Def: o'kay ter'ri'fic: 1.common expression of muted astonishment due to being surrounded by amazing stupidity, without quite knowing what else to say. 2.expression that usually precedes the changing of a subject brought up by an individual who is perfectly clueless to anything or anyone outside their own narcissistic corner of the universe. Origin: Unknown

Location: Bergen County, New Jersey, United States

Steven Hill is the author of the independently published A VOICE ABOVE THE DIN, available at www.lulu.com/holbrookhill, or Amazon or B&N.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Lies, Lies, All Lies

First there was Norma Khoury, though not many seem to remember her. She was the Jordanian memoirist who basically conned the entire publishing business into believing her book (and entire life) was true when it really wasn't. Then she disappeared. Whatever happened to her anyway?

Second came James Frey who became a much more notoriously popular non-fiction liar than Norma. We all know his story by now. Ugh.

Now comes the half-million dollar teenager, Kaavya Viswanathan. Seems that lieing, cheating, and basically having no moral compass has invaded the fiction realm.

So, another interesting dilemna pops up. Not only is truth fiction, thanks to Norma and James, but now fiction is fiction. The funny thing is, fiction is all about lieing. Fiction is a lie by definition. But that doesn't mean that it's ok to blatantly rip off another writer! If I was Megan McCafferty, I'd be both insulted and flattered. The nerve of this girl ripping off her prose almost word for word and thinking she could get away with it! But in a weird sort of way, it's kind of flattering don't you think? Maybe this will mean bigger sales for MCafferty, whom many people never heard of before last weekend. Hey, I'm not justifying plagiarism for one second, but there's got to be a silver lining to this cloud for McCafferty.

As for the publishers, shame on them for not only letting this happen, but in effect, creating the situation by giving this 17 year old college student such an overwhleming task of producing a book for such a ridiculously large amount of money. She may be smart, but evidently she ain't that smart. And neither are they. When are the publishers going to held accountable for these debacles?

Okay Terrific,



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