Things I don't get #100

Okay, there are many things I just don't understand. In fact, there are so many, and I tend to rant about them, so I've decided to start numbering them for you, dear blog reader, so they don't all blur together.

I don't recall the number of rants in the past so I've decided to assign a completely arbitrary number of 100 to today's rant. Then I'll number from this one on, probably to infinity.

Here's what I don't get: how an author can plagiarize another author, get away with it, and retain her publisher's support. This has become so commonplace that I can think of several examples to cite.

Today's culprit is 19-year-old Harvard sophomore Kaavya Viswanathan, author of How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life. Her publisher Little, Brown has no plans to withdraw the novel.

Yes, our judicial system is based on the tenet innocent until proven guilty, but Viswanathan acknowledged that she "borrowed material accidentally from author Megan McCafferty's book." A further explanation says that she internalized McCafferty's Jessica books like Sloppy Firsts.

She admitted it when confronted with her criminal act. And, yes, that's what it is, folks! It's a criminal act. It's theft! Somehow during the last few years, this black-and-white fact has faded to a sickly shade of gray.

Excuse me, but how do you accidentally borrow material? What would happen if I visited my local bank and accidentally borrowed a few grand from the vault when they're not looking?

Stealing is stealing. I don't care if it's cash, cars, or words. If you take someone else's words and claim them as your own, then you are stealing - you're not borrowing because borrowing connotes using for a while and then returning. You're stealing. It's wrong. Don't do it.

Shall we add this name to James Frey, Clifford Irving, Janet Dailey, and all the other members of the Anonymous Scurilous Scamming Writers Intellectual Pilferers Elite?

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