Yesterday, the Clinton campaign accused Obama of plagiarizing his friend Deval Patrick. Patrick insists that the two friends often swap rhetorical strategies, saying he sees nothing wrong with Obama repeating a phrasing he helped create. I'm with Obama and Patrick on this one: I don't want to live in a world where every anaphora "plagiarizes" some millennia-dead Greek orator.
However, I would like to live in a world where I'm paid when bloggers from The New York Times plagiarize me. Last November, in a post entitled "The Munch Paradox," I wrote:
For those of you keeping score, it's possible that an upcoming episode of The Wire might now incorporate:
- John Munch, a character inspired by Jay Landsman
- Jay Landsman, a second character inspired by Jay Landsman
- the real Jay Landsman
So in short, if Mr. Belzer is supposed to be Munch in that wordless scene, then “The Wire” would now incorporate the real Jay Landsman, a character named Jay Landsman, and a second character inspired by Jay Landsman.
This person profited off my sentences. Granted, they're not the greatest sentences in the world; in fact, because they're bulleted, they might not even be sentences. How about we say this person profited off my infelicitous arrangement of words? Because he did.
I demand the $12 (or whatever) he earned "writing" that post. My campaign starts now. He might claim that they are just words. Just words? He might claim that they are just a coincidence. Just a coincidence? He might even claim that I'm just plagiarizing some millennia-dead Greek orator with my anaphora here. I'm just plagiarizing some millennia-dead Greek orator with my anaphora here? This I say to you, dear readers, that I will not stop, I will not cease, I will not sleep until I have in my hands the $12 (or whatever) he earned "writing" that post.
This I promise you.