RANT: Coulter, Plagiarism, Book Store Bigotry

Most of the time, I’m a sunny, cheerful person. Okay, most of the time, I’m not, but lately I’m even surlier than usual because people are BUGGING me. In particular . . .

1. The Media. Not all of it. Just the part of it that rose to the Ann Coulter bait.

Ann Coulter is the skinny blond conservative who got fired from USA Today for being a lousy writer. She gets press for being outrageous which is always dangerous because real outrage sometimes leads people to actually do something. Bill Maher found this out after 9/11 when he said the terrorists were brave for flying planes into the towers. No, Bill, brave means knowing there will be seriously bad consequences for doing something and doing it anyway. The terrorists thought they were going to wake up with seventy virgins. You can get any fraternity boy to walk off a frat house roof at 2AM on a Saturday night for seventy virgins; the difference between the terrorist and the frat boy is that the frat boy won’t take thousands of innocent people with him because it would, like, reflect bad on the rest of the brothers. So Bill said something outrageous because that’s what he does to get ratings, and then people were outraged and he lost his job, and then he was outraged. I’m not sure why. It seemed pretty much cause and effect to me. Where was I?

Right. Ann Coulter. Ann said the 9/11 widows were enjoying their widowhood or something equally outrageous. I didn’t pay much attention because I knew Ann wasn’t either, she was just being outrageous because nobody had said, “Ann Coulter” on CNN for a long time, and kicking kittens hadn’t gotten her any press. Kicking 9/11 widows? Sure-fire outrage. And I thought, “Suppose Ann Coulter said something stupid and nobody noticed?” Would she escalate? “The 9/11 widows are sleeping with terrorists!” Would her voice become increasingly shrill? “The 9/11 widows EAT THEIR YOUNG!!” Would those gray roots start to show? “THE 9/11 WIDOWS DON’T MOISTURIZE!!!” If Ann Coulter said something dumb in the woods and the media didn’t hear, would she wear sensible shoes? I don’t really care since Ann Coulter never says anything thought-provoking or even interesting, unlike say, Mary Matalin, so Ann’s easy to ignore.

But the media people who say, “Ohmigod, did you hear what Ann Coulter said?” even though they know she’s made of plastic and hair, well, they bug me. Yes, I know, I’m adding to the problem, but I waited until everything had died down so I’m not really contributing anything. Plus twelve people read this blog, so I’m thinking this will not cause a media frenzy, because the twelve people who read this blog are brilliant, insightful people who do not run about shouting, “Ohmigod, did you hear what Ann Coulter said?” they just shake their heads and say, “Her fifteen minutes are about up, don’t you think?” and go on to read Alison Bechdel (see below).

2. Plagiarism I don’t like plagiarists and I don’t like people who say, “Oh, it’s just words, no big deal,” and I really don’t like people who say, “Well, maybe it was just an accident.” Like the woman who allegedly said through her lawyer that she might have accidentally copied three pages from the book of an author who is very close to me. (I am reminded of the West Wing episode in which Sam tells Toby that he accidentally slept with a prostitute. Toby says, “Accidentally? What did you do? Trip?”) What really bugs me is that she allegedly sold the short story she wrote (didn’t write) to an alleged fund-raising anthology for an alleged authors group to which she allegedly belonged, and although most of the other alleged authors allegedly donated their profits as allegedly did the publisher, this alleged word thief allegedly refused and should therefore allegedly fry.

What is it with people like this? “I need it so I’m going to take it and the hell with everybody else?” Or do they not even think about “everybody else”? Does “everybody else” not exist for people like this, bound as they are by the parameters of their own needs? Are they astounded when people object to their thefts? “Why yes, I did take that,” do they say when confronted with the proof of their pilfering, “is that a problem?” Well, yes, you conscienceless bitch, it IS a problem.

Okay, what really bugs me is that people like this steal the work of others and then giggle self-consciously and say, “Oh, sorry about that. No hard feelings, ‘kay?” Hand me that hard feeling, Mabel, I’m gonna use it to beat some moral integrity into that there dumbass plagiarist.

3. Book Store Shelving I just read Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home. Great, great book, a graphic novel memoir about growing up in a small town with her non-Walton-like family, especially her father who loved restoring their vintage home more than he loved her mother, and loved teen-aged boys more than that. It’s an amazing book about her coming of age, and the drawings are beautiful and the book is funny and Gothic and touching and thoughtful and you should read it.

And I almost didn’t because when I went to the bookstore to find it, I couldn’t. I looked on the New Books table: Nope. (This book is being reviewed everywhere, glowing reviews, that’s why I went looking for it, so it should be a no-brainer to put it on the New Books table. Granted I live in Ohio, and the nearest bookstore to me usually forgets to put my books on the New Books table even though my publisher pays them to, but jeez.) I looked in Fiction under the Bs for “Bechdel.” Nope. I looked in Memoir. Nope. I finally looked in the store’s computer under “Bechdel” and found it listed under “Gay and Lesbian Fiction,” and then I couldn’t find Gay and Lesbian Fiction (I HAVE to find a new bookstore).

