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Intellectual Property Theft

November 9, 2008
Laws are made by men in power to protect their tangible items and/or the type of abstract concept that can further benefit the tangible that the power brokers possess. I suppose, because intellectual property has been routinely stolen from people without power and used by people with power, even if that power is limited, it is why some people, particularly people not use to having power, have abandoned respect for intellectual property all together, or at least the show of respect for intellectual property other than his or her own.
Depending on who is doing the judging, intellectual thought is not really a property, certainly, there are no laws to protect against such a claim, not unambiguous laws anyway. One can always deny and/or recruit sycophantic parrots to discredit accusations by claiming innocence, planting doubt, denying intent and of course dismissal, “Who could ever get an idea from what you say/write?” But we all know better, don’t we. Or at least we do if we really wanted to be honest. The position of having a bigger blog (more readers) or claimed credentials (owns to being an academic, journalist, professional writer, activist, etc) is utilise to the intellectual thief’s advantage. Why would a journalist steal from a nobody? Ironclad case in favoured of the one who benefits from perception.

Regarding intellectual thief in the blogosphere, in my opinion, one particular type is more disheartening than various other types. For example, I am not referring to criticism or oppositional opinions, because when doing that, usually one must allude to, link, wink-wink, or quote in order for readers to develop an understanding of what is being conveyed (or trying to be conveyed). Besides, usually upfront techniques are too inflammatory and may distract from the original intent.

No, I have a problem when one person’s original thought is repeated or expanded upon by another person/author/writer/blogger, and instead of publicly acknowledging the original author, in substitute there is a superficial show or pretense of mutual respect, or a lack of acknowledgement all together. The latter being the worst.

The biggest pretense of mutual respect in the blogosphere seems to be the Hat Tip. H/Ts (including any I have previously engaged in) are lazy loopholes represented by disingenuous veneers. H/Ts are nothing more than the same bullshit type disclaimers found on products that risk management teams write for corporations to avoid and mitigate liability. For instance, I have a new heating pad with just the type of nonsense I am talking about. The heating pad lists things the manufacturers do not recommend to the consumer, knowing damn well if the consumer did none of those things, then the heating pad would not be wanted or consumed. To me it is just another example of how corporative cultivation has permeated into every aspect of our lives. Nothing is sacred from the corporate mindset, not even thought. However, I will admit even though H/Ts are frivolous and not substantial enough to excuse the crime, it is at least an acknowledgement, albeit a minuscule one.

“Although I immediately went back and wrote up something damn near verbatim to what you wrote, I added my own personal flavour (voice) and decided not to acknowledge your contribution for invoking my thoughts. If confronted however, because I don’t have mutual respect for you, I am going to pretend like I did not see your comment, post, entry, or admit to lurking at the place of your comment, post, or entry and in turn, accuse you of being irrational, jealous, slanderous, or flat out crazy, and people will believe me, because who are you compared to me?”

Of course, a person can always be wrong, but that is the rub. Doubt is often used to abuse, and to get away with dishonesty, because, nothing is ever beyond a reasonable doubt, it is impossible for it to be, because not everyone defines reasonable and doubt in the same way. Nevertheless, there are circumstances, repeated circumstances that are more than coincidental and the person whose thoughts have been stolen senses it more often than she/he does not.

Failure to acknowledge a person’s contribution (be it if you like them or not) is destructive because it a form of disrespect, a failure to extend dignity, and an obvious example of squandered opportunity to build bridges of solidarity (even if that solidarity is no more than a gesture, seeing that the actualisation of such a concept is somewhat impossible in our current culture). Granted, not everyone needs validation, which is essentially what acknowledgement is, however, practicing validation seems to encourage more than it discourages, unlike the discouragement a lack of acknowledgement creates. It is not even as if everyone needs or wants credit. Often people will say when asked, “No, you don’t need to credit me.” At least they asked though. Asking is an acknowledgement in itself.

I would say there is an element of sadomasochism in the person who cannot give credit where credit is due, a joy in knowing that they have stolen something from someone else and used it for their benefit. It is a deficiency if not a defect in character.

12 Comments
  1. Anna permalink
    November 11, 2008 1:37 am

    I’m sorry if this has happened to you recently, Kitty. It stinks, to say the least. Happened to me a couple of times. A link or nod of recognition would have been nice – but no. And it is pervasive – only getting worse. There is this perception that the internet is this FREE exchange of info. Trouble is – the understanding of FREE has become a bit warped. I doubt this will change any time soon – esp since the younger generation is being raised on this FREE concept.

    (BTW – I have netflixed Cold Comfort Farm per your suggestion. Watched “Trauma” (which I think you mentioned?) with CFirth last night – ummm – odd film.)

  2. The Fabulous Kitty Glendower permalink
    November 11, 2008 2:33 am

    Yeah it sucks big time, and it happens by people who should know better.

