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Myshkin

Authors Behaving Like A**holes

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The only Americans I've known to use the C word are unabashed white woman feminists at least 40 years old.

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That word is an interesting diversion to the real subject (which is itself an extremely complex and emperiled subject that I'll avoid beyond saying that mob forming is far too common online and I think it's rather too much a barrier to consultation and progress overall ... and I think people should be more cautious to engage in such things so that we don't become desensitized to outrage, generally).

Back to that word - I'd say there's a rather clear double edged sword in regards to that word. On the one hand, it's objectionable to a lot of people and he should probably be better aware of and considerate of that fact if he's seeking out or talking to a largely global audience ... at the same time, it's a rather ethnocentric / selfish point of view to entirely discount how the word is intended and how it is generally perceived in the perspective of origin.

In a better world, he'd use a word that he thinks is common and generally suitable in tone, then he'd be made aware of the issues with that word, truly consider it, explain how it's used where he's from and issue a heartfelt apology for the situation. Then everyone would realize it's a miscommunication more than anything else and we'd move on.

Edited by Ser Not Appearing

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Morgan is certainly a liberal, progressive thinker. As is Rowling, as is Linehan. I personally didn't know that any of them shared terf opinions before this thread, I would've thought they'd've been more in line with mainstream liberal values.

However, the terf viewpoint does seem to be a bit of a roadblock among certain progressive British voices (Linehan is Irish). Probably because we have an outspoken right wing press, the issue of gender self identification in law has come up in the last few years and these celebrities have had the chance to air their views (or in Rowling's case have it squeezed out of them).

As far as turf as a slur goes, that seems to be a common claim, and I can sort of see their point. If the word is purely being used as a synonym for transphobic and used against someone in an argument who sees themselves as engaging in critical thinking. I don't think it is a slur, cause they're not a particularly derogated group, but it's probably not very helpful.

On the Morgan thing specifically, I can't see any reason why he should be banned from Twitter. Can only go by his account, but twitter doesn't usually ban people for swearing and if they consider terf opinions to be hate speech then a lot of others need to be banned from twitter too.

And finally, yes, cunt is a normal swearword. It's still a swearword, we don't throw it around willy nilly.

Edited by john

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Doesn’t Twitter have some pretty rigid rules around speech in regards to trans. It’s one of the things they really crack down on.

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Just now, Darth Richard II said:

Ok, who is linehan again?

Father ted and IT crowd writer, he’s pretty outspoken on twitter as well 

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6 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Yeah that’s a super no no word in the US.

Heh, it's such a common word in Australia.

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‘American Dirt’ Isn’t Just Bad — Its Best Parts Are Cribbed From Latino Writers

Quote

 

When I first read a scene about a young boy being crushed to death by a garbage truck in the new novel “American Dirt,” it made me queasy. Not because of its graphic depiction, or because the author, Jeanine Cummins, is not from Mexico, where the novel is set. What bothered me was the deja vu. 

I had read this scene before, in Luis Alberto Urrea’s “By the Lake of Sleeping Children,” a nonfiction book that draws from Urrea’s years of humanitarian relief work in the most marginal communities of Tijuana.

 

The article does on from there, with other scenes in American Dirt also out out Urrea's novel and other scenes from other latinx writers.

Good thing Cummins got a huge advance (much larger than these other authors did) and big movie deal.  Maybe then she can afford the law suits for plagerism. Though, the author of the article isn't sure that what she's done can be prosecuted as plagarism as she's been clever in how she 'reframed' these sections.  But these sections jump out of the surrounding text because they are so much more vivid than her own made-up stuff -- which she gets so very wrong so much of the time.

It really isn't recommended to write about Mexico and Mexicans when you don't know the country and don't speak (Mexican) Spanish, or any Spanish at all. 

But -- on the other hand those gringo white editors paid her a million bux for it.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/american-dirt-book_n_5e2a11e8c5b6779e9c2fd79f

Edited by Zorral

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14 minutes ago, Zorral said:


‘American Dirt’ Isn’t Just Bad — Its Best Parts Are Cribbed From Latino Writers

The article does on from there, with other scenes in American Dirt also out out Urrea's novel and other scenes from other latinx writers.

I've a recollection this is not the first Oprah Book Club pick to be dogged with issues like this. Wasn't there a big to-do over James Frey's supposedly-autobiographical memoir?

I think plagarism is going to be a tough sell to prove, from the description. Factual reportage often inspires scenes and sequences in fiction. I also think that pretty much anyone can write about anything they please. No one owns a culture, a nation, an event. It's all humanity. That said, if you take aim at writing a story about a culture or nation or history that is not your own, getting things right is a real challenge. She say she spent five years researching, and I'm sure she did, but it's obvious there are gaps in her knowledge (like Spanish, and particularly Mexican dialects and idioms) that she should either have worked to correct or, better yet, written around rather than putting them front-and-center.

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Just now, Darth Richard II said:

Oh God, I remember that one.

Before providing that link I was not aware how much Parker and Stone themselves disliked the episode.  Their "hat on top of a hat" is a very apt analogy for overdoing its weirdness.

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1 hour ago, Zorral said:

It really isn't recommended to write about Mexico and Mexicans when you don't know the country and don't speak (Mexican) Spanish, or any Spanish at all. 

And those launch party photos. Urghn.

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I think one of the reviews of American Dirt had it right when it said that 'writers interested in exploring the realities of those unlike themselves should answer three questions before proceeding'

1. Why do you want to write from this character's point of view? 2. Do you read writers from this community? 3. Why do you want to tell this story?

Cummings clearly had misgivings about writing this book, so clearly there was *some* introspection, but certainly there wasn't enough self awareness or introspection from her part.

 

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3 hours ago, Zorral said:


‘American Dirt’ Isn’t Just Bad — Its Best Parts Are Cribbed From Latino Writers

The article does on from there, with other scenes in American Dirt also out out Urrea's novel and other scenes from other latinx writers. 

Not to defend the writing of this novel, or any of the other various problems with it, but fictionalizing real events documented elsewhere in nonfiction works is not plagiarism.

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54 minutes ago, Myshkin said:

Not to defend the writing of this novel, or any of the other various problems with it, but fictionalizing real events documented elsewhere in nonfiction works is not plagiarism.

I think that's why the article's author thinks it's hard to prove plagarism, though it's very clear she did take a great deal from work of others.

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2 hours ago, Zorral said:

I think that's why the article's author thinks it's hard to prove plagarism, though it's very clear she did take a great deal from work of others.

I haven’t read any of the works in question, so I have no idea how closely Cummins hewed to the wording or structure of the source material for any of the scenes in question, but if the accusation here is, as it seems to be, simply that she read documented accounts of real life incidents and then fictionalized said incidents for her novel, well that’s kinda what novelists do. There are enough problems with this novel that we that we don’t have to reach to make this another one.

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1 hour ago, Myshkin said:

I haven’t read any of the works in question, so I have no idea how closely Cummins hewed to the wording or structure of the source material for any of the scenes in question, but if the accusation here is, as it seems to be, simply that she read documented accounts of real life incidents and then fictionalized said incidents for her novel, well that’s kinda what novelists do. There are enough problems with this novel that we that we don’t have to reach to make this another one.

But it is another of the problems, as she didn't do the original research that they and others did, and then they wrote it up.  She just went to them and took it -- without understanding the context out of which these events occurred.  That's nasty.

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