Gerald Posner, whose books include Case Closed and Secrets of the Kingdom, told The Associated Press that a flawed research methodology for Miami Babylon, a nonfiction work released last fall by Simon & Schuster, led him to use text from Frank Owen’s Clubland without giving credit.
A flawed research methodology? And the AP wrote that down without laughing up a lung? Dude, in my world, that’s plagiarism. Plain and simple.You stole something, lied about it, and got caught. And this is the best you can come up with? Flawed research methodology? Am I the only one disgusted?
It seems that we’ve sunk so far down into the goo that we can’t face our own shame and admit it when we’ve been caught doing wrong. Instead we clothe our words in fancy pants verbs, nouns, and adjectives that POOF! absolves us of all responsibility. What a gig!
So now you can feel free to insult anyone you want. Go ahead, be outrageous. Tell someone their grandmother wears Army boots, or tell your friend his dog has a secret tattoo that implies he’s ambiguously human. Plagiarize ’til the cows come home. There is no ownership of one’s actions or utterances, so the sky is the limit. Rude, boorish behavior is our new playground.
Someone takes issue with something you said? Tell ’em to go blow. After all, you weren’t insulting, they just simply misunderstood you. It’s their fault if they’re offended. If you happen to lift passages of someone else’s published works, thereby costing your publisher thousands, well, so what? Get over yourself already.
The classic catch-phrase in this twisted U-turn toward devolution is “It’s not my fault.” Yah-freaking-hoO! Thank the All Powerful Cosmic Muffin that the shopworn “the buck stops here” is finally o-ver. Whew! Because, golly-gee, apologies are sooo personal, and our tank-sized egos [like Mr. Posner’s] can’t manage to choke out something like, “I did/said a wrong thing, and I’m so sorry that my lapse in judgment hurt so many people. I. Was. Wrong.”
I know, what a concept, eh? A sad state of affairs.
I’m yanking my tongue out of my cheek to remind everyone that taking full responsibility for your conduct puts you on a much higher peg of the evolutionary ladder. Because, really, no one is fooled by the blatherings of Mr. Posner or the troll who says, “Hey, it’s your fault if you’re offended.” For those people, I wish them nothing but lifelong boils and hairy warts on their chins.