    So will you be talking about Trauma. Nothing feminist in it though. I do like how the race/skin colour of a person is not used for the plot, instead actors/actresses are what they are and play a role without that role having to mean something race specific, –more like something socially constructed. Still not sure I know when he was hallucinating and when he was not (I think I was too scared to watch it twice. Hey, you are talking to someone who usually stick to period pieces, did blood and violence is a little much). I have Gone Baby Gone, will watch it tomorrow.

    I haven’t been able to comment on your latest crop, without thinking I will say what I usually say when I haven’t seen the film.

    Can’t wait for you to watch Cold Comfort Farm, –especially the Gone With The Wind parody scene.

  3. Natasha permalink
    November 11, 2008 6:47 am

    “For example, I am not referring to criticism or oppositional opinions, because when doing that, usually one must allude to, link, wink-wink, or quote in order for readers to develop an understanding of what is being conveyed (or trying to be conveyed). Besides, usually upfront techniques are too inflammatory and may distract from the original intent.”

    WOW, you know I read this and was going to comment [read the post] then thought, nah, didn’t know what to say or what I wanted to say then I went back and read this again and this part,

    clicked, off topic a bit but not really, but made me think of something,

    I get told I’m inflammatory a LOT, LOL, but you know, been thinking a lot lately about this whole cyber world and cyber universe/clone living and political correctness and all that,

    and you Just made me realize what it Is,

    honesty, the whole cyber world is creating masses of dishonesty. More than just pretense,

    this intangible thing called a monitor is so damn dishonest–no wonder people need quotes and persuasions,

    honesty is just too hard to swallow and its so damn un p.c. So, its not surprising then to see the devalue of one’s word online, meaning,

    how easy it is for people to take other’s work and not give credit. But its way more than that,

    it goes deeper than that. Maybe thats what I’ve been struggling with, this cynicism but not having a real good definition for it,
    thought often it was just me,

    bad attitude or just bitter or maybe just down right nasty. I mean, hey I related to ole Salinger in Catcher in the Rye, what does That say, you know,

    I’m that damn negative,

    or maybe its just old age, maybe I’m turning into one of those old snarly old people, LOL, seriously sometimes I wonder,

    and I just project it onto my observations, but then,

    maybe not. Because I miss what is real, real like, when I sit and have coffee with my neighbor, an older lady who yes, is a bit snarly, not academic or what many would define as educated but you know, I like her.

    I just like sitting down and shooting the shit, as the term goes and I always walk away [and her too] with something,

    something tangible, real, honest, even on those days where she annoys the hell out of me [and me her].

    And there isn’t that or those constant misunderstandings or having to watch one’s words or having to ‘protect’ whats written or said, or having to ‘Conform’

    none of that, oh, not that there isn’t pretense or civil mannerisms but its like, this silent understanding, some issues you just don’t go there or when you do and they get controversial, you change the subject or you work it out,

    not so on cyber world, and its a world where the ethics of tangible simply don’t apply, as much as we would like them, or maybe, we expect them too.

    But its just not the same is it? No matter how much we try to make it so, its just not.

    You know you said once that you often just stop reading blogs and just stop for a while, and I remember when I first read that I thought, hmmmm

    now I understand it. Its limiting,

    you know, its funny, when you can talk to someone on the phone, and get more off of the phone than online,

    just the sound of one’s voice. Now maybe there’s something to be said about the visual tools on PCs and Macs [like camara’s and so forth] but even then, I don’t know,

    its missing something. Well anyway, know its like way off topic but you made me think or didn’t Make me but what you wrote there made me think of it and it clinched it,

    its what I had on tip of tongue of the ole brain here but couldn’t quite get it…lack of the upfront and honesty.

    And what is a little scary, is just think,

    we have a whole generation molded, literally ‘molded’ into this way of interacting with others on a machinery that is always in front of a seeing Big Brother eye, or corporate eye or what have you,

    OK well that leaves me more to think about. BTW, still reading classics, you know I’ve never read Austin,

    reading Grapes of Wrath [Again, picked it up and going to make myself read the entire thing] and have one book by Austin, saw a few at bookstore other day, I always think about you LOL when I see Austin because you’ve written on her works some,

    one day I’ll have to sit and read Pride and Prejudice…arrrgh, why I’m not looking forward to it, ~sigh~, not sure,

    maybe the movies, tried to watch one English film like that and just like, snore, LOL, I know, kick kick me, bad bad,

    its all that ‘proper etiquette stuff’, no,

    prejudice, I’m prejudice against the older classics so I shall have to get over it and just do it. Thats my goal, to read all the classics before I die,

    why, hell don’t know, well yea I do, its sad that my husband has read them all,

    and I’ve read like every torture testimony out of the old Soviet bloc but few classics, I did it all in reverse so now I’m going back–way back [with films too, though with films I’m loving it, btw, it was Virgine Writer blog [the one about films] that I got inspired to watch older films and read about film industry–fascinating stuff/precode cinema, etc., I shall have to thank her, I am now officially a TCM addict. :)]

