User talk:Un-Conniption

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Revision as of 14:20, May 11, 2006 by Emmzee (talk | contribs)

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Just wanted to let you know, I didn't blank that page. I found it blank, and obviously the Johnathan Swift style "A Modest Proposal" satire went well over my head. I don't blank pages on Uncyc., since I consider blanking pages to be vandalism. I actually unblanked the Poland page recently.

Sorry to bring this up here, but I didn't want to develop a reputation as someone running around erasing pages, since that's not what I do.

--RudolfRadna 18:18, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Sorry. My mistake. -Conniption 09:32, 13 April 2006 (UTC)


Your PLS entry Invasion did quite well - it finished fifth out of 28 total entries in the Best Article category. It had one first-place vote and one second-placer (from me, actually, I quite enjoyed it). No article in that category got more than two first-place votes - the voting was quite dispersed. —rc (t) 21:52, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

I thought it was one of the best-written pieces in the whole contest... A few more well-placed commas, and it might have been the best. I thought it had two problems, though - the main one was queasiness factor, which is to say I spent most of my first read-through wondering whether I should actually be laughing or not. Maybe I'm just dense, but it was too hard to tell if you were pro-military or anti-military, though I think I figured out that you're anti-war, at least... The other thing was that it needed zingers - just two or three good ones would have sent it over the top, in my opinion. So ultimately you can blame me, I guess. If I'd ranked it even at #3 in the category, that might have done it, but I didn't. (Sorry!) If you want, I could suggest a zinger or two, but this queasiness thing is more problematic. In a way, you took on maybe the biggest challenge of anybody WRT trying to wring humor out of a difficult subject, and you deserve at least some sort of pat on the back for that. So, consider yourself back-patted! I really do hope you'll stick around and write more stuff! c • > • cunwapquc? 02:26, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

The queasiness factor was deliberate and unavoidable; I was going for black humour, and if you don't make people a bit uncomfortable when doing black humour, you aren't doing your job right :). As for the 'zingers', you can suggest them to me or simply add them yourself if you prefer. And feel free to fix the commas up also. I'm not quite sure what's wrong with them as is, but I'll probably understand if you make the changes yourself, so I can have a look at it and see how the article was improved by better comma usage. Thanks! - Conniption 09:17, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Hey, don't thank me - like I say, if I'd ranked you higher you would've won the whole thing. But regardless, black humor is especially tough in this context... one normally thinks of encyclopedia entries as neutral and impassive, but IMHO with black humor (or hot-button subjects in general) those things tend to work against you, because people might think you're trying to insult or emotionally manipulate them. I'm sure you've read Kitten Huffing - that's one the best (or at least most commonly cited) examples here of an article that uses black humor effectively. The writer seems to be against the practice, but you also get the impression that he's actually tried it, and that's funnier than if the writer were simply for it. In your case, Invasion might be funnier if the writer is clearly against the practice of disguising massive parties as war zones, but assumes that everyone would agree that it's great fun for the people who are doing it. For example, instead of this opener:

  • Invasion is the codename for the awesome parties that the military put on... the parties they don't want you know about. After all, if everyone knew how awesome the party in Iraq is, all the losers would flock to it and totally ruin the vibe. could put it in a more investigative-reporter-like way:

  • Invasion is a code-word used by military planners to refer to the practice of throwing wild, raucous parties and celebrations in exotic foreign locales, often at considerable taxpayer expense. These parties, which usually take place in total secrecy, may go on for months, or in some cases, years. Admittance to each event tends to be highly exclusive and restricted to individuals wearing "military-style" uniforms and carrying heavy firearms, further heightening the public's confusion as to the true purpose of the so-called "invasion."

...And obviously this is just my opinion, but in the second version the writer clearly treats the whole thing as a huge scandal, so he's got the queasiness factor working for him, rather than against him - the reader is forced to agree that disguising parties as war zones is a bad thing. And then at the end, you could even add a "hint" to the effect that this information was all "leaked" by the US Defense Department, as if they're trying to fool us all into thinking that the war isn't really happening, which is pretty much what they're actually doing these days.

Anyway, it's just a thought... I don't want you to get discouraged, you're a good writer! If you're still OK with the idea, when I get a chance I'll go over the punctuation first, then look into this whole "zingers" issue. Ta ta!  c • > • cunwapquc? 23:52, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

--Emmzee 14:20, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
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