Aug 29, 2007

Here's a good story.

This man wrote a book. He brought the force of his creative vision to bear on a piece of work and turned it into something people liked. Then he realized one day that some bottom-feeding types in the "entertainment industry" had jacked his idea down to the last detail, repackaged it, and sold it to Network Television. Now, they're making a pretty penny while the brains of the operation has no choice but to sit back and swallow hard.

But the moral of the story -- the thing that makes it worth mentioning -- isn't what it seems. It's not about the inherent injustice of the situation, it's about how Pete Hamill has responded to it.

One thing creative types will never be able to overcome is the fact that ideas can't be owned. The only thing you can own is your execution of the idea. You have to trust that your vision is strong enough to stand above the copycats. That's a less-than-ideal situation, but what's the alternative? There isn't one.

Pete Hamill knows in his heart that he did the story first and best. And his bemused attitude speaks volumes about his character. It's something all of us in the creative industries would do well to study and understand. We are all likely to get fucked at some point or another.

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