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David Arthur Walters

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The XUE Affair
By David Arthur Walters
Posted: Saturday, November 27, 2010
Last edited: Saturday, November 27, 2010
This short story is rated "G" by the Author.

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Recent stories by David Arthur Walters
· I Was A Frustrated Newspaper Columnist
· I Was A Crack Adding Machine Operator
· Whom God Hears
· On The Immortal Story
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Plagiary is running rampant on the Internet!

 

  

The name of Xue is being bandied about the globe at the speed of light as gossip weaves it infamous tales true or false without regard to potential liability for libel. But no regard for libel law is due if the allegations against Xue are true , except one must consider the expense of defense if suit be brought. And, how can anyone have true respect for Xue if they never know the answer to: Who is Xue?

 

Xue, a virtual abstract identity who with impunity defies accurate personal description and who refuses subscription (or so it is rumored) to Western ethic and law contrived to keep up the faith (while it is breached by overwhelming practice) that individuals are unique before society, that they are freelance authors of their own deeds or liberal persons who have original thoughts for which they are, as an incentive to defy the dumb herd, entitled to a least a little glory and perhaps some money to boot.

 

At least that is the herd mentality of those Westerners who hold to the party line of private capitalism in all matters concrete and abstract no matter how much accumulated capital crushes so-called free individuals, no matter how much the private accumulation and sale of intellectual capital - much of which is institutionalized plagiary or organized intellectual crime legalized - transforms bewitched individuals into obediently dumbfounded ephemerons, their very souls kidnapped or plagiarized by gross plagiary. Alas, magpies all: each chatters hackneyed phrases and feels entitled to nobility and copyrights therefor.

 

Yes, the kidnapped cat is out of the bag: accursed plagiary is the charge brought against disobedient Xue. And, even worse, if the allegations are true , copyright infringement too, adding to the other modern infringements now spreading a replicating viral plague on the World Wide Web! If we take her virtual name, Xue, for granted, it is no wonder that this is an Asian threat: for is not Asia famous for her reproductive talent as well as her so-called theft and replication of intellectual property?

 

Who is Xue? Where may she be found? We can only say Xue came out of nowhere to surf everywhere for all we know, to copy and paste our very souls under her own handle. She raised one of her myriad heads at an open-publishing writing community where she posted many good works, including one on plagiarism, and quickly rose in rank to the highest status amongst her peers, receiving a Gold Award shortly before one of her articles was featured by the editor on the front page. Apparently that article had been heavily edited and she had rudely neglected to name the editor. Another writer was alarmed by that breach of etiquette and, for the good of the world-wide writing community, an investigation was conducted and a finding was found: Xue had allegedly lifted editorials from a newspaper and had posted them at the site.

 

No longer was open publishing open as the door slammed shut on her profile: Xue was summarily banned by the editors to nobody knows where. Her Gold Status was stripped from her public profile along with everything else except her email address and a declaration to the world that she had been BANNED FOR PLAGIARY. The tip of a gossip-iceberg about the Xue Affair appeared in the forums; the bulk of it along with truths and falsehoods still undisclosed had been lurking in email. The forum traffic on the Xue Affair gradually accelerated, and even the Go(l)ds (authors of the highest status ) appeared to hurl thunderbolts, and lesser gods worked their wonders. We recall the battle at Troy a thousand years before the Christian era, ostensibly brought about when Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world for which a private-property contract has ever been made, was plagiarized by Paris - one vile rumor has it that she went quite willingly.

 

What we have in the Xue Affair is yet another appearance of the monstrous mortal enemy of privatized intellectual capital, the fiendish Internet form of Typhon with millions of burning heads and writhing limbs unleashed by his babysitter, Python, the dragoness slain by Apollo, whose priests had a vested interest in suppression of promiscuous intercourse and discourse and the regulation of trade with far flung colonies. Apollo's priests were not as bright as their shining god who had plagiarized the money-slaves from the sea as they were carrying out their duties as sea traders. Apollo established the merchants as priests under his name at Delphi: they asked him how in the world they were to make a living at religion; Apollo answered that, if they kept their noses clean, there would be plenty of excess wealth donated, upon the fringes of which they could feed; and so Delphi became the central holy bank of the Greek nations.

