Ask General Kang: What is the penalty for plagiarism on your planet?

Ask General KangPlagiarism is the “act of stealing the ideas and/or expression of another and representing them as your own,” though I can’t remember where I got that quote from — just Google it for the source.

On my home planet of Neecknaw, this is not only an academic offence, but it is also a capital crime.

This stems from the days of Kargnak the Betrayed, one of the great warlord monkey rulers of the ancient days. Legend has it that Kargnak was an impressionable young screen-writer before he became the first in a long line of bloodthirsty intergalactic conquerors from the Planet Neecknaw.

As it happens, he wrote a promising screenplay called, “Planet of the Hairless Hominids”, about a dystopic future in which all good Neecknabian chimps were ruled by self-absorbed, ecologically retarded hominids he styled “humans”. (We had yet to discover the Milky Way Galaxy and your backwards corner of it in those days.) A producer showed some interest in it, but alas, did not buy the manuscript.

And wasn’t Kargnak surprised when the next summer, “Planet of the Humans” appeared at his local Chimpaplex? It was a huge hit, and made millions, and was (of course) based entirely on Kargnak’s original screenplay. He didn’t see a single banana skin for it, and thus Kargnak gave up the writing game for the bloodthirsty and cruel warlord business. At which he was moderately successful, taking over all of Neecknaw and some of our neighboring planets.

Actually, he didn’t give up writing completely, as he penned the Kargnakian Code, which for the first time set out all of our laws in a logical and ordered way. Under the Kargnakian Code, plagiarism is a capital crime, and the condemned are put to death by having all their hairs plucked out (very painful when you’re covered with them), then having a thousand unpublished writers slicing them with the sharpest paper they can find, while lemons are crushed in a massive press above them made of all unpublished writer’s manuscripts. Oh, and hot pokers are inserted wherever paper cuts cannot be administered.

Good god, that’s horrible! What about self-plagiarism?

Self-plagiarism is style, baby. (*)

Next time: What should I say when my girlfriend asks me, “what are you thinking”?

*) Alfred Hitchcock said this defending repetition of his filming techniques in the London Observer, 8 Aug., 1976. Actually, he said “self-plagiarism is style.”

Alltop is 100% original. Originally published November, 2008, and it appears in my collection, Pirate Therapy and Other Cures.

Ask General Kang: How much time should I be spending on Social Media every day?

Ask General KangNone.

Next question.

No, seriously, what is the right amount?

It depends. Do you have other things to do? Like, I don’t know, a job? Let’s assume yes, and let’s assume it’s about eight hours a day. Okay, so that leaves you 17.

17?

Sorry, I keep forgetting your stupid Earth day only has 24 hours. So, yes, 16 hours. Let’s book eight for sleep, which is average, so we’re down to eight. I’m going to assume you have an hour of commuting to get to work, because that’s the average here in Canada too.

Really, you’re living in Canada?

Crap. I really shouldn’t have said that, though I’m sure the RCMP are already tracking my activities. I have noticed an inordinate number of cube vans circling the block of late … anyway, let’s give you four hours for eating, drinking, personal care and household activities such as cooking and cleaning.

That should leave you with four hours.

So I can spend four hours doing social media?

Only if you’re a total knob. And don’t have children, pets, or anything else to care for. Also, you may want to leave yourself some time to exercise you gelatinous bastard. And what about a little community service? How about that?

Yes, I’ve got kids. And a cat. What if I’m writing a novel too?
Then you’re fucked.

But don’t worry, as soon as I take over the Earth none of these decisions will be of any concern. I’ll put you down for something in the uranium mines — the exercise will do you good, and you’ve probably built up a healthy resistance to radiation from all those years in front of a CRT.

Next time: If you are the last member of an elite and esoteric order of zen-like control freaks with mental powers, how would you go about recruiting new members? Would Twitter be a good idea?

Alltop is an elite and esoteric aggregator of humor. Originally published October, 2009.

Ask General Kang: How can I get more respect?

Ask General KangIt depends on how much respect you’re looking for, really. I mean, if you just want your friends, family and neighbours to respect you then it should be pretty easy.

From what I can see, your smaller primate groupings here on Earth tend to respect strength of character, kindness and consideration of others. So for starters, stop acting like a pretentious wanker, insufferable know-it-all, or complete douchebag. (People usually lose respect for individuals for one of those reasons.)

But if you’re looking for respect from a larger grouping of primitive hominids (that’s you, humans) — let’s say from the size of a corporation up to the size of a nation — this will require power too.

For my money, nothing says power like a phalanx of Über-Chimps decked out in gold spandex and helmets that look like the business end of a whale phallus. Oh, and they have to be toting plasma weapons too, or the look just doesn’t work. Unfortunately, all your backwards planet seems to think plasma is good for making televisions show crappy content in higher definition.

So, give your primitive technology I’d start building a thermonuclear weapon right now, and some kind of delivery system. (No one would expect a llama.)

My advice is to test it on a holiday weekend for maximum impact.

Next Time: I’ve read somewhere that time dilates near the event horizon of a black hole. Does that feel anything like my early morning Intro to Psychology class?

Alltop is a singularity of humor. Originally published, oh, let’s say … before.

Ask General Kang: As a world-conquering potentate, what is your policy regarding instant gratification?

Ask General KangWell, I’m totally against it.

From what I can see there is too much instant gratification happening here on Terra; and this is at least some part of the reason why I am conquering this world soon.

I’m a fan of a system of gratification we call The Rectitude on my home world.

The Rectitude started out as philosophical movement of neo-utopian bonobos, but it eventually caught on within the simian population at large, and I hope that someday it will catch on amongst the primates of this world too.

What is The Rectitude?
It sounds kind of proctologist-y, but essentially, to have some kind of physical gratification, the idea is that first you have to earn it. (Yes, just go ahead, say it just like John Houseman.)

The best kind of Rectitude to earn is through intense physical effort. For example, if you climb a mountain, that earns you lots of Rectitude – at least a week of all kinds of debauchery. Walk to the store instead of driving, and that probably earns you enough Rectitude to eat the Cheese Doodles you were going to get in the first place.

Once Earth is fully under my control, every sentient being on the planet can look forward to a lifetime of earning and expending Rectitude.

Stop groaning! It will be good for you humans to learn a little self-discipline!

Next time: How do you handle unwanted sexual advances, particularly from another species?

You know who has rectitude? Hard working humor writers. From my collection, Pirate Therapy and Other Cures.