Monday, November 21, 2011

But don't quote me on it

I came across this absolutely amazing story of plagiarism yesterday (part 2 of the story is here--be sure to scroll down for the admitted plagiarist's explanation). Short version: A debut novelist plagiarized his entire spy opus from around a dozen sources (including Robert Ludlum and post-Fleming James Bond novels), creating a "new" work by changing character names and that's about all. This inspired me to respond to IMs from concerned reader God Is My Codependent only in repurposed statements today. Given that I don't want to be accused of plagiarism, I'm fully annotating my responses.

Me: I think for the rest of the day, I'm only going to send you plagiarized IMs.

GIMC: Did you plagiarize that one?

Me: No. I haven't started yet.

GIMC: I've got plots for novels that I think are good, yet I don't think I am capable of writing them. Still, it never occurred to me to find bits and pieces of other novels and try to fit them into my plot.

Me: Most writers will have trouble with writer's block at some point in their lives. The possible reasons for writer's block are myriad: fear, anxiety, a life change, the end of a project, the beginning of a project . . . almost anything, it seems, can cause that debilitating feeling of fear and frustration. [1]

GIMC: I'd be more afraid of being caught as a plagiarist.

Me: Students who want to plagiarize can do so with little fear of getting caught. It is just a matter of increasing the effort put into it. However, with anti-plagiarism tools available, no student should want to plagiarize at all because the effort and time required to avoid detection is equal to or greater than the effort of creating an original work. [2]

GIMC: Where are you getting this?

Me: None of your questions are offending to us, in fact nothing is offending to us because every thing that happens is in the hukam of akal purakh, staying in puran hukam is the gurmat and fighting with the hukam is the munmat. [3]

GIMC: You should do a TVB post entitled, "Some thoughts on democracy" and just post the Declaration of Independence.

Me: It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known. [4]

GIMC: Small Change got rained on with his own thirty-eight and no one's gone over to close his eyes. [5]

Me: Small Change was recorded, direct to 2-track stereo tape, July 15, 19, 20, 21, and 29, 1976 at the Wally Heider Recording Studio, in Hollywood, USA under the production of Bones Howe. [6]

GIMC: But what's your opinion of it?

ME: The fourth release in Tom Waits' series of skid row travelogues, Small Change proves to be the archetypal album of his '70s work. [7]

GIMC: OK, plagiarize the answer to this: Are you off Friday?

Me: Oo-ooh-ooh, hoo yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah-ah-ah. Yeah-ah-ah. Yeah-ah-ah. Yeah-ah-ah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Partyin', partyin' (yeah). Partyin', partyin' (yeah). Fun, fun, fun, fun. Lookin' forward to the weekend. [8]

I think we can all agree that the experiment was a rousing success--you really can't tell that I reused earlier works!


Dave said...

What was that saying, ah, a thousand monkeys.... Great stuff.

Jovianne said...

Hey! I like Robert Ludlem, excellent author.
Good post.

Hope you have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!