Smart Girls Who Do Stupid Things


Smart Ideas

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It’s important to have a bevy of primary sources to fall back on. For some people, that means a trip to the library. For me, that means a trip through my shockingly accurate memory of every issue of Allure published in the early 2000’s.

One such issue included a cover and photo shoot with Britney Spears from 2007, who at that point in her life was going through some not-so-savory moments. There was no interview accompanying the article, however; Spears never made it to any of her interviews, and so Judith Newman wrote about not getting a chance to talk to the “troubled starlet” (not her words, just words we’re all familiar with).

Yet when faced with a similar dilemma — not getting the story you want — this month’s issue of Marie Claire chose not to use the real story. Instead, they took their interview with Kim Kardashian, which was done before she broke up with her husband, and spun it to make it seem as though she talks about, according to the cover “What went on in her crazy marriage”, a tactic commonly used in tabloid magazines.

What story would I read? What she was saying right before she divorced Kris, and what she’s saying — or not saying — now. Except that Marie Claire tells me if I want to read it all, I’ll have to buy the issue. Unfortunately, what they’ve given me to go on now isn’t enough to see if they actually did a nice follow-through in that hard-bound, beautiful copy that will not spend from here to eternity under my bed.

If You Think You’re Original

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You’re not. Sometimes I think I have an idea, but then I Google it and realize that it’s already been written about, and sometimes, I’ve already written the piece it was about (like this recent brilliant idea I had about writing about the role of the media in Parks and Rec…ohhhhh wait. A good read!). Which is scary but is not plagiarism, though definitely gives me an insight into what all these people who say, “Ohhhhhh I just thought it was my work and I must have just accidentally picked it up subconciously” are talking about. Except still to them I say, Google. CITE YOUR SOURCES.

This story about the name behind Zuccotti Park is one such example of a non-near miss, and how about a second of research led me to realize that someone else had already done all the hard work for me. Read more about the history of the formerly named Liberty Plaza Park here, where Adina Langer writes what is essentially a Yelp review:

“This park is less green than would be desirable, but the trees produce shade and the groundskeepers change the plantings every season. The physical details are less important than the park’s existance (sic). (Mar., 2008).”

Those Occupiers sure know how to pick ’em.

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