Accusations of Plagiarism
The Bal’more Weekly, North America’s leading repository of literature and arts detritus in the Mid-Atlantic region, offers up the following course of coarse events over the past month that has stirred up quite a literary world-wide controversy, which if we knew would happen we would have exploited far greater in earlier publications.
The players are:
The Fuddy-Duddy Writer, aka “Minnie”, aka The Fud, world renowned for the lipstick journalism school of writing, author of the article that began this fine mess.
The Fan(s), a mysterious, handsome impressario and all about roundabout and original Fuddy-Duddy supporter that was seen around town with a young Elke Somer just three days ago.
Here we bring you the original stories by The Fud and The Fan(s), as well as some follow-up Letters to the Editor which demonstrate in more ways than one the power of the pen. We’re left wondering, Will The Fud and The Fan(s) make amends? You decide for yourself…
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The Fuddy-Duddy Writer Reflects on her Fan(s)
For my Fan(s), founder and chair of both WUC,BWUTC (We Use Colons, But We Use Them Correctly) and its sometimes inflammatory subsidiary ALATUT (As Long As They Use Them), writer and editor extraordinaire who is both passionate and indecisive about punctuation.
Inspired in part by ff and MP.
The Fuddy-Duddy Writer does not rest on her laurels. She enjoys the festival that is all about her, but she moves on. She lives fully in the moment, all the more so when the moment is all about her. She grants interviews, collects fan mail, never says no to a television appearance. She also takes to heart her fans’ comments, and sometimes even replies.
When one fan recently tried to send her a link to The Meters’ “I Got to Get My Name Up in Lights,” she replied by sending a link to the Broadway hit tune “When I Get My Name in Lights”. The fan’s heart was in the right place, but The Meters funk is too hip for the Fuddy Duddy writer, even if her nimble knees are kicking it up this morning as she smiles fondly at the very idea of sitting on a flagpole.
The Fuddy Duddy writer appreciates her one fan so devoted to her cause, who sent her this poem today:
I don’t know what’s wrong with these kids today!
Who can understand anything they text or say?
They a disobedient, disrespectful oafs!
Noisy, crazy, dirty, lazy punctuators!
While we’re on the subject:
You can text and twitter till your face is blue!
But they still keypad what they want to do!
Why can’t they be like we were,
Perfect punctualists in every way?
What’s the matter with kids today?
The Fuddy Duddy Writer is committed to her cause, even if her one fan wrote the following to her in an early morning email:
“You actually may be the one person who can make your writer’s life of abandon… as boring and mundane as in suburbia.”
She knows he struggles, this fan, with his own desire to see his name up in lights, and so she ignores his attempt at wit. The Fuddy Duddy Writer does not do wit.
The Fuddy Duddy Writer is working on her memoir, “Life and Love with a Clean Colon.”
The Fuddy Duddy Writer has only one fan.
*Author’s note – Inspired by today’s Love, Fest. Thanks to everyone, really!!
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In its eternal search for fairness and controversy, The Bal’more Weekly elicited this story the next week from the Fan(s).
The Fan(s) Reflect(s) on The Fuddy-Duddy Writer
The Fan came across an absolutely astonishing literary tribute today while cruising through his favorite stalk . . . er stomping grounds, The Bal’more Weekly. It was titled The Fuddy-Duddy Writer Reflects on Her Fan(s), and it was dedicated to him, however it incorrectly states it was inspired by an ff and a MP, contradicted by the Fuddy-Duddy Writer’s own Author’s Note which states it was “inspired by today’s Love, Fest. Thanks to everyone, really!! “
The Fan, as head of the WUC,BWUTC, took immediate exception to the Fuddy-Duddy Writer’s egregious mis-use of a colon (and close paren) in an attempt to do what is known as a “smiley face”. Even the most radical member of ALATUT (for which the Fuddy-Duddy Writer is disingenuous in attaching titular status to The Fan, as she is really the Chair) would agree that her previous statement calls out for a semi-colon and a closed paren, the ‘winking smiley’, ;o). Obviously, if she has but one Fan, that statement re: “Love, Fest” is a blatant lie.
I add the bulbous nose because The Fuddy-Duddy Writer obviously is into the Old-Grandad or Old-Crow or Old Fitzgerald or Old-whatever gawd-awful Bourbon she swills down, quite early these days.
Be that as it may, the tribute sings out in praise of her one Fan; indeed, half the words are direct quotes, which proves The Fuddy-Duddy Writer is not beyond attempting what is said of the great writer: stealing, not borrowing. She fails miserably, even citing The Fan as source.
But then, The Old Fuddy succeeds:
“The Fuddy Duddy Writer is committed to her calling and carries a red pen at all times, as red as her Red Rocket lipstick.”
