In what’s otherwise been a hopeless election campaign, Melania Trump’s speech cheered me up a bit. Not directly mind you. The segment that closely matched Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech –rather the repercussions– made my day. The internet is alight with humor. We now have a Republican My Little Pony Defense. Tara Strong (the voice of Twilight Sparkle) tweeted that the GOP pony-inspired speech was not Pony Princess approved. The Twilight Sparkle 2016 independent-party presidental campaign was then launched.
I don’t know what happened exactly, and the Trump campaign is not telling. Some people are saying Ms. Trump wrote the speech herself. Others are saying she had assistance from some speechwriters. Others still are saying there was a Melana Trump Team who wrote the speech. There’s also been a great amount of discussion about the (freely available!) plagiarism detecting software used to vet all national-campaign speeches, since there are so many common beats in political speech-writing, it’s a necessity to prevent unintentional similarities to other work. George W. Bush‘s 2001 Inaugural was observed by a journalist to paraphrase segments of several prior addresses from prior presidents. We weren’t expecting much creativity on behalf of the Bush administration, so it set the tone of his presidency. In the case of Melania, it’s not that she merely borrowed beats from Michelle Obama, but that she hit them in precisely the same order, with uncannily comparable cadence. It’s not likely that was coincidence.
Not really that I blame her. (Or even want to — as much as I fear a Trump presidency, I have no real qualms regarding Melania. And the notion of an immigrant first-lady is kinda neat.) I’ve mentioned before how creative efforts involve a lot of standing on the shoulders of giants. There was a recent lawsuit challenging the originality of the Led Zeppelin song Stairway to Heavenyt since it sounds a lot like Taurus.yt by Spirit. (Note the suit was not filed by the original Spirit band, but rather the estate of Randy California it really smacked of a money-grab and thankfully, the suit was ruled in favor of the defense.) Sometimes we hear things and unconsciously incorporate them directly into new material. The adage goes: To steal from one is plagiarism. To steal from many is inspiration.
But this is not (likely) what happened with Melania Trump’s convention speech. I say that because of the Rickroll. To quote the transcript:
…I can assure you, he [Donald Trump] is the ‘guy’. He will never, ever, give up. And, most importantly, he will never, ever, let you down…
Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you…
That’s got to be a speechwriter trolling the GOP. Maybe a Republican writer less then thrilled with Donald Trump’s nomination. Or maybe Cracked is right and Trump’s entire campaign is one giant runaway prank and this is the latest hint.
And now I’ve officially Rickrolled my readership.