Uncyclopedia:Pee Review/Pursuit of Happiness
From Uncyclopedia, the content-free encyclopedia
I seek critiques. And such.
I originally created this for HappyMonkey's contest thingy, and since I kind of came in late I wound up writing it in about three hours... but anyhow, it has been edited since then using what the poor abused judges wrote. The question is, what do I still need to do to it? -- 20100819 - 04:37 (UTC)
|Humour:||8||Ok, I picked this article because I felt there was a lot I could say about it. But you know what? There isn't, really. By the way you should take this as a compliment. I'll go through a few ideas anyway but you should bear in mind that I might get a little petty with the changes I suggest. This is simply because the article is pretty damn good as it is. Anyway, let's begin.
Your humour is strong, I really like the jaded, clinical approach you take to describing something that is generally considered to be a positive thing. There aren't really any major issues with your humour, just a few hiccups that de-rail it here and there. For instance, there is an idea you present in the intro that I really liked - the joke about happiness becoming a big squid. This was so bizarre and dark and appealing, I thought the idea had some real weight to it. But then you don't really mention it again (save for an odd picture that references tentacles), and it struck me as being underdeveloped. Just one or two more mentions of this hideous and elusive beast would really make me happier, I'm not entirely sure the other users would agree but it really depends what kind of road you want to go down. The squid thing, in my opinion, could give this article a surreal edge to set it apart from other similarly cynical articles. And of course, I realise you were speaking figuratively so if you don't want to pursue this then I can understand.
Another issue (again, minor) I found was that occasionally you state something as fact but then don't really give an example. In the part about hope, for instance, you say people can "look past their present hardships to a better future" and "overcome seemingly impossible troubles without even noticing them". While I thought this was funny I also felt a bit let down that you didn't specify exactly how people go about doing this. Throughout a lot of the article, you link to things such as alcohol and religion, which obviously fills in the gaps and explains exactly what part of society you're critiquing. But in the parts where you didn't do this, I don't know, I just felt you were just asking the reader to believe something without really offering any proof. I know it sounds petty, but I hope you can see why I feel it would strengthen your jokes to get some more context in them.
Then there were a couple of times where I didn't really understand what you were saying, mostly in the section where you're describing the different opinions on what happiness is. In the Neurological approach, it sounded like you were hinting at an idea I liked, but I wasn't sure. To me, it seemed like you were starting to say something along the lines of "if you can't be happy, the next best thing is to appear happy to others", or maybe that "appearing happy is just as good as actually being happy." Is this what you were getting at? Because the section also kind of feels like it doesn't go anywhere. You might want to explain this better if it is indeed the case (and if it isn't, maybe it should be, because I laughed at it). Then in the Philosophical approach, you really lost me. How is "the state of being happy" different from the first approach? You will definitely need to explain this part more clearly. You mention nonsense here, if this whole section was indeed supposed to be nonsense then I would advise you go in a different direction. One of the strongest parts of your article is the cold, scientific conception of happiness, and you should stick to that.
A little later you do have an issue with going off topic (I will talk more about this in concept by the way). It's mostly in the section on love that I feel this happens, particularly when you start going on about population ratios and homosexuality and such. The bits about kids also feel a tad out of place, but then the jokes in there are pretty good so it would be sad to see them go. The first part I mention, however, is a little light on the humour, so if you're going to get rid of something I'd recommend it be that. I do really like the style and the tone in this "means to happiness" section, but perhaps if you could streamline the love part into something shorter, the article would feel a lot more focussed. Perhaps if you do cut this out, you could just skip straight to the part where you say "chances are a given person will not even ever meet their true love at all". The rest is a bit of an unfunny and overcomplicated preamble to this statement. Try to refrain from going on too many tangents, especially if you're going to just leap back to the main topic in the next paragraph. Cut right down to the bone of the joke that you're trying to make. You don't really have much of a problem with this in your other sections, just this one, which feels kind of unwieldy compared to the others.
