twankharder

Apparently we'll never grow out of twank.

Tag Archives: cliques

User-generated, my…ass?

We took a poll, and you know what unanimously annoys the fuck out of us? Hypocrisy.

Not “Hey, I used to think this, but now that I’ve grown up to be less of an ass, I think this instead. Fortune is like woman: loves youth, and is fickle.” That’s…humanity. Hypocrisy is more like:


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Oh.

When you say you’ll only delete comments in a dire emergency, but “dire emergency” just means anything that annoys you, and when everyone is being polite except you and you’re the one everyone says is so nice…We’re beginning to wonder if maybe we just don’t have the same definition of “nice” as everyone else. This blogger is using Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition. Can someone check Oxford for us? Nonnie, is that where you got “a hypocrite and quick to lash out at people that upset [one], condemning those that do the same” from?

Maybe nice is actually some type of affliction, and anyone suffering from it is seen as being in delicate health and unable to help themselves.

There’s an eerie parallel between accepting praise for a story one didn’t write, and enjoying a reputation one does little to earn…

BTW if you don't like this post then FIX YOUR DAMN MOUSE AND JUST SCROLL THE FUCK PAST RAWR!

What’s that? Who are we to give orders? Who the hell do you THINK we are?!

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This takes “change the names and it’s totally publishable” to a whole new level.

*sigh*

In trying to emulate the original Twankhard, we created a misnomer. This isn’t Twankharder, it’s TealDeerHarder or TryAndUnderstandHarder.

Well, read if you dare.

There are always some who accept whatever they’re told without checking, and always some that don’t accept it even when the evidence is right there.

Originally we planned on doing a nice table comparing text, a la the Cassie Clare writeup. We started at the beginning of chapter 1:

The Velveteen Mother by Krismom Whatever Makes You Happy by William Sutcliffe
Edward stared at his mother, aghast. He couldn’t think of a single thing that might have prompted her to turn up, here, at his apartment, on a weekday evening, uninvited without a warning. There was no precedent to this behavior, and he immediately assumed something must be wrong, something too awful to discuss over the phone- at the very least, someone must have died.

“What’s wrong?” he said.

“Nothing’s wrong.”

“Is everyone OK?” He’d spoken to his brother Emmett a few days ago and he’d mentioned having had dinner with his other brother Jasper- so it wasn’t any of them.

“Everyone’s fine,” she said. They stared at one another across the threshold, both at a loss as to what to do next, like hikers suddenly realizing they are lost.

“Aren’t you going to invite

Matt stared at his mother, aghast. He couldn’t think of a single thing that might have prompted her to turn up, here, at his flat, on a weekday evening, uninvited, without even giving him a warning. There was no precedent for this behavior, and he immediately assumed that something terrible must have happened, something too awful to discuss over the phone — an event to be spoken of in hushed voices, with a chair at the ready and hot, sweet tea to hand. At the very least, someone must have died.

“What’s wrong?” he said.

“Nothing’s wrong.”

“Is everyone OK?”

“Everyone’s fine,” she said. They stared at one another across the threshold, both at a loss as to what to do next, like hikers suddenly realizing they are lost.

“Aren’t you going to invite

…Do we see the problem?

You can pretty much pick any line from The Velveteen Mother‘s first chapter, and plug it in to Google Booksearch (it searches better if you take out the names) and bring up the exact same words from William Sutcliffe’s Whatever Makes You Happy.

Follow the yellow brick road to chapter 5, and you get this:

