UnNews talk:Massacre at Brookfield Zoo
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This article needs more Orwell references.--J M Hoffman 18:39, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
edit Pee Review by Gerrycheevers
edit Endnotes by OEJ
In my opinion, the writing could use tuning up. It is grammatically correct for the most part but given the dramatic subject matter I feel it needs to be stronger.
For instance, "increasingly angrier" should be either "increasingly angry" or "angrier and angrier". But those are pretty weak for a HOMICIDAL TIGER! Rowr! Maybe "damned cheesed off" or "madder than the time an antelope shat in my face from pure fear" would be appropriate.
Short sentences and plain Anglo-Saxon words are strong. "Ruffles had a plan, and he acted fast" is stronger than "Ruffles acted quickly, enacting the plan he had devised the last two days". The rest of that sentence ("tree after tree were slammed into position against the wall" is a disconnected clause, a run-on addition to the core thought. And the verb, "were", is not an "action" verb. It would be better to write "He slammed tree after tree against the wall."
In the classic book The Elements of Style Strunk and White write, in Rule 14:
- Use the active voice. The active voice is usually more direct and vigorous than the passive:
- I shall always remember my first visit to Boston.
- This is much better than
- My first visit to Boston will always be remembered by me.
- The latter sentence is less direct, less bold, and less concise....The habitual use of the active voice...makes for forcible writing. This is true not only in narrative concerned principally with action but in writing of any kind.
In the case of this article, you should evaluate every use of "is", "was", "were", and "are" and replace them wherever possible with strong, definite action words.
"Ruffles was confronted with zookeepers" becomes "Zookeepers confronted Ruffles".
"Penguins quickly consumed human meat as if they were vultures" might be "Penguins gobbled human flesh like vultures". This is shorter and stronger; "latinate" words like "consumed" are usually not as powerful as common words like "gobbled" or perhaps "tore" or even simply "ate".
Don't repeat words unless it is for specific effect. "As chaos ensued, most humans were quickly killed: Penguins quickly consumed human meat..." As above, you can eliminate the second "quickly" by using "gobbled", which could be defined as "consume quickly". That way you avoid the jarring repetition.
Now then! I do not mean to say you are a crap writer and should never again touch finger to keyboard with creative intent. DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED! Every writer who ever worked uses the passive voice, makes run-on sentences, and uses foppish long words when plain short ones would be better. That's why every writer who ever gets published revises his work, usually until his brain bleeds. And then his fooking editor revises it AGAIN!
I think many young writers do not know at first what they should aim for in revision. Strunk and White's little book on style is probably the most straightforward guide around, but nearly all books on writing emphasize similar goals. Be concise. Use powerful, active verbs, and definite nouns. Short sentences carry more punch than long ones. BUT: Vary sentence length to give variety to prose. (This implies that you might use longer sentences for descriptive or thoughtful passages, and shorter ones for action and for strong statements.) Put the most important word or phrase at the end of the sentence. Again, Strunk and White:
- Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.
These, then, are some of the goals of revision. Good luck!
----OEJ 02:30, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
edit Pee Review by Mnbvcxz
|Humour:||6||The article does have some potential for more slap-stick (or not) violence. Also, you might to add more quotes tiger. In other articles they are funny, but no so much in this one, especially if you haven't read others in the series.|
Also, remember that the reader might not have read the articles in the series, you might want to add more background information that your "assuming" the reader knows. (This is a common mistake with many writers.)
|Concept:||6.5||First off, I normally don't like unNews articles for some reason. Personally, I didn't find the article that funny. That being said, this article might be able to get featured, I have a wierd and picky sense of humor.|
Anyway, the quoting environmentalists comes off as a little biased. You might want to tone such references down a little; it might be a good idea, but the execution is giving off an "ugly" feeling. Blatant bias isn't funny, even when your reader agrees with it.
You might want to expand the article a bit more, maybe with more descriptions of violence. It might get the bias-y feel down a little bit.
|Prose and formatting:||7||Links, grammar, and spelling look ok. However, the article is a little template heavy, and you have an "orphaned" template at the bottom right creating extra whitespace at the end. Also, the block quote at the end gives off an ugly feel to it.|
While I thinking about it, you might want to create a sectional template [links template] for the Ruffles the Tiger series, so the reader can find articles in the series.
|Images:||6.5||The images are ok, and both of them are needed by the article. I wouldn't get rid of either of them, unless you happen to come across a better version. However, if you could shoe horn in a image of normally non-violent animal attacking a person, it might improve the "believably" some. Ideally, a cut animal would be probably be the best. I put some potential images below with possible captions. You can find more animal images in Category:Mammal Images and in the articles in Category:Mammals|
|Miscellaneous:||6.5||This article is close to being done, and its fairly good. However, I really don't see any easy areas of improvement. Maybe another image or some expansion would help.|
|Final Score:||32.5||Are you sure this is the best article in the series? I think the first one UnNews:Tiger quietly plans to devour infant was a bit funnier, although this one may have more potential.|
Also, you had the same score as you got last time, but I tend to give out lower scores than other reviewers. Reviewers are never consistent on the score, the pee reviews are mainly to offer suggestions on how to improve the article and can't give an accurate gauge of quality. From the comments in the last review, I can tell that you have improved the quality of the article.