Bechdel is a lesbian and her father was bisexual, and the book does refer to these aspects of her life, but I’m from Ohio and my books refer to that often and they don’t shelve me under Ohioana. Why the hell wasn’t this in General Fiction or Memoir or at least cross-shelved? Hell, why wasn’t it on the front table with a sign that said, “This has been reviewed everywhere and everybody is raving about it and it’s a marvelous book and oh-my-God, you should read it”? It’s a beautifully packaged book, too, the kind that booksellers usually climb all over themselves to display just because the cover is so crunchy-looking. So this week, I’m mad at booksellers, too. Unless they’re displaying Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home prominently and handselling it. Then they’re good people and I love them and they will go to Bookseller Heaven, where no one will ever ask them to find that book their friend told them about, the one with the green cover. Or maybe it was blue.

I’m telling you, some days, everywhere you go, it’s nothing but bugs.


77 thoughts on “RANT: Coulter, Plagiarism, Book Store Bigotry

  1. Great picture, Jenny. Is that one of your, well, I’ve forgotten what they’re called now, but great one? (there’s a question in there somewhere)

    Take it easy, Babe. (((hugs)))

    TYCCHA – a sneeze?

  2. Oh, I think there are more than twelve. Thanks for the reading recommendation; I’ll go find it.


    (and now I’m even less sorry for what I just posted on that other blog of yours)

  3. Amen on booksellers and finding books! I’ve had the same problem.

    Cute pix.

    Keep on writing.

    scjzjjf blue
    another sneeze

    sincere Crusie, Jenny zips jiffy jots fiendishly

  4. I know someone said that it’s not kind to booksellers to move stuff, but since my reaction to Ann Coulter is “Oh, jeez, there she goes again”, I turned over her book on the New Books table, so people wouldn’t have to look at it. But there she still was, looking smug, so I went and fetched a nice copy of Don’t Look Down from the Hardcover Fiction section and put it on top. Just to protect others, you know? There was at least one copy (of DLD) left where it was supposed to be, so I hope no harm was done (except to Ms. Coulter’s sales, which has a net positive effect on US collective IQ).

    Anyway, I’m sorry you’re feeling surly, it’s hard not to in this present climate, but I hope that This, Too, Shall Pass.

  5. I’d never heard of Ann Coulter UNTIL the other week when her book was released and she launched herself with that ridiculous comment about the 9/11 widows.

    Then I got doubly mad — at her for saying it and at the rest of the media for falling in with her plans. Of course she said it deliberately because she knew she’d get more press as a result.

    The next time that some $@#&^#^@ ##*&@#*&# uses the ploy, I wish the rest of the world would shrug and ignore the bait.

  6. Even surly you are a delight. Look at you, starting shit with Ann Coulter! Now I want to have your babies.

    Also, great Aguilar! I broke down and bought a gardening one for my potting shed.

  7. Now Bob, sounds like she’s in just the right mood for Lisa Livia and increasing the body count.

    Never heard of Ann Coulter but her clones are everywhere. Shock jocks. Sensationalists. Wanting just one more bite of the 15 minute cherry. Hey, get back to the end of the line, I say.

    12 peoeple? Puh-lease! Dont underestimate we cherries.

    dwoemw – dont weep over ego’s and muses – write!

  8. I was taught that there is nothing worse than stealing someone else’s words and calling them your own. And I also don’t buy their excuses, either, when they are caught doing it. How the hell do you NOT know that you are using someone else’s material?! How stupid do you want the world to think you are, anyway?! If you love a particular quote, take it, own it, make it your own, but for the love of all that is wonderful, give the original author the credit!! And who the heck is this Ann person anyway? Never heard of her, but then again I don’t really watch TV all that much. Sounds like she deserved whatever it was she got–damn stupid of her to go around poking at national icons and all–9/11 widows are sacred… Go ahead and be surly–I’m right there with you!!

    yllcz (red)–Yesterday Lisa Livia called Zurich

    (I see we get to play here also…)

    oh drat–took too long
    uqydl (green)–Under qualified yodelers don’t last

  9. What really bugs me is that the other night Jay Leno had Ann Coulter on with GEORGE CARLIN and HE DIDN’T VIVISECT HER!!!

    Have you ever read a couple of wonderful old books by Christopher Morley, PARNASSUS ON WHEELS and THE HAUNTED BOOKSHOP, written almost 100 years ago? In the latter, a group of booksellers are swapping stories, and one tells of a customer who came in asking for the book about “the boy raised by the monks.” The clerk found him a copy of THE CLOISTER AND THE HEARTH, but it seemed that what was wanted was TARZAN OF THE APES.

    I think your bookstore must be the same one that shelved EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK under Science Fiction….

    tazfoiqb –The American Zoo Federation often imitates queer birds.

  10. You know I’m now feeling smug and all fluffy bunny as I’m one of the “alleged” 12 brilliant, insightful people. Of course I do actually run around shouting Ohmigod occasionally, but omit the Ann Coulter bit and follow with something more along the lines of “Ohmigod someone ate all the chocolate and DIDN”T replace it the @#$%s”

    Cool my verification is ookkaoey which obviously is totally self explanatory ^5.

