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Archive for February 8th, 2009

Inventor’s Invention – Pride or Annoyance?

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Possessiveness isn’t just a bad habit; it’s a way of life. You can’t be “kind of” possessive. You either are or you aren’t, (for more on this topic see my blog “Two Kinds Of People”). I think one of the things that’s easy to be possessive about is ideas. It doesn’t matter what the idea is, be it a joke, a book, a song, or a new kind of asphalt that is maintenance free for 100 years. Once a person forms an original, (or at least an improved) idea, they lock on to it for dear life. Trying to take it is like those angry dogs at their food bowl when a stranger tries to get in on it. It turns vicious and quickly.


There are a lot of cultural icons that get credited to people, whether they deserve it or not. For instance if you say fast food, I immediately think of McDonald’s, (and I hate their food) but I think of them because they’ve carved out that niche for themselves as the biggest, best known, crappy, fast food joint. One example that really bothers me is Eric Clapton getting credit for ‘After Midnight’ and ‘Cocaine’, written by J.J. Cale. It drives me crazy that people think Eric wrote those songs, (by the way if you haven’t heard the original versions you must check them out). Actually, I don’t really care anymore.


So I’m wondering about the inventors of the world, the pioneers, the visionaries and people that transformed the very life we’ve come to know. I wonder what it’s like inside their heads and their hearts, but more precisely what they feel/felt after their mark took over the world. Xerox, Kleenex, Coke, Styrofoam, Wite Out, and Scotch Tape are a few examples of products that are so common that their very name has turned into generic terms for the products they represent. “I need you to Xerox these and take them to Fred.” “We’re out of Kleenex.” “Can I have a Coke? Can you put it in a Styrofoam cup” “I huff Wite Out.” “Do you have any Scotch tape?” See what I mean?


Do these inventors feel proud that they’ve integrated the culture and redefined our language or do they feel resentment towards the general public for using their “word(s)”, feeling as though they should receive some kind of residual for each time their product name is used?


If it were me, I’d feel proud every time I got a check in the mail.


Egg On!

Ramblin’ Rooster

Written by Ramblin' Rooster

February 8, 2009 at 4:55 am