    As for people not giving credit where credit is due, intellectual property, etc., that was one issue in the Socialist Party I really had strong disagreements with, they wanted to get Rid of that whole protections,

    but you know, of course, men and elites always do, those with power…stealing labor, stealing ideas and thoughts–same end results. They demean it when its from the undesirable yet they take it and modify it then take ownership of what wasn’t theirs to begin with, they do it in art, in fashion design [so much of the fashion world they’ve stolen off of goth kids and poor street people, thats fact],

    and now blogs. Nothing is safe anymore…

    Natasha

  4. The Fabulous Kitty Glendower permalink
    November 11, 2008 4:59 pm

    Regarding the oppositional opinions, you have given me more thoughts and I think help me understand why I glossed over that part. To many the fact that you express an oppositional opinion is an attack in itself and grounds to ostracise you from further discussions. This is common, especially from more popular blogs, and especially-especially from blogs where most of the readers “adore” the main host/hostess. In that aspect, it is all about high school. I do have trouble understanding what the soldiers get out of the bargain, the master at arms so to speak. I guess the fact that they get to hang around the person is sufficient, which I say codswallop. If I were going to silence my opinions then I would need more than a pass granting me access to a shallow person who is obviously incapable of digging a little under the surface. This is when the author and a few of his/her readers will attack the person, as in personally, “You are too combative in your opinion, too angry, go away and come back when you can frame your opinion in a way that we can see what you are saying but not feel that it includes any of us, although you are not trying to target any of us, but we would like to remain feeling comfortable anyway and not have to self-reflect.”

    On the other hand, oppositional opinions on the internet are rarely expressed without attacking the author of the oppositional opinion. Which in a way ties into what I said above about making it personal, but in a different milieu. For example, I cannot recall, not once, when someone had a problem with what I have written here and went back to their blog to express their opinion and did it without attacking me personally, as in “She is a…………………” “She must be ……………….” I could overlook it if the person claims to be uneducated. Not because that makes them ignorant, but because absent of an education, it is possible that one has not learned how to engage in oppositional opinions without making it personal, for example, recognising fallacies, keeping on point, etc, that technique, if not otherwise intuitively developed, is taught in school, it is the whole premise of how to write critical papers. And it is why I am cynical. Because if my attacker is supposedly educated (as they love to point out when they talk about how people talk/write, you know grammar and such), then why doesn’t he/she know this, unless of course they do and they just want to be cruel, nasty, and to deflect. In other words, they don’t want to come to an understanding of diverse opinions, they want to be a sadomasochist (whether they realise it or not) and they justify it by believing, or convincing themselves that you are aware of the game and are playing it to (See My Gotcha entry).

  5. The Fabulous Kitty Glendower permalink
    November 11, 2008 5:26 pm

    As far as the classics, you must remember it is Austen (with an e), not Austin (with an i), this is a must if you want to avoid having shoes thrown at you by ardent Austen fans. LOL!

    To begin with, you husband has not read all the classics, not even close. Not trying to be mean, just saying, I have heard that claim by many and I presume you are saying it because he has said it. I consider myself someone who has read a lot of the classics, yet when I take inventory, I realise how insanely short I come up. But, I suppose, compared to what are the preferences of the day, the classics do seem to be ignored, therefore, if you have read a handful it almost makes you the expert. Speaking about being on the net, I just love (not) how some of those masters-at-arms full of pretensions love to spout out how they have read such and such and upon closer examination, it essentially ends up being the same short stories found in the typical canon of the lower classes (Freshmen/Sophomore) English courses. Which I know sounds arrogant for me to say, but why try to act like the few stories you (the general you) have read in college makes you a well-read scholar. Sheesh. All about the pretension. Because you can bet if you tried to dig deeper into the story, meaning, allusions, tropes, you will be left talking to yourself. Bastards. In other words, they get the value that they need out of the pretense (to look in the know) and leave the person genuinely interested in literature, in the dust.

    I have not read Catcher in the Rye, or Lord of the Flies, or most of Hemingway or F. Scott Fitzgerald, or any of the numerous male American authors that many scholars (male-dominated and male identified) get boners reading or discussing. Not that I denounced any of them, or will never read them, but mostly because I have not gotten around to them. I concentrate on British Literature mostly and there is just so much, even if I stick with women writers only (which I don’t).

