Forum:Articles written from a controversial voice

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Note: This topic has been unedited for 1772 days. It is considered archived - the discussion is over. Do not add to unless it really needs a response.


Surely we don't need additional policy guidance and there's no "right answer," but I hope to get wider input on this. Three times in short order I've encountered problems (perhaps of my own making) with pages that purport to speak not with the usual, neutral voice of the encyclopedia editor, but from a specific point of view. This is a valid humor technique, but repeatedly it's either done with insufficient cues, or I'm getting old and inflexible. I read this stuff and am honestly unable to tell for sure that someone with that point of view, for real, is not gaming Uncyclopedia to advance an agenda.

  • Apparently, Islam started out as an article written from the point of view of a Texas redneck. When I came along, all that was left was that the sections on each of the Five Pillars concluded with an explanation of how each was a diabolical plot against the One True Religion. Plus hate from Muslim readers on the talk page blasting Uncyclopedia. They could not tell the anti-Muslim statements from the real thing, and I noted my discomfort with these statements, even if it is "that other guy talking." I changed the article to poke at specific hypocrisies (including the big one, rioting against the charge of being violent) and the article's point of view is now neutral. Any other authors seem to have bought in.
  • Barack Obama was written from the point of view of paranoia that Obama intends to foist dictatorship on the US. I started to edit it, warning on the talk page that Obama-as-dictator extremists (also Obama-as-transformer-of-America extremists) exist for real, and they are dead serious. Some of their claims are valid (politics is, after all, competing conspiracies) and they carry it to extremes for strategic reasons. The humor is indistinguishable from reality. When the article further parodied the extremist by adding bad scholarship, it reminded me exactly of poorly researched local Letters to the Editor. But these were deliberate decisions of Colonizers. They gave me plenty of rope as I replaced conspiracy themes with nuts-and-bolts hypocrisy from the 2009 (US) news pages, but now several say the old theme is broken and the article is all over the map. We're discussing on the talk page where to take it next (or whether to put it back).
  • Baltimore Orioles is a hatchet job on the team owner, which rings true with your hatred of the man who has run your own favorite sports franchise into the ground. I just gave it a Pee Review and flagged overuse of the first person and other faults, which turn out to be deliberate techniques in support of this alternate voice. Most recently, I suggest to the author that a single, clearly autobiographical, sentence in the intro would be the cue I needed. The author pointed me to Michael Jackson, an article clearly written in the voice of someone trying to whitewash (groan!) the scandals in Jackson's past. Even there, I had wondered two months ago whether it was a writing technique or a misuse of Uncyclopedia by a doting Jacko fan.

Religion, politics, and sports are themes where extreme opinions are heard all the time, and advocates revel in, and sometimes gain from, being extreme. It's problematic to satirize these people by exaggerating them because it becomes even less distinguishable from the real thing.

Comments? Spıke ¬  20:10 30-Oct-09

Number one idea should be that what you see on the page is coherently funny if possible. That gets difficult with multiple authors writing from very different viewpoints and therefore rendering the article impossible to read. I don't think it has to be always written like an encyclopedia entry gone wrong but I also think writing like a ranting lunatic is an approach that is easily over cooked and resorted to a bit frequently..but that is just my personal view. --LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ® (Orate). 21:03, October 30, 2009 (UTC)
I like what you did with Islam and Barack Obama; they're definitely funnier now, in my opinion. I didn't read the Orioles one because I have no idea what it is. Good job! —Paizuri MUN (Talk Contribs Poll!)
spike, you can't put humor in a box. if all we had was third person encyclopedic articles, it'd be pretty boring. look at Red light or You are dead. as far as getting too close to reality with obama...yeah that's kind of the point. we colonized it to parody those extremists like birthers. and for jacko...we aimed to make people think an adoring fan wrote it. that's the point. SirGerrycheeversGunTalk 22:38, October 30, 2009 (UTC)
I hardly ever want a longer rulebook. I'm only saying that one genre doesn't work for me: the one where you ridicule an extremist by exaggerating him. I know extreme partisans and they're no joke. By comparison, Red light was not my cup of tea (nor is tea) but I have no problem that it is here, that picking an arbitrary Uncyclopedia page, you might not get what you were expecting.
Pelargonim, thanks for the compliment, but the Colonizers have a valid (separate) point that the old paradigm for Barack Obama now stands half broken. Spıke ¬  23:00 30-Oct-09
PS--I note Pelargonium's use of the US flag; I assume he likes my new stuff because he understands the facts I parodied better than the Colonizers, or at least the British ones, do. I don't assume he was as unhappy with the exaggerated-extremist genre as I was, but wonder whether the problem is specific to Americans (at least in politics after an American election between extreme views). Spıke ¬  23:55 30-Oct-09
Umm, no. I just like the articles better now. That's it. And the American flag's part of my sig because I'm American. —Paizuri MUN (Talk Contribs Poll!)
  • It's one of what actually turns out to be a very few number of stylistic options that are available for Uncyc articles. We all get very excited when an article is done that seems stylistically innovative, but it's very rare. I think maybe I've succeeded at two relatively unique approaches, and both were featured. Obviously, I am very fond of the extremist author-character ad absurdum style, and I agree with Cheevers - the fact that it's hard to distinguish from the real thing is its strength. I just PEE reviewed MonsterQuest, and I thought the closer it was to believable as a show transcript, the stronger was the satirical insult to the type of show it is satirizing. So for me, the MORE careful reading it takes to catch it, the more interesting and therefor amusing it is. As for Baltimore Orioles, the clincher for me is when he cites a reverted Wikipedia vandal to support his cause. To me, that's a hilarious notion. --Globaltourniquet GlobalTourniquetUnAstrologer, UnJournalist, shameless narcissistic America-hating liberal atheist award-winning featured writer 23:09, October 30, 2009 (UTC)

