The Original Think Magazine (Published since 1996)

Letters to the Editor, #09

Dear Sirs, Re: Article 'Tramspotting"- Issue #8

As one who regularly peruses your magazine, I was gratified, amused, surprised and saddened by the format of the above article. Allow me, if I may, to explain the reasons behind this array of emotions.

The gratification arose from the fact that it is always extremely pleasant to know that something that began inside my head is considered, by others, to be worthy of reproduction and onward transmission. The format, self evidently, originated from the poster for the excellent film "Trainspotting".

However, as I am certain that at least one person connected with the production of the article is aware, (and without doubt one of those featured), a spoof on said poster, together with the revised logo "Tramspotting" (which has both Prague and personal connotations for me), formed the basis for the invitations to a party I hosted earlier this year.

Imitation, it is said, is the most sincere form of flattery. Thanks for imitating my idea guys, I am immensely flattered - believe me. The amusement? Put it this way. If I had fifty crowns for everyone who, in recent days, has approached me waving a copy of your magazine and uttering phrases along the lines of "... these b*stards have stolen your idea", I could probably leave Prague and seek tax-exile status in the Cayman Islands. As I said, personally, I don't mind and do find it rather funny. And what of the other two, less palatable emotions?

Well, the surprise came from the fact, that, on past performance, you have no need to 'borrow' ideas - your own are avant-garde enough. Although, as an Englishman (and not in the first flush of youth either! ) I cannot profess to have liked (or understood) all your past efforts; I would not, until now, have ever accused you of lacking originality.

The Sadness? My original concept was only turned into poster by the skill and persistence of Michael Jones, the graphic designer of Threshold Praha, and his Editor Robert Forrester. Threshold's name appears on the original poster and their involvement is well known around Prague, particularly within what I might describe accurately as a fair proportion of your target audience.

OK, these guys might be described as competitors of yours, but surely common courtesy, if nothing else, would dictate attribution of the idea to its real author. Obviously, you might contend that no plagiarism exists and that your concept was nothing more than a remarkable coincidence.

I would counter this by saying that our 'first cut' posters were around months ago, scores of others were distributed prior to and at the party and, as I have already mentioned, one of those featured knows me, and was aware of the outline a long time ago. My sadness, therefore, is two fold, deriving from your failure to give Mike his due credit and the way that this omission has diminished your own standing.

-Regards, David Perry 19/6/97

barspotting

Thinky Replies:

First I'd like to say thank you for bringing this to light, since we're not really as enmeshed in the expat scene as much as you and the folks at Threshold Praha are, or for that matter not included on their obviously extensive party invite list. I am really disconnected from what goes on down there (Rosebud).

Anyway... ... ... ... . . no, no, no. Nigga please!

I seem to remember a letter in our last issue making the case against the British wanker. I took the trouble to find out that roughly 200 of the world's major cities have transit systems, that at least translated by the local English speaking populations, would have to be considered 'trams'. The critics have called the movie in question (let's check whose been paying attention), the Scottish Pulp Fiction.

Add up those numbers, paco, and we'll both just have to be consoled that it's not exactly an idea akin to say 'the theory of evolution', despite tepid post-modern theory (correct in at least one case I can think of, Elvis) would posit that all concepts form around a 'zeitgeist', and that originality is in fact, a deception of ego.

You are correct, that while amusing, it is below our standards, but I wasn't going to throw away all the work that I put together a few months back, because of the possible, even probable existence of your flyer.

Even tho' I'm sure that I am far lazier than Mike, I will extend this gust of hot air just a couple lines further, inviting you all to use your time more wisely, move on, cheer up, don't leave flyers around (especially in Prague), and, to our 'stop wanking seminar' held every July 21st on Castro Street in San Francisco, right by the condom store.

See you boys there. -Ed.

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