How beautiful a torn wing can be as it extends past its meaning.
We wept, remembering the feeling of floating. Of flying.
Fallen, but still beautiful. You are my fallen beauty.
I’ve never liked having stuff on my skin. I’m not sure if it is an overreaction to something that happened as a child or what, I simply hate being marked on. Drawing, face paint, ink, marker, tattoos look cool I just wouldn’t get one. I wonder sometimes if my dislike comes from the burn I have on my hand and portions of my arm. It is a third degree burn, but you can’t really see it unless I have a tan or you look closely. I got it in Korea and don’t remember how. There is no record and they say it was either fire or boiling water.
Most people may not have to worry about this, but some of us will find that people will steal anything. I have had my articles and posts lifted from my sites since I began blogging in 2013. It never gets easy to accept and it grates at you as you see your words highlighted on another’s site.
How do you find out if people are stealing from you?
There are ways to catch people, but it takes effort and work. Effort and work that most people won’t take the time to do. I have run a search matrix on myself, my site, and my work since the first post was stolen so many years ago. I now regularly search myself to both protect my writing AND to protect myself. Unfortunately when you make yourself known online you also open yourself to being stolen. And often you never know your identity is being used when this happens. I use google search to cross check most of my highly viewed titles and I date my searches to make it faster. I’ll even use a plagiarism checker on myself to find out if anyone is taking my stuff. That is the easiest way to search because most of these checkers already have a built in database that will search more broadly than you normally can on your own.
Check your stats pages people. You would be surprised how many bloggers that steal are also lazy as shit. They won’t even change the titles or the majority of the post. They’ll boldly cut and paste your exact words because no one is ever going to know right? Often they’ll accidently leave a link to your post within it. This is another trick you can use. You can attach a link to a period or comma that will often go overlooked. This link can serve as a watermark of sorts and will actually aid you, depending on the ranking of that site and page, in finding that post if it is ever republished or duplicated outside your domain. Again, this takes effort and time, but once you get used to digging it becomes easy. Second nature really at this point for me.
Don’t let people get away with stealing. If you can’t sue them because they are hosted through mirror sites, use proxies to redirect, or IP tracker doesn’t provide the correct info don’t get discouraged. Get angry and mad. Put that blogger and their blog on blast! Let everyone you can know and more importantly let THAT BLOGGER know that what they are doing is wrong. It is weak as shit, it is illegal, and anyone that has to steal words to look “better” will never be a real writer. You are a hack, a fake, and a waste of bytes. Just do us all a favor and stop blogging if you have to steal from other bloggers to “blog.” It is pathetic.
Jason C. Cushman
Dreaming dreams that cannot lie, I shed a tear but do not cry.
I see my reflection in my eye from hanging sorrow as it dies.
A chandelier just for me, reflections I see because it’s me.
And with a blink it crashes down. All of me falls without a sound.
Falling fallen, how they fall. A dream, a lie, it is not at all.
I wonder sometimes at how I miss a city that gave me so much in the form of growth, a toughness of spirit, anger, and endless memories. I walk it virtually still sometimes in idle moments, walking past the friendly calls of friends mixed with the coarse humor of ones I will never call friend. I walk the streets I grew to love and sometimes fear. A reminder I would forever walk the fine line between racial boundaries. A struggle I am not sure any other than the “others” can appreciate. I was forever aware of the white and black anger around me and learned to walk small and be aware. I think much of my suppressed anger comes from that suppression that had to take place for most of my childhood. I was baited constantly and rarely bit because that would have been the end of it. Memphis, Tennessee has been ranked highly with the most criminally violent cities in the United States for a while now.
As an adopted Korean growing up with a white family in what I considered a “black city” life wasn’t always fun. Memphis is by social definition the very example of “white flight” where the wealthier members of the white race from the inner city flee to the suburbs. And keep fleeing. Pushing the suburbs further and further out till they form new cities. I didn’t make that phrase up, “white flight” really is a social studies term and one I learned in inner city grade school! Memphis has had some resurgence in Downtown life and it will forever have the presence of jazz and blues for me. I love the culture of Memphis and my family was part of the “white community” that lived in the city and didn’t leave. I went to a mainly black school and had friends of both races. I also equally hated both races for different reasons.
I had some “redneck friends” who were true to the calling and wore the rebel belt buckles. Hell there was a period I loved Alan Jackson songs and thought I wanted to be a cowboy like Garth tells it. I even wore flannel and tied that sucker around my waist when I was warm. I was pretty white during my childhood and my “country” phase was memorable. I am just glad I didn’t wear cowboy boots. I swear I have never owned cowboy boots and I grew up in Jackson, Mississippi. I know, I know! Amazing! I later grew to hate rednecks and everything they stood for. I hate their racism and how they hated anyone with a difference of skin color. Even my close friend wasn’t so close… for a number of years due to his adoption of such principles. I understand racial pride and have even held a racist thought myself. I also know that we can be better than that as people in general. We have to be better than that.
My childhood is what made me a Republican honestly. I watched as people gamed the system my entire life. At my current age I understand there are people in this world that need “help” and I think we should help them. But I will never be a democrat because my whole life I watched as “democrats” gamed the system and it felt like they took money from my father’s pocket. I am a Republican because I believe in a fair tax system. I am a middle class worker and I understand people at the “top” take advantage of the system as well. But that “top” does not consist of just the Republican party and those affiliated with our values. It honestly consists more of Democrats lately and you can read the reported incomes to verify that.
