Tuesday, February 02, 2010

It's Groundhog's Day (again)

In Punxsutaney, Pennsylvania, Punxsutaney Phil came out of his den in Gobbler's Knob, saw his shadow and therefore inflicts upon us six more weeks of winter. And once again this furry mammal who is not far removed from a obese rat illustrates the old axiom that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Take the photo above, for example. I used it back in 2007 in a post call Punxsutaney Tim. And since no one is around any more who read that post, I can use the photo again and feel pretty darned confident that it will appear new and refreshing (and a bit disturbing) to anyone who now stumbles upon it.

Such is life. Things only seem new and innovative because you haven't seen them before. Trust me, there is nothing new on the planet. If you don't believe me, think of something creative and then Google it. You'll find umpteen versions of your idea are already out there and chances are someone has slapped a patent on it.

There are many people out there who make a great deal of money coming up with a "new" look for an old product in hopes that mindless consumers will buy it because it looks different than it did before. I just read an article about the 75th edition of the board game Monopoly being released. To give it a fresh look, they turned the square playing board into a circle. They also eliminated the fake money (now each player gets a credit card) and they replaced the cool playing pieces shaped like race cars, shoes and other odd implements with platic tabs.

Be still my heart.

Kind of pisses me off because half the fun of playing Monopoly was tucking the stacks of fake money under your edge of the board and fighting over who gets the race car or the top hat. But trust me, 75 years from now someone will want to modernize the round Monopoly board by making it square and go all retro by bringing back the race car and the funny money.

And speaking of nothing new, one of the downsides of blogging (and living) as long as I have is that I catch myself starting to write a clever new post (it could happen) and then realize I wrote an identical post a couple of years ago. Though in keeping with my theory that everything is new if you haven't seen it, I could in theory simple begin copying old posts and pass them off as new material and no one would be the wiser.

Wait, that would put me in the same category as your average sitcom writer and I have higher standards than that.

Most of the time.

Happy Groundhog's Day!

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