Syndrome, below, states that tastes differ, which is unremarkable. He then throws up some straw men, but okay: No, I do not wish the Michael Jackson article were worse; I was not aware of the influence of UN:IC, and am still not aware that that means the article is frozen. The Colonizers, by their recent silence on Barack Obama, may be saying that, if this cheeky American cowboy wants to reconsider a decision made by a Committee of Britons, let's sit back and see how deep a hole he digs himself. (Meanwhile, another lone gunman has set to working on it, in a direction that breaks both sets of plans for the article, and indeed breaks the concept of having a plan for the article.) What follows below seems to be various authors sharpening their respective tongues, which may mean I should have moderated this discussion more actively. But the issue has gotten the airing I wanted, and thanks for everyone's participation. Spıke ¬  01:35 5-Nov-09

Just go with the flow, man. If you can make it better, then feel free to do so. Alternately, start a forum on the topic and watch it go sideways. Sir Modusoperandi Boinc! 01:46, November 5, 2009 (UTC)
i'd like to offer some great advice i once got from watching an episode of teenage mutant ninja turtles: lighten up, spike. man i loved that show. SirGerrycheeversGunTalk 06:24, November 5, 2009 (UTC)

Truisms

  1. Humor is subjective. What you find groanworthy is another man's VFH material. Would you rather the Michael Jackson article be about raping little boys? Both Michael Jackson and Barack Obama are products of UN:IC.
  2. Too many cooks spoil the broth. Practically any tone can make for a good article as long as it's consistent. This is something Imperial Colonization has been hit and miss on.
  3. Black sheep are still sheep. This isn't particularly relevant but it sounds cool. --Pleb SYNDROME CUN medicate (butt poop!!!!) 22:00, October 30, 2009 (UTC)

False-isms (NOT TRUE?)

  1. Humor is not subjective. If Kanye West says it's crap, everyone does. If Modusoperandi thinks it's crap, well...
  1. 4chan is a like a giant lobster. It's awesome, giant, served with butter, and most certainly won't rape you.
  1. Black sheep are still niggas. This isn't particulary revelant, but it's true.-Almost Sir Random Crap

Gay-isms (GAY GAY GAY GAY)

  1. Oh, honey, you're gonna wear that? Seriously, man, you look like shit.
  2. Ooh ooh ooh ooh, let's go shopping!! It's awesome, a cool way to spend a lovely spring afternoon, and you most certainly won't be raped in the dressing room.
  3. I'm afraid that, because you didn't read the material, I am forced to give you an F on this paper. This sentence cannot be spoken with anything but the limpest of wrists. Tinymasaru.gifpillow talk 21:37, November 4, 2009 (UTC)

Jewisms

  1. Something in Yiddish that sounds phlegmy
  2. Something self deprecating
  3. Something about a Jewish holiday with a silly name Sir Modusoperandi Boinc! 00:13, November 5, 2009 (UTC)

Answers

  1. Meshuggeneh
  2. HowTo:Learn Hebrew, among others...
  3. Sukkot! Necropaxx (T) {~} Thursday, 00:55, Nov 5 2009
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