The Velveteen Mother by Krismom Whatever Makes You Happy by William Sutcliffe
Emmett put on a smile and tried to give himself a mental enema as he walked down the stairs, past the bodybuilder/undertaker bouncer at the door. He’d never quite mastered the etiquette of bouncer eye contact, his size usually creating an air of competitive animosity among other guys who were larger than the average male.
“Take it easy, Chief, it’s cool.” Emmett walked by and searched the bar for his brother. Emmett never understood how going to a loud bar where you have to yell at point blank range is supposed to be social.
He handed over his coat to a beautiful coat-check girl and stepped in. Emmett felt very out of his comfort zone. Perhaps this was why they employed women like her at the door: to give you the feeling that you were not just entering a bar, but being allowed access to a better world. The bar was lit with a curious blue glow, not by any discernable bulbs, but by cubes of wall that emanated a colored radiance which vaguely approximated to light while somehow not giving enough information to let you know where the floor was.
Daniel put on a smile and tried to give himself a mental enema as he walked down the stairs, past the bodybuilder/ undertaker tableau of bouncers at the door. He’d never quite mastered the etiquette of bouncer eye contact, and his intentions of a casual breeze-past always evaporated at the last minute, replaced by a shy smile and an ingratiating, coquettish simper. Daniel handed over his coat to an aggravatingly beautiful coat-check girl and stepped in.
Perhaps this was why they employed women like her at the door: to give you the feeling that you were not just entering a bar, but being allowed access to a better world. The bar was lit with a curious blue glow, not by any discernible bulbs, but by cubes of wall that emanated a colored radiance which vaguely approximated to light while somehow not giving enough information to let you know where the floor was.

And in chapter 6:

The Velveteen Mother by Krismom Whatever Makes You Happy by William Sutcliffe
That’s the deal. They didn’t want a father. All they needed was sperm. They’re good friends of mine and I trust them, so I gave them some sperm. It’s no big deal. I did a favor for some friends.” “That’s the deal. They didn’t want a father. They already had the father. All they needed was some sperm. And they’re good friends of mine and I like them and trust them, so I had a fresh AIDS test and gave them some sperm. It’s no big deal.”

And by “scroll down,” we don’t mean that everything in between is original, just that we went through picking completely random lines from whichever chapter our mice scrollers stopped on, ran them through the scanner…and they were plagiarized. At that point, why go further? It’s obvious that there’s a big problem here.

There have also been allegations that Committed to Memory, the fic Krismom began after TVM, contained the same type of copypasta from two or more published works, but we do not yet have a copy of this to verify.

And so we’re faced with several issues:

1. Copying that much text, even for the purposes of proving that someone plagiarized, would cross the line into infringement very quickly. We’d end up posting Sutcliffe’s whole book by the time it was over. Even having a copy of TVM is…like having an illegal copy of WMYH.
2. Yeah. Right. Like we have that kind of time. Just doing this much copypasta was fucking tedious.
3. It wouldn’t matter anyway. If it isn’t clear by now that TVM was essentially WMYH with the names changed and some random lines cut/added/moved, no amount of Windex is going to take the rose off those glasses.

So here’s the thing. If you have either fic or can get them, verify this independently. Copy any line from the fic you like (again, removing the names means it’ll hit better) and paste it into Google Books. Scroll down and do it again.

And again.

And…again.

Do the whole damn book fic if you want.

You won’t be taking our word for it; the above table could have been pulled out of our collective asses. But the hits on Google Books? Sorry, if any of us had the tech power to fake that, we wouldn’t be wasting it on the Twilight fandom.

So why is this upsetting? It’s not like she made money or gained anything tangible from it, right? As far as it’s possible for us to tell, Krismom has never participated in fandom charity events, and TVM doesn’t seem to have won any of the awards that it was nominated for. (Please feel free to let us know if we’re wrong, about this or anything else. It took over a year for someone to realize TVM was copied practically verbatim from a book; forgive us if we missed something between now and two days ago).

It might even twist itself into a good thing for the author. One of us only ever read Pamela Dean’s books after they played such a huge role in the Cassie Claire scandal; the same could end up true for William Sutcliffe. Except…the sheer magnitude of the plagiarism means that anyone who has a downloaded copy of TVM basically has a free ebook of WMYH. So that changes things. Luckily that’s not our mess to sort out.

What does it mean for fandom? The pulling to publish craze has made people reluctant to read incomplete fics or praise any fic too much lest the author decide his/her work of art deserves a wider audience. That’s not fair to those left behind. This? People are feeling duped right now. Readers often have an emotional investment in a story (witness the rage when one gets pulled), and when something like this happens, it stings.