    Unabridged books on tapes (CDs) are becoming my new best friend, especially for commute times. I like reading, actually reading a book as well as the next person, however, books on CD has introduced a new delight, particularly if the reader is good. If the reader is bad, which I there was one or two that were not very good when I was listening to the short stories in Dubliners (I have read this before, but I used something familiar to get me into listening because I was afraid if I was not familiar already I would not recognise if I was missing something). Currently I am listening to Great Classic Stories, 22 unabridged Classics by Alphonse Daudet, Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Allan Poe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Guy de Maupassant, Katherine Mansfiled, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Oscar Wilde, Rudyard Kpling, Saki, and seven others (as stated on the box, LOL). Read by Barbara Leigh-Hunt (love, love), Derek Jacobi, Hugh Laurie, Martin Jarvis, Janna David, Kerry Shale, Nigel Hawthorne (love, love), Rosaline Ayres, and 13 others, oh, they did not mentioned Edward Fox, oh well, I thought he did a great job reading Georgie Porgie.

    Don’t buy them! Check with your library, your COUNTY library. I have learned this. The city library does not seem to have the same inventory as the county, and the county shares, and in some cases, the city is connected with the county but not always. This is true with my county/city and two of my friends who live in big cities/counties that I introduced the county libraries too and have loved it ever since. I guess the money is pooled differently. And unlike DVDs, books on CD/s/tapes can be renewed, and I load them on my Ipod (I know everyone does not have an Ipod, I got one for my birthday a few years ago, everyone pitched in and bought me one) for instances when I am not in the car.

  6. Anna permalink
    November 11, 2008 11:42 pm

    Kitty – as for TRAUMA – your comment about sums up what I would have to say. I appreciate the issueless-ness of the mixed racial couple. As for the rest of the film – I was utterly bewildered up through the ending. I never felt I got the pieces of the puzzle straight in my mind.

    Let me know what you thought of GBG.

  7. Natasha permalink
    November 13, 2008 6:50 pm

    Well Kitty,

    thats where he is an oddball, not only has he read so many of them, he owns the copies [not fancy, just paperbacks] and he reads them twice many times. But,

    his reading [and older film/movie watching] didn't come without a price,

    he grew up pretty isolated [and not good with people I'm afraid] but he read, when other kids were playing, he was reading, or watching older films with his grandmother. So he's an anamoly (sic) where that is concerned,

    But too, he doesn't know many who have read the classics other than the annotated as you mentioned and so he has this knowledge but no one really to share or talk with when it comes to books, now some of the more recent like Updike or Hardy [Thomas} he can find people online and maybe Hemingway but a lot of the others,

    its very rare. So, here we have so many of these books here [he had the classics and I had the Russian Lit] and I see them and think,

    I've never read most of them so one day made a challenge to myself to read them, and he always said they were great books. Thats the one thing I can say that he has enriched my life with and thats an appreciation for literature that I probably may not have had, at least not like I do now. Not the older or classic literature that is.

    As for male authors yes you are right, many in that era are very male ego oriented/centered, but oddly, what few I have read thus far,

    I found surprising, unlike some of the male authors [current or popular, etc] that I've read in my time, there is more depth at least, human-ness by those older authors than so many today,

    at least, from what I've gathered. I can't put it into words but there is a difference,

    but then I notice other differences too, even the mannerisms but then, it was a different time period,

    what Does shock me though, LOL, was some things I have read in the older books that I think, "Oh my gosh, sort of like,er, raunchy for that era" and I suppose thats because I had these preconceived ideas or something.

    And maybe thats why I am falling in love with the classics because I am seeing a lot of the humanity, though there were these constructs, it wasn't like they didn't realize it or didn't write about it or even rebel against them,

    and in fact, during that time period there was So much more censureship [sic] and so called, 'standards' and that part is interesting, how they worked around that. In other words, some of the older books are more radical than what we read today.

    So, I can see why my husband prefers them, my problem is that so many of them are just so darn long winded,

    like, I'm reading "Grapes of Wrath" right now and its like you know supposed to be this great literary book and its like pulling teeth getting through it,

    Not that it isn't a good story but oh my gosh how many pages does one need to describe something that could be described in one paragraph But, LOL, I have to say–I'm a hypocrite there because lord knows how many have said the same damn thing about me [and its so true].

    LOL 🙂 but now I have 'Joads' [family in Grapes…] on my mind, so suppose now I'm hooked into it. There is another book written by the author of "Lord of the Flies", well two actually, and we have all three, Golding I believe,

    yea my husband Reads that sort of stuff [fanatical about it] and I was always like, 'booorrrriiing' LOL and here I am now reading them too,

    slowly though. It really is like shoving my cement ass to get into these books. Thats how it feels anyway,

    what is amazing though Kitty is just how much of these classics that people throw out including bookstores because people really don't read them,

    oh, a few required in college they do but there are so many that are obscure and Those, those are the jewels. The other week, the bookstore near us threw out an immaculate copy of Tolkien's "The Silmarillion" Which is a GOLDMINE because That was his book about the past story of all the characters in "The Lord of the Rings" and one that is not easy to find unless you go online.