  11. see Jenny, this is why your The Cherry. not just your writing skills, but your brain.

    (though i have to say, what makes you think only 12 people read this? try 120, it’s just on this site a lot of them don’t post).

    i remember reading about Ann Coulter, saying “how f*cking stupid can someone be, why the hell do i have to read about some dumbass”, and then moving on. waste of my anger, i feel, when there’s so many other things that piss me off that MATTER.

    tal- great line about the sex book. i actually just got a book of short stories about alien sex, so they do kind of exist. (well, of course, you say. how else do aliens procreate- anal probes? that’s just what they do to humans)

    blue: xqsdclvq:
    Xavier quickly sells dancing cats… like, very quickly.

  12. Frogs eat what bug them. Want me to turn you into a frog long enough to eat those bugs ?
    Oh, wait , I have to turn into a witch first. That’s not such a stretch.

    hateful buge equal chronic upset

  13. Margaret Cho had a great bit about Ann Coulter on her website. I still hope that if we ignore ol’ Ann long enough, she’ll go away. Or poof into a cloud of smoke, like the Wicked Witch of the West.

  14. Wow … I don’t think I can add anything intelligent to this post. But, I can always question. If the bookstore is part of a “chain” do they have the autonomy to place books where they want or is it all corporate’s decision?

    Pretty sure there are at least thirteen people who read here, you must not have counted Bob.

  15. Hi, Jenny– I normally read the feed of your blog at LiveJournal (so I think you have a few more than 12 readers…).

    I wanted to ask you about #2. I watch plagiarism cases fairly obsessively, and I haven’t heard about this one in the news. Is it not public yet?

  16. Well I would post anyway just so I could be counted as one of those intelligent insightful people, or at least mistaken for one; but,

    Jenny, YOU GO, GIRL!! The worse part of people doing stuff – the Ann Coulter’s and the plagiarists, is that no one stands up and says that the emperor is nekked. Instead we mutter that there are worse things in the world. And that’s why the twits get away with it. Personally I think such excruciatingly painful stupidity ought to be punishable by death. But that just MHO.

    Bob, don’t pick on Jenny. She’s obviously channeling cranky Agnes and you don’t want her coming after you with the big fork, right? Keyboards are bad enough.

  17. Ann Coulter is a nitwit. Jenny, everything you said was spot on. The best thing for us to do is ignore her and encourage others to do likewise, so that her booksales are complete crap.

  18. You see, this is why people use Amazon. It’s all very well saying support your local book store but that only works (particularly with the number of books that I buy) if the price for paying more than Amazon is a more thought-provoking selection. Instead they all fight over discounts on the same 100 books and if you don’t want to read about yet another half-drunk journo who’s growing olives in Tuscany just for a lark, you’re properly buggered. Depressing.

    Amazon, by the way, has Fun Home as written by Alison Bechdel (with a “d”, not “t”) but this shouldn’t make a difference about where it was shelved in your local. (Maybe with an Ohio accent a “d” is a “t” – I am obviously not American so wouldn’t know). Anyway, you obviously need a better bookstore. Maybe the perfect one will be waiting for you when you move to NYC?

  19. MQ said … Instead they all fight over discounts on the same 100 books

    Yep. Even with the big chains it can be difficult, nevermind the independent bookstores. I have a few authors – and not unknowns, either – that I have to order through Amazon because the stores are buys pushing more copies of The DaVinci Code … as if everyone in the known universe hasn’t already bought it. Or would have by now if they were going to.

    That said, I love bookstores, I really do. I’m so not knocking them.

  20. talpianna said “I think your bookstore must be the same one that shelved EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK under Science Fiction….”

    When I was younger I worked in a bookstore in a mall, a great independant with smart people who read books and could hand sell like a hot damn (that would be me and my friend Sheryl). At the other end of the mall was a chain store who employed people who had no clue (I’m not bashing the chains, just this one store). A woman came into my store and asked Sheryl if we had any books about Mt. Everest so Sheryl took her to the appropriate section, I was at the till when much laughter erupted from said section. Sheryl was hanging on to a shelf and waving her hand in my direction – go tell Angie, she says. The woman, still giggling, come over and tells me that she had been in the chain store and asked there about a book on Mt Everest. At that point the clerk looked at her blankly and said (and this is a direct quote from an incident that happened in 1991, it is seared into my memory) “Mount Everest. Is that in the Rockies?”

    That same store filed a non-fiction book with the word Dragon in the title in the fantasy section. The book was about the takeover of some tobacco company or something like that and clearly said so on the cover…. the mind boggles.

    tbysgw, blue: Think Booksellers! Your shelving gives weight.

    I thought that was appropriate.

  21. I loathe Ann Coulter and cringe everytime I see her picture or books or hear her speak. I don’t even think she believes half of what she says. It all appears calculated to make money and sell books to me. It’s one way to make a living I guess if you are conscienceless sensationlist sadly lacking in ay sort of realtionship with honesty and integrity.