Which is straight from the pages of WB ‘s a day uptown/a night on the bowery, published a full month or two prior:
“teacher’s down on the corner, marking papers with her cherry lip gloss
i can’t get a handle on her, never could, she never did sumthin’ for me”
So, as she twirls around her flagpole, as she calls it – we know that it is really a dance pole down at the Show-It-All Boat strip joint, right next to where The Meters are blaring out their “Name Up In Lights” beat, so don’t let that mis-information about not being hip fool you – she can bemoan this fact:
The Fuddy-Duddy Writer has no Fan(s)!
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In an unprecedented literary moment, the Bal’More Weekly received hundreds of letters pouring in from fans of both The Fud and The Fan. Not since the days of Edgar Allen Poe and our top He’s Really a Monkey at the Typewriter exposé has The Bal’More Weekly seen such uproar over punctuation and possible plagiarism.
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Note from VOICES Ed.: You can read the full story above plus those revealing letters at: Colon Controversy — the Complete Story.
The Fuddy-Duddy Writer sees fit on this occasion to respond to her one fan on several points.
First, to her credit, she did quote her fan(s). What more do(es) (t)he(y) want? As an erstwhile historian, she’s prone to using footnotes, but since she achieved her fame she is now beyond that and thus relies on inspiration as it comes to her and feels the metaphysical world connects us all, plagiarism be damned (she has been called meta, after all).(1) In short, she honors her fan(s) in the way she knows best: with her references, suggestions, innuendos, nuanced links.
Second, the Fuddy-Duddy Writer reserves the right to be inspired by whatever and whoever crosses her path and moves her to write. Be it a certain serious writer, a sometimes well-meaning fan, or even a recently attended Love, Fest.(2) If the fan does not want to share her, then so be it. She is a child of the sixties, after all, and feels it most appropriate to share the love.
Third, the Fuddy-Duddy Writer feels honored The Fan would mention her Chair of the ALATUT – she only recently disassociated herself from the group in order to save a certain someone embarrassment regarding an incident involving ketchup, origami, and a blow-up exclamation point.
Finally, coming back to the plagiarism point — something she takes most seriously (having once slept with Stephen Ambrose and thus having gained a certain insight into all real and pretend meetings with Eisenhower (3); she’s faked a lot of things in her day, indeed she even faked it with Stevie himself but never mind that, she’s a fuddy-duddy about other things besides writing and therefore doesn’t share such secrets): she most certainly did not plagiarize The Fan. Her Red Rocket lipstick has been her signature facelook (you can see it on Facebook) for decades. She has never read the work cited by the Fan, a day uptown/a night on the bowery. A true fan would know that she never reads such low-brow smut.
1. See her publication in metazen, for example, or other interviews granted by other less known literary magazines such as WWWP (Women Writers With Principles – not to be confused with WWWP, Women Writers With Principals, a wellknown swingers club targeting people with specific needs/wants in Orange County in the late 1980s) and Wherefore Women? An Experiential and Existential Exploration.
2. The abovementioned Love, Fest was not in any way associated with Women Writers With Principals; once again: The Fud is not a member of that organization.
3. For more on this controversy, see Richard Raynor, “Channelling Ike” in The New Yorker, April 26, 2010; and Paul Harris, “Band of Brothers author accused of fabrication for Eisenhower biography” in The Guardian, April 25, 2010.
* * *
While she is currently soaking up in the self-congratulatory
“Love, Fest”, for lo these past 40 years The Fan has been
immortalized on a poster that was seen in every head shop in the World That Matters, “Humbead’s Revised Map of the World”, with the only 1,000 People that Matter. Here you can see his “Name up in lights” amongst luminaries such as John Lennon and Soupy Sales. Oh, and The Fan was not aware until the new Millenium that he was even on there, so much for wanting to be as Vain as Fuddy.
Most Sincerely Yours,
* * *
Hello Ms or is that Mrs or Miss Fuddy-Duddy I never can tell when to use what because an can I call you Minnie like The Fan(s) says some people call ya? not that he says he calls ya that. I was tryin to be polite because that fucker, oh excuse me, Minnie if I may says that you are a stilickler for semi colons an whatnot but I dont know from that so please forgive me.
The Fan(s) says you an me might have some god damn good talk that you got something to say to me about my manners and stuff and all I got is the dirt on his buddies Eddie an Sid and his characters all even the triplet’s real story.
Look forward to hearin from ya but you’ve been silent so I’ll shut my damn trap an start listenin now specially bout the The Show-Boat an maybe you can get me a job there but I don’t do dirty stuff just lap dances. Eddies takin me out for a special dinner at The Rainbow Cafe real ritzy ya’ know?