Uncyclopedia:Pee Review/The Life and Times of General DeGaulle

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edit The Life and Times of General DeGaulle

There's already a DeGaulle article but it's not actually about him. So I thought I try a Wikipedia-style one Sog1970 15:06, January 28, 2010 (UTC)

I'll take care of this, probably will be done in an hour or so --Sir Skinfan13 Talk {< CUN RotM FBotM VFH ΥΣΣ Maj. SK >} 14:46 EST 9 Feb, 2010
No hurry. It's just senseless French-bashing, the best sort of French-bashing--Sog1970 20:35, February 9, 2010 (UTC)
Oooo, I love bashing the French, this should be fun! Actually, I have to go to practice and then I have evening formation, so this probably won't be done until about 8 or 9 PM eastern --Sir Skinfan13 Talk {< CUN RotM FBotM VFH ΥΣΣ Maj. SK >} 15:51 EST 9 Feb, 2010
No worries. I'm on Welsh time - things move slowly here since the English stole all our vowels.--Sog1970 21:08, February 9, 2010 (UTC)
Humour: 8.25 I usually put the bulk of my reviews into the humor section, just so it's easier to condense my thoughts. I'll give you my intial thoughts after a single read-through, then go in section by section and tell you what I liked and what I thought didn't quite work.

Initial Impressions

I literally laughed out loud at parts of this, but at the same time there were portions I found just too silly or plain not funny. Overall though, the funny bits inhabit the majority of this article, and I think it will be quite easy to trim out the little bits that detract from the experience. If it weren't for the tinny little portions I didn't like, this would easily have been an 8.75 to a 9.5 on the humor scale.

Section by Section

Introduction

While short, I think it does the trick in terms of giving pertinent information for setting up the article, but it seems to lack that one line or concept that really entices the reader to dig deeper. I really don't know how to describe it, but maybe it's just too short or broad in scope. Perhaps the addition of one or two sentences that grab the readers attention a little more would do the trick. The reason I say this is primarily that there is a bunch of negative space between your introduction and the first section, so it's difficult to make the visual and mental transition smoothly based on the little bit you've given above. Since you have to scroll down the page in order to keep reading, I feel like one should be enticed to do so by the introduction. I wanted to read on, but i wasn't struck with the same sort of anticipation to scroll on that I experienced latter on in your article. Just my two cents there.

Early life

"In 1890 Charles DeGaulle was born in relative comfort to Henri DeGaulle, Professor of Philosophy and part-time menhir deliveryman. Neighbours remember young Chas as a lively, energetic boy much given to torturing small animals, especially after consuming the magical, energy-giving herbal concoction of the region known as “Cy Durh”. For this reason, he soon became known as Asterix DeGaulle." This opening bit quite simply did not grab my attention and gave me bad feelings about reading on (however unfounded those feelings turned out to be, that is how I felt at the time). First, and this may be an across-the-pond cultural difference or whatever, but I don't know what 'menhir' is supposed to be. This paragraph is kinda strange and not really funny and you mention things, like torturing animals, nicknames like chas and asterix, etc that you do not bring up at all after that point. Honestly I would redo this paragraph or just delete it.

Now the second paragraph is funny (and this is the paragraph that really sets the tone for the rest of the article). In fact, this sentence, "In 1912 he graduated top of his year, with outstanding marks in the three core subjects of the French national curriculum: hypocrisy, ingratitude and nonchalant shrugging," had me laughing aloud with my roommate. the follwoing sentence though, "It was during this time DeGaulle took up body lengthing exercises which changed him from a squirt into a giant. How he did it wasn't revealed at the time," really isn't funny and is simply extraneous and not touched upon ever again in the article.

"The spectre of war already loomed by 1913 and young Charles joined the army as an officer cadet. He justified this seemingly illogical act by pointing to the likelihood of conscription and his selection of a cavalry regiment." The concept here is funny, but we run into syntax issues that detract from the humor. The use of the term "officer cadet" is confusing to me and is sort of an oxymoron. I am a cadet at the Virginia Military Institute, and i am studying to be an officer, but you are never both at the same time. I would just say officer. The second part does not flow well at all. I would redo that second sentence completely.

"With all hope of escape denied to him, Charles took the only logical, honourable course of action; he allowed himself to be captured at Verdun. Once in captivity he made valiant efforts to cripple the German war effort by forcing them to feed and clothe him." This bit had me in hysterics, very nice job.

Between the Wars

This is a nice little section, i particularly like the description of the post-war German army. The bit about the car and driver is funny, but the assertion that he had a driver waiting all night long every night in case he might decide to flee is just a tad bit too hyperbolic. A funny, but not too over-the-top way to deliver this joke would be to simply say "a fully fueled car was outside" or something to that effect.

The name yellow streak is funny, but I would translate that into french (?rayure jaune?) and then put it in English immediately afterward for a more scholarly sounding approach.

The bit about Poland is hilarious, but two suggestions/comments:

  • I have no clue what this "he applied for a transfer on secondment to the Polish Army" means.
  • The bit about changing the french military from fortification to the yellow streak tanks is funny, but I have no idea why you say this was a result of De Gaulle being an advocate of blitzkreig tactics. You need to make the comparison more clear or (I recomend this) simply not make the comparison for the sake of cohesion and flow.