    As for the plagiarism issue I’m devasted and disappointed with the general feeling that copying and using someone else’s work is okay. So much so that trying to have a conversation with my son who is in college on what constitutes plagiarism was astonishing and shocking. When did it happen that taking and using any bits, parts, quotes, of someone else’s work wasn’t considered CHEATING?

    I’m continually astounded that people have trouble distinguishing between research and copying someone else’s work. If it’s so easy and they are so smart, why don’t they use their own intellect and words?

    Thanks for letting me vent~

  22. Rosie said: “When did it happen that taking and using any bits, parts, quotes, of someone else’s work wasn’t considered CHEATING?”

    You are right. It is cheating. For some reason it is not as clear in the academic community as it should be. The internet is a wonderful thing, but words, thoughts, research, and photos on a website belong to someone. Copy, paste, and slap it in your work without citing is stealing their work. You would be amazed at the number of students I work with in the library who don’t grasp the concept of why it is wrong. Some look at websites as being public domain (they aren’t) and use them as such. If your son is in college now, I would guess he’s grown up with the technology and probably only sees the information as available, not belonging to someone. With that said, plagiarism is often an expellable (sp)offense at the university level.

    Is this where I admit I had no idea who the scary Coulter person was until they paraded her on TV for her stupidity?

    (Why did the stupid word verification force me to verify everytime I previewed? Sheesh)

  23. Jenny, I know you’re The Cherry and all, and you’ve been working hard in multiple realities (Mareville, and The Land of Hitmen and Flamingos), but SERIOUSLY . . . TWELVE?

    Just wanted to remind you that we love you whether you are snarky or snarly or better yet when you are snarly and snarky!

    If you write it, we will read. Hope the venting helped. Finish up with Mare, and Help Agnes put that Fork to good use.


    Ask any educator, use information gallantly.

  24. I can’t stand the Ann Coulters of the world – not that I’ve ever read any of her stuff or even seen her on teevee, but she shows up in the oddest places! I do a search in an on-line bookstore for a specific writer, and bingo! there she is. You wouldn’t believe how many totally different writers she’s supposedly co-authored with – everything from sci-fi to esoteric bits of religious history.


  25. Re: finding books in chain stores. I checked out Percival Everett’s “Erasure” from the library a long time ago. In it he makes a big deal about race and selling books. He rags on the “ethnic” literature sections in bookstores and how teeny and hidden they are. Later on I’m visiting Borders and I look for his book in the General Lit section and guess where it is? Yup. Hidden in the African-American literature section. That book is scary-true.

    Anyway – I agree that more than 12 people read your blog. I get it on my rss feeder.

    I re-read “Crazy for You” this weekend and recalled why you’re one of my favorite authors. Keep on with the posts, even the angry ones.

  26. Oh, honey. I hear ya.

    I walked into Borders this weekend, and what they DO have on their New Books table is Ann Coulter’s new book, something about the Religion of Liberalism. And most of me thinks: “That. B@tch. Needs. To. Die.” But I’m from Georgia and we don’t say that. We say, “Well, bless her heart.”

    Which means the same thing.

    So, Bless her heart.

  27. I agree that Ann Coulter is a unfounded in her accusations. She used a tragic incident to catapult her name into the media so that she could sell more books without having to PAY to promote it. Unfortunately, everyone now has her name in their head!!

  28. Re: Alexis said “So, Bless her heart.”

    LOL! Comedian Henry Cho, I saw him during a tour he did with Vince Gill and Amy Grant, does a stand up bit with “bless her/his heart.” He is from the south and says you can say anything you want about someone as long as your say “bless her/his heart” at the end.

    Thanks for the laugh!

  29. alexis: LMAO.

    so went to Costco (huge fan) today to buy some food for end of school club party thingy, and of course i go to the book section first, and guess who is there? that’s right, Iris Johansen’s new book, KILLER DREAMS.

    (well, come on, who did you think i was going to say?) 🙂

    Ann Coulter’s book was there too, so i piled on some self-help books (cuz she needs SOME kind of help) so people wouldn’t have to see scary cover.

    ashxbdm: a son has Xavier’s button-down monkey

  30. Forgot to say that there’s controversy here in Oz at the moment about a female judge that has plagerised some colleagues material in her summing ups and decisions.

    She’s in real hot water!!

    For gods sake – she’s a judge, one would assume she’s reasonably intelligent and literate. Why not write here own judgements?

    qbalaa – a new yoga craze

  31. I LOVE Fun House. I found it because it was (gasp) displayed on the New Reads table. Very yummy cover.

    Either there are more than 12 of us or some of us have multiple personality disorder.

  32. “Either there are more than 12 of us or some of us have multiple personality disorder. ”

    We concur. Both of us.

  33. I sort of skewed the story about finding EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX shelved under SF–it was just one copy, lying on the front of the shelf, and was most likely abandoned by a would-be purchaser who decided against it.

