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1.26.2010

the crucible.




i had planned on writing a post about how lately i've been really loving to groove in my elevator. the small, moving, enclosed space is perfect for a one-person-dance-party. to hell with the camera in the corner.

but alas, that post will have to wait. (actually, that was kinda all there was to it).

right now i'm thinking about arthur miller's the crucible.

my favorite time to write is when i head to my beloved bookshelf in search of a reference. quoting shakespeare or shepard (or miller) i feel...important and learned.

i'll never forget the first time i saw the crucible. i was in the eighth grade. we were told it was about mccarthyism. miller wrote about the salem witch trials as a means to shed light on the activities of the house of representatives' committee on un-american affairs. you see, miller refused to name names. but when his friend elia kazan did, miller wrote the the crucible as a condemnation of kazan and the others involved. kazan responded with on the waterfront.

that first viewing was one of those small, but pivotal points in my life that led me to where i am now (well, where i was right before i began to doubt this life as an actor). i mean, theatre and history combined? theatre with a deeper meaning? yes, yes, that's what i wanted. {not to mention, daniel day-lewis is a god and was oh...you know...kinda good in the film.}

there's a lot of talk about plagiarism on the internet. and i imagine the blogging world is a veritable play-ground for those who might be tempted. c jane wrote a truly inspired post about it all back in april.

i got an email from a follower one time alerting me of some suspicious posting on another blog. by the time i followed the link the blogger had disabled the site, only to reopen it later with a very vague apology to no one in particular (certainly not me). and i didn't think much of it. in fact, i was somewhat flattered.

but then tonight when someone else posted a link for me to follow and i found myself at a blog with several of my posts i felt... well... not. so. flattered.

it's a funny thing to see your words passed off as someone else's. small changes here and there (which is perhaps the most insulting part), but your words nonetheless.

i have this lovely friend sam who recently asked if he could use some of my ideas as a springboard of sorts for other projects...source material, if you will. and i gladly said yes. i've known sam for many years, i've even blogged about him and i trust him to give me credit and do justice to this silly little blogspot-lover of mine. and to me. to do justice to me.

but i warned him. i told him to proceed with caution. because the thing is... i don't have a job that garners any respect or real money. no alumni magazine is gonna call me up for an interview. i'm not breaking any records here. i'm twenty-four years old and i'm just finding my way. i'm figuring it out. and all i have to show for the last two years are my ideas, my words.

and so they're important.

to me, they're important.

john proctor, miller's protagonist, confesses to witchcraft at the end of the play. but when asked to sign his name to a written confession--a confession for all the town to see, he cannot do it. and when asked why not--well when asked why not, john delivers one of the great lines of american theatre:

Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!

this blog. these words. these ideas. the stories. they are mine. they are my life. my soul, if you will. they are my honest experience, through my distorted lens. and perhaps this is overwrought and histrionic (which my junior ap history teacher accused me of being on more than one occasion), but hell, this is my turf.

so you can post about my giant chewy sweet tart experience. or my love for now and laters. or about how you feel upon waking on your 24 birthday? and you can turn the subway platform into a gas station and make the burp into a cough. and you can change my aunt to a family friend and my uncle into your father. you can make it your 25th birthday and change why exactly it is that you're crushing on a man.

and you can do that all under your name.

and so we've reached the point in the evening where i'm temped to make a snide comment about how exactly it is that you differ from john proctor. but instead i'm going to abstain and ask,

leave me my words. leave me my story. leave me my name.




ps: to make sure i had all of my facts straight i headed over to wikipedia and looked at this site to make sure i had the right name of mccarthy's committee. and i'll admit, they inspired my use of the word "condemnation".

33 comments:

Diana said...

I love reading your posts and even if they say imitation is a form of flattery, taking credit for your words is just thievery. I hope you make a name for yourself beyond your readers for others to know you as well.

Camilla Leila said...

wait...seriously?
someone actually tried to steal your words? you have a copyright! did you say something? i hope so.

but honestly -- i don't think its possible that your words were passed off as another person's. I don't even know you really but i feel like your writing is just so...you. anyone who tries to take that from you is an obvious imposter. not to mention lame. i shun them.

irritating.
p.s. i was commenting here just as you commented on my blog! weird!

Courtney said...

How horrible! I think that would make me feel incredibly violated. And Meg, you've dealt with this with much more class than I imagine many would.

I suppose if this post doesn't create self-loathing within the thief, not much else would.

Laura said...

I really enjoy your blog. you are creative and inspiring. I see a lot of my feelings (past and present) in your words.
I am also very jealous that you live in new york. I'm crossing my fingers that I'll get a chance to experience living there at some point.

Miss Carrie said...

I think that even if someone else passed off your words as theirs I would still recognize them as yours. Because they are unique. Your blog is unique. You are unique.

But you're right. Let's all remember that even though we live in this strange world of blogs and bloggers one rule is essential: fair play.

Fairfield said...

It's interesting... What I think is more sad than anything, is that someone would be compelled to steal another person's thoughts (beautiful or not) and post them as their own. To me, this implies that they are without thoughts of their own. After all, why else would anyone do such a thing?

Meg, if they're doing this...
they're in a worse place than you could ever be.

I feel sad for them.
And I mean that.

Because a person's thoughts. A person's ability to speak are what keep them alive. It's what keeps them going. The ability to share their mind and how they feel about things. Because deep down we are all just trying to live on in the minds of others, hoping to change things (at least a little) on the way.

