My husband and I have been following this saga pretty closely - issues of authorship and creation certainly resonate with the English major parts of ourselves that we can't seem to shake. In addition, my soon-to-be lawyer husband has a particular interest in soft intellectual property, so he is loving this story. He keeps saying that this is the kind of copyright case that lawyers dream of. "It's almost too easy!" he shouts when another sorted detail comes out. "You literally wouldn't have to prove anything - it's all right here!"
We definitely appreciate how much plagiarism sucks, and we sympathize with Daniel Clowes. I've had my own work plagiarized on more than one occasion, and it's pretty infuriating. The act of creating something is kind of indescribable. Sitting down at a blank page and then filling it with words, with meaning itself - it's a unique experience unlike any other. It's exciting and invigorating, and there's something truly fantastic about stepping back and saying to yourself, "I made that."
More than anything, though, this whole situation is just kind of hilarious. At least we here at the Book Lovers' Nest think so. Maybe it's because it is just too easy - when legal charges are brought again Shia LaBeouf, he will have no leg to stand on. His only hope is that he will have hired a good enough legal team who can successful persuade him to offer Daniel Clowes a sizable settlement - and that they can convince Mr. Clowes to take it. But until then, my husband and I have gotten a pretty good laugh out of watching Mr. LaBeouf's desperate attempts to try to scratch and claw his way out of this one. His pseudo intellectualism really is something else.
It's kind of (odd? hilarious? sad? I don't know - chose your own adventure) to watch someone try to convince the world that straight-up theft is simply a form of artistic expression and creation. It feels like when you see two people arguing, probably on a TV sitcom, and one is clearly in the wrong but just won't shut up. As the words pour from their mouth, you can practically see them digging their own grave deeper and deeper. Then, if they're really good, they'll just lay down in it, a la Elliot Reed in Scrubs.
At this rate, Mr. LaBeouf is on track to dig a grave straight through to the other side of the world. Someone needs to tell him to shut up already. And take his Twitter account away from him. Oh, and his skywriters. (We can only hope that his retirement "from all public life" will, in fact, stick.)
I also can't help but think that Shia LaBeouf picked all of the wrong hashtags to capture this strange moment in his life (is it too early to call midlife crisis?). #stopcreating #gottadobetter #original #getcovered. Seriously, can we call #WTF? on this crap? Mr. LaBeouf's very public temper tantrum would be more appropriately hashtagged as #richwhiteboyproblems, #plagiarizersgottaplagiarize, or #artisticintegrityisjustabigwordforstealingotherpeoplesshit. I mean, he clearly needs to change his social media handle to @derivativedelinquent.
It's been fun and we've all had a few laughs, but I think it's time for this crazy ride to come to an end. Shia LaBeouf, you are a mess and need to go home. Please and thank you.