Monday, October 31, 2011

Summary of Something Borrowed by Malcolm Gladwell

Gladwell's main point in "Something Borrowed" is that taking someone else's ideas/ words is wrong. He supports his ideas by telling stories that correlate to taking other people's things, such as ideas, picnic tables, and song melodies. The primary story focused on was of Dorothy Lewis and how her life was switched around to be incorporated in a Broadway play called "Frozen."She was asked to do a talk-back for the play and realize that it had stole aspects of her life without permission. She felt upset and violated. The author of "Frozen" took stories from the new and other sources, such as Lewis' book, to make up the plot of her play. She didn't think it was wrong because she considered it news, and therefore, available to the public. Later, she realized what she did was wrong and apologized, along with some legal transactions. Another example Gladwell used was the Beastie Boy's song "Pass the Mic." The Beastie Boy's used a musical segment without asking for permission from the artist. Gladwell also pointed out that Beethoven's da-da-da-daaaaa has been used over and over in other musical selections. Is this wrong? Gladwell observed that no person can own a segment of notes because it can technically be played in different chords or different speeds that make it different than before. However, stealing someone's words is plagiarism, especially when they are switched around, turning into a situation called slander. 
I agree with Gladwell. Songs are often replicated or similar with beats. With beats, or a segment of notes, the new artist doesn't need permission because no one can own the beats or notes. All artists get inspired by something, which eventually is portrayed in their final piece of work. However, artists only get in trouble if they take the words from the original artists mouth without permission. This is the same for book or ideas. It is called plagiarism. The authors or artist feel like something has been stolen from them, which it has. It is unfair for the new writer/ artist to take something that is apart of another's life, especially when it is turned to slander. 

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