    There was a story a while back about a high school teacher who flunked a batch of her students for plagiarizing their term papers–buying them right off the Internet, IIRC. The parents rose up in arms; the school administration made her raise the grades; and the teacher quit. The only person of integrity in the whole process was lost to the system.

    kmzgbyin –it’s too hot for this!

  34. I know I posted something last night but it’s gone. Any one else ever have your posts eaten by the blog monster?

  35. Don’t know this Anne person, but if she upsets you so much I’ll pronounce the worst curse I know on her:
    May her name be forgotten.
    Don’t you feel better? Lol.
    Plagiarism -ick. Honest, how hard is it to slap some quotes around a phrase you like and cite it? Even if you want a whole page, it’s not THAT hard to write a letter. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work (but you can meet some neat people, too, so it balances out), but that’s no excuse.
    Where was I going with this?
    Really, I had a point…
    Let me know if anyone finds it. 🙂
    lccmcif: Longtail chases catnip mice, cursing in french. (Longtail is a cat, of course)

  36. (-: Shoshana’s point: if you borrow it, slap a name on it so it can find its way home.

    And may I add, it’s a great CYA. Because if whoever you quoted turns out to be wrong, wrong, wrong, you get to say, “Hey, I’m just quoting so and so. I didn’t say it.” (-: The “you” probably won’t get off so easily, but that kind of logic should appeal to the kind of person who buys Internet term papers.

    BTW, Jenny, you write eloquently (as anonymous pointed out) and *funnily* when you’re mad. Hope you feel better, and feel free to blast any of the venomous humor into your blog whenever you’re stressed out (-:.

  37. Thank you, Jenny, for coining the phrase I now use to describe Ms. Coulter: “Coppertone toad” (from Welcome to Temptation). I think it sums her up very well.

    Re: Shoshana’s wonderful curse, I can pretty much guarantee that her name won’t be entirely forgotten… but that’s because I imagine her spending her afterlife in the Forgotten Pundits’ Lounge with Josiah Strong (had a string of America-first best-sellers in the 1880s), watching obscurantist scholars using her work as an example of the worst impulses in the American psyche and not being able to do a darn thing about it.

    pecoi: Please eat cardoons over ice.

  38. I hope you people realize that you are cursing ME (Anne with an E) and not Ann Coulter!

    When I was in college (back when the earth’s crust hadn’t yet cooled, and the Tigress was catching mastodons instead of dik-diks for her dinner), each of the fraternities and sororities on campus kept a file of old exams and term papers for the use of current members. We, the independent dorm, were the only one that didn’t have one; and people kept trying to start one. As Scholarship Chairman, I brought up the issue of plagiarism. Nobody cared. And this was a church-related college!

    tuqklmll — Turn your quick killers loose; madden lovely Lucy.

  39. The best description of Ann Coulter I’ve heard is that she functions like the villian in wrestling, saying shit just to hear the audience boo. Perhaps in a former life she was one…

  40. Talpianna

    Right on with Christopher Morley….he has a couple of other delighful books.

    Ann Coulter deserves the censoring she is getting.

    Jenny, keep on writing!

    You have much more than 12 readers

    ajvqk blue

    all jocks vary quick kicks

  41. See Jenny, there are so many more of us than 12.
    I have to say that between your well desereved and very eloquent rant and someone’s bless her heart comments (sorry I forget who) I am reminded of the joys of the first years of Designing Women and Julia’s rants.

  42. Talpianna said: There was a story a while back about a high school teacher who flunked a batch of her students for plagiarizing their term papers–buying them right off the Internet, IIRC. The parents rose up in arms; the school administration made her raise the grades; and the teacher quit. The only person of integrity in the whole process was lost to the system.”

    Ya know, if I’d tried something like that my mother would have taken my head off in one swift blow instead of defending me. I can’t imagine what was going on in those parents minds that made cheating and lying not a failable offense.

    I’m not a parent but I can say with some degree of certainty if my child (my precious little darling who never did anything wrong, of course) came home with a note accusing her of cheating of any kind and it was true she would be redoing the test/essay with me right there, apologize to the teacher and grovel for forgiveness. I’m not sure how she would do that, seeing as how I would have already taken her head off…

    How on earth does that prepare your child for life in the real world. Well, with all the cheating and corruption in the rest of the world, maybe it prepares them well. Sad.

  43. Jenny, I think I am reader number 15 or 55 not sure which. Of course you have more than 12 readers.

    The best thing to do, (which has already been stated)about Ann Coulter is to forget her. Ignore her. I know it is hard when she is saying such outrageous things but she thrives on the publicity.

    Talpianna, our university kept old exams for students to check out and copy for studying purposes. I used them to study all the time.


    Virtually every individual decides my Xacting Xpert yec. Very bad

  44. There are all kinds of people in the world… unfortunately some have the morals of toads and others have their heads firmly wedged up their asses.