    I was dancing with glee when we found it, Couldn't believe it. Maybe he [bookstore] just didn't know what he had,

    but they throw out so many good books, a lot of romances and that sort of thing too but its amazing what you can find. I have all of Burdicks, some church downtown [city] threw out half of their older library,

    now the bindings are not in the best condition and we have found books that we've had to like trim pages and/or remove bad covers, but the words still on the page and thats what counts.

    LOL, Kitty to close, this is how bad I am, one day, one of the bookstores threw out two boxes of older books, and it rained, so most were unsaveable,

    BUT, they threw out a copy of "We Are Your Sons, Legacy of Ethel & Julius Rosenberg" written by their children Robert & Michael Meeropol.

    So, here is this book, about the letters/diaries and testimony about the Rosenbergs soaking wet but not so bad it couldn't be saved, or at least, try to save,

    and so I took it home and for two hours, blow dried every page. There was no mold, but the cover couldn't save so it went–but it looks now like dried curly parchment paper but I read the book while blowdrying it, didn't think I was Ever going to save it,

    but, here was history, history that isn't popular or wanted in this country and a book I'm sure is not easy to find Because of its unpopularity [for those who don't know, Rosenbergs were the couple executed for being accused communist spies] and so,

    to me its not just classics or knowledge or expertise, in fact none of that–

    and thats what is so sad in our present age is that these books, are more than classics, they are history, because so many were banned, challenged [like Catcher in the Rye which is still banned from many libraries today which is why I read it btw, LOL] and,

    so many were for Their era, extremely controversial even if they were written by male chauvinists. So, when reading them [the few I have read] I not only am reading this older classic but seeing from an intimate level how people thought back then,

    its just to me, really fascinating because we really haven't progressed That much. We Think we have,

    but we haven't.

    Funny thing is, the day after we found the Rosenberg book they threw out another book, autobiography of President Eisenhower, with the stamp even, and Guess what the title to That book says,

    Ready for this, "Mandate for Change", found it week before Obama's DNC, now is That something or what, LOL?! Talk about 'signs' there, lol,

    because there was a lot of strange workings going on with that whole Rosenberg trial, the two spies who DID confess–acquitted, very strange.

    Anyway, not only was that book great because it was like finding something that we weren't supposed to have, you know, not PC acceptable,

    it has lots of details about the inner workings of the SDS and all them organizations during the 60s.

    Anyway, see now I will have to read Guy de Maupassant, because we have several and just the other day I thought, na will read it later,

    LOL, just wished they were easier to get through so I could read more in shorter time…That IS the downside to many of them.

    I did find Austen the other day too, only have one of hers and do have the Bronte Sisters but not sure if its shortened–but there is a bookstore that sells paperbacks and all hers are $2.00, so I can have them and re-read them and pass them down to the kids. Sorry don't mean to ramble on so much about books. 🙂

  8. Natasha permalink
    November 13, 2008 7:26 pm

    Made me think of something,

    you know if you saw my husband you’d never think he was educated or even a reader…though he didn’t finish college [both of us had semester or two to go to graduate], he looks like a homeless hobo,

    seriously, works for the college [tech job, no he’s not a prof and he hates the politics of higher ed] but gets pulled over all the time on the bus because they think he’s a street person, just very eccentric like that, old hippie. And when you mention the pretense its funny,

    because the people that I do know who actually Do read a lot of the more meat of literature aren’t the academics,

    they are the eccentrics including many who live in the mobile home parks. Its funny but its true,

    and thats what drew me to him I think was the fact that he was very anti-pretense and in fact to the point where he’s probably more anti-social. And yes, he can be an asshole but not in that snobbery I know so much sort of way, and he didn’t get a long well in college as far as socially because he was so eccentric in how he thought,

    used to annoy the hell out of me but over the years I did find just how much he really does know, but he doesn’t air it, know what I mean?

    But I’ve met those types, who profess to read and know and know how to write with meter [lol, like one law student who often said my ‘meter’ was off in my writing like who gives a fuck really, lol],

    and yea, never thought they might be reading the annotations, never occurred to me to ask but yea, come to think of it,

    on those book webclubs there IS a lot of snobbery and the language I have to say Kitty, I don’t understand it,

    how they judge books and so forth, never could get into all of that. To me its just whether its a good story or if it has moral meaning or maybe even a complex one,

    but never got into like describing character exploration and all that, never appealed to me and sometimes I wonder if that isn’t what Kills interest in reading, same with art, poetry, etc.?

