Following on from the last post about copyright, I had been reading about parodies and what you were allowed and not allowed to do. One line in particular stood out to me from whatever I was reading at the time, that parody of an existing piece of work is permitted when it is done with a social agenda or some form of social commentary in mind.
Now it’s not that I have any intention of parodying anything or anyone, but it did make me think of the agenda of Jeff. I’ve said previously that I’m am writing how I want to because it is soothing and I enjoy it, but as the cogs turn in my head about where this might be heading, what might the agenda be?
It turns out, I may have been slowly building an agenda, as a natural progression/evolution of the stories and Jeffrey’s world already. For example, before I started taking things more seriously, I already had a handful of copies of the first two books privately printed to pass onto to family and a couple of friends. Soon enough Jeff was mentioned at work (I have a day job, not sure if I’ve mentioned this before? It is quite removed from any of this, geeky and IT related. I am very lucky to enjoy the work I do almost as much as I am enjoying all of this) and soon enough a few work colleagues asked if they could read the books. Even though I was more than happy for them to do so, I suddenly became very aware that (especially with the first book) it is a very personal story to me. I tried to think of a way to de-personalise it from myself whilst not losing anything from it and from that I decided to make it more about Jeff and less about the humans he lived with. So I chose a couple of gender-neutral names and removed all personal pronoun references. It meant that Sam and Charlie took a backseat to the story as the story is and always will be predominantly about Jeff, but it also means Sam and Charlie can be to you the reader, whoever you want them to be.
So that’s agenda item one I guess, Jeffrey’s view of the world where all the humans to him look similar. He is only small and though he knows we come in all different shapes, sizes, ages and colours, he just doesn’t see it – we just all look human to him.
If there are any other agendas that he/I/we would like to promote it would be hugging, waving, good manners and for everyone to be nice to each other. He prides himself on being a very good boy. And that brings us right back round to that question again; ‘why and who am I writing these stories for?’ Maybe it’s just our way of trying to inject a little bit of niceness back into this world. I think the world could really do with a bit more of that couldn’t it?
So there we go. I’m not writing these to tell everyone to go hug and wave everybody they see. Jeff would thoroughly enjoy this but I think we know it might be frowned upon if behaviour like this randomly broke out on the street (though there are far worse things and other oddities that can happen on the streets). I will however be keeping these agenda items at the back of my mind when writing, but if anything, they will be included because they are part of Jeffrey’s persona and not because I have a specific agenda I am trying to push; It’s just who he is.
Jeffrey isn’t happy right now, we’ve just taken the Christmas decorations down. Mr. Christmas Tree and Snowman have gone into hibernation so the fuzzy felt farm and the coffee table are a bit quiet and looking a bit bare. Thankfully I found our Lucky Cat and a spare battery so Jeffrey has something to wave at indefinitely.
I hope you are well and have had a jolly festive season and a happy new year!