  45. erica: LMAO. and so true.

    in this program i’m in at school (for the specially gifted, of course), cheating means you are kicked out and never allowed back in (it’s four years long), your parents are called in, and you may be suspended. if you are a senior, they also write a letter to your college.

    and my US history/govt teacher caught about seven of his senior students cheating last year- kicked them out, and wrote letters to each of their colleges explaining why they got that F.

    cheating is taught as the biggest no-no at my school. no exceptions.

    oh, and then there was the time this girl cheated on her mid-term for the program. my SI teacher went over to her and ripped it in half. then the girl had to sit there while the rest of the kids finished their test.

  46. My posts disappear all the time. It’s okay. They’re probably not that interesting anyway, but I do wonder why. They aren’t subversive – well maybe a little. It’s Jenny Crusie’s blog after all.

    On media: Ann Coulter. I generally cover up her books, as well as all the FOX “news” personalities. I covered up Coulter with “The Sex Lives of Cannibals” Seemed right somehow and it’s a very good book.

    On Plagiarism: It’s only words, what’s the big deal? The deal is, it’s CHEATING. Which doesn’t seem to matter in America’s current incarnation. There’s a book called “The Sociopath Next Door” in which the author claims as many as 25% of Americans do not have any conscience or moral sense of right and wrong. Or if they do, it’s a situational ethic in which anything is okay so long as it benefits them. I’m afraid it’s true and that scares me.

    On placement: My indie book store is the best, of course. No chains withing 40 miles of Grass Valley, CA – hooray!

  47. Some snacks, wee tapas, appetizers for thought:

    * Mary Matalin (Cheney’s spokesmodel) said in an interview that she agreed with Ann Coulter’s basic points.

    * Bloggers have documented several instances of Ann Coulter plagiarizing in this book and a previous one.

    * As “Good Night and Good Luck” showed, the Republican establishment was trying to ignore Joe McCarthy’s Red Scare embarrassment, with similar results to our attempts to ignore Ann Coulter. As in, none. Finally, a conservative (though Democratic) senator, John McClellan (Arkansas) expressed outrage and McCarthy deflated like balloon.

    Until honest, honorable conservative thinkers and policymakers in this country distance themselves from her poison, she will be all over the airwaves. Once they disown her, she’s toast.

    And yes, I’m more liberal than conservative, but I respect many people’s attempts to make our world a better place to be born, live and work, grow old, and die. Many roads to Oz. Many thoughtful philosophies. Some of which are to the right of mine.

    Getting off my soapbox now.

    Why is it that some people think romance readers aren’t smart? They should read this and other blogs (DLD, Well Behaved, Bob’s, others). They’d learn that romance readers and writers are savvy folks who like to bring order to communities, one community at a time.

    Oops, really getting off my soapbox now.

  48. Erica said…
    There are all kinds of people in the world… unfortunately some have the morals of toads and others have their heads firmly wedged up their asses.

    This makes it fairly hard to kiss them, just in case they are enchanted princes…

    uyinicem –medication for unicorns

  49. And if you thought this only happens with booksellers — years ago I went into my hometown library (the one that refuses to abandon Dewy Decimal for Library of Congress) looking for the biography/memoir My Left Foot. Was it under biography, memoir, on the new arrivals section at the front of the library?

    No – finally found it in the non-fiction stacks with the other podiatry books.

    Sigh…and people wonder why Carson McCullers did not leave her personal papers to this, her hometown, library???

  50. Well, um, if only 12 of these erudite folk read your blog can I have the others, please? 🙂

  51. Hi Jenny. I’m a newbie to your blog. After hearing so many great things about it I had to pop in and see what the fuss was about.

    Never heard of whatshername and from the sound of it, I don’t want to. lol

    Plagerism is just plain wrong. Period. An accident, yeah, like being some what pregnant. I don’t think so. You did it or you didn’t. No exceptions to the rule.

    I am a part time bookseller. Have a full time job during the day and work at an independent bookstore during the night.

    I know we can’t carry every good book out there but we try to get as many as possible and do try to put them in the right location, although some are definitely harder to pin down than others. We also gladly order books for people if we don’t have the one you want on the store shelves. So please don’t think we are all idiots. We try.

    I do have to admit that finding books in the wrong area is a big pet peeve of mine. We have a new day girl, works hard and a great person but doesn’t know squat about arranging the books and what is current or not, especially in the romance section. I spent a good portion of yesterday evening rearranging the romances. We have 4 top shelves for the new releases. On it I found old books mixed in the new, and new in with the old when there was clearly enough room on the new release shelves for their placement. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy and did lots of rearranging yesterday. But the thing that really PO’d me, I lugged out the trash, full of stripped books and what did I find? Books that had only been on the shelf for a week or so! I snagged some out of the pile to show the owner. No idea if he said pull them, not knowing what they were or if the new girl just did it but I was furious that they left older ones there and took off so many new June releases. Yes we are getting in July books, but please people move them down into ABC order, and get rid of some of the older ones that haven’t sold! Give the books a chance! Grrr! They all can’t be instant best sellers but if you don’t give the public the chance to at least check them out, you are dooming the author and the store.

    Sorry to be on my soapbox today. Not the first impression I like to make.

    Can’t wait to check out more of your blog.

