The Terror. The Terror.

by wjw on May 27, 2009

I was visiting yesterday with some friends, and one of them put on the first ten minutes of Team America: World Police. (For those who haven’t seen it, the first ten minutes are the brilliant part of the movie, and after that it’s just so-so, except for Kim Jong Il’s plaintive little song halfway through.)

Imagine my terror when I saw, parodied in the film, some dialog I had just written for my characters a couple days earlier. Parker and Stone had parodied one of my scenes years before I’d even written it!

What they had parodied, of course, was some dreadfully cliche’d dialog, dialog which I hadn’t realized was so completely dreadfully cliche when I wrote it.

Rewrites are now under way. I am trying not to panic.

Dave Goldman May 27, 2009 at 7:00 am

Perhaps you should review the remainder of the film…

Sean Craven May 27, 2009 at 12:53 pm

Re: Team America — for me, the very best moment in the film came close to the end, when a pair of black panthers went on the attack. They were portrayed by house cats.

Re: Inadvertent satire/plagiarism. The missus has a theory that watching TV together counts as ‘us’ time (ah, the things we do for love) and we’ve been working our way through the Northern Exposure DVDs.

A couple of days ago we watched an episode called Mite Makes Right, in which the central conceit was lifted from one of my stories —

I was ripping off Fitz-James O’Brien, Ray Cummings, Theodore Sturgeon, and George R.R. Martin (the setting was swiped from Lord Dunsany, PG Wodehouse, and Arthur C. Clarke) — but anyone who saw that show would think I was stealing from Northern Exposure.

Is this what they call karma?

Ralf the Dog May 27, 2009 at 9:05 pm

I can sympathize. I am trying to write in the style of 24 only without the stupidity and a bit more humor. I keep coming back to a darker version of Chuck. My guess is that My current project wants to be a darker version of Chuck.

Sometimes you write the book, sometimes the book writes you.

I have found that reality tends to steal from me. I have been afraid to turn on the news because I just wrote a big section about North Korea building a bunch of nukes to sell. If North Korea does start messing around with nukes it will be my fault. On the bright side, I have been thinking about writing a short story about a writer who thinks he is a talking dog winning the lottery.

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