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Finding Success the Dishonourable Way

December 18, 2009

Finding Success the Dishonourable Way


You are young and have very limited talent. Your inability to write is only matched by your inability to read and comprehend. What are you to do if you also want to be a great writer?


That is simple. Just do it the dishonorable way.


There was once a moderately successful little journalist apprentice called Steven Glass who for some reason thought that writing was all about looking successful. So he produced well written and impeccably researched articles for The New Republic from 1995 to 1998. The problem was that he never wrote those articles and he never researched them at all. Instead he fabricated his stories and quotes to make himself look good. When the scandal broke it became the biggest scandal that The New Republic had ever faced.


Another crazy notion was the Hitler Diaries as printed by Stern Magazine. The supposedly true diaries were subjected to skeptical protests even before they were published. Yet it was only after the second month of the serialized print that Stern Magazine admitted that the diary was a fake. The reputation of the magazine is still tainted with this scandal.


Perhaps my point is not clear. Scandals come and scandals go in journalism but just a few get caught.


For the rest it is still a wide open market to make a living but any dishonorable means possible. Why bother checking a story for details when we can surf straight to an activist website that will give you all the answers you want?


Here is an idea. Why bother doing any writing at all? Go to a news website, find a popular story then copy and paste the whole thing. Wouldn’t that be a cool way to look like a great writer? Plagiarism? Sorry I just made up a new word.


Why bother learning to write at when it has all been done for you? You do not need to write when we have Alt-A, Alt-C and Alt-V. Just because it is greater than 10% of the original work, it does not matter. No one will ever see it.


So, if you want instant success in writing, do not write your own stuff. Let someone else do it. The internet is full of words written by better writers than you anyway. So cutting and pasting is the future. Just like Twitter is a deep intellectual expression worthy of the language of Shakespeare.




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