I am awesome

I was neither prepared nor in a particularly good mood when I did this “webinar” for Agora I/O. It was eerie having a “conversation” in which I could neither see nor hear the other participants. It was just me and my own voice, with questions and comments occasionally popping up in text on another webpage. Because of that, I couldn’t read anyone’s body language and try to pre-emptively smooth things over and “people please”; I could only speak my mind. Which I did. Which, upon reviewing, was a pretty great thing. You may not like me, but I sure do!

The fun starts about 8 minutes in, and gets better as it goes along. If you know about my story and Sita Sings the Blues, you can skip what comes before that, which is a basic recap.


Author: Nina Paley

Animator. Director. Artist. Scapegoat.

13 thoughts on “I am awesome”

  1. Great video, good to share with creators/authors who are thinking about copyright and wrong.

    And you are so WINNING! 🙂

  2. “Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you;
    figure out what you have to say.
    It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.” -Barbara Kingsolver-

  3. Nonetheless, people are leaving some really stupid comments on my FB page. For example,

    Yes, we do it for love. But so do stockbrokers and they are never asked to work for free nor expected to do it for some higher calling, so why are we?

    Stockbrokers do it for love? There’s so much dumb over there I can’t respond any more. Feel free to help.

  4. It’s hard, even for the awesome, to resist being affected by the world!

    You could try responding with this quote-
    “I should love to satisfy all, if I possibly can; but in trying to satisfy all, I may be able to satisfy none. I have, therefore, arrived at the conclusion that the best course is to satisfy one’s own conscience and leave the world to form it’s own judgment, favorable or otherwise.” -Mohandas K. Gandhi-

    Or, how about this strategy-
    “If you really want the last word in an argument, try saying, ‘I guess you’re right.” -Source unknown-

  5. I used to think you were, indeed, awesome. Super-awesome, even.

    I have long disagreed with your reasoning on copyright issues, because in my legal and ethical opinion your reasoning appears to be logically flawed in several ways. This disagreement, however, did not diminish your “awesomeness” in my eyes. People are, after all, entitled to be wrong, and to disagree.

    What now forces me to conclude that you are not “awesome,” however, is your habit of referring to opinions different from your own as “stupid,” etc. I have read the contrary comments on Facebook, and they are not “stupid.” They are well reasoned, well articulated, and presented dispassionately. You may disagree with the conclusions presented, but a non-Nina position is not necessarily a “stupid” position, and you betray a high degree of closed-mindedness by making such an assertion. None of the FB commenters (that I saw), called Nina Paley stupid, or in any way attacked or disparaged your credibility or sincerity. Moreover, you posted your opinions (both there and here) in a forum open to comments. Further still, this is not at all the first time I have seen you write such things. Awhile back, on this site, you referred to those of us who disagreed with you as “misguided,” “uneducated,” etc.

    In making your film, you unintentionally used property that was still legally controlled by someone else. You got angry. It was absurd for the owners of that property to raise as big of a stink as they did, and it would have been a horrible loss, culturally speaking, if your film had not been made and released. But are you really so certain in your position that anyone who disagrees with you, and dares say so, must be mentally deficient? I’m just saying it’s POSSIBLE that your position is wrong. And I’m not stupid for saying so.

    Calling others and their differing opinions “stupid” is not indicative of reasonable discussion or logical, truth-pursuing argumentation. If you are indeed that reactionary and defensive about your position, it’s probably a red flag that you should reexamine your position. In the meantime, if all you want is to put forth your opinions to a gaggle or yes-fans, and not them challenged in the marketplace of ideas, more power to you. But you will continue to lose fans, like me, who have independent thoughts that happen to differ from yours.

  6. I’ve missed your presentation 🙁
    Will you give it again? It would be great to share thoughts about this stuff (i’ll try to start by commenting your blog posts!).


  7. Hey Nina, you really are amazingly insightful in a completely different way of thinking about creative work. One question that I had was, is it possible to do large collaborative work in such a model? I would imagine that some creative works might not exists if one could not at least recoup the costs? We might not have Pixar movies or a lot of really interesting and fun video games that have required millions of dollars to produce. Or am I just missing something?

  8. A lot of people are asking the “collaborative model” question. One is Terry Hancock, who’s written some articles about it. It certainly seems possible – many large Free Software projects employ such a model. However the big businesses that currently finance large scale movie projects would have to change radically in order to be involved, and they currently lack the will to do so. People with the will, currently lack the money. I don’t know what’s going to happen with large scale projects; all I can do is watch while others take the initiative to change. As my friend Ken Shan says, “Things Take Time.”

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