what if we had just
lived on clouds
instead of the solid formations
we call “land”— coincidentally
synonymous to a verb
keep your feet
on the ground, they say
is this what it feels—
would feel like to float?
your hand rested on mine
as we watched the planet
shrink under ourselves,
and nothing had ever looked
like you ever in all
of human history—
in that moment, could
we have been soaring?
what goes up will
come down, they say
would we be dancing
in the rain even before it
came down on the earth from
thirty thousand feet above:
the predecessor of a tragedy,
or would the rain persist
and we come down
with the mist?
the wind blows
one hundred and fifty
miles per hour
and the temperature is thirty
and there is no oxygen and
you’d die within seconds,
but i say
gravitational laws and physics
will keep me from the clouds, yes—
but they will not keep me
from floating away with you
if just to feel content
before i die within seconds.
Basically, I’ve spent the morning sat in front of the tv watching the NBA Finals, and the expired hours of this afternoon watching The Social Network. Needless to say, I’ve been really really REALLY counterproductive today, and I just want to do something. And so here we are.
Stream of consciousness post? Maybe.
So yesterday was the 116th Philippine Independence Day, and to celebrate it, Filipinos everywhere had been contributing to the hashtag RP612fic on Twitter, in which they post fictional tidbits relating Philippine history and popular culture. I was kind of keen on just enjoying the incredibly witty things other people were posting, until I came across one particular tweet that went something like “Rizal: Okay? / Bonifacio: KKK.” and thought it was hilarious, except for the fact that it didn’t really make any sense, so I decided, y’know, why not make it into a recognizable graphic? Five minutes later:
It was obviously made on a whim, so I assumed nobody would notice it, or at the very most, notice it in passing and maybe laugh a little. A few minutes later, it had like five favorites, and to be honest, I was already duly satisfied with myself.
A few hours later, while I was watching my brother and his team play basketball, I check Twitter, and by some miracle, the tweet had gotten over 300 retweets and around the same number of favorites. My interactions wouldn’t stop moving. I wanted to happy dance. I was also momentarily troubled by the fact that if I ever did get famous, (as if!!) my interactions would always resemble this madness, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted that, especially if there was gonna be a mix-in of hate in there. Maaaaad respect for all these celebrities.
Anyway, when I got home, it had quickly reached a thousand RT’s, and then an hour later, two thousand. My friends had been congratulating me, telling me they were proud of me, I couldn’t really make out if they were serious or, like, kidding. I mean, I was like, oh man, this is gonna be my legacy! but then I was like, but I didn’t come up with this whole entire idea aside from actually editing the graphic to look like this, because, let’s be honest, I basically looked for a TFiOS poster and changed the components but kept the shapes in place, and by then the complexity of intellectual property had already mind-fucked me so I decided I didn’t want to think about it and proceeded to watch An Acoustic Evening with The Maine, which by the way, was amazing.
And then, I find out people had already been reposting the graphic without so much as a CTTO, and at first, y’know, I tried to not feel so affected. I mean, they must have liked it enough to repost, right? That it was a good thing, right?
But after a while, I was starting to feel like it wasn’t a good thing.
I know it took like five minutes and I hadn’t originally made the Okay? Okay. poster I used as a base, and neither did I come up with the baseline of the joke in the first place, but it was still my graphic! It was my initiative, my PHOTOSHOP!!! And these people are gaining retweets and favorites and, god forbid, followers through MY GRAPHIC!!!!! But it wasn’t even the retweets or the favorites that ticked me off, because, by comparison, if they had quote-retweeted me, which a lot of people did, I would not have been upset, because somehow the fact that I had exerted effort into making that graphic was still credited by the mention of my username and the retention of my original (kinda pretentious) caption. But nooooo, apparently even the act of mentioning that somebody else had made the graphic was UNSPEAKABLE. HOW HARD IS IT TO ADMIT THAT SOMEBODY ELSE MADE SOMETHING YOU LIKE? It isn’t. It shouldn’t be. And I know there is no money involved and that none of the original ideas save for the actual edit is mine, but isn’t that the whole entire point? If we can’t practice respect of property on intellectual and intangible things, how much LESS is that going to be with actual private property? Especially involving money? So why was typing up a “CTTO” (which, by the way, is already a less respectable way of saying that somebody else had made it, but at least there’s that) so unfathomable?
I’ll answer this too: because most of them didn’t even know who had made it. Because other people had already reposted it. Because said people who reposted did not leave credit. I know because I had claimed the poster on three twitter accounts, two of which responded, and both of them were very nice people who apologized and did not mean to not credit me because they had both just found them in various places already without the credit. Which just upset me more.
And then I started wondering why I craved the credit so badly. Was it because I’m just this pretentious bitch who wants everybody to know that it wAS ME WHO MADE THAT POSTER THAT IS CURRENTLY EVERYWHERE WITHOUT MY PERMISSION? Was I just frustrated? I don’t really know. It just kind of hurt, y’know? That small kind of hurt that you can’t help, that you don’t even WANT, but it’s there and it’s the most annoying kind of pain. It kind of felt petty to feel robbed, but that’s kinda what it’s like except to a rather minuscule extent.
Honestly, I felt like a dick telling people that I made the poster. I honestly felt like a dick, because it felt like I was imposing it on other people, that I was bragging, and I didn’t like that when it was done to me. I didn’t even want them to take it down, not really. Just to let them know. Just to let them let other people know. Because while they weren’t claiming it as their own, they weren’t saying otherwise either. Anyone could assume it.
And come on, it was Independence Day. We’re supposed to be celebrating freedom. My brother had accused me of taking their freedom away because I refused to let them post it, but that wasn’t it. They could post it, sure, but could they, pretty please, could they post it with, at the very least, a CTTO?
I even heard it had gotten to Facebook. I’d posted it on Facebook via Instagram too. It got like seven likes and two shares. So it obviously wasn’t me who posted the popular version.
I want to be able to trust the internet. I want to be able to keep making things and get the proper recognition for it. Maybe I’d even rather it get no attention or little attention, so that the few people that know about it know I made it. Because where’s the fun in making something famous if nobody knows that you made it? So I want a little recognition. Sue me for being human.
And then I realized I had gotten more than a little recognition, and I found comfort in that. I mean, two-thousand retweets, what the fuck is that? That’s a fucking lot, let me tell you. And I hope that it’s still more than whatever other post there is with that same picture on it.
I still think it’s important to respect other people’s belongings. For Pete’s sake, I’m writing this after watching The Social Network, a movie dealing with lawsuits regarding theft of intellectual property, and the shit gets a lot more complicated than just the feeling of being robbed. There isn’t a law for this thing, and quite honestly, I don’t think there needs to be. I just think we need to be able to know what’s ours and what isn’t, and to be able to acknowledge that what isn’t ours isn’t ours. It’s not hard, most especially nowadays with the accessibility of the internet. We have to, in John Green’s words, be able to do right by each other because unless and until the copyright laws are untangled, no one’s gonna be policing this.
Hank and John Green know what’s up:
(Also: yes, I have been told I should’ve watermarked. But hate watermarks and I often think they distract from the picture, so there’s that.)
(Also: I think watermarks shouldn’t even be necessary.)
(Also: I am sad summer is ending. Somebody stop this!!)
(Also: Andrew Garfield. is. very. attractive.)
"What’s really funny about this ‘overnight success’ is that we’ve been playing together for over fifteen years. We’ve been Haim for nearly six years. There was nothing going on for us. We were bottom of the bill for 50-capacity venues and no one would show up."
adobe ideas! :—)