Reflection on Readings (Leon and Nimrah) – Haider

“The Ecstasy of Influence (A Plagiarism)”, Jonathan Lethem

In Jonathan Lethem’s ‘The Ecstasy of Influence: A Plagiarism,’ he discusses the nature of plagiarism and what plagiarism has done to today’s creative society. Lethem argues over a lot of things in order to convince the audience that influence should not be recognized as plagiarism The author demonstrates his views on adopting ideas and how people call the activity as plagiarism or not. He argues that sharing ideas and getting influences somewhat promote creativeness and generate next movement. The reason why plagiarism is even such a big deal is that everyone tries to own what they believe is their own intellectual property, according to Jonathan Lethem. Lethem says that intellectual property entails copyright. Copyright is a never-ending contract that binds someone’s work to them. However, Lethem is saying that by accusing people of plagiarism and copyright infringement, “you attack the next generation of creators for the crime of being influenced. They make the world smaller.”

Is it ever politically correct to label a work of art plagiarism? Aren’t most people trying to do something to contribute to society through their own ways of interpretation? Unless the work is blatantly copied word by word or eerily similar from another author, is it possible to brand ideas? What are the sources of ideas if not inspired by the basic human needs of living, breathing and art making?I am always immensely moved by nature and the wildly imaginative variations that it takes on. Great works have been erected and inspired by nature. I have had the great fortune of seeing many Gaudi architecture while I was in Barcelona, Spain; the first time I went to Casa Batlló and La Sagrada Família, I was overcome with emotions at the sheer fact that his structures were inspired by the structure of leaves. He had taken the information necessary and translated it into his own language.

“On the Rights of Molotov Man”, Joy Garnet & Susan Meiselas

I do find it very surprising as to how the context of a photo is manipulated and how that, in turn, changes its meaning.

With a photo like this, I feel it’s completely offensive to do what Pepsi did and not only destroyed the significance of who the man is with that bottle. The uneasy realities in regard to revolutions and warfare should not be turned into an inane public relations campaign by a super-corporation like Pepsi, especially because of sensitive subject matter. I’m positive that if anyone took a photo of 9/11 and somehow manipulated it in any way; it would not be well received. That says something about the nature of political imagery in the context of the photo and in the context of what is socially acceptable in the western world.

However, the ideas represented in the discussed photo pertain more to the distortion of the image and how that idea is universally applied to a society that values the superficial above all else. Most photos are now “photoshopped” to achieve a certain look because they aren’t appealing or distinct. As such, they are fixed and designed in ways to allure people and speak to them in a different way.

However, the point to anything like this is that some things should not be changed because its factual and when something is edited in or out it changes the fact.

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