Saturday, March 04, 2006

Steve Alter's Random Thefts

I'm a little stunned. It was pointed out to me today by an anonymous commenter that I have been plagiarized. Apparently this little net thievery happened back in September, going undetected by me or any of my readers until just now. A very undistinguished gentleman by the name of Steve Alter (if that is, in fact, his real name) writes a blog called, ironically enough, "Random Thoughts", in which he published one of my blog entries verbatim. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I suppose I have a myriad of emotions right now, which are:

1. Shock - How lame is this guy? I have always tried my hardest to not even come close to plagiarism, even when relaying news stories. I'm always very concerned about it. Also, I always cite my references or link to the articles I'm writing about. Yet this guy took my post WORD FOR WORD and didn't even credit me. He just passed off every one of my thoughts as his own. Again, how lame is this guy?

2. Overblown Pride - I must be pretty damn brilliant if someone finds my blog worthy enough to steal! Pre-tty damn brilliant. Yep, yep, yep.

3. Bewilderment - How has this gone relatively undetected? It seems I'm not the first pretty damn brilliant blogger to be ripped off by this guy. Most hardcore bloggers are a smart bunch - they are good at sniffing out this kind of behavior and burning offenders at the virtual stake. Maybe a few people were aware of Steve, but thus far no one has shamed him into ending his sham of a blog.

4. Pity - Does this guy not have an original idea in his head?

5. Confusion - He didn't even take one of my better posts. Personally, I think the Tom Cruise/tryptophan post was the funniest in the life of this blog. I have yet to top it. He really should've taken that one. Maybe then he would've gotten a few comments.

6. Annoyance - I had to be reminded of a word that I can't spell. I had to look up the word "plagiarism" because, as good a speller as I am, I ALWAYS spell that one wrong. Hmm, maybe it's because I'm not a jackhole plagiarist who is familiar enough with the word to know how to spell it.

7. Perverse Glee - Your ass is mine, Steve Alter. Tom Cruise is gonna bless the day I found you. I don't care if you are a family man. You steal my schtick, I'm gonna schtick it to ya.

So, after doing a little research of my own, I found some mention of this guy on another person's blog, who had her own Alter-ed experience. After she and a friend called Steve out, evidently he removed the entry in question from his blog. Way to be a wuss, Steve. You all better hurry up and check this out before he removes the post he stole from me...I wish now I hadn't posted a comment to him because then it would've taken longer for him to realize that I'm on to him:

My original, dated Sept. 9 - Oops I Didn't Do Anything
His carbon copy, dated Sept. 12 - Oops I Didn't Do Anything Redux

At least he didn't steal the groovy pictures that I so nicely Photoshopped.

Now for the really funny part. Here is an entry of Steve's, dated October 18, 2005:
(Oh, and Steve, you see how I'm specifically saying that these are your words and putting them in quotes? That's a little device that writers use to keep from being labeled plagiarists.)

"So, as you might imagine, I got bored of blogging in just a short couple of months. Everyone who knows me should be well aware that I have the attention span of a goldfish and can't be counted on to consistently amuse and entertainment with my useless ramblings on a regular basis. However, I choose not to abandon my blog all together. It's too important to me that I communicate with all of my "peeps" without having to write 170 emails all containing the same dribble. Therefore, I am happy to announce that I will be changing the format of this blog... It will no longer be useless ramblings about inconsequential topics. Instead I will cover the new adventure I am about to embark on... FATHERHOOD!"

Here are my thoughts on the above:

1. The first sentence should read, "as you might imagine, people are on to me and I'm pissed".

2. He can't be counted on to consistently "entertainment"? Ok, I'm starting to see why this guy needs to steal other people's words. People who understand the difference between a verb and a noun. Anyway, that part should read, "I can't be counted on to scour the internet for entertaining stories that I can cut and paste into my own blog".

