Uncyclopedia:Pee Review/Ancient Uncyclopedia (2nd Go)

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Get ZEN! Funnybony Icons-flag-th Agnideva-small.jpg AGT-logo-small.jpg 21:56, Mar 28

Me reviewing now. --Hugs and kisses, Black_Flamingo 10:36, April 18, 2010 (UTC)
Humour: 6 Ok Funnybony, you have some really good stuff here. I like the idea of an 'ancient Uncyclopedia' and some of the writing is really well put together. However, it could use some work. Personally I think your main problems are conceptual - at the very core of your article - which sadly means a bit of a rehaul could be in order. Whatever the case, it's up to you what you do, but here are my ideas to get this into better shape.

Your biggest detractor humour-wise is probably the in-jokeyness of the whole thing, although I also had a problem with the way you presented these jokes: in the form of really long quotes (this will be dealt with in both concept and prose though I think, so I'm not repeating myself too much). First, let's talk about the in-jokes. As I'm sure you're aware, in-jokes tend not to be very well received around here, and articles that rely on them to such a degree have a hard time getting featured. Even if getting featured isn't your aim (which coincidentally you do mention in the article), in-jokes are generally found to be tiresome by everyone except new users who are discovering them for the first time. Older users are fed up of them and unregistered ones don't get them, so I would recommend using as few as possible.

The biggest problem I have with them is that they are not particularly observant. Most of the time you simply namecheck facets of uncyclopedia, like FAs and Adopt-a-noob etc, without actually making a joke. For instance, you regularly just say things like "A person fully aware of humor should never parody anything without reading How to be Funny and not just Stupid", which reads more like an actual guide rather than a comedy article. This is a rare article that uses in-jokes successfully if you wanted to read such a thing. Notice how it is full of jokes that only hardcore users would get, but is still funny because it's observant and comments upon users' behaviour in a humorous way.

A good example of you doing this already is where you mention "the rules", describing them as "principles that obstruct one from following their own style". This is funny because it takes a swipe at Uncyclopedia - it's something we as writers all feel sometimes, so we can identify with it. Try to do more stuff like this, rather than just namechecking. Same with the way you make out that all writers have a "greed for featured articles" - this is another example of a good in-joke because we've all been there.

On top of that, you make a few jokes that I feel just don't make sense. It may be the case that I'm just thick, but still, it might be better to explain a few of them. For instance, you keep mentioning "zen", but I couldn't figure out why. What does the ancient Uncyclopedia actually have to do with zen? Again, there might be some meaning of zen that is lost on me, but if there is explain it. Perhaps it's something to do with humour being a good way to calm down? If there isn't a reason for it then getting rid of all references to it might be a good idea.

You also keep refering to this thing "local". Frankly, this was probably the thing that confused me the most. I have no idea what this means, or even if it means anything. I even read the article it was linked to, which cleared a few things up, but that just made it look like some kind of bizarre and uninteresting in-joke. As I've explained, in-jokes are bad. However explaining it further could help, and referring to it in a humorous way instead of just mentioning it for the sake of it. I had exactly the same issue with the "Uncyclopedia Beach Local" thing by the way, which just really perplexed me.

Another thing that confused me a little was your constant references to noob-adopters. I think you overplay this. You make out like it's some right of passage that all users have to undergo, which is of course not true. If you're going to be self-referential and in-jokey, make sure it's actually true.

Finally there are just a few general jokes that fall a bit flat. You seem to repeat yourself a lot for example. With both the opening and concluding quotes being taken from the middle section. There is really no reason to do this, and I would urge you to keep them both firmly in the middle section and come up with a better beginning and end (this is something I will explain how to do in concept too).

The final virgin in volcano joke is good, but needs tidying up. First off, the sentence is muddled. Just try something like "sacrifice a virgin to Chronarion by clicking here", which is both simpler and grammatically correct. Second, I don't think it works as a subject heading. Perhaps just make it a regular sentence at the end of your conclusion, but use a larger font. Also, you should only put a link on the "click here" bit, the links on the other words ruin the effect. A more relevant link page than Mail Order Brides could help as well.

Concept: 6 Right, this is where your article fails the most for me, and I can see Iwillkillyou pretty much thought the same thing when he reviewed it. The ancient book itself is not well established, it is very unclear what it's supposed to be. By the middle it becomes apparent that the book is a guide to being an Uncyclopedian in the modern day, although that doesn't really make much sense. From the beginning, I got the impression it was supposed to be an ancient version of the Uncyclopedia, as in a really old spoof encyclopedia, which is an idea I much preferred. The whole concept of it predicting the internet and stuff was a much weaker concept in my opinion, and didn't have much grounding in reality.

I think you should make this more of a parody of uncyclopedia itself. Like the book is Uncyclopedia, but set in the ancient times before they had technology. Come up with ancient versions of all these facets of Uncyclopedia (like admins, banning, pee review etc), and explore them in prose rather than just namechecking their modern versions. This is a firm, original idea that I think you should develop to be the core of your article. Ditch the prophecies about the internet and stuff, because as I've explained they don't make much sense, nor are they that interesting.

