Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Decadently Soothing Embrace of Schadenfreude

Today has been a miserable experience from the get go. Right out of the gate. Fraught with ill omen and punctuated with teeth gnashing pain.

As I was readying for work this morning, I was reaching for something in the refrigerator and I accidentally nudged a glass jar of food enough that it fell out of the refrigerator and shattered with a spectacular noise - and an improbably far reaching scatter pattern - all over the kitchen floor and beyond. After exhausting my rather extensive knowledge of profanities and other assorted expletives - at far too elevated a volume - I spent the next twenty minutes or so (in my boxers, on all fours) extricating glass from food enough so that I could use more mechanical means like a broom or vacuum without spreading the mess. Not a pretty mental image I willingly concede. Less so if you've had the misfortune to actually see me in my boxers.

And when that joyful task was completed, I had the unique pleasure of listening to the dulcet tones of the vacuum cleaner first thing in the morning as I set about to finish off the stubborn remnants of my clumsiness. It was enough to make me re-think my stance on plastics and the environment. If but for a fleeting moment of rage.

The entire process made me a solid half hour late to work, but of course the fact that the cleaners screwed up my suit so badly that it rendered it unwearable didn't help with my timing either. Just another pleasant surprise necessitating a last second scramble for a replacement. And as usual, I was playing it close to the edge in terms of wearable clothes so my ultimate choice was an uncomfortable mish-mosh of the least-favored laundry holdouts.

Not only did I have to hear it from my boss for my lateness, but I had to stand in his office taking my lashing looking like I dressed myself in the dark. At a golf course.

And of course, the pile of work is immense. So big, in fact, that I have no choice but to ignore it for the moment. Take a break and write this. There is no other way.

So you'll have to forgive me if I'm feeling a little vindictive today. If I'm not my usual good natured self. In retrospect, I apologize for the fact that when I was on my way back from grabbing lunch, trailing a man and a woman engaged in conversation, that I did nothing to notify the guy that he had a rather unsightly trail of toilet paper streaming from his shoe. On my better days I would have given him a nudge, a wink and a gesture cluing him in to the presence of the unfortunate hanger-on. But today, it gave me a sick pleasure to know that someone else was suffering - albeit in ignorance for the time being.

Normally, in such ill-spirits, I would avoid posting to this site but today I'll make an exception because...well, because this guy deserves it. And because schadenfreude is all I have to hold on to today. Who is the bete noir that I am referring to you ask? Why Ben Domenech, of course - the recent hire of the Washington Post website. Now there are plenty of reasons to be disappointed in the Post for hiring this guy - a self avowed Republican Party operative, who edited Michelle Malkin's Unhinged book with reckless disregard for fact, a person with no journalistic credentials, who has flirted strongly with racist opinions, insulted other Post employees and public figures with all manner of vile epithet, and a whole host of other valid complaints.

But this just takes the cake. It turns out that the hyper-partisan, arrogant, vitriolic Ben Domenech is also a plagiarizer. Make that a serial plagiarizer. Check out some of the evidence here, here and here. That is just too rich.

Well done Washington Post. And nice work Ben. Seriously, thanks man. That beats the hell out of a little toilet-papered shoe any day. Well, at least this day. Normally I might feel a pang of sympathy for you but not today. Tomorrow, you might get compassion.

Now back to work. And a Xanax.

[UPDATE: No, but seriously, this guy has a major problem. Via Atrios, there's more examples of the "aggressive inspiration" Ben Domenech derived from the work of others here and here. I expect additional updates to be forthcoming. This guy's a fount of plagiarized text. Did he ever write his own material? Don't they teach ethics in homeschooling-ville? Pass the popcorn.]

[UPDATE II: As predicted, there's more. Seriously, the Washington Post did this? The Washington Post. Think they're feeling had right about now? I hope so.]

[UPDATE III: You knew there'd be more didn't you? See Ben here plagiarizing, of all sources, the Washington Post while Ben was writing for theNew York Press. Despite some attempts by Ben's mates to excuse his plagiarism by claiming it was limited to his tenure at the college newspaper of William and Mary (as if that was an acceptable excuse?), there are now documented examples of plagiarism while writing for the NYP and the National Review. And allow me to repeat, his NYP article ripped off the Washington freakin' Post. The mind, it boggles.]

[UPDATE IV: And more. You know, I think I'm going to stop updating this post now because BenDom's plagiarism could consume the rest of my years if I was forced to post something appropriately snarky every time a new example of his lack of ethical standards revealed itself. This guy is flat out exhausting.]

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