What hath Domenech done?

Examples of the blogger's plagiarisms from Salon and other media.

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If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, young conservative Ben Domenech was apparently flattering Salon plenty back in college. On Thursday several bloggers examined the controversial Domenech’s stint as a schoolboy columnist at the College of William & Mary’s student newspaper, the Flat Hat, and unearthed a history of inspired prose — all plagiarized from others. Besides Salon’s Stephanie Zacharek and Mary Elizabeth Williams, the other writers flattered by the right-wing Washington Post blogger include critic Steve Rhodes and humorist P.J. O’Rourke.

“Bringing Out the Dead,” review by Ben Domenech:

One night, Frank meets Mary Burke (Patricia Arquette), whose father has suffered a heart attack. Mary, a former junkie, hasn’t spoken to her father in three years, but she becomes deeply troubled when she realizes he’s so close to death. Frank is even more concerned for her than he is for her father. He begins to fall deeply in love with her, checks up on her at her apartment, invites her to have a piece of pizza at the hospital with him. He’s as gentle as a lamb with her, but he’s an exhausted one, all bruised and battered…

Rhames gives the most delightful and energized performance in the movie. His scenes, particularly his sassy flirtation with a honey-voiced dispatcher (Queen Latifah) let some much-needed light leak into the picture. Arquette is charming but neurotic as the dazed, soft-spoken Mary. She seems to walk around in a haze of confusion half the time, but when she smiles, the air around her seems to clear miraculously. Her scenes with Cage (her husband in real life) have an emotional quality that sets them apart from the rest of the film, but they are sometimes overlong.

“Bringing Out the Dead,” review by Stephanie Zacharek:

In the line of duty one night, Frank meets Mary Burke (Patricia Arquette), whose father has suffered a heart attack. Mary is a former junkie who seems to have just barely pulled her life together. She hasn’t spoken to her father in three years, but she becomes troubled when she realizes he’s so close to death. Frank is just as concerned for her as he is for her father. He begins to fall deeply in love with her, checking up on her at her apartment, inviting her to have a piece of pizza at the hospital with him. He’s as gentle with her a spring lamb, but he’s an exhausted one, all bruised and buffeted…



Rhames gives the single most delightful and energized performance in the movie. His scenes, particularly his sassy flirtation with a honey-voiced dispatcher (no wonder: it’s Queen Latifah) let some much-needed light leak into the picture. Arquette, as usual, is charming, here as the dazed, soft-spoken Mary. She seems to walk around in a haze of confusion half the time, but when she smiles, the air around her seems to clear miraculously. Her scenes with Cage (her husband in real life) have a strange, arrhythmic underwater quality to them that’s vaguely maddening but fascinating at the same time.

[Pointed out by Atrios.]

“Bringing Out the Dead,” review by Domenech:

Instead of allowing for the incredible nuances that Cage always brings to his performances, the character of Frank sews it all up for him.

But there are those moments that allow Cage to do what he does best. When he’s trying to revive Mary’s father, the man’s family fanned out around him in the living room in frozen semi-circle, he blurts out, “Do you have any music?”

“Bringing Out the Dead,” review by Zacharek:

Instead of allowing for the incredible nuance that Cage always brings to his performances, the character of Frank sews it all up for him … But there are those moments that allow Cage to do what he does best. When he’s trying to revive Mary’s father, the man’s family fanned out around him in the living room in frozen semi-circle, he blurts out, “Do you have any music?”

[Pointed out on Kos.]

“The Bachelor,” review by Domenech:

Overnight, word gets out in the local press that Jimmie needs a quick bride, which creates a frenzy among hundreds of Bay Area females. A rabid mob of women hunting down a rare multimillionaire beast is a stretch of a situation, even for a movie set in San Francisco. The caricatures among the mob, sassy black chick, halter top-wearing biker babe, don’t say much about the writer’s imagination when it comes to women … Nevertheless, when Jimmie’s marathon quest sets off a bridal wave of interest, the film transforms a sea of white-wearing women into a threatening mass of tulle and tiaras. “The Bachelor” is based on a 1927 silent flick by Buster Keaton, which, although I’ve never seen it, probably has better dialogue. The second-rate script squanders the film’s talent, never overcomes the tale9s preposterousness and, lacking the charisma to be a tender love story, ends up relying solely on sappy comedy … The film has its moments: when Jimmie compares the traditional bouquet toss to Shirley Jackson’s grim story about ritualistic human sacrifice, “The Lottery,” you’ve got to admit he has a point … At its best, “The Bachelor” skews the absurdity of any human relationships, even the successful ones. As terrified as Jimmie is of losing his freedom, Anne is equally worried about becoming like her parents who, it turns out, are an older couple nauseatingly and demonstratively still in love with each other.

“The Bachelor,” review by Mary Elizabeth Williams:

Overnight, word gets out in the local press that Jimmie needs a quick bride, which creates a frenzy among hundreds of Bay Area females. Sure, a rabid mob of women hunting down a rare hetero multimillionaire beast is a stretch of a situation, even for a movie set in San Francisco. (And the caricatures among the mob — sassy black chick, halter-wearing biker babe — don’t say much about the writer’s imagination when it comes to women.) Nevertheless, when Jimmie’s marathon quest sets off a bridal wave of interest, the film transforms a sea of white-wearing women into a threatening mass of tulle and tiaras. Even the caveman ideas about commitment in “The Bachelor” aren’t so awful. At one point, Jimmie compares the ritual of the bouquet toss to Shirley Jackson’s grim story about ritualistic human sacrifice, “The Lottery.” You’ve got to admit he has a point. But the film doesn’t rest on its ball-and-chain jokes. At its best, it skews the absurdity of any human relationships — even the successful ones. As terrified as Jimmie is of losing his freedom, Anne is equally worried about becoming like her parents — who, it turns out, are an older couple nauseatingly, demonstratively, still in love with each other.

[Pointed out by Atrios.]

“The World Is Not Enough,” review by Domenech:

The most important co-stars in the Bond movies are the spy’s toys. These films usually have the audience applauding for the stunts and this episode of the superspy saga is no different. There’s plenty of action and vehicles to enjoy, like the helicopter with a super-sized chainsaw attached, which cuts through cars and buildings, and a sleek, one-man boat with jet afterburners that looks like something custom-made for Batman.

“The World Is Not Enough,” review by Steve Rhodes:

The most important costars in the Bond movies are the spy’s toys. These films usually have the audience applauding for the stunts, and this episode of the superspy saga is no different.

The best of the bunch in THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH is a sleek, one-man, black boat complete with jet afterburners, which looks like something custom-made for Batman. The vehicle even has the ability to dive underwater briefly while the driver holds his breath. It can turn into a car as well, all the better to engage in a typical Bond demolition derby.

[Pointed out by Atrios.]

Party guidelines, according to Domenech, here. Contrasted with P.J. O’Rourke’s chapter “Real Parties,” in his book “Modern Manners,” as compiled by blogger Your Logo Here.

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