World War Two

"At the outbreak of hostilities, DeGaulle's unit were trapped behind the lines as the Wehrmacht broke through French defences at Sedan. Desperate to make their way to safety, DeGaulle’s well-drilled tanks raced at full speed towards the Cote D’Azur, entirely surprising the German Sixth Army. The German infantry scattered before them and, when DeGaulle’s tanks ran short of fuel at Versailles, he found that he had been controversially promoted to Brigadier-General for his “Spirited counter-attack”. " you have a good concept here, but your execution needs a little retouching. first off, the first sentence needs to be redone, do something like, "De Gaulle's unit became trapped behind enemy lines when the Wehrmacht broke through the French lines at Sedan." Also, how did they surprise the 6th army and why? were the sixth army advancing too fast? was De Gaulle retreating too fast? why did they scatter? were they surprised to find de gualles troops? these sorts of answers will provide good context so the humor flows without questions being asked in people's minds. Also, I feel the adverb "controversially" is extraneous and should be deleted.

"although he was soon appointed to a staff-position seventy miles from the front, DeGaulle was stirred to rebel against French authorities when it became clear that Marshall Petain was about to surrender France’s main cheese-producing regions. With the panzers closing in around him, he took the opportunity to flee even further, this time to London." This makes no sense. De Gaulle has shied away from contact with the enemy and been in favor of surrender his entire life, why would he go against his superiors the one time they actually wanted to retreat? work in the cheese region joke, but do it in a way that makes more sense. following in this vein, why would he advocate attack and then immediately retreat to another country? I would rework this.

"notionally loyal to the Vichy government" correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you may have meant nominally.

"Churchill was inclined to accept the vital warships into the Royal Navy. DeGaulle, however, was incensed by their failure to withdraw further from the U-boat threat and insisted that they be destroyed. With a heavy heart, Churchill accepted DeGaulle’s demand.”The opportunity to destroy an entire French fleet is not given to a British Prime Minister each day, nor even each life-time,” he confided to his personal aide. “And the sight of it nestling on the sea-bed will stir the hearts of every Briton in this time of need.”" This is probably one of if not the best parts of the whole article, bravo!

Post War

There really isn't much in this section that particularly needs to be addressed. This section is funny and makes sense.

Concept: 8.5 doing a Wikipedia parody of De Gaulle isn't exactly a novel concept, but the approach you've taken here is creative and well executed. A solid 8.5 for you sir.
Prose and formatting: 7.75 I have my spell check set to American English, so I may be wrong about misspellings and will give you the benefit of the doubt throughout unless I really need to point something out.

I would just run the article through a spell check on both UK english and US english in ms word and see what comes up. I know that in places you spell De Gaulle that way and as DeGaulle interchangeably. I would go through and correct all of that. You also seem to use the === heading instead of the == or = headings too, which really isn't anything more than an aesthetic issue.

Images: 6.25 Ok, I think this is probably the weakest point of your article. I gave you slightly higher than a six to indicate that overall your use of images is a little above average. You have 3 good images, and the rest are bland. Your captions in places are a little bland. I'll go through image by image and give comments. Overall I thought that your images were a little small. i think it would be ok to make all of them slightly bigger, maybe by 25-75 pixels? Your exact number of images, 6 is probably just right for the length of the article. I could see you getting away with 5 if you chose to get rid of the second picture without replacing it.
  • Your first image of de Gaulle giving the speech over radio is probably an appropriate first image given that this is meant to be a purely encyclopedic parody. Your caption though is just silly, isn't very funny, and doesn't remotely relate to anything in the article itself. I would tie it in to one of your jokes about De Gaulle in exile in Britain and have it be in line with your encyclopedic tone you use throughout the article.
  • I have the same issue with your second picture that I have with the caption of your first, it just doesn't match the encyclopedic tone you take with the article. I'm sure you can find an image to incorporate into this section that is funny or could have a potentially funny caption and have a more encyclopedic feel to it. Your caption here is better than your first though, it fits the picture, but I think the picture needs to go so it's kind of a moot point.
  • Not sure if this is an actual picture of De Gualle or not, but I think you'd be able to find plenty of pictures of cavalry from the time in full gallop that would be better suited to your caption, which is good.
  • The tank image is great, it serves a point, is encyclopedic in nature, and has a funny caption. keep this and possibly make it bigger.
  • The picture of de Gualle giving the speech with his arms raised is average, but your caption makes it a good combination. This is your second image that needs very little care.
  • The surrender flag picture is the best one in the article, it's a great photoshop and has a funny caption. keep this pretty much unaltered, except maybe size alterations.
Miscellaneous: 9 This article is quite funny, but it needs a little bit of work before it is ready to be featured in my opinion. If you make a few revisions, I'd be happy to look over it again and nominate it for VFH. Very good work turning someone not as well known from the war into an uncyclopedia article.
Final Score: 39.75 enjoyable read, I look forward to seeing the final product and possibly nominating it in the future.
Reviewer: --Sir Skinfan13 Talk {< CUN RotM FBotM VFH ΥΣΣ Maj. SK >} 00:06 EST 10 February, 2010 (sorry that took longer than I said, thus is the life of a military college student)

I don't mean to whore myself, but if you found my review useful, I would love your vote for ROTM, I've been nominated, but haven't received any votes yet.

If you want to discuss anything please hit me up at my talk page.

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