Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Copy Me If You Can

Hey, MPAA, RIAA, FCC: learn with the Easterners! The Chinese language has two different words for copy, as remind us Alexander Stille in his superb "The Future of the Past". Fang Zhipin is closer to what we, Westerners, would call a reproduction, a cheap copy of something. Fu Zhipin, by the other hand, is a very high quality copy, almost perfect, as good as the original. Few people know, for instance, that the Emperor Qin's Terra-cotta Army that travels around the world is one of the second kind. Marshall Sahlins, in "Waiting for Foucault, Still", tells a likewise story, about the shrine of Ise that is unchanged since the 7th century, better said, has been rebuilt with the same ancient instruments and same materials. For us, it is Ise re-created; for them, it is the same old Ise. Under those same criteria, how long Tinturn Abbey would be considered... Tinturn Abbey? Or a last U2 MP3 rip with a super dupe kbps, a Fu Zhipin U2 copy? This is s good patisserie for thought.

[ Tom McRae - Stronger Than Dirt ]