  52. bookstoredeb: love bookstores and book sellers, even when they don’t put books in the right place. after working for the library and spending so much time shelving, i have new respect for those who have to do it ALL the time.

    and soapboxes. we’re on them all the time. not to worry. welcome, and don’t forget to check out Jenny’s other sites (yes, shameless promotor).

    anon: thanks for telling us about “The Sociopath Next Door”. sounds interesting.

  53. This is one of the reasons I love to live in New Zealand… who is Ann Coulter anyway?

    Sorry to hear you’ve had so much to be displeased about Jenny. I hope life in general brings a smile back to you soon.

  54. Hmmm, thinking about the bugs… so long as you keep your lips together, they don’t get stuck in your teeth 🙂

  55. Seeing as how there were 61 comments on this blog before I left mine, I’m guessing more than 12 people read your blog.

    Who is Ann Coulter? I guess I should thank my lucky stars that I don’t know. Widows enjoying themselves huh? Who would have thought?

  56. Who is Ann Coulter? Seriously. Obviously American, because I haven’t heard of her up here.

    Funny–I’ve just done a post on my blog about preserving freedom of speech–must go add that is only if the person isn’t spouting complete bull.

    Plagerists. Idiots. Stupid and annoying and bad people.

    Phew, glad I got that off my chest 😀

  57. How lovely that some of you live in a world without Ann Coulter! Where do I have to move?

    The best comment I saw was in a letter to the L.A. Times…this writer wondered if that Al-Zarkawi guy was looking forward to 70 Ann Coulters in heaven.

    I don’t wanna tell you where I found Christopher Hitchen’s book on Mother Teresa shelved…maybe you can guess if you know the title (The Missionary Position)

  58. ‘Fun Home’ will not be published in the UK until September 16!!!!. I don’t know who Ann, what’s her name?, either.

  59. Hey Jen, I happen to like Ann Coulter’s writing, and I don’t read just anyone (for instance, I read all your stuff too) She backs up every single argument that she makes in her books, there is tons of research in them. The comment about the 9/11 whiny widows was about 1 or 2 paragraphs in a book over 300 pages long. And they had to pick THAT to get their panties in a wad over. I will admit she needs a sammich too! talpiana, George Carlin behaved like a gentleman. What’s the problem? I was impressed. Diane, that’s okay about ann’s book, I often turn over the books written by liberals and administrative bashing writers. Just wish I’d had a marker to change the title on all the copies of Bill Clinton’s “biography” to My Lies. Much more fitting and accurate.

    Plaigarism…you mention the idiot college student who thought she could get away with those pages, but then Ward Churchill (formerly of CU:D) managed to get quite a ways up in his chosen field by blatant plaigarism and years of it. Why dwouldn’t the student think she could get away with it? He made his whole bloody career on it!

    and boy, do I agree with you about not being able to find books at the bookstore. I’ve gone in there looking for your books and had to chase down a clerk to find them along with some of my other favorite authors.

  60. I don’t bother with ANY of those books. Liberal or conservative – its all a bunch of blah blah blah. One side is as bad as the other. Anyone who thinks their party is always right or the other party is always wrong has to be pretty narrowminded so I’m not interested in anything they have to say.

    Ann Coulter – more blah blah blah (my, how these people do like to here themselves talk). Though if she did say that about the 9/11 widows, one paragaph or one page makes no difference, then she deserves what she gets.

  61. Susiemac said: The comment about the 9/11 whiny widows was about 1 or 2 paragraphs in a book over 300 pages long. And they had to pick THAT to get their panties in a wad over.

    I am not American, I had never heard of Ann Coulter, and I do not propose to air my political views here, but I really have to comment on this rather flippant remark. Anyone who ‘picked on’ those one or two paragraphs was right to do so.

    There are certain international, non-political, purely human rules of conduct and courtesy. One does not sneer at or belittle the feelings of people who have lost a loved one to murder, and whatever the details of this book, I should say that even one word, let alone ‘one or two paragraphs’ of criticism of any person whose spouse, partner, parent or child died in the 2001 atrocity, or any other terrorist outrage, is deeply offensive. Some of the widows may indeed be people who are not, in themselves, estimable human beings, but that is totally irrelevant.

    We are just coming up to the first anniversary of the July 7 London bombings. My husband and I travel after 9 am, so we were about 15 minutes too late to have been on the Piccadilly Line train that was blown up. If my husband had been on that train, had been one of the 26 who died, or the scores who were horribly injured, losing limbs, and if anyone now accused me of ‘whining’ about any aspect at all of the aftermath, I know how I should feel.

    Whatever the woman Coulter’s views, however allegedly admirable her research, if she actually spoke slightingly of people who were bereaved in the 2001 attack, then she does not deserve to be defended.

  62. AgTigress: that was wonderfully put. just read it to my mom, who also agreed. and am very glad your husband and you get on after 9 am. thank you for saying that.

  63. I concur with Orangehands.

    While I hadn’t really thought of it in this way before now, I’m also in kind of a “what if” position in relation to 9/11. My spouse, who had previously worked in the World Trade Center, had a job interview scheduled for shortly after the attacks with another company there. Had things worked out differently in either of those situations, I believe I would be feeling homicidal about now; as it is, I am renewed in my thanks that he was spared.

