Archive for the 'drama' Category

More in the “stupid plagiarism” category

January 17, 2008

It’s funny that people think in the age of the Internet, you can plagiarize and it won’t be noticed. All it takes is one person to notice, and since the blogosphere loves outing plagiarists, you’re done.

So really, all plagiarism these days is pretty stupid. But I think this case deserves special attention:

It all began when a mysterious e-mail arrived in my inbox last week with a link to a romance novel blog, www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com. While reviewing a novel by best-selling romance writer Cassie Edwards, the self-proclaimed “smart bitches” had discovered passages that matched, word for word, my ferret story [a scientific piece about endangered ferrets in South Dakota].

In the Internet age, every freelance writer fears that his or her words will be appropriated without compensation. First I was angry. Then I had to laugh. To see my textbook descriptions of ferrets in a bodice-ripper, as dialogue between a hunky American Indian and a lustful pioneer woman who several pages later have sex on a mossy riverbank, is the height of absurdity.

I rushed out to buy a copy of the book. The cover of “Shadow Bear,” $6.99 in paperback, features a shirtless, dark-haired hunk in a loin cloth with a machete strapped to his belt. His abdominal muscles ripple, and wind blows through his long mane.

It goes on. Right after Shadow Bear and his (white–why are they always white) lover go all the way, they hear a noise outside that turns out to be ferrets rooting around.

Shiona then tells Shadow Bear how she once read about ferrets in a book she took from the study of her father. “I discovered they are related to minks and otters. It is said their closest relations are European ferrets and Siberian polecats,” she says. “Researchers theorize that polecats crossed the land bridge that once linked Siberia and Alaska, to establish the New World population.”

Ohmygod that is so hot.

I’m still laughing. Thanks to my dear friend Claire for bringing this to my attention. I have nothing more to add; this is the highlight of my day plain and simple.

The true origin of text-messaging abbreviations

December 13, 2007

That’s right, folks, the true origin of text-messaging is contained right here. No other blog is breaking investigative pieces like this, so make sure you keep us bookmarked.

The TRUE origin of text messaging abbreviations

Worth Reading: on barrel chairs and taste

November 19, 2007

This piece in an old Washington Post Style section cracked me up.

Taste, guilt and barrel chairs are beasts preying on couples shopping on 14th Street. Perhaps they should seek counseling from Jennifer Marshall, a Stanford art history professor who specializes in 20th-century American aesthetics. Marshall listens to a description of the chairs. She says they sound like they were “made in a home workshop . . . completing the picture of a guy’s dream den.” She says the chairs may be part of the Do-It-Yourself age. In such cases the very garishness of an object is what makes it appealing.

After seeing a photograph of the chairs, she states: “Okay. Those are pretty ugly.” Then again, she doesn’t have to live with a man who loves them. [“Before You Have a Seat, Take a Stand“-WaPo]

“Exit Ariel”

September 20, 2007

I’m not much of a theater person (though I’m crossing my fingers that we get to 33 Variations before it closes) but when I came across this quote from one of my favorite playwrights, Tom Stoppard, I knew I’d have to post it.

On the difference between drama and theatre:

Years and years ago, there was a production of The Tempest, out of doors, at an Oxford college on a lawn, which was the stage, and the lawn went back towards the lake in the grounds of the college, and the play began in natural light. But as it developed, and as it became time for Ariel to say his farewell to the world of The Tempest, the evening had started to close in and there was some artificial lighting coming on. And as Ariel uttered his last speech, he turned and he ran across the grass, and he got to the edge of the lake and he just kept running across the top of the water — the producer having thoughtfully provided a kind of walkway an inch beneath the water. And you could see and you could hear the plish, plash as he ran away from you across the top of the lake, until the gloom enveloped him and he disappeared from your view.

And as he did so, from the further shore, a firework rocket was ignited, and it went whoosh into the air, and high up there it burst into lots of sparks, and all the sparks went out, and he had gone.

When you look up the stage directions, it says, “Exit Ariel.”  (“The Play’s the Thing“)