    Well, but anyway, I think, there are book readers,

    and then, book lovers. So, maybe its not that he’s read the classics so much as he loves the classics, loves books and I will say, I give him credit [and believe me its not often I say good things about him LOL] but he can enjoy and read even science fiction which is something I don’t do,

    I haven’t gotten That far yet into loving all types of books and I still have prejudice against many types of books. Shows narrow mindedness on my part maybe,

    right now he’s reading a new Stephen King, which is very unusual for him as he doesn’t read what we term as popular fiction…and horror is not our cup of tea, though this book isn’t horror.

    But I wasn’t even aware of King’s accident or that he even was writing other types of material,

    learn something new every day. But anyway, yea we on occasion have visited like the nice bookstore where all the ‘experts’ go to,

    we don’t fit in, thats for sure. And ironically, my husband hated literature classes as far as the Eng Lit 101,

    he says they kill the joy of reading. [and writing]

    And I’m living proof that one can read a lot but doesn’t necessarily make them a brilliant writer or one with great vocabulary, my vocabulary is very elementary,

    if not for a thesaurus, I have hard time, extremely difficult time in writing well, and even with on, its a labor for me, in a very big way.

    But I love a good read, only one book I found dreadfully horrid, “The English Patient”, but I still have it,

    maybe one day my mood will be or frame of mind will be where I can pick it up again and actually enjoy it.

    Always love reading here though, and will have to see what I have as far as British authors.

    🙂 Natasha

  9. The Fabulous Kitty Glendower permalink
    November 15, 2008 2:59 am

    because the people that I do know who actually Do read a lot of the more meat of literature aren’t the academics,

    Yeah I agree. To me this is the separating line between academics and intellects, —not saying there are not academics who are also intellects though, but there are definitely intellects who are not academics.

    And I made the mistake of assuming we (or any two people really) define the classics the same. There is no right answer, just different answers. When I think of the classics, I think of all the 500+, 800+ pages of Dickens, Trollope, George Elliot, James Joyce, etc.

    The books that you have mentioned have yet to appeal to me. For some reason the American male author leaves me aggravated. And when it comes to going on and on, I feel you. Herman Melville gets the prize for that shit. I don’t have the same disgust when say George Eliot, Austen, or Gaskell go on and on. I think because there seems to be a fundamental difference compared to the men in their endless prose. Incidentally, Wilde and Hardy do it too and they are not American. To me when the women go on and on there is depth and exploration of a conscious vs. subconscious thought, whereas the men seem to go on and on about something I consider trivial, like the nuts and bolts of whale fishing. Do we really need to know the nuts and bolts of whale fishing to understand that the men are bonding over whale chasing and living on the same ship for months on end? I say no. After while it is hard to think that the endless prose is anything other than posturing, as in, showing the world that he knows exactly what he is talking about down to the most minuscule detail. So I am sorry if it seemed like I did not believe your husband’s claim. It is refreshing to hear there people actually reading. It may be your saving grace as you and your husband grow old together, –to discuss books. Mr. Glendower doesn’t read anything, ever, something I have hard time understanding.

  10. Natasha permalink
    November 18, 2008 6:12 pm

    LOL that might be why [maybe instinct] that I’ve been putting off reading Moby Dick,

    yea you are right on the nail about the men going on and on about ‘details’,

    still in Grapes of Wrath and though there are some things that Steinbeck is genius about,

    he does go on and on about those details–like,

    how many frickin ways can one describe a turtle walking in a drought ridden field? But he sure could, made a whole chapter about it. But then, later on you can see where he’s leading up using that turtle as an analogy but its like, gritting teeth and chewing gristle to get to the meat and so boring,

    I find myself skipping parts but then going back and skimming over them because like a car it links to something,

    they are mechanical in their writing like that. I suppose it doesn’t annoy me so IF they are leading up to an event or something, its when they do this to just go on in some sort of narccistic (sic) way to describe a ‘man’s feelings’ or a ‘man’s’ experience, and nine out of ten its Always sexual,

    that shit gets on my nerves. Usually I just go blah blah blah through those parts, LOL,

    But to be fair, I’ve read women authors who will do the same thing like with someone’s dress or anything romantic they’ll go on and on about details,

    its that the details are different though. Hard to explain but I think thats probably why I don’t read romances,

    like, how many times does one have to read about some man’s ‘chiseled chin’? LOL

    Like, what is chiseled chin anyway? I have a terrible time picturing people’s faces by those types of descriptions,

    anyway, I will say, Kitty that as long as this damn book is taking me, I give Steinbeck kudos for hitting that nail on the head when it comes to describing in a very intimate way about the bitterness the people feel when having to burn all their goods before leaving,

    their lives, gone. Boy he really did open up something there and so now I’m like getting into the story,

    but he was gifted like that. Though I think, the whole portraying the Joads as Hillbilly Hicks is a bit exaggerating,

    I grew up in the South with those types of people, and while some of its true, they aren’t like that All the time, LOL.

