People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.
You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity.
Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.
You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.
“When I would read it in translation,” Mr. Gregory said, “there would be these brilliant passages, and then it would be completely incomprehensible and boring. I wondered if that was the play, which I doubted, or the translations.”
It was then that Mr. Shawn, the playwright and occasional “Gossip Girl” guest star, got what he called “one of the only clever ideas I ever had.”
He added: “I, being a very overconfident person, was not afraid to translate it from the Norwegian. Even though I can’t speak Norwegian.”
Despite this apparent shortcoming, he said, “Norwegian is very similar to German and English, with a funny pronunciation.”
Obtaining a copy of the original “Master Builder” text from the Norwegian consulate, Mr. Shawn photocopied it in a larger size and had Sandra Saari, an Ibsen scholar, write the meanings of various unfamiliar words in the margins.
He then translated the play himself, making cuts and changes of emphasis and interpretation, resulting in a drama composed “the way I would have written it if I’d been him,” Mr. Shawn said.
He added: “May God strike me dead for that, if it’s wrong to have done it.”
For everyone who thinks adaptation is not “real” writing.
In the meantime, Daisey has continued propagating the message by providing a free, downloadable version of Agony and Ecstasy on his website, so that any performer can use it without paying royalties. He’s also made it available as a PDF, and now he’s let fellow writer Jay Bushman tweet the whole thing in individual 140 character bits, via the Twitter feed Agony-Ecstasy-Jobs.
The toys are the toys.