Friday, April 5, 2013

Come Original (this is a song title from a 311 song, just to cover my bases)

A word (or 1500) on content and its originality:

I provide jokes that pop into my bat-shit crazy kid-damaged brain all the time on my page. It’s my pleasure. It’s my outlet. It’s my escape from the world of toddler and preschooler conversation where I reside most of the time. I (like everyone else) am influenced by others I speak with and read. In other words, if you say something like “awesome sauce” to me and I like it then I’m going to use it in conversation later. I am pursuing the idea in my head of being a comic and a writer, so when I write or make a joke that is my conversation; that is my speaking. There is nothing new under the sun and most every joke that I see and that you see is probably not original in the strictest sense (unless you are Louis CK, who as far as I can tell is an original comedic genius of the likes that we rarely see); Someone has said it or something like it before. Writers and comedians may be influenced by other’s work without even realizing it though. How many times have you made a joke and then realized it was just a rehash of a Seinfeld episode or a one liner from Chandler on Friends? Happens to me all the time. I’m not smart enough to filter everything I say and write through an originality separator, so if I say something that sounds like something you have heard, read, said or written before then it may be that I was exposed to it and forgot or it may be that I was inspired by the same type of event, the same type of media and sometimes the same circle of friends. It probably also means you are hilarious and it stuck with me even if I don’t remember who you were or why. Of course I try to absorb hilarious when it crosses my path. I also try to tell all 1300 of my friends about other hilarious people when I get the chance without becoming a page sharing bombardment to people.

I spend plenty of time (mostly at night when I should be sleeping or during naps/school when I should be cleaning and laundering, though today has been an exception) coming up with posts, ideas, editing and creating photos and trying to be something that is not exactly like every other thing you see online every time you look at the newsfeed. I schedule those posts to come out throughout the next day when I’m on top of my game or at least keep them in a clipboard for easy sharing later. I hope that’s not a betrayal of trust to find out I don’t always post “live” but I do spend time with my kids… a lot… during the day and I do try to keep up with comments/messages on my phone (probably too often, I’m not perfect and never claimed to be). What’s important to know about me, though, is that original content is my goal. That is what I want; so if I know something I am doing has been done before then I probably will just bypass it all together. It wouldn’t help me feel funnier to steal other people’s material, it would make me feel like a putz and I try to avoid feeling like a putz. Every post you see on my site or this page with my name/page on it was created right here on my computer and in my occasionally funny mind, every story you read is true (or at least very close to true with some artistic license) and every emotion and feeling of joy and frustration and everything in between I share with you is real and something I think you will relate to. I promise to keep it that way. If I don’t think it’s funny or relatable I don’t post it, there are more than enough people on social media who feel the need to post every 20 minutes (and plenty of readers who enjoy that apparently), but that’s not the kind of page I am trying to run here. I create original content and promote that content with some of the larger sharing pages when I think it is something that will be well received and perhaps drive some readers my way, but I do not, have not and will never steal from another comedian/blogger knowingly in an attempt to reach some undefined goal of X number of readers or fame (which comes so readily to a smart ass on Facebook, right?) Disclaimer: that was sarcasm and I did not create the idea of sarcasm, I only speak it (but wouldn’t it be awesome if your Dad were the inventor of sarcasm?) With all of that said, I cannot guarantee that I won’t come up with something another person has already thought of (Legos are pointy, kids are loud, repetition is monotonous, kid’s television is annoying) or that I won’t read something, forget I did, then think I’m very clever when it comes out of the pie hole on my face or the typing fingers that are the window to my demented psyche. If that happens and you point it out, I’ll gladly apologize to you and the audience (or give you some insight/proof as to why/how/where the idea popped in to my mind if I did not in fact pick it up from you).

Reading of each other’s tripe online is a reward and an act of kindness in my mind, and I think about that every day when I see Parenting Partners reading, liking, sharing and participating in the conversation here at Dad on The Run. I thank you for reading; it means the world to me… seriously. The number of readers I have means little to me though; I would gladly lose 90% of my readers to keep the loyal and engaged ones (if you’ve read this far, that’s you). I try my best to save some time during the day to read and participate with other pages, because I want them to feel the way I do when people laugh and carry on with me (I also do it, because when I’m funny on other pages, some of their readers might like to come over and check me out, so I’m not claiming to be some selfless hero here).