    Like they ain’t waking up with smacking their chops and talken about that boy yer yonder there whippin someone’s ass,

    ROFL,

    they do things common just like every other ordinary folk. LOL Ah, that part is a little fun to read because knowing or having lived in that region I can laugh about it,

    but then too I suppose in that era they really did think people in the South[or rural farmers] were just 100% hick 100% of the time.

    You see the whole woman as quiet stable keeping the family strong martyr crap too,

    that idealized woman, whether that was man’s fantasy [author] and what sold books I can’t say,

    but on so many of those parts they are very unrealistic, women in the South were not the quiet martyr types by no means,

    and I have a hard time believing they were even in that epoch. Some of them maybe but Steinbeck [like most male authors] do have that tendency to create this idyllic woman martyr image.

    Maybe though, thats what they secretly admire about women, who knows,

    yea my husband loves Joyce but I’ve heard many complain about the drudgery in many of the books. But too, back then,

    people took more time to be very careful in the use of language as not to cause misunderstanding,

    even in letters [I love reading books/anthologies of old letters by people and even they are very detailed, the further back in time one goes the more detailed they get],

    where as today, we’re very cut and short, due to time and well, maybe because we live in that smaller world [over years] so there is that common understanding,

    where as, maybe back then because of the separation of space and the time separation or isolation, people were more careful in specific details.

    ? just wondering but there is that difference, books now for the most part are just so much easier to get through.

    Anyway rambled on enough…I want to read Dickens, and I have some Wilde, but never read him,

    I have so much to learn. Its funny too, some of the expressions they used in their days, I often get a laugh,

    I will say, thats one thing I did love about Salinger, he made me laugh. Those are the best books,

    if they can make me laugh and cry both,

    they are great–like a good film,

    which, wow one day will have to blog about the older films, you know I haven’t even watched Casablanca yet, finally found a copy at thrift store, still havent’ watched it or Gone With the Wind either,

    well the latter as small child but I fell asleep. I truly have lived under a rock all these years, LOL, which,

    is a subject matter all in itself, growing up poor/rural and working never had time to see films or movies, those were ‘luxuries’ and it is surprising that still occurs with so many today,

    in other words, so many of these books and films are taken for granted, maybe why I am wanting and just like devouring them,

    like getting things missed. I”ll have to write about it one day, when I have more clarity and understanding on it all.

    Natasha

  11. Natasha permalink
    November 18, 2008 6:35 pm

    Wow Kitty you just made me think of something,

    hope you are still checking this post but there was this film on TCM a while back, started watchin it but had to do something but it was Exactly about what you just said about men being long winded and just going on about how

    ‘smart and witty’ they are,

    and this film was about this man with this very, very long nose and this other man making fun of him and this man with the long nose retorted back [dressed like in Three Muskateers dress, can’t recall the film, older Black and White movie],

    but anyway this man with big nose just land blasts this other guy with long words and witty come backs,

    and it was displaying their ‘class, status and education’ and That, yes,

    is so big in that whole literary world, and yes they Did go on and on about how many vocabulary words they could pull out of their asses to describe one minute detail to set themselves apart from the rest of us simpletons.

    And in academic writing its far worse [Arendt was notorious for that too, as are other women academics because those are the standards placed by men but you know its like, you need a fricken dictionary to even understand what the hell they are saying].

    Yea and you are right, that IS snobbery or what my husband calls superflous (sic) bullshit,

    or fluff. And Orwell wrote an exceptional essay on language but he took the other view, well he was bashing the leftists [Leninists] for their repeated use of phrases,

    of which, he had valid point too. Or how authors will use those cliches, or redundant catch phrases of the day,

    I should write that here, that small section where he took a section out of the Bible and rewrote it the way literary authors do,

    its absolutely Hilarious, like, coffee up the nose laughing hilarious.!! 🙂

    And to think Kitty while in College I tried so hard to write like that, to be ‘as smart’ and I look back [with the student loan debt that has made me a pauper for life] and think,

    Jesus how Stupid I was then! LOL, and for What? Surely not for wealth,

    and I know thats a big reason I went back to being a simpleton, LOL, I will say, its not as exasperating, I think is the word, to write,

    having to like write then go through a thesaurus and make these big ole sentences with this long drawn out big words that by the time you finish it, it takes an academic to even understand what they hell you were or are saying to begin with,

    and I see that on blogs too AND I see women do it. When I have to pull out a dictionary to figure out a sentence,

    thats pretty bad OR maybe I’m truly just a simpleton, I’ve wondered, it Does go to show my lack of education,

    thats for sure. But then, I wonder,

    by the time they throw the dirt on top of me will Any of that really matter?