Back to Memphis… I get sidetracked. How unprofessional, but now that you know I am from Tennessee you really can’t expect professional can you? A fight my senior year in High School, my final year of school before higher education for those not from the USA, kept me from attending any school outside of my state till later in my life. I lost all my scholarship money because one day I decided the fish had enough. I was tired of being racially baited by the same guy every day. I told him what I thought, possibly something about him picking up my garbage in the future, and he hit me. He came at me again so I broke his nose and we got equal punishment from the Memphis City School Board. My mother rarely cursed, but I couldn’t help but smile when she told my principle it was “bullshit” for her son to get equal punishment for self defense. That is what I got, a board suspension, which took away my national honor society award. I had above a 4.0 due to taking AP courses, so it was a pretty big deal to my family.
My mother surprised me the day after the national honor society ceremony which we had during school that day. We all had to attend as a class and people seemed to get a kick out of asking why I wasn’t up there. After telling a number of them to “fuck off” I was having a miserable day. The Digiorno Pizza didn’t help and I was sitting in my room reading a DragonLance novel when my mom came in and sat beside me. She hugged me and handed me a small box. I opened it and it held a parchment letter which read “You will always be in my Honor Society.” It had some money in it, the money she would have spent on my gown for the ceremony, and her signature. I looked at her and knew she got it. She got how hard it was sometimes in this city for someone that would never truly belong. She got it and she loved me still. And I loved her.
Jason C. Cushman
Stop stealing from me.
Come up with your own posts. Stop stealing my stuff bloggers. This is why many of us stop sharing, blogging, and writing for free. People have no shame.
The reason this post is the most stolen article off my blog is because the original received over 350,000 views. People think that just by stealing my work and reposting it on their site… they can duplicate that. Morons.
Jason C. Cushman
There are a few topics bloggers love to argue about and many of us end up having an opinion on them. I have written a ton of posts expressing my views on lots of these subjects, but I thought it would be fun to blast them all out together for you.
To niche or not to niche – You can’t read posts on blogging without coming across this topic. Do you blog on a specific topic only or do you allow your blog to have the same freedom of interest as you do? Many bloggers that write articles on “blogging” will preach on and on about how a successful blog must be written on a trendy subject. They will go a little further and say that blogs showing a vast array of topics aren’t trendy… they instead lack discipline. My response to this is of course “bite me.” I write whatever I feel like. I publish what I felt like writing. I hate being confined to one topic and will never do that to myself or my blog.
Over posting? Quality versus quantity – People love to throw this trendy saying around. My blog is the prime example of blogfart posting and I catch flak for the amount I post daily. People will often chirp at me “quality vs quantity Jason!” I don’t believe there is a limit to the amount you can post. The only limitation is on the reader and that is outside the blogger’s control. You can only do you in the end. I post a ton when I feel like it because it makes me happy. I don’t blog to make other people happy. So there is that… You go ahead and post once a month if that is how you blog. I’ll post a hundred times a day if I want. Because that is how I blog.
Language! Language! – Blogging is whatever the blogger does. A child writes a children’s blog, a dragon writes a dragon blog, and an adult writes an adult blog. Or at least that is how I thought it went… I am always amazed at people that get offended by bad language online, particularly on a blog they chose to read. I curse. I don’t curse like a sailor, but I definitely have an edge on my tongue that was bred from life. I don’t use bad words to be trendy or cool. Anyone that reads enough of my writing should be able to tell that the language I use daily in my writing is there because it is also present in my colloquial. I write how I speak.
Unique Tags vs. Standard Tags – If you are a WordPress user there is no reason to use massive amounts of unique tags. They won’t get seen this decade. You have more of a chance of a few readers seeing your post under the standard tags before it gets buried than you will of having someone randomly think of your random ass tag. It won’t happen and you just wasted a placement slot. Truly. You wasted it.
WordPress hosting vs. Outside Hosting – This is a big one for me because many people speak on this topic and have no idea what they are talking about. They’ll mutter about SEO and how blogs on their own domains die slowly. They will then quickly offer suggestions, keywords, and anchors to get that SEO higher! People… people… it is so simple really. If you host your blog through WordPress you gain an SEO edge FROM WordPress. If you swim alone in the deep end, like I am, you essentially decide you want no direct connection to WP. That includes any anchors to their SEO. What is an anchor? Oh that is simple. Ever visited the help forums? Ever notice some of those “helpers” running around giving answers and dropping their links left and right? Those “bloggers” don’t work for WP, but they are using WordPress’s SEO and help forum SEO to boost their links and sites. This is why I find it amusing when certain forum bunnies mutter about the actions of other bloggers when they themselves are the queens of piggybacking. Give me a break… Come out to open water and then compare stats with me.
Fake Followers, Fake Views – If you blog long enough you will read someone’s post bemoaning “fake followers and fake views.” They’ll of course claim they don’t care about the numbers, stats, and followers… BUT how dare people mass follow them!!! I have never understood how people will claim they don’t care about certain things and then burn so much energy over the thing they claim they don’t care about. Let me be blunt. There is no such thing as a “fake follow” or a “fake view.” All interaction is worthy of notice and the type of interaction it is determines your response. That is all social media is. Interaction and response. Fake? The only thing fake in the online world are the majority of the memes out there.
Online Theft – Tons of bloggers steal ideas daily. They see something catchy or trendy and they lift it right off that page. No one will ever notice right? No one will care… WE DO CARE! Stop stealing ideas without giving credit back to the blogger you took it from. Do you know how many Meet and Greets I saw when I first started blogging in 2013? ZERO. Many people have stolen ideas from me and never once offered thanks. It is pathetic. Come up with your own ideas or at least give credit where it is due. Try coming up with your own ideas for a change.
There are some readers that have clicked like on every post on this site since it started three years ago. That means a lot to me. Your encouragement means a lot to any writer. It is a powerful persuasion to keep writing when the writing gets tough. Thank you to everyone that reads a post here. I know I miss some comments, but I have tried to connect with as many as I could. Hopefully many more to come.
Jason Chandler Cushman