Uncyclopedia:Pee Review/Danny Alexander

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edit Danny Alexander

An article by Everyotherusernamewastaken, who needs some feedback. Anton (talk) Uncyclopedia United 22:56, May 30, 2014 (UTC)

I'll do this. --ChiefjusticePS2 09:50, November 16, 2014 (UTC)
Humour: 3 Hello! I can only apologise for the 6 month wait you have had for any feedback on this. It is my fond hope that you are not dead and may be able to look at implementing some changes to this article. The article in general isn't a bad early effort, however there are a fair few problems, some of which are highly detrimental to the overall experience. I'll start with the good stuff, you plainly know your way around a wiki and there are some decent jokes in here. I particularly liked the first image caption and a couple of the other jokes on the theme of ugliness throughout the article.

The biggest problem I have with the work is that it lacks a unifying theme and a lot of the best opportunities for humour are missed. Your article feels like it sets out to simply make as many jokes as possible, with less thought given to building up around a central idea. You are trying so many small jokes and throwing so many individual ideas into the article that it ultimately lacks any meaningful cohesion and becomes a bit of a chore to read through by the end of the first section. Consider the audience for your article and what they will be expecting from you, if they are looking up The Right Honourable Daniel Alexander the chances are they are politically minded in some respects, they will be looking for a humorous take on a Conservative MP, with reference to some well-known events that he participated in. Your article struggles to provide any meaningful link between the person you are discussing and the real life subject of the article. The main humour for this type of article tends to derive from parodying Wikipedia, this means grounding your article in fact and building out from there so that while you aren't presenting fact it is plain who your article is actually about. Consider this, if we were to change the name of your article to refer to anybody else, would it make that much of a difference? My enduring feeling is that it would not and this is problematic and demonstrates that you have some more to do here.

My suggestion would be to have a look at the Wikipedia article on Mr. Alexander, have a look at what it discusses and try to determine a unifying theme for the article, you are already doing this to some extent by repeatedly joking about him being ugly but this joke gets stale quickly. I'd suggest coming up with an extra character trait for Mr. Alexander based upon his real life. What I mean by this is that you could make something of him continuously coming off second best and being given jobs that sound important, but are ultimately secretarial (for what is the Chief Secretary to the Treasury if not a glorified clerical assistant). You could say something like "In 2010 Alexander was appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury, having excelled over the two weeks he spent in his former role as Secretary of State for Scotland. Daniel was now gifted with an even greater role: carrying George Osborne's bag and giving him someone to sit next to in Cabinet." While that may not be the funniest joke ever written I hope it illustrates my point; humour derived from real life events discussed in a derogatory manner. This is fertile ground for your article and you could easily expand this theme to incorporate Alexander's earlier roles as "Chief of Staff to Nick Clegg i.e. carrying Nick Clegg's bag and answering his phone" and "Front Bench Spokesman for work and pensions i.e. carrying the bag for an entire department and answering their phone". You touch on this style in the "Early Life" section of the article and it is disappointing that you don't make more of it. I'd encourage you to have a proper look at this and see what jokes can be expanded.

The above segues me neatly into the other big issue here: it is obvious that a lot of what you are saying is made up. While we regularly make things up here, the key is believability rather than outlandishness. It is very wearing to read through text that is ultimately wholly made up. I would suggest that unless it serves a wider purpose this style of humour is dispensed with entirely. It is very easy, when making your first foray into Uncyclopedia writing, to fall into the trap of making jokes at all times. I know this because I did it myself, you feel that if you aren't writing something blatantly amusing at all times you aren't being amusing at all. It is far better to write something considered and grounded than to shove the humour down the reader's throat, let the reader's understanding of your subject matter do your work for you; if you want to portray someone as incapable or ugly don't come right out and say it, but say something like "Alexander has been criticised in the press for allegedly being unattractive, inefficient and having very little impact on any government policy. These criticisms are often grouped together into the phrase "Liberal Democrat", a highly inflammatory epithet in British Politics.". This gets the point across in a much more subtle fashion than simply saying "The mystic gypsy women told everyone he was a freak and he was removed from all social circles of his village".

Have a look at some of our featured articles particularly those discussing politicians, Al Gore and George W. Bush are particularly good examples. Note the way the authors establish a theme and a narrative early on, and the humour tends to be derived from satirising the subjects rather than simply insulting them. My advice would be to consider what you want the theme of your article to be and work towards that throughout. More blatant humour has its place but, like sun cream, matters get worse when applied carelessly.

