“Be Italian!”

The quotation in the title comes from a song, from the 2009 musical film, Nine, sung by singer Fergie. In the film she plays the part of Saraghina. The song is giving advice to pubescent boys on how to make a woman happy in a delightfully sensuous way, if one ignores all associated stereotypes about Italian men and sex in general.

The correct lyrics are quoted here, although I baulked at the soundtrack dubbed in Greek of the video above the lyrics, only because it was not want I expected to hear, and could not understand it, moreover.

Great. I have three citations in my opening two paragraphs. And that is how it should be.

I am not a happy woman. I feel as if every fibre of my being has been violated by Melania Trump’s plagiarism of a speech given by Michelle Obama eight years earlier.

For posterity’s sake, I have taken a screenshot from an article on CNN’s website giving airtime to the day-after lies and excuses being drummed up by the Trump camp:

Melania Trump and her plagiarism of the speech by Michelle Obama courtesy of CNN online

That this even happened is bad enough. That the party infringing copyright (also known as plagiarising, in this context) is trying to back-peddle is worse. That this person, Melania Trump, has a fair chance of becoming the First Lady of the United States of America renders me senseless and well-nigh wordless.

My response comes in the form of a quotation from the song mentioned above:

If you want to make a woman happy,
you rely on what you were born with,
because it is in your blood.

In other words, be original.
[Note: For the purposes of being inclusive, the mention of the female gender here also implies any other. This is a quotation from original lyrics, so I cannot change it.  That is my reason, you understand.]

If you cannot be original (and there is a huge discussion we can have about the difficulties we human beings have in being original, given the vast mass of our common experience), then at least quote your sources. And if quoting the speech of an established public figure when giving your own speech seems a bit lame, then write your own – or get someone honest to do it for you. In any case, swallow the bitter pill, and make damn sure that your word is indeed your bond: your bond to others, and a bond that, in fact, they are your words.

Remember that in most sane legal systems, plagiarism is a serious and punishable offence. Don’t plagiarise me in English. Don’t plagiarise me by translating my words into another language and passing them off as your own. I will have your guts for garters, as the saying goes.

street where I live
Copyrighted photo taken by me of the street where I live. Image subsequently modified using an iPhone app called dreamscope. Apart from that, all my own work. Think of the app as a hammer, and the image as a chair. Gottit?

©2016 Allison Wright





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