Same Ol' Same Ol'
Used by permission from aitoff via Pixabay.
It's A Whole Different Batch Of Same
Used by permission from aitoff via Pixabay.
What does it take to be different in this world today? I am going to go with "being a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest," Because whenever I think of different, I think of one-legged men. But I am sure you do the same.
But take Hollywood, for example. I have long ago renounced hope that Hollywood will provide me any kind of scintillating newness, or in any manner lead me to an enriched meaning of life. And The National Enquirer, while once a reputable news source...*cue incredulous laughter*
For me, the line in the sand came the moment they remade Beaches. I just knew it was all over. I love Beaches. I am not crying. You are crying. You do not mess with my Bette. Sacrilege! And they did it time and time again. Here is a list of movies, spinoffs, reboots and rehashes that Hollywood has shamelessly remade in a belligerent attempt to mess with my personal childhood and extract more gold from the mine of cash cows and easy money.
- Clash of the Titans
- Beaches. I need a moment.
- The Jungle Book
- The Lion King
- Total Recall
- Fright Night
- Point Break
- Freaky Friday
- Conan the Barbarian
- Red Dawn
- The Fog
- Beauty & The Beast
- The Amazing Spider-Man, and...
I am positive this list is in some grandiose way abridged. And it will continue to grow: it will only be a matter of time before they remake The Greatest American Hero, at which point I will be leaving for Jupiter because NO.
Seriously - the Hollywood powers that be have not made much effort to churn out much new material over the past few decades, because they have instead banked heavily on cash cows rather than risk. Some movies are heavily bloated embellishments of a much simpler story in order to extract as much coin from us as possible. I am looking at you, Peter Jackson and The Hobbit Trilogy with your sick, twisted sacrilege of Dwarf-Elf romance.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 says "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun."
What dark sorcery is this? (I am not talking about Ecclesiastes, which is from The Bible and which is not reported to be a book on dark sorcery.) Ultimately, creativity has fallen by the wayside in favor of safe bets, bankable trilogies and comic book blather. Now, I appreciate being caught in a good Spider-Man web just like the rest of you. But that is exactly my point. In the forthcoming Spider-Man installment, which is a multi-verse adaptation, we now know that previous actors who portrayed villains have reenlisted to reprise their roles. And there are even rumors of all three Spider-Man actors appearing in the same movie: Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland. Together. All of them. Together. Spider-MAN that's a lot of arachnid-people sauntering around! Sounds like a sticky situation: I am not confident they will sling me to the theater, though it wield such immense star power. Far too many men in revealing Spandex for my tastes. But there goes Hollywood, retreading un-carefully, yet again.
Heck, they are even resurrecting The Matrix. For now, I will take the yellow pill and put a kibosh on all this recycling. At least until they decide to fuse The Matrix with Beaches, and have Bette Midler kill everyone with a flying crane kick set to Wind Beneath My Wings. We vote with our wallet, no? I would rather watch the original Matrix, except of course The Matrix Revolutions, which made me wonder for two hours and nine minutes what I did that was so wrong.
Granted, the geek in me screamed for joy in the theater when the preview for the first Transformers movie appeared. But since that time, Michael Bay has destroyed everything: all cities, all robots, all things, people, everything, the universe, God, everything everywhere. That seems to always be how it ends with these robotic reboots: destruction.
The Difference Is In Our Sameness
Used by permission from aitoff via Pixabay.
Look around you and you will see that we are all human. Except for that one guy wearing the bra on his head; he is from Uranus. *cue junior highers everywhere snickering* Everyone else, though, is human. We are all essentially the same, and we all put our pants on the same way. Except for bra-head-guy of course.
- We celebrate birthdays
- We hug our moms
- We take vacations
- We need to get our beauty sleep
- We love our dogs or cats. Or our ant colony.
- We appreciate a good movie
- We get a little tipsy around glass #3
- We gather around the dinner table
- We open gifts during the holidays
- We have bacteria crawling all over us because we are inherently revolting
We truly are all the same. Yet, within the similarity spectrum, there are branching arteries of deviation. Some of us are creatives; others for whatever ridiculous reason enjoy trigonometry. Some of us are altruistic to a fault; others penny-pinch out of IDD (impending disaster dread; aka anxiety). Some of us are gifted in engineering; others prefer chaos. Those of us who are of higher intellect enjoy the opera; all other sub-creatures listen to Michael Bolton.
Same, but different.
Bra-head-guy over there likes his spaghetti with crushed Oreos in it. Joe Smith way up in the stands likes to eat his pizza with anchovies. Jane Doe across from him would not touch anchovies with a 10-meter cattle prod.
I am an easygoing guy. I can roll with the punches. (Please use kid gloves and promise to shadowbox.) "Reboot away, Hollywood!" I will cry. As I mentioned in last week's blog, the only constant is change. It is truly the truest truth.
But when "same" is marketed as "change", "new" or "fresh", I think we are every one of us smart enough to see through the ruse, and detect when a charlatan is offering us oceanfront property in Utah.
Except for bra-head-guy of course.
Strike a Pose
Used by permission from RhodaB via Pixabay
"Vague, Vague...let your potty move to the tooting." My favorite song by Moderna!
I jest. It's actually "Vogue. Vogue. Let your body move to the music" by Madonna. A great song. One of the refrains repeated over and over again is "Strike a pose." And that is my question to you, O Distinguished Voice Talent. A question that comes from within a statement. A Questatement.
What pose will you strike?
When the music stops, and we are all frozen in time, what will your pose be? I remember in Dead Poets Society - which, mercifully, has not been remade - the late Robin Williams' character Professor Keating, O Captain My Captain, encouraged his students to sound their barbaric yawp...and then to find their own stride. In the courtyard of the school, boys could be seen strutting with a signature style that was uniquely theirs. It was an exercise demonstrating the dangers of conformity.
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."
- Oscar Wilde
Are you a reboot? A bloated embellishment of a much simpler story?
We all compare ourselves to others. I even inadvertently compare my children to each other sometimes. It is not fair: yet it is an easy trap to fall into. But to quote my colleague Jeffrey Baker in his latest blog: "The Comparison Trap is only a trap if you don't have an escape plan ready to go." Brilliant. I will be stealing this and making bumper stickers.
While the context of his blog is admittedly different, the base truth is the same: if you are comparing yourself to others, what do you gain by that? If you are seeking to draw inspiration from them, to replicate them, and thus improve your own signature style based on their model, fine. However, if you are seeking only to reproduce it exactly, you are resorting to nothing more than a cookie cutter wanna-be. A carbon copy. A cheap imitation. Do not do that. Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.
Be new. Be fresh. That is what will get you cast. No one wants more of the same different. They want the different same. Chew on that for a while.
“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.”
What pose will you strike? How will you differentiate yourself in voiceovers? What is your escape plan?
For goodness' sake, please take the bra off of your head.
Now, let us address something. Why, you ask, did I pepper my blog with imagery of Stormtroopers? Easy. They are all the same. They all sound the same. They are, in fact, clones. And they are lousy shots who do not hit their targets.
Do you get it now? Time to stand out, my friends.
Used by permission from GlauchauCity via Pixabay
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