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Tell Shia LaBeouf’s he's wrong From Dennis Calero. And, me.

I have been writing blog posts on The Redroom since this site started and have been honored to be around some of the most creative writers in this country and the world.  It gives me a lot of joy when someone mentions I have a blog here on some interview and I can hold my head up high and jokingly say: "Yeah.  My blog is here with other unknown writers like Stephen Colbert, Maya Angelou and our President"

I have enjoyed reading other blogs here on The Redroom and subsequently these writers books, upcoming projects and assorted creative joy.

It's why I'm here.  To see creativity thrive.  To see the work that comes from our imagination flourish in a forum.

It does not bring me any joy that any of our work that comes from our imagination is collective fodder for Shia LaBeouf thinking it is coming from him.

Keep in mind I'm not talking a sentence quote.  I mean seeing work that we spent sometimes years getting up...taken in full passages without ever a mention of our names.

I have been sitting on this for a while.  I even did the tragic and unsuccessful retweeting to Mr. LaBeouf in his blatant plagiarism of Daniel Clowes.

That was until I realized this was a little more generationally based than I ever expected, when finding myself defending a poor man from my generation from a rabid fan of Kanye West (of Shia's generation) who had his voice used and not given credit or compensation on his latest "creative outing" 

The reasoning:  They have been using samples in hip hop for years.  Unfortunately this generation's attention span of twenty four hours forgets that sample work has been litigated for years...and those artist were given credit and pay.

The downside of this interchange:  It made my Christmas day a little less joyous.  The upside:  There is a wonderful reason why Block All From User is created on Facebook.  It keeps me from pulling my own spleen out reading people who are part of Generation Plagiarism.

And, just when you think the smoke has cleared from the Anthrax style spreading of artist on artist theft? The Poster Boy of Generation Plagiarism pays for someone to get into an airplane, sarcastically scrawling Sorry Daniel Clowes into the air,  tweets the picture...then gets on Bleeding Cool to proclaim "Authorship is Censorship"

You heard that right Stephen Colbert, Maya Angelou and Rushdie:  Everything you have ever penned, created and wrote is censorship if you have your name on it and won't let others put their name on it too.

That's right Redroom Authors:  Everything you have written here is full and open game for someone else to put their name on.  So says Shia LaBeouf and Generation Plagiarism.

Shaun Landry with The Devil Inside drawn by Dennis Calero

When it all broke, I had a hard time penning my thoughts.  That was until today when the ever so wonderful Dennis Calero (artist of more comics books you can imagine and who drew myself for the supremely well done Devil Inside) wrote one of the most amazing pieces on the subject as a Facebook Status update.

With his permission (THAT IS WHAT PEOPLE DO, Generation Plagiarism:  WE ASK THE AUTHOR TO REPUBLISH) I asked Dennis to repost his Facebook Status.  Here is what he wrote and how I feel too:

Dennis Calero
My thought on Shia's rantings online is that he reminds me of a line from "The Dead Zone."

To paraphrase, this turkey is dangerous.

I speak now to my fellow creators from all walks of life. And also to those of you who enjoy art in all its forms.

It’s very easy to read Mr. LaBeouf’s ravings and simply dismiss him as a badly reared sociopath, and shake our fists at the evil rich guy. The reality is we don’t need to worry about any sort of justice befalling him. People like him always destroy themselves.

No, what we need to worry about is that his theories about the non-existence of originality (and thus creativity itself), the falsity of authorship and that art is nothing more than editing and repurposing is all too commonplace and pernicious. It’s why every kid knows who the Avengers are but very few know the name Jack Kirby.

Let me state right up front that it’s all complete bullshit. And more to the point, it’s bullshit espoused by people with little or no talent, and people unwilling to do what talent requires to flourish into actual ART: work.

There’s no question that the creation of art, on some level, is fluid. It reflects and turns in on itself. There is a conversation that happens between works of art and the artists who make them. It can often be nebulous. If I have a basic concept and I tell a friend and they see something I don’t see and I fold it into my work, is it still mine? Am I the author?

By necessity, the answer has to be yes. Because without authorship, there is no art.

Let me state this again: without authorship, there is no art.

Art by definition, is the imposition of a distinct form upon nature that did not exist before.
A river is not art. A painting of a river is.

Whether or not it’s GOOD art is a matter of opinion. But the work to convert one thing into a DISTINCTLY different form is what makes it art.

When Mr. LaBouf made his short film, we all collectively, and I think rightly, agreed it was not distinct enough of a transformation from the original work of Mr. Clowes to justify calling himself the creator of the work.

George Lucas took the love of serial adventures to make a distinct and new thing called Star Wars that was all his own. There’s a difference.

No, repurposing isn’t enough. Shia thinks it is but he’s wrong.

And it’s up to us to tell him, continuously…ceaselessly and LOUDLY, he’s wrong.

There’s a lot of repurposing, reediting and reappropriation on the web, be it parody trailers on YouTube, reedits of films, and frankly we all know most of it is good for a minor diversion but that’s all.

Most of it is not art. It doesn’t plant itself in our brains and our hearts and say “I am here, and I am new. You did not know you needed me until you saw me, but here I am.”

Art doesn’t incorporate from the ether, parentless. It comes from women and men who impose their will on a formless void and give it form.



Shia LaBouf is wrong. Let him know.


Shia.  You and Generation Plagiarism are wrong. 
I would like for you to know.
I can almost be 100 percent certain everyone who resides on The Redroom thinks you are wrong too.