I'm not saying delete everything you've written however. The bits that are basically a guide to our modern day Uncyc, could fit in quite nicely as the book's teachings. I don't think it makes sense that they are part of the ancient Uncyclopedia itself anyway. As I've said, the book should be an actual spoof encyclopedia. So make them the teachings of the prophet Chronarion or something instead. This leads me to my next point...

Here is just another idea along those lines. In your article you treat Chronarion and Huang as different people, despite the fact that (as I'm sure you know) they are the same person. This is slightly confusing, and you might want to make it a bit more true to life to counter this. You could change it so Chronarion is the name Huang takes upon becoming enlightened. This might be funnier as it spoofs the way we ourselves take on new names when we become users. Furthermore, if you do go along with all this and make the ancient Uncyclopedia a spoof of the modern day one, it would work better if you made Chron the leader or founder of the Uncyclopedians, rather than the guy who finds the book - fulfilling the same role Jesus does in the Bible, perhaps. Then the other users could be like his disciples or something. This would help to make it a more interesting parallel to the real Uncyc, rather than just being a guide to it. If you need a god, why not use Sophia? She is the true Uncyc deity after all.

Whatever you choose to do, you will have to make changes. If you want to keep it more like a guide you'll have to establish this in the introduction. You don't really explain at any point what the ancient book is, which is probably the cause of a lot of the confusion. Introduce every core idea you have in the opening paragraph so people actually know what they're reading about. You may also want to change the title, as it doesn't suit this idea. Something like "Ancient Guide to Uncyclopedia" might be more appropriate. If do you follow my suggestions and turn it into an ancient parallel of our Uncyclopedia, you will still need to work on your introduction. Just remember, it doesn't exactly have to be hilarious - as long as it sets up the rest of your jokes.

Prose and formatting: 6 Your spelling and grammar seems perfect so well done there. Most of the problems arise from your style of writing. Basically, the huge quote part that makes up the majority of the article is really hard to follow, mainly because of the ancient-religious style you've written it in, but also because of the sheer amount of quotes. Remember, this isn't an UnBook, it's supposed to be an encyclopaedic entry, so you can't just have an entire article made of quotes. Wikipedia's article on the Bible for instance has much more description than actual quotes. Try to comment on your quotes, explain what they mean. This will make them a lot easier to follow, and your reader won't feel bombarded by the ancient religious style you employ - which as I've said is hard to follow. You could even draw attention to the fact that they're hard to follow for comedy purposes. Most of the big religious texts are confusingly written, leading to vastly different interpretations of them. So you could get some really good satire out of this - have the scholars all arguing over what it means, but to the reader it is obvious that none of them truly understand it. This would work better because it's satirical. I have to add by the way that the tone is good - you've handled it well - it's just confusing.

There are also a few problems with your formatting, most of which were raised in Iwillkillyou's review but as yet remain unchanged. Your constant use of bold and italics for no reason really needs to be changed. I can't understand why you've decided to embolden words like "indologist" and "Mandarin", or italicise words like "opulent" or "thousands or years from now". There's just no need, and it makes the article look incredibly scruffy. Just think, an actual ancient text wouldn't have all this bold and italics everywhere would it? Only use bold for the title word, and only the first time you use it. Also, the words 'ancient Uncyclopedia' should not link anywhere because this is supposed to be the article about that thing. And only use italics if you want to stress a word.

Staying with formatting, I also think you link to too much stuff at the bottom. As I've said, stuff like "local" doesn't seem to be relevant, and you seem to have HTBAFANJACF or whatever it's called listed twice.

Images: 5 Your first image is fine, although the book looks kind of new considering it's supposed to have been uncovered from an ancient burial site. It's caption could do with some work - it doesn't really make much sense. Your use of the words "esoteric" confused me for example. Are you sure this is the right word? Because it doesn't seem to be. As I've already mentioned, your use of the word "zen" is also confusing. Perhaps there is some meaning to zen that I don't understand, but if so, explain it.

None of your other images are particularly funny or interesting. Sorry, but they just look like they're there for the sake of having images. I'm not totally without sympathy though, I can see why finding good images for this article would be hard. If you do have a fiddle with the concept like I suggested, I reckon a few more ideas should present themselves. Perhaps some funny stuff to do with archeology? Or ancient religious style drawings? It's really up to you of course.

Miscellaneous: 5.8 Averaged.
Final Score: 28.8 Right, so I know the suggestions I've made would require a lot of hard work and major changes, but don't take it as proof that this is a bad article. It isn't. You have some really interesting ideas in here, and ultimately it is well written. The problem is, a lot of the issues I had with it were at the absolute core of the article, and to fix them would require pulling up the roots, as it were. I really hope my review is helpful because I think if you follow my suggestions this could be a truly excellent article. Whatever you do with it, good luck, and if you want to contact me for any reason please feel free to leave me a message.
Reviewer: --Hugs and kisses, Black_Flamingo 15:11, April 18, 2010 (UTC)
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