I was irritable this morning, because someone accused me of sharing/stealing unfairly without giving me any proof or detail of what content they thought I stole. After reviewing their page, I could still find nothing there that was more than vaguely similar- in the way all parenting blogs are- with anything I have shared. What I did see were shares of my content with their page (attributed as they should be), compliments and interaction with their page from mine and promotion/sharing of their content on my own page with similar credits provided and footprints of what looked like a pretty friendly relationship. When the accuser wouldn’t tell me what they thought I stole, and asked me to let it go, I got angry then a boring and petty (on everyone’s part) argument broke out. I tried to extend an olive branch which was spit back in my face so I was sad/mad to lose a friend over what? I still don’t know. I don’t understand how anyone who reads me with any regularity, especially some of my more serious work, would think I would steal something from them for an E card or meme poster, those things are silly and fun I don’t expect to ever win the golden globe of parenting memes. I don’t care about numbers or popularity that much and the cards I make are meant to parody the silliness of the SomeECards that abound in this place. If I parody your SomeECard it is not to steal your idea, it is to ridicule the idea and its gender bias/one-sidedness. I have no desire to become the E-Card king, in fact I find most of them to be banal. Still I wouldn’t want to “steal” one; I credit everything I can (and I’m getting better at it with experience), I even credit public-domain pictures I use in my Parenting truth posters these days… I support artists and their right to be recognized for their intellectual property so to be accused of anything less doesn’t bring out the best in me.

Anyway, I thought you guys deserved to know why I was pissy this morning and to entertain yourselves with the drama (Young & the Restless style- stole that reference from a reader. Thanks, Jenny Pinkham!) I was upset by the accusation and snapped at my kid for being a kid while I was irritated at the left hook from right field and I felt terrible about that. That is when I left the argument, left the page, removed them from my page and now it’s just a person that I used to know which doesn’t please me. If you figure out or know who it was based on mutual relationships, please keep it to yourself he/she is unhappy about it all too and probably regrets a bleed over of frustrations in to his/her “real” life as well and hopefully will come to realize that I didn’t intentionally steal anything from him/her and if provided the particulars I would have gladly apologized, retracted and/or provided evidence to the contrary but I can’t very well ignore an accusation of stealing especially when a person won’t tell me what it is I supposedly stole. My honor means something to me. I just needed the catharsis of writing about it and will now resume the regularly scheduled program. Have a great day, Parenting Partners.


  1. Sorry he/she had to be a dick about it. :(
    Lots of us share the same crap all over the internet. I too do it. I try to come up with my own but they always end up being really long and drawn out and by the end of it, it was nothing more than me ranting....just as I'm doing here. LOL

    I hope you're having a better day! I love your page and your witty humor!

  2. Excellent. I missed the drama, but I would have called bullshit. You ROCK on!! - Precious Princess

  3. I can understand your frustrations! GMtBP have been accused of stealing from another page as well and I let it get into my real life as well. ♥DC

  4. To be honest, I think you've given *the situation* more time than it deserves. But I completely appreciate the need to purge.

    My approach was summed up by Lemmy, when he said "You can't win 'am all. Where would you put 'em?" Of course, he wasn't the first to say it, but no matter. He says it best. What more can you ask for?

  5. Ahh, Lemmy! True, I went overboard. I actually warned my readers not to read it, haha. It was a great writing exercise though and I felt much better afterwards and that's what's really important right? If your blog doesn't make you feel better then you're doing it wrong (that's what I say anyway). Thanks for reading and commenting!

  6. It bothered me a lot. I really try to do this right. Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts and letting me know I'm not the only one who lets FB bubble up on this side of the screen sometimes.

  7. Yeah, it wasn't about sharing though it was an accusation of outright stealing and relabeling as my own. I just think that's insulting on so many levels... why would I steal from a page I follow and follows me? I could easily set up another account and steal at will on the sly if that's what I wanted to do. What's the point though? What kicks am I supposed to get from stealing one joke? I think anyone who reads me knows I have a few of my own, most of them aren't funny, but I have a few. :)

  8. Don't sweat the small stuff. You did what you could. Don't let them poop in your cheerios ( a line I borrowed from someone else). You enjoy what you do so keep doing it.


  9. Very true. Thanks for stopping by, Andrew!