Our prediction is that it’s going to take its toll on reviews and fandom participation, and those authors who actually take pride in their own work are the ones who will suffer for it. And why shouldn’t it happen that way? This took how long to discover? And only because the book is searchable on Google. Plenty of books aren’t, or at least you’d have to know the exact passages (most fics aren’t basically a book with the names changed). This could be going on all over the place. We wouldn’t want to heap praise on something and find out it was copied.

It’s not a huge crisis; it’s not on the level of predicting how the situation in Egypt is going to affect international relations and the economy. But that’s the point. Fic is supposed to be fun. This is not fun; it’s maddening and kind of boring.

People gush over fics because they’re pimped out by betas and BNA’s, and less known writers feel bad about their work because it doesn’t garner the accolades of these “better” fics. Depending on the forum, even gentle criticism of the latest fic du jour brings on an army of white knights ready to run the naysayers out on a rail.

…So how’d that work out for us this time?

(As an aside to go along with the BNA/nobody issue, while we might “come out” in the future, part of the reason for remaining anonymous for now is so you readers can form opinions based on content and not whether you know us, like us, or know/like us less or more than the people involved. If we wanted to be judged like that, we could have just commented on ADF. And been threatened with comment deletion because a mod is friends with Krismom).

Our opinion, if you care, is that we all (even we, the bloggers, are guilty of this) need to stop giving all the power to big names, who are no less likely to make poor judgment calls than the next person. Stop letting everyone else tell you what to read, how to write, and what to think. And for god’s sake if someone rings your alarm bells, listen to yourself. Don’t doubt that feeling just because everyone else is saying “That author is so NICE…” That’s all we ask.

Do this in real life, too, particularly during elections. Question everything. Take as a standing recommendation.

…But not just because we told you to.

But she was so NICE…

Just this week we were thinking, damn we miss Twankhard. Should we start a new one? Has the fandom finally settled down?

Mostly it was the discussion in the comments we missed. It’s amazing how many nasty things BNFs do that never come to light because people are afraid to speak up.

And, ironically, one of us was reading this yesterday. Read it; it’s worth the time.

So, it would appear that Krismom, author of The Velveteen Mother and Committed to Memory, has been accused of some serious plagiarism. Not a few funny quotes, not even borrowing someone else’s plot or scenes…but actually copying, verbatim, from several novels, according to a poster on her Twilighted thread.

Since the accusation (yesterday), she has pulled her fics from ff.net and turned off PMs, and today things went splodey on ADF.

The comments so far are predictable:

It’s only fanfic and it’s plagiarism anyway!
She’s such a nice person!
I don’t want to accuse anyone [but I would if I didn’t like the person]!

A few points for discussion:

Fanfic isn’t plagiarism, it’s derivative. Plagiarism is copying word for word (or heavily paraphrasing…and if the paraphrased text comes up on a Google search with a hit to the original book, that’s pretty heavy).

Let’s face it, no matter how nasty the person, they always have friends to say how nice they are. The nastiest people in this fandom still have fangirls. So comments like these don’t mean much. But none of that matters, and you know why? Because it’s still wrong to steal even if you’re nice to the people who praise you for “your” work after you steal it.

You don’t want to accuse? Then why not go read the excerpts on the forum and educate yourself? Sticking your head in the sand like an ostrich doesn’t make you noble, especially if you would go searching if it was someone you didn’t like.

We’re still waiting to post a table of excerpts until we do a little more searching of passages. Not all books are searchable online; who even knows how much more there is? Or will ever know? Cassie Clare had a HUUUUUUUUGE fanbase and still it took forever for anyone to notice.

Anyway, comment away (anonymously). Comments are moderated but will show up as soon as we get to approving them. We’re here for those who like discussing the batshit in this fandom; if it turns out the fandom’s moved on (right), we’ll fade away like the original.

ETA: Guys, really, we’re not the originals, and we won’t be nearly as funny as they were; those are tough shoes to fill. We’re just sick of all the cliquiness and want a place where people aren’t afraid to say some BNF isn’t as wonderful as their doting fangirls say.