Friday, April 22, 2011

Lies, Lies Lies...Yeah.

My newest copy of "Reader's Digest," showed up in my mailbox, which means that I have another month of material that enriches and enrages me. I just finished an article about a professional ghostwriter sharing his experiences and his accomplishments. Aspiring to be a professional writer while attending a post-secondary institution that failed him beyond belief, he skipped formal academia and began writing papers for his classmates and has created an empire of the tune of over sixty-thousand dollars a year. He accomplished his goal of becoming a professional writer, while making a lot more than many educators. Irony!

He chronicles the transactions with three kinds of students: the ESL (English as a Second Language) students that are given the cock and bull story about being able to gain an education in America without having to have a strong grasp on the English language, the hopelessly unfortunate (i.e. stupid) student, and the lazy rich kids. All of these students spend thousands of dollars for one person to make them appear intelligent and/or hardworking. He's written undergraduate response papers, graduate entrance essays and Ph.D thesis defenses. He's devoted thousands of hours to making people look good that are either incapable or too lazy to do it themselves, while still being considered the, "bad guy," for cashing in on inability and apathy. Is he really, though?

Part of me really hates this guy, but all of me really realizes that if it wasn't him, it would be someone else. In a society where every student is expected to go to college and every rich parent thinks that their child is gifted and deserves the best of everything, we create a kind of student that is willing to risk it all by telling tall-tales of their success and intelligence, while those without the rich parents or connections, however intelligent they may actually be, are left to work in the mall and do the jobs that have to be done. Without being too political, we've created a world without a middle class with people who are desperate to become rich to avoid having to work three jobs to be able to eat, live and pay their student loan payments. To be come rich to be able to afford a flat-screen television, a new car every two years, and a year vacation away from a job that they desperately hate (but lied their entire lives to get). Desperation is ugly.

You say you'll try harder,
But i think it's just too late.
Well, the car is revving in the drive,
and i'm not the sort to wait.
The bigger, the better,
Some nicked from old Saigon.
Collected from around the world
Love lies on and an and on and on and on.

That's my problem, though, isn't it? During my undergraduate experience, one of my professors told me that he tried endlessly to catch me plagiarizing, only to find that everything that I'd written was my own. More than any mark that I received during my entire post-secondary career, I found this to be my biggest accomplishment: to make a Professor realize that I was good enough to look like I was a liar that had stolen someone else's words. How completely ridiculous. In a world where grades, Magna Cum Laude, pressed suits, and well-connected families are everything, I can't lie and that is my biggest detriment. I can't provide a resume full of creative flourishes to a prospective employer, I can't write a cover letter full of nonsense to make myself seem like more than I am. I can't drop a name of a wealthy relative that knows a guy that knows a guy. I can't lie, and I wish I could.Best Blogger Tips


  1. It sucks that your prof was focused on whether you wrote it or not versus the content.

  2. Just wanted you to know thanks to this post I've ordered a subscription to Reader's Digest...I haven't read the post yet because I was busy subscribing to Reader's Digest. I also purchased a subscription to Our State Magazine, so, now I'll know what's going on in NC. :) and I did a LOT of gardening this past weekend, so, I too have become and old lady. You're in good company.

  3. @Vanessa

    I hope that we can be old ladies that wear floppy sun hats. I was at a local store that can be described as a Linens n Things for old ladies, and I really considered buying some Cobbler's Aprons. Good Lord.