Just as I was beginning to respect the publishing industry for printing Maddox's book, I came across the story of Kaavya Viswanathan, a Harvard sophomore who received a $500,000 book deal to write her novel "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life". BULLSHIT. I've been spreading provocative material over the internet for years, but apparently my legendary tales of slacking and kicking ass are less worthy of a six figure book deal than a generic tell-all teen sexual awakening novel.
What pisses me off most is that Viswanathan has been accused of plagiarizing "Sloppy Firsts" by author Megan McCafferty. McCafferty's jackass publishers seem to think that teen slut novels are so differentiable that a few similarly structured sentences and thematic elements must constitute intellectual property theft. Get over it. Teen slut novels have been so overdone that similarities are inevitable.
For each of the following passages (courtesy of Wikipedia), I'll determine if it's plagarism or 100% original bullshit:
McCafferty's book, page 7: "Bridget is my age and lives across the street. For the first twelve years of my life, these qualifications were all I needed in a best friend. But that was before Bridget's braces came off and her boyfriend Burke got on, before Hope and I met in our seventh grade Honors classes."
Viswanathan's novel, page 14: "Priscilla was my age and lived two blocks away. For the first fifteen years of my life, those were the only qualifications I needed in a best friend. We had bonded over our mutual fascination with the abacus in a playgroup for gifted kids. But that was before freshman year, when Priscilla's glasses came off, and the first in a long string of boyfriends came on."
1. A teen slut novel is obviously going to recount all the interpersonal development and other shitty gossip between past and present friends.
2. The qualifications for friendship stated in both passages shouldn't strike anybody as insightful. I, too, only befriend people who live conveniently close to me, because I'm too lazy and heartless to go out of my way to see people.
3. Cliché writers jump at every opportunity to use pairs of opposing propositions. (e.g. on/off, up/down, in/out, etc...)
4. That line about the abacus is way to shitty to be plagiarized. There's nothing gifted about children liking an abacus. They see it as nothing more than a Playskool toy.
"No, you can't play with it. You won't enjoy it
on as many levels as I do" - Professor Frink
McCafferty’s novel, page 237: “Finally, four major department stores and 170 specialty shops later, we were done.”
Viswanathan’s novel, page 51: “Five department stores, and 170 specialty shops later, I was sick of listening to her hum along to Alicia Keys..."
Nobody could possibly be stupid enough to plagiarize numbers.
McCafferty's novel, page 213: "He was invading my personal space, as I had learned in Psych. class, and I instinctively sunk back into the seat. That just made him move in closer. I was practically one with the leather at this point, and unless I hopped into the backseat, there was nowhere else for me to go."
Viswanathan's novel, page 175: "He was definitely invading my personal space, as I had learned in Human Evolution class last summer, and I instinctively backed up till my legs hit the chair I had been sitting in. That just made him move in closer, until the grommets in the leather embossed the backs of my knees, and he finally tilted the book toward me."
Girls love reading this crap, even though it's female hypocrisy at its finest. They think that all guys should be assertive if the girl happens to be in the right mood, otherwise she has every legal right to administer some ball busting techniques as outlined by the Rape Aggression Defense System.
McCafferty's novel, page 23: "Though I used to see him sometimes at Hope's house, Marcus and I had never, ever acknowledged each other's existence before. So I froze, not knowing whether I should (a) laugh (b) say something (c) ignore him and keep on walking."
Viswanathan's novel, page 49: "Though I had been to school with him for the last three years, Sean Whalen and I had never acknowledged each other's existence before. I froze, unsure of (a) what he was talking about and (b) what I was supposed to do about it."
The stylistic choices of Viswanathan's passage are so uncreative and shitty that it would insult McCafferty to say she was plagiarized.
Why does it seem awkward that Viswanathan itemized the choices in her last sentence?
(a) There were only two choices and
(b) She unnecessarily used the conjuction "and"
McCafferty’s second novel, page 69: “Throughout this conversation, Manda acted like she couldn’t have been more bored. She lazily skimmed her new paperback copy of Reviving Ophelia—she must have read the old one down to shreds. She just stood there, popping another piece of Doublemint, or reapplying her lip gloss, or slapping her ever-present pack of Virginia Slims against her palm. (Insert oral fixation jokes, here, here and here.) Her hair—usually dishwater brown and wavy—had been straightened and bleached the color of sweet corn since the last time I saw her...Just when I thought she had maxed out on hooter hugeness, it seemed that whatever poundage Sara had lost over the summer had turned up in Manda’s bra.”
Viswanathan’s novel, page 48: “The other HBz acted like they couldn’t be more bored. They sat down at a table, lazily skimmed heavy copies of Italian Vogue, popped pieces of Orbit, and reapplied layers of lip gloss. Jennifer, who used to be a bit on the heavy side, had dramatically slimmed down, no doubt through some combination of starvation and cosmetic surgery. Her lost pounds hadn’t completely disappeared, though; whatever extra pounds she’d shed from her hips had ended up in her bra. Jennifer’s hair, which I remembered as dishwater brown and riotously curl, had been bleached Clairol 252: Never Seen in Nature Blonde. It was also so straight it looked washed, pressed and starched.”
Chewing gum, lip gloss, hair dye, and conservation of mass are all girly bullshit, but "dishwater brown" might have been plagiarized, so I Googled it to see if it's in the vernacular. "Dishwater brown" got 498 results. "Raptor brown" got 595. I guess I'm just not as good as pseudo-intellectuals when it comes making up outlandishly shitty adjectives.
I was going to write my own short parody, but since Stephen Colbert beat me to the punch, I'll just use his:
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...to be called Ismail. "Hello God, it's me, the Catcher in the Rye, who, like Harry Potter, knows it is a sin to kill a mockingbird", I thought as I unholstered my gamma blaster."
Still think plagiarism is a good idea? Read
UPDATE: Kaavya's book has officially been pulled from the shelves. In other words you can still get it on eBay.
368 teenage Indian girls are still going to buy the book