 

Yes, the priests' souls were kidnapped, plagiarized! Every word must now be spoken in the name of the god, and the failure to do so is plagiary; that is, to recapture a soul from institutional plagiary constitutes the mortal sin of plagiary. The ransom is a hero's life. We are familiar with the struggles, not only the secular struggles amongst the Greek nations for control over their international bank, but with the transcendental struggles as well. For instance, mighty Hercules fought Apollo for the tripod; Zeus interrupted the fray with a thunderbolt. And remember how Dionysus, immortal god by rebirth, the generative Leading Principle whose image is the phallus, actually succeeded with the gift of gladness and forgetfulness, substituting himself for Apollo in season: his extinction and resurrection was celebrated at his grave was in the inner sanctum Apollo's temple. Plentiful wine replaced scarce mead as the drink of choice and, as we know, there are no secrets under its influence; thus would Dionysus loosen tongues to speak truly and rid the world of institutional plagiary, the kidnapping of souls by society under the pretense that authors remain free and are original thinkers as they chant platitudes, clichés, and hackneyed phrases propagated by those who manage to capitalize on the gross deception of the gross plagiary monster.

 

Plagiary! Curses!

 

It is no wonder authors aspiring to the proceeds of author(ity) gossip about plagiarism, the very bane of their ideal existence. Gossip can be malicious and false, but despite men's disdain for the feminine version of it, gossip can serve to protect people from harm and get others to conform to the community's mores. Yet once a culprit such as Xue is apprehended and punished, one might think we could stop talking about Xue or her compatriots. Yes, writers, who are by nature gossipers, are naturally interested in plagiary, but why not take the conversation to a more philosophical level instead of raking Xue over the coals when she is not even around to suffer anyway?

 

I happen to be of the Clan of the Wild Boar. I am most mindful of my more illustrious ancestors such as King Arthur and other knights who loved damsels in distress, especially the married ones locked up in towers, and who consequently have a definite personal reason if not a broad ethical interest in suppressing vindictive gossip. I had grown weary of the frequent charges of plagiarism around which gaggles of gossipers invariably converge to drag accused plagiarists in the dirt long after their conviction and banishment. The Xue Affair was the last straw! Therefore I picked up my free lance and charged in.

 

It seems the majority of persons accused of plagiary are female, as are, of course, most gossipers, so my calling was two-fold: to discourage malicious and vindictive gossip; to raise some defense for Xue and the ancient Asian tradition of plagiary - how presumptuous we Westerners are for wanting to take personal credit for tradition! Behind Xue's veil I imagined an intelligent and lovely Princess of the Orient with her essential being unblemished by the Occidental racism of the plagiary charge. Besides, I have certain romantic tendencies which often digress from the love of particular damsels to the abstract love of downtrodden people at large who must of course be saved from themselves.

 

A postmodern self-appointed knight or radical officer of the people is bound by his ambiguous code of professional ethics to disclose to the jury, the society itself, facts that might work against his mission to save it. You see, because of my cultural conditioning and noble origins, I too believe the Western cultivation of individual greed and private intellectual property is vastly superior to those traditional Eastern societies euphemistically called "reproductive" because of their emphasis on replication by imitation - the more derogatory terms, "pirating" and "plagiarism", are Western curses for what is an acceptable practice in the East, at least until the East is globalized, made even more acceptable when U.S. dollars are to be made. Yet there are good arguments for the Eastern point of view before it was corrupted by U.S. dollars. Ironically, the best arguments for the free dissemination of knowledge were most eloquently presented in the West during ancient times. Wise men held that wisdom is not private property to be bought and sold. Wisdom is universal; something remembered and not created; only a perverse sophist would try to take credit for it.

 

My personal prejudice remained with the West. Nevertheless, I trotted into the forums on the Xue Affair and proposed that the gossip about Xue cease in favor of debating the general concept of plagiarism, thereby raising the discourse to a higher plane, namely, the philosophical level. I dutifully presented the opposing view, that our Western position is NOT the only one, hence we find millions of CD's pirated and works plagiarized in Asia. Eastern scientists routinely plagiarize Western scientific papers. In some Asian countries, students habitually resort to plagiary, and even openly cheat as a matter of common course.

