Friday, 27 November 2009

Too Much, Too Young?



I can't be sure - I never was one: but it must be an awful thing to be a Child Prodigy.

Fortunately for me I grew up with very few expectations that I would amount to anything, ever: so I pity the child of four who has been said to have an IQ of 120.

That's the problem though, when you start off with something that's right up there then you somehow have to follow it and are expected to do it again and again: inevitably you will probably fail.

Like right now JK Rowling must be shitting herself. Well, no: to be honest, she's probably too busy rolling around in bags of money and giggling to be seriously worried - but how do you top Harry Potter? No matter what she does for the rest of her career, no matter how big - she will probably never reach that height again.

Or The Beatles with Sgt Pepper, or Pink Floyd with Dark Side Of The Moon - both albums put immense pressure on the groups to come up with something as big and clever again and again.

So imagine what it would be like for an unknown to write something or say something that resonates with everyone - and then somehow be expected to come up with the magic again.

Often a single idea can be sufficient to keep you going if it's good enough - but where are those people who came through a few years ago? Where is Chris (X Files) Carter now? The truth is out there, and so is Chris - because the truth is that his single good idea only took him so far. Imagine that - knowing that there is a good chance that lightning may never strike there again and just hoping desperately to recapture the glory days

So perhaps it is better to live in hope of that Joshua Tree moment, to endlessly write that sci-fi epic in hope of attaining that Wrath Of Khan feeling - but to never actually reach it: because the view of hope in the future may actually be better than to watch it receding in the rear view mirror?

Would John Lennon ever have reached the same heights as his Beatles days, or would he have grown lesser and lesser as the years went by?

On the subject of which by way of response I would like you to summarise a plot in a single sentence - because all great ideas are essentially simple ones. Here's a couple of examples:

Wagon Train To The Stars - Star Trek
Four Dwarves Go For A Walk And Throw Away A Ring - Lord Of The Rings

Your turn :)

10 comments:

the watercats said...

uuuummmmmmmmm....... bloke goes nuts in a big hotel (the shining)

journalist and his friend take lots of drugs for a week (fear and loathing)

bloke is refused a job then dies (dead man)

be nice (world peace).. oh, wait, that simple idea hasn't been discovered yet!

This was interesting.. I'd imagine harry potter lady will be forever more riding the harry potter wave, every book here after (if there is one) will be an off-shoot of potter land. She's an answer to the point I was going to make though, sometimes one great idea is enough... the feckers!
Oh and I'm glad lennon died young and didn't turn into a waffly dyed haired eejit like maccca...
as for being a child prodigy.. I once did the thing on the t.v, that test the nation yolk for your i.q. I ammounted to the dizzying heights of 95! so, I've no fear of any great ideas, I'm just happy to be able to write my own name :0)

English Rider said...

"Mama! I killed a man' lyrics (rightly, in this case)censored by The Muppets. That was my cell phone ring tone. I love that song and I don't mind striking fear in people's hearts whenever my phone rings.
Back to the task at hand, Naked working class northern men set to music (Full Monty)

Argent said...

A trainee nun, a bloke and some kids sing songs and run away from the Nazis - Sound of Music.

A cop runs around a building in bare feet - Die Hard.

I used to be a child prodigy, but I grew out of it. Verification word terabums, I kid you not.

Maddie Grigg said...

Invisible driver goes on road rage rampage(Duel)
Seven over-paid, over-age stars shoot the f*ck out of a small Mexican village - The Magnificent Seven
12 ditto men do the same in another country - The Dirty Dozen

Loved the video, thanks.

The Clandestine Samurai said...

The world is a computer, from which you must liberate from your pre-program (The Matrix).

To have true Order, you must have DisOrder (V For Vendetta).

Sometimes, to give yourself a purpose in life, you live a lie. (Memento).

Superheroes rescue us from villains, but who will rescue us from the superheroes? (Watchmen)

Let me Devil's Advocate you: how would it feel to have created a work of genius only for no one to appreciate it but you? What would be the life and emotion of someone who has invested tons of time and emotion into their creative work, only for it to resignate to no more than the alley cat outside or the retarded post man or something?

I'll have to disagree, I don't think J.K. Rowling was a child prodigy. "Potter" is certainly a work of genius, but Rowling still seems to me like a major hit or narrow miss author. I'm sure will (or has already) cease to care about whether she'll top Harry Potter or not, and will just enjoy a career where she can express herself through words and publish to the public. And perhaps help others to do the same.

Stephanie Meyer (Twilight).....now that's a person that should have coma-inducing pressure to write something better than the empty filth she's published.

The Clandestine Samurai said...

Correction: I'm sure she* will

The Clandestine Samurai said...

Oh, and to The Watercats above me, the world peace thing was pretty funny.

Michael said...

Aliens want to reproduce in human surrogates.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

watercats - your description of The Shining seems spot on to me! Also Fear & Loathing...

Yes, would have been terrible to see Lennon release his version of The Frog Chorus

English - interesting choice of ringtone!

Argent - that is Die Hard in a nutshell and it got three sequels to date!

Maddie - your choices of film made me laugh. Glad you liked the vid

Samurai - i think "what happens when the heroes are as flawed as the rest of us" sums up Watchmen succinctly. True JK Rowling was not a child prodigy, but she had instant success from nowhere with her first attempt - which leaves nowhere to go but down

With regards to creating genius but never being recognised - would Van gough have still been such an important painter if he'd actually sold during his lifetime, or does his tortured failure make him what he is?

Michael - i can only assume that your movie is Alien or Fame!!

Lydia said...

My life is now complete having seen that Muppets video.
Alizarin-Amaranth-Burgundy-Cardinal-Carmine-Carnelian-Cerise-Flame- Ruby-Persimmon-Crimson-Magenta (Reds)