    Na,

    probably not. So all those years of learning [or trying to] how to write with big words and texture and all that jazz,

    in the end, is just hours spent churning words that don’t do a thing,

    they are just words after all. I don’t know,

    pondering on a lot of this lately–like, whats important and what isn’t really, in the whole sum of things. I’m sure if Melville could come back,

    like many like him, well, I wonder if all that long drawn out showing off of how smart they could write would be that important to them,

    like this one Russian author wrote, will have to come back and post the name because can’t recall the name at this moment,

    but it was something in regards to this author learning to read in another language [because that was the intellectual thing to do] when he was in gulag,

    and he said, no, the time spent on learning the language he could be reading books.

    Enjoying books,

    that stuck with me…spinning words or living life,

    gave me a different perspective. OK well I’m rambling on again about nothing and nothing, LOL, I will say though,

    I wonder, like how STeinbeck and other authors can get that inspiration on just the most smallest things and yet,

    make them a story or chapter,

    maybe thats why they are writers though [or were], it is a gift, something I read that Woolf said,

    well, will save that for later.

    🙂

    I love reading though its terrible for my other duties [reading is an escapist thing you know, I think, if I ever excell at anything its at being an escape artist, LOL, probably not something to brag about–

    But then, ah, there Is something about that that I will be writing on in the ole blog here soon–and why I think, the whole cyber world and the whole visuals,

    is a means in eliminating depth from humans–for a reason though.

    I’ll have to write about it but to relay a bit here, the more one has read or nourished I suppose in their mind, or storage in the ole brain, they can draw upon later if need be,

    when there isn’t anything there To draw upon, except small tidbits, there is that emptiness and nothing to fall back on to draw comparisons,

    and maybe Thats the purpose of it–the agenda, without purpose, its easy to be reduced to sheep.

    Well anyway,

    more later,

    Natasha

  12. The Fabulous Kitty Glendower permalink
    November 18, 2008 7:21 pm

    All you need to know about Moby Dick can be found in this section:

    Chapter xciv

    A SQUEEZE OF THE HAND

    That whale of Stubb’s so dearly purchased, was duly brought to the Pequod’s side, where all those cutting and hoisting operations previously detailed, were regularly gone through, even to the baling of the Heidelburgh Tun, or Case.

    While some were occupied with this latter duty, others were employed in dragging away the larger tubs, so soon as filled with the sperm; and when the proper time arrived, this same
    sperm was carefully manipulated ere going to the try-works, of which anon.

    It had cooled and crystallized to such a degree, that when, with several others, I sat down before a large Constantine’s bath of it, I found it strangely concreted into lumps, here and there rolling about in the liquid part. It was our business to squeeze these lumps back into fluid. A sweet and unctuous duty! no wonder that in old times this sperm was such a favorite cosmetic. Such a clearer! such a sweetener! such a softener! such a delicious mollifier! After having my hands in it for only a few minutes, my fingers felt like eels, and began, as it were, to serpentine and spiralize.

    As I sat there at my ease, cross-legged on the deck; after the bitter exertion at the windlass; under a blue tranquil sky; the ship under indolent sail, and gliding so serenely along; as I bathed my hands among those soft, gentle globules of infiltrated tissues, woven almost within the hour; as they richly broke to my fingers, and discharged all their opulence, like fully ripe grapes their wine; as I snuffed up that uncontaminated aroma, — literally and truly, like the smell of spring violets; I declare to you, that for the time I lived as in a musky meadow; I forgot all about our horrible oath; in that inexpressible sperm, I washed my hands and my heart of it; I almost began to credit the old Paracelsan superstition that sperm is of rare virtue in allaying the heat of anger: while bathing in that bath, I felt divinely free from all ill-will, or petulence, or malice, of any sort whatsoever.

    Squeeze! squeeze! squeeze! all the morning long; I squeezed that sperm till I myself almost melted into it; I squeezed that sperm till a strange sort of insanity came over me; and I found myself unwittingly squeezing my co-laborers’ hands in it, mistaking their hands for the gentle globules. Such an abounding, affectionate, friendly, loving feeling did this avocation beget; that at last I was continually squeezing their hands, and looking up into their eyes sentimentally; as much as to say, — Oh! my dear fellow beings, why should we longer cherish any social acerbities, or know the slightest ill-humor or envy! Come; let us squeeze hands all round; nay, let us all squeeze ourselves into each other; let us squeeze ourselves universally into the very milk and sperm of kindness.

    Would that I could keep squeezing that sperm for ever! For now, since by many prolonged, repeated experiences, I have perceived that in all cases man must eventually lower, or at least shift, his conceit of attainable felicity; not placing it anywhere in the intellect or the fancy; but in the wife, the heart, the bed, the table, the saddle, the fire-side, the country; now that I have perceived all this, I am ready to squeeze case eternally. In thoughts of the visions of the night, I saw long rows of angels in paradise, each with his hands in a jar of spermaceti.

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