Tony Zaret made this meme.
It’s good, right? I mean, really good. So good that the rest of the internet acknowledged it’s goodness and, in the way the internet does things, took it to be it’s own. It was instagramed by the Not The Real Sean Penn (who is, apparently and hilariously, not the real Sean Penn.) It was tweeted by George Takei. But sadly, Tony remained uncredited.
— Tony Zaret (@tonyzaret) May 3, 2016
At first I had an opinion about this.
“How shitty that a guy makes a great Beyonce Meme joke and no one will know it’s his!”
Then I had another one.
“He shared a laugh with the world, maybe that’s credit enough?!”
Then I had a third one.
“Everything bagels are brilliant because the baker’s don’t have to buy any extra ingredients. They don’t even have to clean up anything from the other bagels, they can just roll the last batch in all the waste and viola – everything bagels.”
Then a fourth one that was once again related to Tony’s Beyonce meme.
“A generation (or more) have now been raised to believe that anything, anywhere that ever exists belongs to us all.” People will take a cell phone picture of literally anything without a second thought. Which is shitty because it should be my right to be drunk on a bench and have my shirt on backwards without getting included in a buzzfeed slideshow called “Oh My God, You’re Not Gonna Believe These Pics.” Right?
Or revenge porn? Familiar, right? Evil, right? Same mentality – anything that was ever created anywhere is legitimate for public consumption because… it is.
I think we can all agree that is at least a shitty thing to do, even if it’s not illegal. But as I think about it, it starts to get trickier for an angsty liberal like me, when I get to Edward Snowden. He took information which was absolutely not his, and made it available for public consumption. Is that any different? I can defend it as being for the public good, but guess what – so can people who hack Olivia Munn’s phone and post pictures of her naked everywhere. It’s for the public good, even if it really really hurts someone.
In fact, I started thinking a LOT of these thoughts about the complex moral nature of our relationship with the public/private dichotomy of the 21st century but then this happened.
As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The arc of history is long but it bends towards justice.” Or maybe “fairness.” I can’t remember but it’s not gonna stop me from quote marks.