This is kind of an opinion piece, so I hope it counts for the checkpoint.
I’d like to reply to Chelsea’s blogpost in which she questions whether or not
the 30 second bunny theatre can count as electronic literature.
I think discounting videos such as the 30 Second Bunny ones based on their
derivative content isn’t quite valid. Considering that we’re moving more and more
into a remix culture and away from a read-only culture, we have to appreciate
that works are going to draw inspiration from pieces that have come before.
It’s not like you can accuse the bunnies of plagiarizing, either; their work is original
with a clear intent to parody and entertain. The goal of the creative commons code
is to enrich the public domain, which the Angry Aliens Production company seems
to take to heart. I really don’t believe their aim is to convince anyone that a
half-minute production of Brokeback Mountain is somehow the genuine Brokeback
Mountain. By the way, that movie just so happens to be derivative of a book and
don’t we consider it part of the ‘literature’/canon when it comes to theater? Is it
somehow less ‘real’ because it’s derived from a book?
Think of all those awesome movies that are coming out that are based on books, or
books that have been written that are based on movies. I’m not saying that they’re
‘literature’ in the stereotype sense that they’re read by old men with beards in
leather chairs while wearing smoking jackets (the men, not the books). I mean,
they’re text. They’re literature. They count.
I’m not even saying that I truly love the bunnies and will fight to the death to
protect them. I’m just saying, don’t discount them. I’ve actually seen a few of their
videos and they’re pretty funny. Nothing to write home about, but not worth
forcibly ejecting from the electronic literary canon either. 30 seconds or not,
derivative or not, they still count.
If you’re curious why I have such a strong opinion about this (and a moderately
informed one), you can blame Neil Gaiman. I tend to blame him for
lots of things. Go read his essay on protecting ‘icky’ literature. He doesn’t mention
thing about protecting ‘derivative’ literature in that essay, but he does sort of touch
some of the coolest stuff that I’ve seen produce in relation to his work has been
fanmade and entirely derivative. And if Neil says it’s cool, it’s probably cool.