Friday, December 02, 2005

Dirty rotten scoundrels, little green men

  • The New York Press is shocked, shocked about plagiarism.
Robert Clark Young’s article makes the great point that literary plagiarists exhibit sociopathic behavior, in the compulsive reorganization of preexisting texts and presenting them as original works. He is careful, however, to not discuss sociopathic tendencies in writers who tend to do their own work (as if he’d get any to admit it). Still, it’s sad when pulped editions of plagiarized works sell for nearly $1000 on Amazon. People will indeed collect anything.
It’s a personal theory of mine that mankind creates boogeymen (benevolent or not) to explain the unexplainable. Ergo, Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster all the way up through God and Satan; theories that swell with exoticism and promise, yet deflate the moment they encounter the needles of rationality and hard science. Healing balms, however, take many forms, so it’s really just a matter of choosing your demon. In any case, Douglas Kern’s article is a good read, and makes me nostalgic for those early days of The X-Files, when the Internet was still a rather intimidating new frontier.

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