Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Don't Be This Guy

Blog-reading not being a general part of my obsessive-compulsive disorder, I missed the boat on this one, but nonetheless, I felt it was worth commenting on: Yutz Plagiarizes Stephen King, Gets Caught.

My immediate reaction is one of justified schadenfreude; as someone continually trying to make it as a writer under his own legitimate effort, I hold nothing but contempt for plagiarists.

It also reminds me of an incident in high school. My freshman year, I gave the school paper a whirl. Before I decided that modern "journalism" was definitely not for me and turned my attention to more legitimate pursuits, like juvenile delinquency, we did an exercise where we read school papers from around the district and critiqued their layouts, fonts, and other presentational elements. The particular paper I picked up had come out around the holidays, and imagine my bemusement when I found, nestled in the opinion section, an old Dave Barry column about the difficulty of finding a parking space at the mall. Word-for-word, just as it appeared in my copy of Dave Barry's Greatest Hits, which I dutifully brought in the next day so I could properly narc on this asshole. My advisor said she passed the info (and evidence) along to that school's advisor, but I never heard what happened to the guy. Hopefully something involving corkscrews.

So I guess the moral of the story is: Don't rip people off. And if you're going to rip people off, rip off obscure nobodies instead of national bestsellers.

Oh, and also, if you rip me off, I will beat you.

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