Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Not so perfect, are we?

I'm a writer<3You never know what you'll find in the blogging world...

Today I log on to find quite the turmoil swirling around Plagiarism. 

Some insight from Plagiarism.org:

According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to "plagiarize" means
  • to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
  • to use (another's production) without crediting the source
  • to commit literary theft
  • to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.
In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward.

The trail I followed was pretty insightful, if you want the entire scoop:

 * Parajunkee's View with lots of helpful links to everyone
 * The Story Siren apologizing
 * The Story Siren clarifying her apology
 * "I think we've been plagiarized" back on 1/31/12 by Beautifully Invisible
 * Some thoughts by The Book Lantern - how it all went down, twitter explosion, sizes of blogs or authors changing how plagiarism is viewed... very interesting stuff.
 * How to deal with plagiarism if you are a victim by Grit & Glamour

And my favorite:

 * Radiant Shadows comparing The Story Siren's apologies with her policies on plagiarism.

I like Kelly's view best (at Radiant Shadows) because she points out how Kristi @ The Story Siren has yet to confess wrong. Most of the other posts I read are pretty emotional, having experienced raw pain over being victims. As much as I sympathize (deeply, heart-wrenchingly) that wouldn't stop me from supporting The Story Siren, necessarily, 'cause I've done stupid things myself.

'Cause ...if she is wrong, so obviously (nearly admittedly) wrong, she regains my respect by owning up to it and... not doing it again.  You know?  'Cause who doesn't do stupid stuff?

The problem is, she's not doing that. She's using some apologetic words while avoiding blame, too. She's acting as if she's the victim of complicated coincidences.  Which.... Wha?!

That bothers me.  Suddenly, plagiarism is inky-black ugly and hurtful and my respect & support for Kristi has been suspended until further notice.

I don't think anyone's perfect (or close) by long shot, but character is developed going thru stuff and coming out better on the other side. Character is earned & valuable and I have always thought Kristi was thick with it, so I'll be waiting & watching what happens next.

I titled this post "Not so perfect, are we?" because anyone can do something stupid (everyone does from time to time), but what we do about it matters. I'm posting about it 'cause sometimes people need a little encouragement to do the right thing, and we can all help with that!  :-D