|Concept:||9.5||Again, your concept here is very solid, I like what you've done. The one problem I had here is that I felt the article didn't really get to grips with the actual "pursuit" of happiness, particularly the whole "American dream" facet of it. The opening quote actually seems really out of place here, despite appearing relevant at first glance. I do have a suggestion I feel could help, and that is to move this over to Happiness. Now, you might not think this would work as well, and I'd understand that reaction, but permit me to explain. While your article does cover ways in which people pursue happiness, I feel the areas it covers are quite broad (except for chocolate). This is not an insult, because what I feel it actually serves to do is give a good impression of what happiness is, and what causes it, and what people's reactions to it are. Also, the title "Pursuit of Happiness" sounds more like it's going to be about the unalienable rights set out in the USA's Declaration of Independence (by comparison, this is what the Wiki article deals with). Finally, I took a look at the happiness article and saw that it was very, very lame. Your article would be an excellent replacement. My final reason is that I think it would help focus your article, in light of some of the rambling I talk about above. In case you don't know how to go about this, just copy and paste your article into Happiness and make this a redirect (or perhaps a nice admin will delete it for you). If I haven't convinced you, don't wory too much about it, it's not a major problem, but it is something you should think about.|
|Prose and formatting:||8||Your tone throughout it good, it deals with a very cynical subject matter in quite a neutral way for the most part. You may want to take another look at the end however, where this cynicism seems to take over the style of speech. In that last section, entitled True Happiness, your prose becomes a lot more lyrical, mentioning butterflies and silence and other poetic things, even your use of page breaks emphasises this. I feel it is a little out of line with the rest of the article, which although isn't exactly encyclopaedic, does have that more neutral stance that I mentioned. For the billionth time, this isn't a major problem, but perhaps you could simply explore these ideas in plain, informative text, like the rest of the article does. Your ending is also a bit weaker in terms of humour too, which I will mention here rather than in the humour section as I feel it makes more sense. Rather than continuing with jokes, you try to end on a sentiment, and while I probably agree with that sentiment on a personal level, perhaps getting a couple more jokes in there would make it feel more like a comedy article. It doesn't mean you have to stop being all doom and gloom, make the humour as black as you want, I simply feel it's a bit serious, especially for such a heavy concept.
Then apart from that, there's just one sentence I didn't quite understand. The one at the beginning of the 6th paragraph on love that says ; "but ignore those left out entirely." What do you mean by this? It's a bit of a fragment and it really ruined the flow for me. In fact, I had a similar response to the beginning of the part on ignorance where you say; "it is as they say. Ignorance is bliss". This time, I understood what you mean, but that would flow a lot better if it were just one complete sentence rather than two fragments.
|Images:||7||Your images were also very good, I liked the clinical, scientific style that was consistent with the text. The top one would probably look better as a thumbnail, however. Also, if you are going to move this to Happiness, the pic of the girl chasing the sun probably shouldn't be your main image (although you could caption is "the pursuit of happiness" or something). Overall, one more image would be nice, as there's a wee bit of space where there's only text and it kind of looks bare. Oh and finally, your caption for the praying mantis image, although funny, could be tied into the concept of happiness a little more as it kind of seems like it's part of the off-topic rambling I mention in the humour section.|
|Miscellaneous:||8||A gut feeling, that special something, whatever you want to call it.|
|Final Score:||40.5||Right, so again sorry if the review wasn't as in-depth as you might have hoped, but this is pretty much everything I can think of and more. You've done some great work here and should be proud, but have a think about my suggestions at the very least, because I really do think you could tighten this up just that little bit more. If you want any further advice on something more specific, let me know and I'll see what I can do. I will also be glad to look at any changes you make, whether they were suggested by me or otherwise.|
|Reviewer:||--Black Flamingo 20:35, September 16, 2010 (UTC)|