Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Flying Snakes, Who Knew?

Just when you think you've cornered the market on innovation, you find out that someone already did it. There was a cartoonist who drew a strip with flying snakes. He smugly went where no other cartoonist had gone. He created a niche. He was quite proud of his unique character that he created out of his own imagination. His strips were mildly funny. It was the concept of the flying snake that made it silly. I gave this cartoonist silent accolades for his original, witty theme. Come to find out, flying snakes do exist in nature. (check out the videos) One can almost hear the snakes go "wheeeeeee" as they fly from one place to another. Not only do they fly, they do so in a floppy, comical kind of way. These snakes, in real life, are way more funny than the cartoonist's strips. OK, they don't actually fly like a bird but they do flee. Even though they are technically jumping in a wiggly sort of way, they are still called flying snakes. Flying snakes, you say, well that cartoonist honestly had no idea. Does it matter? It didn't seem to matter to the person who created Rocky the flying squirrel from the Bullwinkle cartoons. Everyone knew that flying squirrels existed and it didn't matter. So, should you spend your life trying to find a void in the creative world in order to be the "only one"?
I read that many of the new inventions being patented today are just remakes of old, expired patents. Sure they're modernized, but they aren't necessarily original. Try watching the old black and white sitcoms from early TV. You will see how many of those original ideas have been recycled by today's TV writers. Even those original shows "borrowed" from vaudeville and ancient comedians. Surely, after Socrates died from drinking Hemlock, some Greek comedian said, in his monologue before the gladiator festivities, "Hemlock! why didn't someone tell me Hemlock was poisonous?" when making a joke about the philosopher's demise.
The bottom line is, be creative. Follow that inner voice that tells you something is right. If you write, then write and finish things. Then, do it all over again. If you paint then paint...and so on. If it is your passion, follow it. Does it matter if flying snakes really exist? No, but it makes the world that much more fun.
Oh yes, as a side note, the aforementioned cartoonist did not use a flying snake as his hero due to its uniqueness. No, he admitted to using a snake because that was all he could draw accurately.


Jen said...

Flying Snakes!! I want a yard full.

pmrussell said...

Yeah, the problem is, they would fly away.