|Reviewer:||--Mnbvcxz (Annoy) 01:49, 29 December 2008 (UTC)|
edit Pee Review by Saberwolf
|Humour:||8||Hey there, Socky. It's been a while since I last saw this article, and i'm glad to see that you've been working on it. It's gotten much better, however, there are a couple of things that you still need to work on. First, since this is presented in the style on an UnNews article, why are the animals talking? That just seems a little odd. Normally, logic shouldn't need to apply to Uncyclopedia, but when you're writing a supposed news report, you need to make it believable. I'd recommend replacing the dialogue with emotion- for example, change "The boy was so scared... Man, I so enjoyed that look on his face, and I enjoyed shredding him to pieces even more." to The little boy was terrified, and the animal seemed to enjoy ripping him to pieces. Second, I think you rely a bit too heavily on jokes mid-way through the article- instead of explaining how the animals killed the humans, try to trim it down to just a paragraph or two- it was funny the first time, but I got a little tired of hearing every little method of disposal.|
|Concept:||8.5||Ahh yes, good ol' massacre at Brookfield Zoo- if I remember right, this is the article you got caught vote rigging. Anywho, I don't have any problems with the concept here- my complaints are mainly centered around the execution. You've got a good concept, but like I said above, you're stretching it awfully thin. Trim down some fat a bit, and your article will look nicer.|
|Prose and formatting:||9||The article looks fine on my screen- the images look aligned right, and I see you've also avoided any major .5spelling errors. My only little complaint on the prose is that the beastiality line was uncalled for, and a bit random. I'd recommend getting rid of it, though someone else might find it funny.|
|Images:||8.5||I like em'. I enjoyed the newspaper headline, as well as the picture of the mad tiger. My only complaint is that the second image (despite being featured) is a rather bad photoshop- you might want to ask someone to help you come up with a better one. A more minor complaint is that four pictures seem a bit much for an UnNews article- you could stand to get rid of that picture of the little girl. Also, a newspaper headline in a newspaper is kind of strange- you might want to put a picutre of the animal rights guy in there, as opposed to a newspaper article.|
|Miscellaneous:||8||MY overall grade of the article.|
|Final Score:||42||Excellent cleanup, Socky- there are a couple of minor flaws you need to correct, and then i'm fairly confident this will land on VFH |
Bottom Line: Great article, fine tune it a bit, then put it on VFH. Good luck! =)
|Reviewer:||Saberwolf116 23:36, 24 May 2009 (UTC)|
edit Pee Review by Staircase
|Humour:||5||Well, I'm quite sorry to say this, but I didn't laugh all that much. The jokes all sort of fell flat, and to me there was only a few parts actualy aimed toward making the reader laugh. Most of it was descriptive account of manslaughter; in my opinion that isn't that funny. Yes, some things were funny though, ex. "It all happened so fast... One moment, I was staring lustfully at some walruses, and the next thing I knew some big orange furry thing leapt out in front of me and roared 'These obnoxious fools have plagued the Earth for too long; they must all be exterminated!'"|
|Concept:||8||It's an excellent concept, but more homour should be added. More funny events, rather than gruesome events. That would make the article much better in my opinion. With that it could easily be feature material.|
|Prose and formatting:||9||It looked like a good news article. The variety of sources made it much more convincing than some stupid article. Also, I noticed no spelling mistakes. Very good job with your grammar in the article.|
|Images:||7||They did the job well.|
|Final Score:||36.25||It has a good concept, but you need a bit more humourous execution. Otherwise, it's good.|
|Reviewer:||Staircase 23:23, 25 May 2009 (UTC)|
edit Pee Review by UU
|Humour:||6||I don't quite know how to put this, Sock, because you've put a lot of time and effort into this one, and it clearly is your baby. However, I don't find it that funny. The worst part about it is that this is the biggest problem with the article - a few typos apart, the other sections are gonna score pretty well. But I'm not getting any major laughs here. Looking over your previous reviews, apart from a rather enthusiastic score from Saberwolf, this seems to be the consensus opinion: it's well written and so forth, but there aren't that many laughs in it. Sometimes it's better to leave an article and move on. However, as you are so keen to make this one work, here are my thoughts:
It's still too wordy in places. Ol' OEJ mentioned this, and you've done something about it, but in a report about fast-moving action, there are still plenty of long words and unwieldy sentences. Florid prose is fine in its place - I use it a lot, as you'll no doubt know - but here it inhibits the feel and flow of the article. So read it through again, looking for areas that could be made more short and punchy - there are a few, "Ruffles consequently leaped out of his confinement, towards his freedom and his terrified pray" being one (and I should mention this in the prose section, but that should be "prey", not "pray").
