Ideas Are Scary

I love awards shows. The awards themselves don’t matter, but the shows are generally entertaining and inspiring. George Clooney put it best:

For the record: If you are in this room, you’ve caught the brass ring. You get to do what you’ve always dreamed to do and be celebrated for it, and that just… it ain’t losing. I don’t remember what awards Lauren Bacall won. I just remember her saying, ‘You know how to whistle, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.’ And I have no idea what kind of hardware Robin Williams took home. But I sure remember “carpe diem” and, ‘Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.’ I never forget that.

He described exactly what awards shows mean to me. Recognizing newly iconic pieces of acting, writing, cinematography, music, directing, etc. Though I had only seen a handful of films last year, maybe only two nominees, Clooney’s speech connected the dots and reminded me why I was watching. Needless to say, I was enjoying the show.

Then, during a latter commercial break, a little monster appeared on screen:

A fire ignited. I was watching something play out on television that had been living in my head for the past five years. That fucking monsterthat fucking idea ruined the Golden Globes!

Years ago, I had an idea for a story. A little creature has found itself alone in the “real-world”. Frustrated, I dug up my unfinished idea, last modified on 10/4/10, and posted it to Twitter:

He awoke to a light. This warmth was unfamiliar to him. As he sat up, he peered down at his hands. He had never seen them before. They seemed to emanate streams of dark smoke. He slowly sat up.

He began to walk. He had come to find that he was walking down a crowded sidewalk, passing shop windows. While looking through the windows, he noticed his reflexion. He stopped. He was a tiny figure, no more than four feet tall. His cartoon like body was shrouded in streams of smoke. His large eyes glowing solid red.

Nobody seemed to notice him standing there, staring into the glass. Nobody seemed to notice him at all. Hesitantly, he turned and proceeded down the busy street. As he walked, he could not help but notice every person was holding hands with another, be it man and woman, man and man, or female and female. At the end of the busy street, he came to a crosswalk. He decided to cross the street.

This street was much quieter. It was also much shorter for it was only home to one restaurant. He stopped in front of one of the large windows and gazed inside. Every table was full. At each table sat a couple laughing or smiling while sharing a bottle of wine. He hesitantly turned and continued down the street. He came to another crosswalk.

This next street was home to a playground. This playground was full of happy children, all of which seemed to be accompanied by both of their parents. The parents pushed their children on swings, threw baseballs back and forth, and played hide and seek together.

This was all becoming a little overbearing for him. He was not used to these surroundings. He was quickly growing tired of the happiness that surrounded him. He was living within a nightmare. No, he was a nightmare living within a dream.

Good or bad, finished or not, the visualization of this isolated creature, alone in the real-world, growing into something beautiful and shutting down prejudice and rejection was exactly what I wanted to depict. This was an idea I thought I could get back to at any time. It was my idea and no one was going to take it away.

Ideas can be frustrating. They are easy to push aside for another day. But if an idea is realized by someone else, it’s defeating (and can ruin the Golden Globes). Especially when it is used in a brand-beefing commercial.

Ideas are scary, but become scarier when you realize they are not sacred.