    It’s hard to know what to do about Coulter and her ilk. In theory, I agree with those who prescribe ignoring them as the best way to (not) respond, and I tend to avoid both right-wing blather, which would just make me upset, and left-wing blather, because really, who has time? But when the blatherers take inattention as an invitation to increase the level of vicious, hateful commentary in their writing to the point where they cross into the realm of unacceptable behavior, what can one do? I have a feeling that any response is a good response to people like that, and the content of the response becomes completely irrelevant.

    I actually came back to this post for a different reason– I stopped at Alison Bechdel’s site to see if she’d posted a new “Dykes to Watch Out For” strip (she hadn’t– and after reading the book tour commentary in the “He wrote, She wrote” blog I should have known better than to hope otherwise), and she was reporting that Fun Home has sold out and they’ll have to print more. In this case, a good book will out.

  64. I’m another bookseller and when the audiobook of Ann Coulter’s new book arrived I placed it in the bboks on tape section–next to ‘Wicked’ and ‘Son of a Witch.’ Then the boss said to put it in ‘New Releases’ and it’s been a big seller. Sigh.

    George Carlin is a very smart and very funny man. I think he didn’t rip Ann a new one (and he could, quite easily) because he didn’t want to give her any more publicity.

  65. AgTigress – you said that very well. The length of Coulter’s comment is immaterial. A slur is a slur, regardless of the number of words used.

  66. Yes. Political views are fair game, and if people wish to engage in argument about politics, or indeed, religion, they may do so. There are rules of debate, of course, and not everybody is civilised enough to observe them, but these issues are matters of opinion, conviction and belief, and may properly be challenged with rational argument and supporting evidence.

    Human grief and the pain of bereavement are not within that category. They are universal emotions that transcend all the customs, rules and regulations that we create in order to run our communities. We should respect grief because we are all human beings. Even if the mourner weeps for a person whom we regard as wicked or depraved, his or her sorrow is sacrosanct, because it is part of the universal human condition, and has no connection with creeds and politics.

    Indeed, the ability to break that universal human taboo against attacking or belittling private grief is one of the traits that a murderer must possess. Lack of sympathy and respect for the pain of bereavement is a psychopathic trait.

  67. Amen, agtigress . . . if you put it in your book, it is fair game, and you can be CERTAIN, I saw that woman on television, stirring the muck up more. She did not, to the person who defended her above, say, “You know, in hindsight, saying that these women were delighting in their husbands’ deaths was provacative and I should have showed a modicum of respect for their loss.” No . . . she said, “They are fair game because they demanded the 9/11 commission and thrust themselves into the public sphere.” Since when is asking your government to fully investigate the murder and atrocity of 9/11 “fair game” for now saying you’re damn happy your husband is gone and you’re a merry widow? Her defense of those “two or three” paragraphs was to sharpen her claws further as a way to get her face on television. I waver on whether there is a hell, but if there is one, I do believe people who behave in the way that woman does have a nice warm seat. I have NO problem with someone who is conservative differing in their opinion from mine. None. That is what a free country is all about. I do think, however, that egregious character assassination for your own celebrity chasing ends is sickening.

  68. Erica said … she [that woman] said, “They are fair game because they demanded the 9/11 commission and thrust themselves into the public sphere.”

    You know, its such a dumb statement I should think even the staunchest conservate must have cringed.

  69. Jenny:

    It’s Alison Bechdel, with a “d.”

    She’s great! I’m glad you like her too.

  70. Oh, I forgot to mention. They are not exclusively carrion eaters. My neighbor and I watched one swoop down and grab a cat off her back deck. She’d been feeding feral cats. If the vultures are hungry enough they will go after small animals.

    At least the California ones will.

  71. am constantly wondering about the idiocy of some people. Why are you plagiarizing? Here’s the thing that gets me. If you are going to do something unethical/immoral/illegal, etc. at least have the balls to admit that you did it. If you do than you will still look like an ass, but at least you’ll salvage what little respect that you can. It irritates me beyond belief when people commit insanely stupid and immoral acts and won’t acknowledge that they had anything to do with them.

    Come on, you are wasting everyone’s time, money and energy on your lack of consideration for others. That’s pretty damn narcissistic if you ask me.

    Why can’t people be more like animals? I mean, you can’t get any more honest than that.

    “Yes, I certainly DID eat all of your Oreos. They are my favorite, and you try eating dry dog food everyday. Don’t even bother blaming me for the piles of plastic wrapper filled dog poop on the carpet. You should have taken them out of the bag for me.”

    “Yes I did use someone else’s ideas, time, energy, words, etc. for my own benefit. That is just because I’m extraordinarily selfish, lazy, and only concerned with the advancement of myself. I only did it because, as you all know, I couldn’t string two sentences together if my life depended on it.”

    Now wouldn’t that be refreshing. We could just call them what they are rather than sit and stew while they desperately try to get away with whatever they are accused of.

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