I left this at Atrios/eschaton.blogspot.com but i thought it was enlightening enough to COPY AND PASTE here.
[on Ben Domenech/Red State/WaPo/etc.]
I almost did not believe this. Then I thought, hey, Self, you used to make a living plagiarizing!
And so I did. I was a radio ad copywriter. Pretty damned soul-destroying whorish work, if you actually did it. Plus, who can write an ad saying something nice about plastic awnings or overpriced brand name sneakers? Not me, for sure.
So from week one, I wrote a few ads with a mind to what the inbred people running the place (mostly a sports and bad music station) probably wanted (basically I was acting, which I'm reasonable at). And I listened to radio ads all the time (while I read dime novels). By the end of the week I had accumulated dozens, almost a hundred, phrase bits, some medium long, many of them very cliche. I then simply mixed them together at semi random and turned in the ads.
I tried to avoid the top ten phrases being stolen by the other ads (unless it was something expected like "step into summer with our new shoes" or what have you).
They said I was a gifted copywriter but had a bad, anti-business attitude and was surly, so I didn't last.
Still, in the end analysis, they never noticed that the competing ads were being recycled by me (I was reading a lot of Wm. Burroughs at the time, so it felt like detournement). After my first week, I never once wrote an original sentence. it was 100% plagiarized.
Moral: Ben Domenech should write ad copy, and I should be the WaPo Moral Values and Heartland Dreams weblog editor!
FOOTNOTE EXCLUSIVE TO FASCIST OAR READERS:
Here I am even plagiarizing myself. It feels gooooood.