For a change, a politician who is not corrupt

This does not mean the guy does not have issues. May I present, for your consideration, Andrew Mizsak, 28 year old member of the Bedford School Board, who also works as an independent political consultant. Perhaps he’s done consulting for his mom, who serves on the Bedford city council. If he has, I hope he doesn’t charge her much, she is his mom, and he’s still living in her house rent free.

Yeah, this guy’s on the school board and still lives at home. Shouldn’t school board members like, have kids or something? Not be kids?

Ok, some might say, “maybe you got it wrong, maybe his parents moved in with him?” I would have to respond by saying, if that’s the case then it is even more bizarre that the police were called in to a domestic disturbance between him and his 63 year-old dad over the junior Mr. Mizsak’s refusal to clean his room.

Let that sink in.

It gets better.

From the police report, after the cops arrived, “Andrew was sent to his room to clean it. He was crying uncontrollably and stated he would comply.”

Punchline: his dad decides not to press charges because he didn’t want to ruin his political career.

(via Weird Universe)

Titles again

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The good news is that DAW’s going to re-issue my two Cleveland Portal novels, Dragons of the Cuyahoga and Dwarves of Whiskey Island in an omnibus edition due out August 2009. W000t!

The bad news, Sheila at DAW told me this yesterday, and she needs me to give her a title for the thing by Tuesday. And if you’ve followed my agonizing over the title for Lilly’s Song, you know this is a bit of a tight deadline for me… At least for a title.

Wish me luck.

Plagurizing is Stoopid too

Another story popped up on the web from our favorite Kent, Ohio serial plagiarist sheriff’s detective. Two thoughts occur to me.

One: Why is it that he has heard of e-mail, but not spell-checking software? Quoth the article:

When Herman was caught last fall, he confessed his plagiarism in an e-mail full of misspellings to a now-former friend who runs the theater in L.A. that staged the play.

“As you’ve probably already guessed, I am guilty of plagurizing (sic) …,” Herman wrote on Sept. 27 to former Northeast Ohio actor Bill Wolski, whose Torrance, Calif.-based Coconut Productions had opened a production of Herman’s Sherlock Holmes play just a few days earlier.

Two: Why does he seem to plagiarize plays based on derivative work? (Shakespeare and Sherlock Holmes) Is he so uncreative he can’t even steal original work?

Plagerizm is Stoopid

From the Edmonton Journal, we have the story of a Kent, Ohio police officer, Det. Jack L. Herman, who was quite a thief, apparently buying a series of Canadian plays and slapping his name on them. A blog post has an extended transcript of David Staples’ interview with this literary vampire, some quotes of which are particularly revealing:

Staples: “How do feel about it having done what you did, plagiarized it?”
Herman: “Horrible. I talked to Mr. Belke myself and I apologized profusely. I feel horrible about what I did. It’s not something that I’m proud of. As I said, it didn’t seem bad at the time. It didn’t seem like it was going to affect or hurt anybody. Of course, looking back now, I realize now it was completely the wrong thing to do. I wouldn’t appreciate it if someone had done it to me.”

Staples: “Did you realize that it was fraud and theft when you were doing it?”
Herman: “No, I didn’t really think about it at that time, and I should have, because of the position I am in.”

Of course, in the interview, Det. Herman insisted that this one play, The Unexpected Return of Sherlock Holmes, was the only one he plagiarized. An assertion that was simple enough for Mr. Staples to check, since there are records of Det. Herman’s script purchases from the Canadian playwright’s union. . .

It goes to prove that direct word-for-word plagiarism is rare because it is an incredibly stupid practice to engage in. Especially for serial plagiarists like Det. Herman. The fact that your crime will remain on public display until someone figures out you stole it means that potential for eventual discovery is about as close to 100% as you can get.

To compound the stupidity, Herman was particularly conscious of his own intellectual property rights, to the point of stapling to the front page of his stolen script a note saying;

“Copyright, 1999 Herman Plays & Publications. Caution: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that The Unexpected Return of Sherlock Holmes is subject to royalty. It is fully protected under copyright laws.”

Well, if this sick little sleaze was looking for recognition, he got it.

ADDENDUM: Here’s the Plain Dealer story about this character; apparently being smacked with his own stupidity by the Canadian press left him reluctant to talk to any more reporters.

ADDENDUM 2: Another local paper, the Record-Courier has a story about our plagercop. Apparently the Portage county sheriff’s department has him on “paid administrative leave.”

Copies are in!

Yay! I just got my author copies of Blood & Rust: Two Novels of the Cleveland Undead, DAW’s omnibus reprint of Raven and The Flesh, the Blood, and the Fire, my two vampire novels. (Actually I got 16 of 40 copies, at 640 pages the book is kind of fat and only 16 fit in the box that arrived today— I hope there’s another enroute that just got separated from its sibling.)

This is good news, as Raven has to be one of the books I get the most queries about, which was frustrating while it was out of print. And The Flesh, the Blood and the Fire is one of the novels I am most proud of, the horror and the historical elements coming together very well in my somewhat biased opinion. If you are interested, I have sample chapters from both books here and here. Amazon also has exerpts from The Flesh, the Blood and the Fire on their site. (And, while you’re there, you might as well order Blood & Rust, right?)

By the way, I’m generally bad at titles, but I really like the title I came up with for the collection. Blood & Rust really captures the noir feel of both books. I also think the cover’s sweet too: