It’s harder now than ever to come up with truly original ideas.
Or, rather, it’s the same level of difficulty to come up with those ideas, but it’s easier than ever to find out your idea wasn’t original at all. All it takes is a quick Google search to find out thousands of other people have already come up with the same thing.
Or, if you’re too lazy to do even that, you can just tweet it and people can quickly point out how unoriginal you are.
— Lincoln Michel (@TheLincoln) June 19, 2017
That’s why we need a new word, We need to describe the minor satisfaction of coming up with an idea that according to an internet search has never been laid out before, but also is so minor that you don’t know what to do with it.
I’m sure Germans have a couple of words that could be smushed together to form this thought, something like kiersmaggelerherstenkein, but I doubt even they have a word for this particular set of circumstances.
Each part is important for the whole. Coming up with a wholly original idea that’s actually good can be described by a whole host of words: satisfaction, elation, smugness. And then the question of what to do with it is just about maximizing your value from it, whether it’s profitable or you just want to increase your social media cred.
But when you get that stray thought as you’re falling asleep, which is half-formed and can’t provide you any sort of notoriety, and you find out that not even a college stoner majoring in philosophy has put it online, that’s something else. The satisfaction is tempered mightily by the realization that it’s just incredibly dumb.
I bring this up to try to answer one simple question: what on Earth do I do with “Flo Rida + the Machine”?
It’s not clever enough to do anything with on its own. I don’t know either artist well enough to figure out if they’d make a good mashup song, and I’m not willing to put in the effort to find out. When I went to our art department to just make an image with that, they sighed heavily for about 45 seconds straight. I became concerned that they were going to pass out from lack of oxygen.
I felt some small satisfaction at coming up with something I couldn’t find any results for on the internet, but then foolish for coming up with such a dumb idea at all, then despair that I couldn’t do anything with it.
Not to mention disappointment that I couldn’t find anything amazing someone else had already done with it. Neither has bothered to cover the other’s songs? Nobody has mashed their songs up? I can’t hear one “Dog Days of Summer Get You Low, Low, Low”?
Either the universe needs to give me better ideas (unlikely), or the internet needs to have already catered to my whims by the time I’ve had my terrible ideas.
At the very least, give me the word for this feeling.