3. What nerdy white guy from Jersey says "peeps", unless he's talking about those marshallow Easter candies?

4. The word is drivel, not dribble. And why would a guy who is so good at cut and paste have to write 170 emails? And does he expect us to believe that he knows 170 people who want to hear his dribble, er drivel? Please. He can't have that many friends. A guy who can so carelessly steal other people's words is probably the kind of guy who you say something really funny to, and then when you're in a big group of people he says the same thing and gets a big laugh and passes it off as his own, while you're standing there fuming. People don't like that. Friends don't let friends steal their material. Therefore, he does not have 170 friends.

5. Useless ramblings about inconsequential topics? So he steals other bloggers' ideas and then calls them inconsequential? If it's really all that useless, why the hell did he waste all his time looking this stuff up in the first place?

6. I hope he's a good father. I hope he teaches his kid that stealing is wrong.

I probably shouldn't give this guy any publicity, but being in PR, I guess that's just what I do. We'll find out if there is such a thing as bad publicity. Perhaps we could ask Jayson Blair? He can probably give Steve Alter a few words of advice. Not his own words of course, but words nonetheless.

**Update - as expected, Steve Alter has already removed the pilfered post from his blog and has also disabled comments, so no one can confront him with his wrong-doings. Keep running from yourself, Steve. Heaven forbid you should be a man, admit that you're a plagiarist and apologize to those whom you stole from.


Bar Bar A said...

Well, you showed him! What a complete ass for stealing your stuff! But, at least he has excellent taste and knows good writing when he steals it.

Happy Villain said...

What a sh*thead! 170 emails? To his imaginary friends, maybe. C'mon! If you read one of the posts he wrote (with his terrible command of the English language) and the one he stole from you, there is NO ONE who would believe he penned a single sentence in that post.

Makes me wonder if that is his kid, or did he steal the photos and story from someone else too?

'Twould be evil and funny to do an ALTER-blog spoof and use the worst grammar, ALTERing the photos and making them insulting. Someone ought to do that. :)

Anonymous said...

Way to go Beck! Give that Verbal Reprimand, they sting.

Dr. Cissa Fireheart said...

I left him a comment too Beck. Wonder if he'll try to steal a post from me, now. I'm actually counting on it....

Writeprocrastinator said...

As they used to say in Hollywood, "when you steal, steal from the best."

LoraLoo said...

By the time I got here he's already removed his post.

Way to go on the verbal slashing, he deserves every bit and more. Sort of a backhanded compliment to have your original thoughts stolen.

BeckEye said...

I should've been smart and gotten a screen grab of "his" post, because I knew he'd take it down as soon as he realized he'd been found out. Oh well.

Dixie said...

Is that turd still around? I'm the one who sniffed out him last May after he plagiarized a friend's blog entry. And we had a field day telling the Googling world that Steve Alter is a plagiarist. I even got chastized by a Steve Alter fan (I imagine it was Steve Alter the plagiarist himself) on my blog saying that I needed to check my facts and that Steve Alter had written his entry first and that my friend stole from him - and evidently can turn back time since hers was dated days before his.

I pity that child of his having to grow up knowing that Steve Alter is a plagiarist.

Anonymous said...

Yet another victim...

...and he's not happy about it at all...

Jonathan Bailey said...

It never shocks me how people think that they can get away with this. I remember the first time I was plagiarized, I went through many of those same emotions myself, once I got over the anger and shock of my entire site being ripped off.

Anyway, I'm glad you were able to get it handled. Even if he doesn't appear to have learned his lesson, at least your work is safe.

Perhaps one of the other victims should consider filing a DMCA notice and getting the site shut down. If needed, I have the info on my site.

Teri said...

ohhhhhh, what a jerk.

Gah! that's all I can say. Gah!

beege said...

Yeah, I'm Dix's friend and he totally plagerized from me last May.

How do we shut this azz down? I'd like to know.

CarpeDM said...

I never get this. It's so stupid. I thought the whole part about blogging was me. Not what I can steal.


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