In April 2009 a different version of the most famous line in literary history emerged – “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in want of brains must be in want of more brains.” Wait, what? Whose idea was this?
Seth Grahame-Smith and his editor at Quirk Books worked in conjunction for months revising the classic tale of Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennett from proper etiquette to proper zombie defense in “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” However, critics and fans alike arouse similar inquiries – What would Jane think?
As TCU students, and the general population, move further in to the new millennium, we come up less with new thoughts and more with recycled ideas. In some ways these cyclical patterns help us tremendously as we discover ways to update our data-packed world.
For example, the framers of the U.S. Constitution implemented a series of rules and standards that we still live by. And amend. And muddle. And try to figure out what the heck they meant by “bear arms.” But as components of an advancing and modernized society we continually strive to obtain relevant laws that adhere to our needs as a country presently.
Alternatively, the film industry rarely improves a movie with a remake. When cinematic classics are recreated – no matter how many special effects or star-studded leads there are – directors can never match the perfection of the initial version. Jack Black is a talented actor with many successful movies under his belt, but 2005’s “King Kong” wasn’t one of them. There was a reason that the 1933 version of this ape thriller was a hit – its majesty and timeliness are still unparalleled.
Almost every time we turn on the television or walk into a store the words “new and improved” ring in our ears. What is so new about the hippie trend – the 1960s ended only 40 years ago — or a small, sleek appliance with blades that chop food up (you know which infomercial I am speaking of)? It seems as though our creativity and ability to engender truly original fashions, inventions, and ideas have evaporated.
Even the marketing idiom “new and improved” is almost a contradiction. Your blanket with sleeves isn’t an entirely “new” idea. Countless YouTube videos scathingly suggest it isn’t much of an improvement either. The truth is that even though our world becomes increasingly more advanced and we gain additional outlets to information, it isn’t always necessary to “fix something that ain’t broke.”
Jane Austen would probably have a sense of humor if she heard the new take on her beloved novel, but the addition of zombie-ninjas to the Bennett family would not be considered novel or enhanced to many. While we should ingrain fervent respect for past stories and creations in our ever-expanding quest for knowledge, we have yet to explore the furthest corners of our intellectual capacity. Who knows what great – and original – discoveries might spring from challenging ourselves to investigate the unknown?
Judith Schomp is a freshman political science major from Lindale.