a children’s fable, with words from Lawrence Lessig

Mouse playing guitar.

Sadly, my old blog will be going away. As the university transitions from MovableType to WordPress, everything gets dismantled. The files won’t even function as web pages. What to do? Let go, I guess. There are a few posts there that I enjoyed, though. So over the next few weeks, I’ll try to move some of my favorites to a spot here. In May of 2009, at a time when I found Lessig’s remix message to be misguided, I did a very short children’s fable as an artistic statement. Each word is taken from Lessig’s book Remix, so it’s a remix of Remix with the original context and page number of each word appearing on mouseover. I tried to make Lessig’s original context add meaning to my use of the word. Satisfying for me, but sadly, the entire thing fell flat.

O
nce upon a time, in a place far, far away, dreams could come true. If you lived your life—not just as if what you’d dreamed could be believed—but as though there had never been a doubt about the new reality, that reality was yours.

And so Mouse got out of bed. In his sleep, he had become a musician. Mouse found a match box. He took a string and he took a stick, and he began to play.

In each of the notes he played, mouse heard a perfectly performed statement full of extraordinary emotion. Mouse’s life changed. Moments took on new meaning as each was felt deeply and experienced fully. Mouse was a creator.

Mouse took his new instrument and went out for a walk. In the gardens he found other mice playing guitar. They let Mouse join their group.

“Studiedlong?” they asked.

“It’s my life,” said Mouse, and he began to play.

An artist may struggle to be understood. Understanding itself can be an art; not everyone will succeed or even try. Mouse stopped playing and opened his eyes. Everyone was gone.

“There is no joy in that bunch,” thought Mouse. He closed his eyes and played.

He played, and eventually someone else was drawn to his music.

“Yo, I have a match box just like yours!” she said.

“Enjoy'” whispered Mouse.

This fable is remixed from the text of Lawrence Lessig’s CC licensed Remix:Making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy. My thanks to Larry for sharing his creative, expressive vocabulary. To find the words in their original, and often dually appropriate, prose arrangement please refer to the title attribute pop-up for each.

Attribution noncommercial share alike c c license.

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