 

Yes, I argued against my own prejudices. I said truth should be freely shared no matter how it is written. I declared our public argument, that individuals have original ideas, to be a specious one, for language and its ideas are gifts of society and should be given back freely to all. Whosoever desires fame and recognition for what was given to him is certainly guilty of the loathsome sin of pride, I declared. I suggested that true intellectuals, in honorable contradistinction to the intelligentsia who have sold their souls to the capitalist devils, can make an honest living selling our T-shirts and coffee mugs and so on, or hold part-time jobs.

 

In response, I was informed that my position was "novel", and that I was supporting plagiary. I accepted the charge of novelty in hopes of selling a novel on the subject, yet I begged to differ as to its truth. So does over half of the world, and even more if we count all those new Western writers on the Internet who do not have the slightest idea of what plagiary or copyright is - or the difference between plagiary and copyright infringement - and who are at this very moment copying and pasting everything they can get their cursors on.  As for supporting plagiary, I had clearly stated my personal feelings to the contrary - I too am a victim of my conditioning.

 

In other words, because I exercised my ethical duty as an idealist knight, a self-appointed lawyer for damsels in distress and by extrapolation their relatives of both sexes, to raise a known antithesis to the thesis I personally favor as a narcissistic, sometimes hysterical subjectivist, I stand accused of being a proponent of the very antithesis I clearly said I deplored. I was charged with being a plagiarist lover! And it appeared that I was about to be subjected to the very hectoring process I had initially objected to at the inception of the forums on the Xue Affair. Everyone seemed against me, as if I alone were deluded; that, in turn, gave me due cause to believe that I had finally owned the very basis of the opposition's position; to wit; an original idea! Perhaps one worth acclaim throughout the globalized portion of the world if not worth millions of dollars!

 

My delusion of original grandeur was soon pierced however, by the appearance on the field of glory of one Lady Cyndika, who said she agreed with me, that she too had been appalled at how accused plagiarists are raked over the coals long after they are banished, and how anyone who disagrees with the hectoring is charged with condoning plagiary. However, Lady Cyndika did not agree with my philosophical argument, although we do enjoy the same prejudice: that plagiarists should be hunted down and shot on sight.

 

And once plagiarists are buried, why dig them up, hector and hang them? Am I not hypocritically prolonging the Xue Affair here by means of my own profusions on the subject? Yes, I suppose I am, but to a virtuous purpose: to restore some semblance of honor to the other side of Xue, the mysterious damsel who was so publicly calumniated. Aha, here is an effort to disparage me: the very professor who called my position "novel" has just appeared to imply my present defense is unethical: he has publicly stated he cannot "condone" the above, as if I, whose throne on Olympus is placed somewhat higher than his, am worried about his public lack of condonation. But while poor Xue was being torn to shreds at length behind the scenes, nary a discouraging word was heard, not a single pontification, but rather the condoning silence. Can nobody see the ambiguity, the hypocrisy in their own self except me, the very Knight of Hypocrisy?

 

Well, if I do err, perhaps his royal highness will pardon me from his lofty mount, for I cannot help but instinctively wonder: Who is Xue? And when I do wonder, despite my conditioned prejudice against plagiary, my imagination runs wild. For all I know, Xue may be the most beautiful woman in the world. And is it not a beautiful woman's duty to be beautiful and to claim all beauty as her own? Furthermore, is it not a man's duty to give credit to beauty?

 

 

 

 


 

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Reviewed by Linden Brough 12/15/2010
Marvellous piece of writing, David. It made no difference having never heard of 'Xue'. What shines through is a noble mind and a love and understanding of Truth.
The writing seemed to flow effortlessly from a clear seeing, coloured by the wisdom of the classical heroes as it flowed out to meet a modern world of hypocrisy and deceit.
How refreshing to read about a life lived in "ethical duty as an idealistic knight". The finishing line I suspect is not referring to women, "...man's duty to give credit to beauty", but more in harmony with the deeper, transcendental meaning of the great poet Keats: "Beauty is truth, truth beauty."







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