Where Do They Come From?

Ideas, that is.

I’ve read different writers, artists and musicians offer just about every explanation imaginable, if they offer one at all. The Muses, dreams, Ideaspace, CNN, old blues records, dead authors and artists, the works. I make cracks about these ideas and more (still remember my Peanut Butter and Jam Theory, Jenny?), but the truth seems to be that I get them from the broken television set that sits in a dark room somewhere in the back of my brain, playing unfilmed episodes of The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

Yeah, I know, that sounds like BS too, and it probably is, but the truth is, it’s the closest I can come to explaining it, because that’s kind of how it works. I read something or hear something or see something or feel something, the eternal television guide flickers, and suddenly, there’s some strange story on the screen of that little black and white TV set with the rabbit ear antennae, looking somewhat like the first television my family ever owned, glowing invitingly in the growing gloom. I don’t always stop to watch, but I check it out often enough to know that it’s always on, always streaming something new, often weird, occasionally terrifying, generally interesting, not infrequently brilliant. I’ve learned to trust that little box. Who wouldn’t?

I’m not going to say we all have a little TV in our head. How could that even be possible? TV has only been with us for something like 60 years, and I’m pretty sure they had ideas before television. Besides, somebody has to employ all of those out-of-work Idea Faeries.

What I’m saying is the same thing every self-aware Creative says when asked that silly question: I get my ideas from observation, comprehension, and recombination, and they come out the only way(s) I know how to make them come out, however that may be. What you get is all I’ve got, and what I’ve got I give to you because, in a weird sort of way, you gave them to me first. All of you. Everyone, everywhere.

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

It is.


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