Several months ago we did a podcast with an author who had written a book about 2012. It’s a pretty popular theme right now – 2012. The author came to us and asked to be interviewed on the show (and she’s since emailed several times asking to be interviewed on the show because she has apparently forgotten she was ever on our show. So much for being memorable.) We had never done a show on 2012, and we were always looking for guests so we booked the interview and did the show.
Much to my surprise, someone accused us of “stealing” the idea of covering 2012 from them because they had covered the subject, as well (never mind that we also did a 2012 magazine issue.) I was flabbergasted and said so. To imply ownership of a topic because you have once covered it? I don’t think so. After all, you can do a Google search for 2012 and a gazillion web pages pop up.
This kind of attitude in the paranormal always confounds me. So many people feel that, once they’ve covered something, they now “own” it and anyone who comes after them is a pale imitator and a copycat.
Here’s the real deal. Sure, there are a lot of topics and places to cover that fall under the realm of the paranormal. But darn it, certain places and topics will come around and around again because they are interesting and spark conversation. There is no such thing as paranormal “ownership.”
When we applied for the Paranormal Underground registered trademark, it was provisionally granted provided that we understood that we didn’t own the term “paranormal.” As if. Of course we do. Everyone else who is using it will now cease and desist. Along with asking you all to stop using the term paranormal, I’d like to list some of the people and topics we’ve covered in podcasts, radio shows and magazines that we now feel we own – so the rest of you copycats might as well just leave it alone. Ready? Here we go:
-The Dibbuk Box
-The Jersey Devil
-Stanton T. Friedman
-The Ghost Adventures crew
-Past Life regression
-Life between lives
-Near death experiences
-Anything containing the word “Namaste”
Whew – please keep in mind that this is just a partial list. For a complete list, please scour every back issue of every magazine we’ve put out in the past two years and listen to every podcast we’ve done in the past 18 months. Also please refer to our blogs, galleries and the books that we have published or ever plan to publish. We’d hate to see you get caught with your pants around your ankles using all of the ideas that we now own.
Surely I jest. And to me, that is how silly it is for anyone to feel ownership of any particular place, position or subject.
I’ll be honest. I feel a certain “ownership” of Wellington. Not like I own it, but like I know it and love it in a way that I hope many others will, as well. It’s okay if you spend a lot of time in a place and that place speaks to you. Love it. Share it. But realize that we can no more own a concept, a ghost or a haunted location than we could own another human being. Unless you actually “own” a haunted house. In that case, I am not talking to you. If you’ve got the deed, then it’s all yours, buddy.
Subjects come ’round and ’round. Ideas that feel exciting and totally unique have probably been conceptualized at some point by at least one other person in the universe. And that’s okay.
While I’m not much of a Bible thumper, I’ve always liked the passage from Ecclesiastes:
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Not only that, but thoughts and ideas aren’t meant to be hoarded. They are meant to be shared generously.
A paranormal magazine and a paranormal radio show are hardly “fresh” ideas. They are everywhere, and we get that. But what we do try to do is offer a fresh perspective and presentation. We try to take ideas that have been around since the dawn of time and make them accessible and entertaining. If we cover a topic that you once thought about or talked about, please don’t think we are copying. We’re not. We’re covering a paranormal topic in our way because it interests us. Or because someone asked us to cover it. Or because someone – who may or may not remember us – asked us to share their story in our magazine and on our show. It’s what we do. We share paranormal topics, we have paranormal conversations and we delve into paranormal ideas. Just as we hope you will be inspired to do. As long as you don’t use the word “paranormal.” Seriously. I mean it.