Rough Theory

Theory In The Rough

Points Off for Hypocrisy

I can’t resist pointing to the student plagiarism story over at ZaPaper’s Chicago Beijing. While ZaPaper focusses the entry on a teacher’s intervention gone awry, the true beauty of this case lies in the topic and argument of the plagiarised piece:

And get this, the paper was on copyright and intellectual property (specifically with respect to music sampling, U2 and Negativeland). And GET THIS: Cheater is arguing in her paper that U2 was right, Negativeland was wrong, and sampling music is cheating.

Kewpie Doll: Never do this again. Some teachers would throw you right out of the course for this.
Cheater: I know, I know. All I was thinking was “length, length, length.”

Maybe that’s what Negativeland was thinking too. Points off for hypocrisy.

Or maybe it wasn’t really plagiarism, but a sophisticated self-referential critique that chose to make its point by using stylistic strategies that directly contradict the expressed content and overt argument. (I’ve been writing way too much on Marx lately…)

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