Remixing and Me


During Humanities class today we watched the four installments of Kirby Ferguson’s “Everything’s a Remix”.  It basically talked about how everything is originally a copy of something else, but edited a little by transforming and combining your idea with someone else’s ideas. However, I was really surprised when it got to the part where it talked about how Star Wars was created by remixing a bunch of other scenes from movies. I always thought that Star Wars was one of the more original ideas and that everyone remixes from Star Wars, not the other way around. It changed my view of the world since now I feel that every song, book, and movie is simply a variation of something else and nobody is actually really “creative”. This just goes to show that “everything’s a remix” nowadays. 

The suggestion that “everything’s a remix” is true for essentially everything nowadays, especially since so many things have already been done that it’s hard to create something no one else has ever thought of, but I feel that that in the early days, there had to have been an original idea to start with, otherwise there wouldn’t be anything to remix from now. 

There are just so many ideas that have been already thought of in the history of mankind, so many inventions that have been and gone, that it is hard to be “creative” in the world that we live in now. Even if you think that you have been original and invented something entirely by yourself, you might later find out that actually, someone already thought of that exact thing and you copied them (whether it be accidental or on purpose). But while you are still thinking about how “creative” you are, you might publish whatever your idea is and start taking credit for it, only to have someone else claim that it was actually their idea and that you copied them, so start suing you. Although most of these claims are true, there are a few people in the world who would do anything to make money, so claim that it was their idea first and sue you as well, which makes “remixing” hard. 

While people occasionally copy by accident, some do it on purpose as well. This is totally okay – as long as they either give credit where credit is due, or transform and combine it enough with your own ideas that it becomes something new. If you don’t do that though, that is just flat out copying and is illegal. Even I “remix” things a lot in my everyday life – when I write things in Humanities, I will usually remix things – whether it be a line from a book, something someone said once, a quote from a tv show or movie, an example provided to help, or even key words from the question – I combine them with my own ideas to help me write a better piece. Even right now I am doing that – the whole topic of this reflection is from Kirby Ferguson’s “Everything’s a Remix” videos, and some of the points I have talked about are points that people in my class have raised. I draw information from these sources because they transform my writing to become better, as well as helping inspire and influence me to think of more ideas from myself. 

Even though this video had a more negative message (since it talked about how no one is truly original and that everyone copies from each other), it ended on a positive note. It stated the suggestion that while we copy, that is also how we learn. To be become one of the greats, you must first learn from the earlier great inventors and creators. The earlier great inventors have probably even copied from the even earlier greats before becoming good at what they do, and so on. In my opinion, everyone must first learn, and in doing so copy, until people can develop their ideas based on inspiration from others. 

Featured image: here

Video: here