In the first meta navel-gazing post, I tried to go into part of the reason that I write these reviews... wanting to talk about art to other people, finding methods that make movies / television shows / anime series / video games work or not work, and wanting to share my opinions of such. In this post though, I wanted to go into the idea of inspiration a bit more, and to discuss a bit of how it works as far as a critic (slash MST3k writer) goes.
Firstly, I absolutely love Wikipedia. I collect trivia like other people collect shotglasses, spoons, or other knickknacks. There's just a wide range of amazing stories... such as the Great Chicago Fire happening the same day as massive fires in both Wisconsin and in two different places in Michigan. One of these many places happens to be my hometown, yet I hadn't the slightest idea that this coincidence existed until reading Wikipedia articles.
Another favorite story is about an eighteenth-century queen of Denmark, Caroline Matilda. In twenty-three short years, she managed to provide an heir to the Danish throne (plus a daughter), ended up taking some sort of charge of the kingdom when her husband became mentally infirm, going as far as to dress as a man to rally the troops, embroiled in scandal when it was implied that the king's doctor was the true father of both her children... it's really just a fascinating story to me, and it happened in only a few short years. At some point, I think I need to find more books about this because I'm sure that the backstory will be even more surprising.
Cruising Wikipedia became my go-to for stories about accidents and other catastrophes for a while too... for me, I enjoyed reading the accounts of aircraft accidents or other disasters, finding out which decisions were the fateful ones, realizing that there's sometimes just that thin thread even if it didn't seem thin at the time. I wrote a whole post describing more of my enjoyment of "disaster porn" that can be found at the link.
I suppose that one of my favorite subjects recently has been reading the articles posted about music. The Beatles in specific have been covered quite a bit, but there are more than a few other artists that have articles up about their songs on Wikipedia. I'm interested by these because I really enjoy hearing about the creative process... pulling just the most random thoughts out of midair, adding lyrics and music to these thoughts, and then bringing them to life to the point that millions of people want to hear more and more. In all frankness, I've never been a big fan of the Beatles, but hearing the stories behind their work has actually encouraged me to listen a bit closer to their music, and I have been slowly becoming more and more of a fan.
It's really odd where one finds their inspiration, yet I think that the parallel activities of writing MST3k treatments of fanfiction and writing reviews of various types of media dovetails quite nicely. As I look back, I find myself wanting to comment most on what other people have done, or said, or played, or acted... it's almost like I care just as much about the execution of the idea as I care about the idea itself being shown. My inspiration and enjoyment comes in writing humor about creative situations, or commenting about the creative situations, and trying to find the thin line between the creators and their creation on one side and how the creations are perceived by the other.
I'm not sure if I'd ever really write anything original, at least not at present. I suppose I would need to figure out a way to get inspired by my own thoughts, by bringing life to something completely internal rather than something that piques my interest because of how it affects me and makes me feel.
At present though, I'm more than happy to offer my thoughts on the experiences I share with others. I certainly can understand the critics' soul far more than I did before I started doing this... right now, I'm comfortable in telling what audience we have my thoughts on watching/listening/playing, and hopefully we'll get a few interesting conversations scraped together sometime about how things will work for some but not for others.