Then, there's too much time spent on graphic descriptions of the carnage - that's just not funny to me, and I had to fight back my natural urge to skip ahead. I think you're being a bit too straight there - there's no real comedy in this carnage, and there are opportunities for it. I'm sure more absurd things can be achieved with rampaging penguins than just "devouring human flesh". Look at that again dispassionately - does it make you laugh? Does the mental image give you even the slightest chuckle? Not at the moment. Killer penguins have potential, in fact all of the less aggressive animals getting murderous has more potential. Rhinos and the like - you can believe they'd go on a rampage. Chipmunks, penguins and the like inspired by a tiger to go on a killing spree? Better, but you need to evoke the absurdity more, and I'm not feeling it here.
Other ideas either don't work or aren't explored enough, and there's a feeling you may be over-egging the pudding a little here too. The tiger declaring himself king of the zoo could be explored more, for instance - were there any lions to argue the toss? How did animal politics accept this? And other zoos restricting animal communication - how? Not like you can just take their cellphones away - taping wolves' jaws shut so they can't howl, attempting to put ear muffs on animals with particularly good hearing - more absurd ideas that also explain something that seems a little baffling - it's not really funny right now, so why mention it?
I like Gerry's idea of him having had a long-established escape plan that little Jimmy inspired him to put into action at that point. I wonder why any girl would be staring lustfully at some walruses. I wonder even more how she can understand what the tiger roars at her. That's not funny. It's not absurd either - it's just incongruous, and doesn't get the reader on your side. I don't think the tiger evading tranquiliser darts helps much either - perhaps the zookeepers had trained on shooting at sacks, and that hadn't adequately prepared them for being faced with a snarling wild tiger at close range? Might be a fun way to explain why they were really poor shots.
I do like the animal activists bit - it's the closest to satire you get, and animal activists who support violence against innocent humans in order to free animals is a nice thing to poke a little fun at. I'd go a little further though, and make it plain that he's so happy to support this massacre because he's thousands of miles away, on the other side of the country or something. Undermine him that bit more. Oh yeah, and make "It needs solutions'. It needs change. It needs action!" a little more absurd, add something like "it needs total annihilation of all who oppose the rights of all creatures to live in peace and harmony" or suchlike - always go one louder (if you'll spot the Spinal Tap reference).
Oh, and I like the bit about survivors being put in cages - a neat reversal. But thrown away at the end of a paragraph I've already mentioned I felt the urge to skip. Make more of this - it's a fun idea!
I don't really see the relevance of the Dawkins bit to the article, but it's not a major problems. Oh, and the final bit - no pay-off. At least have the tiger admit that when every human has been eradicated, the animals will go back to the gentle, natural cycle of hunting and killing each other, or something like that - a little more zing at the end, at least.
That should be enough to keep you going!
|Concept:||8||Fine, no problem, animals go mad at the zoo and attack humans, based on a real incident. Not a problem with the basic idea. The problem is you're focussed too much on the carnage and so forth, and you're not bringing enough of the absurdity out. I'm thinking Homer Simpson with a cloud of bees around him: "it's like they're defending themselves somehow!" Perhaps have a zoo spokesman declaim "who'd have thought that confining naturally wild animals, depriving them of their habitat and the contact of many of their own kind, and then pointing, staring and shouting at them all day would have got them so upset?" Well, something a little better than that, but you get the idea. And seriously, killer penguins should be funnier than that. They just should.|
|Prose and formatting:||7||No major problems, well written in the main. Too well written in places, as I've already observed. Pare it down a bit, make it leaner, meaner, pacier to zip through. Read it aloud a couple of times, and see if that helps you spot the bits where you get bogged down.
|Images:||9||Excellent, well chosen, captioned well, relevant and everything. Perhaps the tiger one is a little large, but no complaints here. Superb.|
|Miscellaneous:||7.5||Averaged - it's the law of the jungle.|
|Final Score:||37.5||OK, the bottom line is, it's just not that funny. Your other reviews in the main flagged up the same thing, and while you've made changes, you really haven't teased enough funny out on the way. Think about ways to add absurdity (note: this is not the same as random, think of things that will give amusing mental pictures). Penguins (sorry to harp on about them, but I want them to be funnier) just eating flesh - not really that funny. Penguins waddling towards a hapless victim, slowly, gently but mercilessly buffeting them to death as they huddle round them in typical penguin fashion? Getting closer, I think.
Summary: make it snappier, cut down on the dull violence, add some more cartoonish absurdity to it (even if you don't describe it cartoonishly).
I honestly don't know how this will fare on VFH despite your crusade with it - it's reminding me a lot of AE's quest to get Fat Americans featured. But given the amount of effort and determination you've put in, I'd love to see you succeed. Be warned though: I won't vote for just because I want to see you succeed, I'll only vote for if you find that extra funny.
As always, other opinions are available, (although you've had a few already), and (and I honestly mean this) good luck!
|Reviewer:||--UU - natter 19:55, May 30|