Sunday, July 6, 2008

Pirate Week Post #2: Parrot Heads & Plagiarism

Yesterday morning I was cleaning the house & noticed a Jimmy Buffett concert from 1985, Live by the Bay, was on VH1 Classic. I've always been baffled by the Parrot Head phenomenon so I let it play in the background as I worked took care of some stuff under the stairs. I know that a guy who followed bands all around the Mid-West @ 1 point in his life doesn't have a lot of room to talk shit, but WTF? It starts w/ Don Johnson in full Miami Vice mode coming out to introduce his "really good buddy" & then Buffett played a couple acoustic tunes before being joined by the Coral Reefer Band. The piano player was in some ridiculous white robes, Sam Clayton from Little Feat was on percussion, & the lead guitarist was sporting that awesome 80s look, the white overalls w/o a shirt. I wish he'd been splattered w/ pastel paint, but alas, it was not meant to be. after watching it for a while, I realized there must be hordes of 70s singer-songwriters who bang their heads against the wall wishing they'd been able to assemble such a loyal following for their mediocre drivel. Not only is the music painfully boring, but then he had to tell these stupid jokes in between the songs. If it wasn't Pirate Week I wouldn't have watched; this is what I do for you people.
Speaking of pirates, I got an editing job a couple months ago & was editing articles about the mortgage business for some web-site out of Canton. It was pretty easy, but some of the articles were pretty poorly written. When we moved, I fell behind a little since we were sans the Internet for a bit. As I was trying to catch up, I realized I needed to Google an issue that the article was about to ensure specificity regarding a date. Coldwell Banker had released some report concerning new trends in home buying & how they are related to the price of gas. In doing so, I realized that the article I was editing had been lifted directly from USA Today! Who plagiarizes USA Today? That's almost as bad as my students lifting stuff from Wikipedia. Here's the original article, & as you can see, it isn't even that great to begin w/. Supposedly, people were submitting the articles to her, & she would then send them to me for editing, but after I explained what I'd found, I never heard from her again which obviously suggest that she is the guilty party here. Here's her web-site, but I can't find the site on which she'd been posting the articles. If it turns out that she isn't to blame, I'll let you know, but until then, we should assume she is a shady Internet pirate.

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