An Open Letter to the Internet About Source Material

Internet, I feel like I know you. I’ve talked to you a lot. Can I ask you something?

At what point did you get the idea that because you can identify the inspiration for something, that identifying the inspiration invalidates the thing that is utilizing the inspiration?

I mean, you are the Internet. You contain multitudes. Somewhere inside you resides the sum total of human knowledge. From porn to kittens to physics. But way more kittens and porn than physics. So you can pinpoint a whole lot of source material.

The problem is, I feel like you are missing some context. Humans started running out of new material about 20,000 years ago, and have been doing reboots of older stories since that time.

Don’t get me wrong–some of those reboots are way easier to criticize than others. They barely change anything other than proper names, and the retell the story in a way that is less interesting than the original.

On the other hand, I like the Moses story where Moses shows up and absorbs solar radiation until he leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Also, Internet, pal. I love you. I really do. We’ve had some great times, and you’ve shown me somethings. We’ve had some great talks. But pointing out that something is inspired by something else, as an accusation, when the person making the thing has said it is an inspiration–I mean, that’s not even trying on your part.

Most recently, you seem to have seized on the idea that giant robots existed before Pacific Rim was made. I mean, I really thought I could expect better from you. Good on you for finding all that anime and the old Japanese movies where a robot fights a guy in a monster suit. Not so good on you for not noticing that the people making the movie have openly discussed said sources when talking about the movie.

We’ll get past this. I know we will. We’ve been friends since that time when you used to run my phone bills up all of the time. But really, I expect better. Also, quit talking about politics when you’re drunk. Nobody wants to hear that.

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