Thursday, February 5, 2009

Originality is DEAD! Tell your friends.

Last night I was kvetching to DH about the fact that the latest novel I read had some themes that were a little too similar to the themes I've been writing about in my little book-ish project. I was complaining about how there just aren't any new ideas out there, how even the most original works I've read recently have become tarnished when I find another book with similar storylines/characters, etc. Now, it seems that I'm falling victim to the same problems. I can only hope that my characters and perpsective are soooo unique (yeah right) that people will want to read my shit anyway. We'll see.

So then, we moved on to some other topic, and I got this terrific idea for my next writing project. It was what Oprah describes as a "lightbulb moment." ;) I was basically bitching about how happy I would be if I never had to work in an office ever again. I suddenly had this awesome idea for a story: what if, sometime in the not-so-distant future, the U.S. government found a simple solution to our economic woes? What if part of that solution was that all offices were disbanded and workers HAD to telecommute?

I'm thinking, every home is equipped with an entire wall that is a television screen, so even though you're in your house, you see the other workers in your office in little Brady Bunch-type boxes on your wall all day long. Of course, they can see you, too, and this is the new face of the American work force. You log into your home office and are "on" all day except for your designated breaks, when you're allowed to log off and go unseen for however long your break is. The internet becomes the driving source of social interaction. There is literally no need to leave your home most of the time, and the government issues restrictions on how often you can drive your car (due to the environmental issues brought on by our overuse of carbon-based fuels, don'tcha know).

The relative connundrum, of course, is that people will become so antisocial that our society begins to crumble. People become socially inept and forget how to get along with one another in person. They forget how to relate... and indeed, perhaps they forget how to actually find suitable mates. Perhaps by saving the world from bread lines, rationing, and global warming, the government causes us to lose that which makes us social, human creatures. And forget about reproducing - we can't even speak to each other in person, much less do the nasty!

What if evolution starts kicking in after a few generations of population decline brought on by mass agoraphobia and social ineptitude? What if the few babies that manage to be born have no reproductive organs?

Anyway... as I went on and on and DH's eyes started to glaze over, he had his own light bulb moment. Suddenly he looked at me and said, "Sounds like 1984."

Well, slap my ass and call me George Orwell, he's kind of right.

Shoot. There really are no original ideas left in the world.


Anonymous said...

Since when do you have to speak to do the nasty? :)

Yes, I'm still lurking. You got me on this one

You are brilliant.

Mala said...

Wait, wait... that sounds like "Children of Men".

By the way, did you read Stephen King's scathing critique of the "Twilight" author whats-her-face?
Ugh, so tired, not sure I'm making sense, must go to bed.
Write anyway girlfriend!

Bev said...

Linda! So glad you're still getting here from time to time! :) THANKS!

Mala - welcome back! Yes, the Children of Men thought occurred to me the other day, too. There are actually a bunch of works with similar themes. Sigh....

Yes - heard what King said about Meyer. Whatev - Twilight was her FIRST NOVEL EVER! King has been writing for decades. He needs to cut her some slack. Also, - pot calling the kettle black? I outgrew King's books in like, High School, yo. :D