These are the main issues that need addressing, I could continue, however I feel that in remedying the above you will naturally correct many of them. I don't want you to come away with the impression that you can't write because I have come away from this with the impression that you certainly can, but your style is to scattered and inconsistent to be effective here. There are some good jokes here and the main work of improving will be to give those jokes more of an opportunity to shine and to support them with additional high quality material.

Concept: 6 You've selected a challenging concept, writing about a fairly obscure MP serving in what is essentially a subordinate post in the British government will make it harder for you to get others interested in your article. This gives you more of a responsibility to the reader, to inform as well as to entertain, it is harder for someone to laugh at a well executed joke if they have no idea why it should be funny. You do reasonably well at introducing the concept but I would encourage to have a second look at the pre-amble to the article. Use the pre-amble to make it obvious who and what your subject is. Simplistic and derivative as it seems the best way to see how to do this is to look at the Wikipedia article for your subject, they are very good at setting out within the first few paragraphs what the subject is. I would suggest that you ape their style both in the pre-amble and throughout the article.

Your tone is generally quite consistent and the article does generally read like an encyclopaedia article, this is more of an achievement than it sounds as many people struggle to get the tone right, but I was impressed that you do so very well. The main issue is with what is being said, rather than the manner in which you say it. I'd urge you to remove any profanity from your article, unless there is a particularly good reason for it to be there, it sounds juvenile and it ultimately harms the point you are trying to make. Where you feel you must use profanity do it very selectively where you feel it will genuinely make a positive impact on a joke. Again, check out some featured articles and you will find that this is the case with them as well.

Prose and formatting: 4 The spelling and grammar is generally fine, I didn't notice any glaring issues in that respect.

The main problem here is that there are far too many images for an article of this length, I would suggest that one image is more than enough for the article at the moment. I would suggest dispensing entirely with the infobox and the image at the bottom of the page, they add very little to the article. Everything that you are saying in the infobox is either irrelevant or can be stated within the article in a much more amusing fashion. I'd recommend that if there is something you feel is particularly beneficial in the infobox, say it in the body of the text, infoboxes aren't much use unless they fill a specific role, since you will be explaining who Daniel Alexander is anyway it serves very little purpose. I removed the category index from the bottom of the page and replaced it with the actual category, this is a very small error and everybody makes them, the key is to re-read your article after you make changes, or ask somebody else to help you out. The main thing you want to avoid here is squeezing your text into the middle of the page between templates and images, it looks scruffy and there is generally no need for it.

Images: 4 I touched on the images already in the section above. I think it is a definite requirement that you use one of Mr. Alexander, but I'd suggest that the top image here isn't particularly great, if you are wanting to make a joke about how much he resembles Beaker from the Muppets then this image would seem to do the job much better. The decision is ultimately yours but I think there is some mileage in a throwaway joke on this topic. Unless you plan to expand the article I don't think an additional image is required. Your image captions are pretty good and I don't see much of a reason to discuss them as you seem to have a decent idea of what you're doing.
Miscellaneous: 5 My overall grade of the article.
Final Score: 22 I'm finishing this review with an enduring concern that I have not conveyed the fact that this is by no means a horrendous article, it's a good first effort but I would be doing you a disservice (well, more of a disservice than making you wait 6 months for a review) if I didn't discuss those aspects of the article. You fall into some very common traps that newer writers all tend to experience, I did myself and some users would tell you I'm still struggling to get out of a few of them. The key here is re-doing a lot of the humour and deciding on an overarching theme for your article, it appears unfocussed and sporadic at the moment with some good jokes rubbing shoulders with some very poor ones. Have a second look at the ones I highlighted, read some featured articles and re-consider what you wish to convey with the article. Many of the other issues I mention will resolve themselves if you resolve the humour related problems. If you feel I am being unfair or otherwise over critical in this review please remember that it merely constitutes my opinion, you are welcome to ask for a second opinion (a talk page might be quicker than the pee queue). If you do have any questions or comments about this review then feel free to let me know on my talk page. Good luck making your changes.
Reviewer: --ChiefjusticePS2 18:50, November 18, 2014 (UTC)
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