April 01, 2005

Not A Joke

I'm with Andrea in the "hating with flaming bitter hate the passive agressive stupidity that passes for April Fools 'tomfoolery and japery'" camp. And it's not because I have no sense of humor--for example, I found Kill Bill 2 hilarious. So there. It's just that April Fools jokes are...lame. The way whoopee cushions and hand buzzers and Soupy Sales getting hit with a creme pie are lame.

But I digress.

Here's a link to the (by now probably well-known by everyone) story of a fellow who engaged in a bit of vigilante anti-plagiarism justice. What he did--while vaguely amusing in a mean-spirited way--isn't as interesting as the reactions in his comments. The plagiarising rip-off artist got what she deserved, though I doubt she learned anything beyond "be more careful next time I try to con someone."

But then other plagiarists (most probably, judging from their comments) and indignant anti-plagiarizing academics get involved in the comments. Hoo boy! Wank city!

Thrill to the accusations of meanness!

Yawn as the Dana Scullys of Anti-Hoaxdom appear!

Gasp as the karmic wheel is invoked over and over again in a--dare I say it--endless cycle of pseudo-clever circular argumentation!

Roll your eyes at the cries of "classist/racist/misogynist!"

Give a hearty WTF at comparisons of the blog author's actions to Abu Ghraib!

Give another hearty WTF at exhortations to kill the plagiarist, who is obviously the anti-Christ!

The entries start here, and then continue. Be sure not to miss the final entry. And bring a six-pack and popcorn. This thing is Looooong!

Via the Cranky Professor and reader Naomi.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at April 1, 2005 11:22 AM

April Fools jokes are pretty much a guy thing.

My favorite was when I was in college and my roomate got up at 3AM and shut off the power to the entire apartment complex for exactly one hour, then turned it back on.

Now mind you, this was in the pre-digital days when alarm clocks had electric motors in them and if the power went off, they would just stop where they were. When it came back on again they would just continue on where they left off as if nothing had happened...only the alarm would go off late.

Everybody in the complex missed breakfast at the "mess hall" and was late for classes. What a hoot!!!

Now why don't women think things like that are funny?

Posted by: snopercod at April 1, 2005 04:05 PM

I didn't think Nate the anti-plagiarist was very nice. Neither did my husband or daughter. We thought it would have been better for him to just tell her, no, I won't write your paper. He's all about integrity and right v. wrong and so forth, but what would Jesus do?

But to be fair, I think Nate was kind of horrified at the consequences to "Laura K. Krishna". He didn't mean for her name to be broadcast outside the handful of people who normally look at his blog, and for people to be calling her and her dean, and so forth. I think he was a little shocked that she actually turned in the paper, too, with the infamous sentence on it. I showed this story to my daughter, who will be going off to college this fall, as an object lesson in unintended consequences. Basically, the minute you put anything out on the internet, it is permanently out of your control. This takes "don't put anything in writing" to a whole other level.

But isn't it funny, how this story took on a life of its own. It must strike a chord, somehow.

Posted by: Laura at April 1, 2005 06:50 PM

Yeah, I think he was pretty sure she'd at least read the paper, and that the sentence "I just made a doody" would have given her pause.

Had it been me, I probably would have just told her off, mainly because I'm too lazy to go to the trouble this guy did, not because I'm morally superior to him. I would also have reported her butt to her prof by sending the transcript of the IM conversation. But then, I was a freshman english teacher, so I'm a bit more vindictive than the average bear.

But I think he learned a lesson. Those people who are all, OMG how DARE YOU you're going to hell!!11eleven!, however, are a little over the top. As are the nutjobs who took it upon themselves to call her dean, her house, and her college.

That's why I don't use my real name on the internet.

Posted by: BAW at April 1, 2005 09:31 PM

If you're the same to everybody all the time (``what I say is what I think'') you not only have zero stress trying to remember who you told what, but you can use your real name everywhere. Nobody anywhere is surprised by what turns up. ``Oh, him.''

I suppose it might be wise to wait until you're old enough to have settled on defensible opinions.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at April 2, 2005 07:38 AM

While Nate's actions were over-the-top, 1) the Shiva/Chivas thing should have tipped her off right away; 2) If she had been so much as slightly not lazy, she could have read the thing and NOT made the mistake of turning it in; 3) I don't want to hear about stress, as I've had three papers due and no sleep for three days doing them all. No. Sympathy. Here.

Do your own work. Cheaters reap exactly what they sow. I might have handled it differently, but cheating is lying and lying is dishonest, and dishonesty is the one thing my parents spanked for.

Posted by: Nikki at April 4, 2005 08:42 AM