Copycats – Part 2 (The Silly Side)
Ten days ago, I wrote about the little copycat I was as a kid. And how on one occasion in high school, a pretty and popular girl paid me a small but important compliment by copying my outfit.
Because I wanted that story to be a sweet tribute to the memory of my beautiful classmate, I omitted my two recent stupid experiences with copycats – the incidents that made me reflect on the meaning of Imitation in the first place.
They always say…. (well, my mother always says that ‘they’ say…) “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” It always seemed to me to be not only trite but untrue.
Copying is bad, right? And people who copy you are stealing your ideas, right?
As a general rule, that’s true.
A few years ago, I was part of a blogging group, and after sharing one of my more popular posts, another blogger in the group, published a nearly identical piece on her own blog under her own name. I was furious. And I had every right to be. That’s plagiarism. That’s theft.
But on the other hand, when someone admires you, and wants to be like you, that feels pretty good. You’re a leader. You’re a trend-setter.
Just a few weeks ago, my dog Theo got the chance to be such a trend-setter. He was in obedience class. Theo was a little over his head in this class, which is called “Beyond Basic Obedience.” Due to one freak display of cooperation, he had qualified for the class. (He has since flunked out… we start “Basic Obedience” – no ‘Beyond’ – next week.)
Anyway, he’s in class with all these show dogs and mature little robots. He’s the youngest little dude. He hasn’t got a clue as to what he is supposed to be doing. He’s spinning in circles and jumping around and basically acting like a nut.
And he poops. Right in the middle of the training ring. And the dog next to him, a champion Aussie, the star of the class, observes Theo mid-poop. And poops himself.
That’s what I call leadership skills.
Last month after years of procrastination, which is a synonym for “I have no idea how to do this” – I joined Instagram. I’m not a particularly good photographer, but I don’t have to be. I have pets. Doggy and Kitty pics are all you need to get lots of Likes and Followers on Instagram. My artsy stuff languishes with maybe one Sympathy-Like from a loyal friend.
But those filters and edits are so much fun. I can take a mediocre picture and fix it up later. Why, I can’t even SEE what I am photographing in bright sunlight. I took a shitload of shots of Theo at the beach this week but I couldn’t even find the shutter in the sunlight.. but I kept snapping away, knowing that I could crop and edit and sharpen and highlight, and look like a genius. Only somewhere along the line, I had inadvertently touched the selfie button and turned the camera on me. I had three dozen pics of my crazy-photographer face, and no amount of editing of any of those shots can make me look like a genius.
But back to the story. I finally joined Instagram. And exactly one week later – who joins Instagram?
The Pope that’s who.
I rest my case.