m fairly sure this song is about me./

I’m so va-in../ I’m sure this f*cking song is about me, ’bout me, ’bout me.”

And then after a second verse mentioning the sorry State of a Pennsylvania somehow buggering along despite my prolonged absence, the Chorus’ll go:

“Pennsylvain../-ia wonder how they do it without me/
 Penn-syl-va-in../ Ya look like an eraser without me. -out me, -out me.”

Nifty, huh? But wait. The third verse, after the break, sings about family home movies, an’ how they dumbly gave ’em to me to Edit, and how it turned out, y’know, “…totally clips of the son…”

Neat. Or so I thought.
So after quick-fix-ing a couple carpentry screw-ups caused by inattention, I came home, primed to Create. Just a quick refresher on the original lyrics, to ‘mine’ ’em for un-thought-of ideas…
Google had the You-Tube video, lyric sites, and also a dedicated Wiki page for the song.
Blithely, I clicked on that, and thus die-eth the dream. ‘In Popular Culture’ listed, oh, about a
hundred satirical versions and references, many of them as witty(?) as my proposal. Not yet
giving up totally, I tried to get the video to load, and while waiting, noticed a spoof version,
something about ‘Misheard Lyrics’. Watched enough of it to realize that the wheel I was sure I’d invented had already rolled around the world a couple billion times.
Oh well. Fun while it lasted. I’ll just have to pick a less ripe target. ‘Ave Maria’?

Wu: So, did you ever Google whether ‘Going…going…Guano’©®™ is ‘your baby’ as they say?
Me: Maybe some day, mebbe next week/ Can’t you see I’m on…a losing streak?
Wu: Aww, go for it, Warren. You can have anyone you want, remember?
Me: Um, yeah, I remember when that wuz true.


9 thoughts on “Blogging: the sudden expiration of an inspiration

  1. ordinarybutloud

    Try Amazing Grace. I just heard that recently and it set off a whole slew of random adolescent memories which I’m going to spare you for now (but maybe not forever). Yes, I try not to think this way about my creative ideas because everything I ever do has been done before, much better. Acknowledging that is a fast route to writer’s block.

  2. jsolberg

    @ordinarybutloud – Very interesting coincidence: I had about a half hour during work when I was going through exactly that Amazing Grace in my head, wishing I were home just to enjoy ‘doin’ the versions to death’ instead of nailing lumber.Found myself wondering what life would be like if I succumbed to compulsions like that. And then decided to be mature and wait, worked on ‘so Vain’, went home, it died, and here we are, ha.Yes, the ‘why bother, it’s been done.’ wet blanket puts out lots of fires within. Avoid eye contact.

  3. dirtbubble

    Having an original idea aint what it used to be. Speaking of expired inspiration, that’s all I got. Gee. I always liked Carly Simon’s mouth, even as a kid – I just want to crawl inside it.

  4. elgan

    I just finished reading a book where one of the characters is trying to reinvent the lightbulb by systematically going through Edison’s notes. Then he reenacts Franklin’s experiment with the key on the kite. I guess we just have to accept that any great idea we may have has already been had before us.

  5. jsolberg

    @elgan – Ha. I’d like to read that book, it probably has a deep point on originality. (Twice in the last couple year I caught myself re-writing a post based on an idea I’d already done but had forgotten.) Guess we just wait till it gets to where putting on a pair of shoes every morning feels like a new discovery. ‘Wow, they even got lefts and rights; clever, I say.Wonder which one goes where?’

  6. andyglasser

    The upside is, I once wanted to doctor up one of those I Want To Believe posters from the X-Files, the one with the UFO flying in the sky, for my daughter but instead I wanted Santa Claus with his reindeer, because she was really holding on, and then I thought, “someone must have thought of this already,” and lo and behold, I found it. It saved me a lot of time.


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