Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Shattered Glass, WULAD-Style Redux
Ah, it seems like only yesteryear that I stood perplexedly before you with a tale of deceit the likes of which I never expected to confront: I had discovered that some unfortunate and probably pimply fellow had borrowed a story of mine, changed a few bits here and there, and dumped it on a British Star Wars message board to win points with the Master Such-and-Suches and Darth This-and-That-and-What-Have-Yous.

My response was to send the hopefully young man (whom I affectionately dubbed "Jayson Blair") a gentle note complementing him on his revisions to my work and encouraging him to apply those skills to less plagiaristic endeavors in the future. (Others were not so kind.)

So it was with slightly less surprise that I read an email yesterday informing me that an intrepid internet sleuth had turned up another lame soul--let's call him, uh, "JT LeFrey"--who saw fit to snatch up little bits of other people's unremarkable mumblings--including mine, one of those "Excuses for Not Updating Blog" bits, set during the Cold War--and present them as his own. (Unlike the last fellow, who actually added what I judged to be improvements to my work, this one merely prefaced it with "Hi everybody. I moved, I have no time, I am stressed, I am broke, I don't like Ventura California, I'm adapting.")

Anyway, the biggest bummer to me is a comment left anonymously on the "borrowed" version: "I hate to do this but: The H-bomb test at Bikini was in 1954. Dr. Strangelove was released in 1964. Pol Pot and his buddies didn't start doing their thing until well into the 1970's (in the 60's he was probably still known as Saloth Sar and living in France). Sorry. Let him among you who is not anal cast the first stone."

I was filled with sudden anger upon reading this historically accurate crap, and was just about to rush to the defense of Mr. LeFrey's satirical license, when I realized that the piece in question had in fact been written by me, and our sticky-moused friend was no longer part of the equation.

You see, the pleasure of responding to that jackass heckler should've been mine. So although Mr. Anonymous Historian himself--let's call him "Howard Zinn"--will never read this, I feel the need to say my piece for the record and be done with it.

Hey Howard--did it occur to you that nitpicking about the details of when they blew the crap out of Bikini Atoll or when Pol Pot took a shit is missing the entire point because, as you might have noticed if you had a sense of fucking humor, the whole "Top Excuses for Updating Blog, 1960" bit is itself a bit of an anachronism because hey, they didn't have blogs in 1960, stupid. Which you might have gotten a better sense of if you'd read the other entries in the series (from the Colonial, Medieval, Futuristic, and Paleozoic Eras), but of course you couldn't have, because the goddamn piece of shit was plagiarized! So no, I'm not anal, and I hereby cast this first stone up your ass!

Ah, I feel better. Now, to what purpose our Mr. LeFrey might've borrowed this material, and who he was hoping to impress with my drivel, I don't rightly know. From what I can tell, aside from living in Ventura, he has a pretty good life--a new baby, a fondness for KISS, and a wife who's taller than him and makes "Pan-Seared Filet Mignon's with Wine Sauce(reduced)" [sic]--so I'm not sure why he thought that stealing from a bunch of meaningless internet vanity projects would enrich that life. It's not as if we're being graded on any of this.

Oh shit--are we?

UPDATE: Apparently one of the other victims of Mr. LeFrey's thievery took it upon himself to leave 8 billion comments on his site, all including the following threat: "*WE* don't like it. and we have access to all manner & means of Internet media. so before your name is M-U-D, grow up," which I have to say I find incredibly lame. The only thing worse than plagiarizing blog posts is acting like said plagiarism is really important and threatening to bring down the might of one's imaginary media empire upon the perpetrator. Because, if you think about it, nobody has a damn clue who any of us ("bloggers") are. Except Mimi Smartypants, who's a celebrity in Sweden.