Talk:Born again

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I'm going to rewrite this, if no one minds. --Black Flamingo 19:32, September 3, 2010 (UTC)

edit Weeeeeeeeeee!!

Humour: 6.25 First off, let me say that I very much like this article on a conceptual level--I’ll say more about the concept in the following section, but it’s a damn good one, and was a big part of the reason I wanted to do this review. So yeah.

As for individual jokes, you’ve got a lot of good ones, I feel: the ending sentence of the introductory paragraph; the politician bit; the stuff about Jesus at the end; and the line about the born again process being “considerably easier than taking responsibility for one's own actions” in particular. All of the above examples do exactly what the jokes in an article like this need to: they point out the flawed logic/potentially morally bankrupt motivations/general stupidity of the religious people/religious concept you’re writing about while simultaneously not being too pedantic, heavy-handed or offensive about it AND they’re funny in a more direct, innocent, apparent way that the majority of the people who read Uncyclopedia articles will appreciate. In short, they’re all good, solid jokes that work on at least two different levels, and this applies to more than just the examples I specifically mentioned above, too.

Despite all the above praise, however, I feel the general quality of the above material is let down a bit by the manner in which it is set up. This article is written in a short of half-colloquial, half-encyclopedic tone (I’ll talk about this at greater length in the prose section below)--though writing it in this way certainly isn’t bad or wrong or whatever in its own right, it does take a lot away from this article in terms of the impact and effect of your best jokes, which I feel would be better served by being set up with a more dry, encyclopedic tone. Again, though, I’ll go on in the prose section.

Concept: 8.75 As I said in the above section, I really like the concept of this piece. The notion of interpreting the phrase ‘born again Christian’ to mean that people can literally be born again as God-fearing stupid people is exactly the sort of over-literalistic pun a lot of this site’s most clever material is based on. On top of that, interpreting such a phrase in such a manner in the context of people who take the Bible as literal truth highlights the folly of literally interpreting anything that is self-evidently idiomatic/metaphorical/symbolic/whatever, which adds an additional satirical undercurrent to an already clever concept. Basically, this concept is so good that I’m surprised no one thought of it earlier. Good job.
Prose and formatting: 6.5 Like I said in the humor section, the biggest issue with this article (in my opinion, anyway) is the tone in which it is written--it informs its reader of its subject matter in a way that’s meant to be ‘informative’ to a degree like any ‘encyclopedic’ article would, but at the same time it’s written very loosely and makes heavy use of idioms and generally colloquial language; the latter clashes with the former. Again, there’s nothing wrong with taking such a tone (it can work well with certain articles), but more often than not it comes off as noncommittal at best and somewhat sloppy at worst.

In the case of this article, the undecided nature of the tone of the article really takes away from the impact of a lot of your jokes, I feel. Take, for instance, your “considerably easier than taking responsibility for one's own actions” line: as a standalone line, it’s really funny provided one knows the general context, but some of its potentially big impact is diminished by the tone of the prose that precedes it. I mean, just think how much funnier/impactful that same line would be if it concluded a dry, sardonic, encyclopedic paragraph about the practical difficulties of being literally ‘born again’--it would serve as a bold and sardonic conclusion to otherwise dry text, and a very effective summating punch line. As it stands now, it’s still an effective standalone line, but a lot of its impact is diminished because of the disconnected nature of the prose.

Aside from the tone of the piece (and I fully realize you may totally disagree with me about the whole ‘tone’ thing, for the record, but that’s just my two cents), this article is written pretty solidly. There were a few minor things, though:

  • The phrase “someone of this size” is somewhat awkward, I think; maybe try “someone of adult size,” or something?
  • The sentence “even if they can…will permit them to try” is too far away from an antecedent to warrant using pronouns, I think; maybe try “Even if a prospective born-again does manage…” instead.
  • Same thing for “even when it does work…previously knew and loved.”
  • You’ve also got one or two sentences that could perhaps be part of the sentences that precede them by joining them with a comma, but this isn’t a really big issue.

On a final, relatively minor note to wrap up this section, I like that you used the good old __NOEDITSECTION__ thing to get rid of the edit boxes that the unwieldy Christianity template undoubtedly fucked up.

Images: 5.25 You’ve only got two pictures--well, three if you count the smiling Jesus on the Christianity template--so I can’t give you too high of a score here. The first image is pretty good--I’d keep it even if you decide to go along a more encyclopedic route like I suggested because it’s basically perfect. Less remarkable is the second image, which I’m not really a fan of, though the caption saves it a bit. I realize that that unwieldy template takes up basically the whole right margin, but you could probably sneak in an obligatory picture of Jesus for the last section, redundant though it may be, just to eat up some space and give the article a generally more finished look to it.
Miscellaneous: 6 I fully realize that the miscellaneous score I gave you is a fair amount below what your average would have been, but I see a lot of room for potential expansion and improvement in this article here. Even if you totally disagree with every single word I wrote about your tone (which you very well might--I’ve read a fair number of your articles and don’t think I’ve seen you do the whole dry/sardonic/encyclopedic thing I’m suggesting, which is all well and good and everything (I may also be mistaken, so sorry if I am and you have written articles like that)), there’s still a lot you can do with this concept. Perhaps an elaborate history of born again Christians, in which the Roman Emperor Justinian, upon converting, crawled back up his mother’s vagina and ordered all of his subjects to do the same. Or maybe you could talk about the demographics of born again Christians today and how they’re predominately poor people from the American South who are consistently reborn with much lower IQs. Anything, really, as you’ve got a great concept and a plethora of potential jokes about stupid Southerners, Jesus, and the vagina to fall back on if you run into a corner.
Final Score: 32.75 I’m looking forward to what you wind up doing with this. I hope this was helpful. Good luck.
Reviewer: Unführer Guildy Ritter von Guildensternenstein 06:06, January 4, 2011 (UTC)
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