If they're posting yours... well they must believe they have nothing to say.

And that, to me, is giving up.

(novel over.)

-sam

Randi Lee said...

ewww, plagerism is creepy.

Now and Laters on the other hand... I could really go for an apple or cherry now and later right about now.

Marisa said...

i seriously find this the most uninspired crap... if you can not find your own words to describe what your feeling at least do the honorable thing and credit the person whose words spoke to you...
I am so sorry this has happen to you. You are such an original Meg.

Courtney said...

It's a shame that people feel the urge to pass someone's writing off as their own. Because writing is so personal. Writing has become and outlet for me and half the time it doesn't even make sense to others, but to me it does. It's therapeutic for most, so "back out of other people's therapy sessions" - I say to these word stealers along with a, "the inside of your head or even the life you lead must not be that interesting if you choose to write about experiences you've never have and claim that you have."


on a lighter note, i read your blog everyday and love it... you're a reason why i started to write things down.

Marci Darling said...

I know the feeling. Its one of the worst things about blogworld. But your blog is still one of my favorites, hands down. No one can change that!

Shannon said...

Meg -

I love the Crucible and I love the word condemnation.

My best to you as you work through your plagerism problems.

Way to give em Hell.

Luvs and hugs
- Shann

Anna said...

This is awful!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, even at the risk of exposing them to such thieves.
ps. loved hearing this read out loud. I've never seen that on a blog before.

Brittan said...

I agree with Fairfield, it is very sad. I just took a masters copyright class last semester and this is, in fact, a violation of copyright. These are your published words and if it doesn't stop you can take legal action. I know that sounds extreme but it is totally legit and they can't call fair use. This is just infuriating. I can't imagine how violated you must feel.

Brittan said...

Oh, and I love the Crucible! It's in my DVD collection.

Cami and Juan said...

I love reading your posts. I am 8 months pregnant and after reading your giant sweet tart post I could not get those sour sweet candies out of my head! I went searching that night and found them. Happy to say, I did not choke.

Sara said...

That shit's bananas. Glad someone alerted you to it!

Bridget said...

holy moly - blog-stealing! never knew.

jess said...

well.. you handled that with class..

I find it impossible to believe that your words coming from someone else would be half as heart-felt, eloquent, or sincere...

hopefully the "other one" will get a clue and come up with their own thoughts and words to write down!!

The Rookie said...

It is the deceitfulness of plagiarism that I loathe: lying to yourself and to everybody else. I tell my students it is the act of one incapable of original thought.

Inspiration is one thing--we all feel inspired by others. But let the words of someone else be a springboard for your own creativity, you know? Find your own voice.

You can't be replicated. I come back again and again to read what you and you alone have written.

Melly said...

That was awesome. I've never seen someone sum of plagiarism so eloquently and in such a classy way as you just did. And is that you reading the post on the little voice player on top? You should be reading audiobooks - it added a whole 'nother dimension to the story.

So sorry someone's stealing your stuff. We all know these stories are from you, about you and for you to look back at in the future. They're personal and meaningful to YOU, so why anyone would want to take them is really a mystery to me.

iheartkiwi said...

your words are so beautiful and so uniquely you... there could never be another!

i feel genuinely sorry for the person who tries to pass your work off as their own... because even though these little blogs of ours are very public, they are so very private at the same time.

p.s. thank you so much for your sweet comments about our wedding. you are a darling meg!

Anonymous said...
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Sarah said...

You always write so well, I can see someone being lazy and stealing your words. That is so not right and I feel sorry for that sad person for not feeling they have a life worth talking about.

CrowNology said...

Sad that someone has such a lack in life that they need someone's experiences to write about...How odd.
I read a post awhile ago that was, verbatim, the same as one I posted...But they had posted it a month before mine (according to date of publishing on the blog, which can be altered)...? I know mine was authentic. However it was about something not an experience of mine...
:)
Andrea

Hanako66 said...

oh boy, i am so sorry...i also love your comparison here:) meg, i have a good feeling that your words will one day stretch beyond this blog, but whether then or now, stealing from you is unacceptable.

Micaela said...

ugh, terrible. i WISH so many times i could write like you. i would never steal them from you. I'm so sorry someone took "adoration" to a whole new level.

(and even that sounds bad, but i i hope you get what i'm trying to fail to say).

no one can flow words so powerfully like you.

xoxo

i love your voice. i love your prununciation.

Anonymous said...
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Brittany said...

YES.
because your words are you.
some people don't get that sometimes.

i love your words.

Anonymous said...
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hawthorne girl said...

unfortunately, the blogging world is still relatively new and rather un-policed so things like this are bound to happen. i think that as long as we continue to talk about this, people will be more aware of it. i had the same thing happen on a smaller level and i know it happens to the more popular blogs and i wouldn't have realized it was such a problem if someone else didn't mention it. it's one thing to be influenced by someone and something entirely different to copy someone!

communikate. said...

what a rip off.

i love the reading of your posts. please keep it up!

jennifleur said...

i'm so sorry, what a yucky feeling.

i have gotten rather attached to your posts, please don't go away miss meg!

Alexa Yupangco said...

I started reading your blog a little after I discovered Taza's. I think you're really great!

Your posts are definitely all original and they are entertaining and meaningful all at once. I really enjoy your blog and hope that you keep writing no matter what (although I think its awful that people would plagiarize!)