User:CliffC

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RWS Tarot 09 Hermit.jpg

Compulsive proofreader and typo fixer. I came here to feed those compulsions, share what I know or can find out about my favorite subjects, learn about new ones, and have some fun. I stayed for the arguments, which can be had and enjoyed without involving a family member.

My interests include South Park, military figures, art and artists (even some not very good ones), avoidable disasters, law and justice, and a few of the more absurd celebrities and political figures of the New York City metropolitan area.

In the past I did some vandal chasing, but stopped due to Wikipedia's systemic inability or unwillingness to squash repeat offenders. When I have time, I'll make up a version of the WP:DGAF userbox specific to vandalism and add it to this page. Meanwhile, I do still clean up spam when I see it, for I know I'll be supported. And, bless their conniving hearts, most spammers respect the institution.

In between all that, here are some articles I've written, rewritten, expanded or improved:

By nature I am an observant and critical person, so below are my unsolicited observations and criticisms of Wikipedia, not to say that many of them will ever be fixed, or even can be fixed. But I intend to stick around anyway.

Observations and criticisms of Wikipedia, fondly and for what they're worth[edit]

List started 29 September 2006

  • Just about everything in the embarrassingly close-to-the-truth Onion article Wikipedia Celebrates 750 Years Of American Independence
  • Several points in this Wired article describing Wikipedia as "the perfect argument space"
  • Sorry, but the notion of allowing unregistered users to change the encyclopedia is insane. A halo of anonymous flies buzzes constantly around the most popular articles, depositing their tiny specks of ignorance. See Pablo Picasso or Andy Warhol for a thousand examples. As a consequence articles sit there defaced by graffiti, or just plain wrong, for minutes or hours. Subtle vandalisms such as one-digit changes to historical dates (not very important) or to the pregnancy categories of prescription drugs (yes, that could be important) may never be noticed
  • It's not only Wikipedia that's polluted by anonymous vandals. Hoax edits like this one to Statue of Liberty may survive here in Wikipedia for a mere five months, but they go on forever once the article is cloned to the outside world. Googling for "Jeffery Magee" suicide "Theodore Benz" at the time found the defamed duo mentioned 121 times, including in answers.com, reference.com, five newspapers, and Claudia Schiffer's biography. There was a good line in Friends when some embarrassing photos got onto the Internet and a demand was made to remove them: "That would be like trying to take the pee out of the pool".
  • Vandalism to articles about unpopular subjects such as George Bush is likely to be ignored by most editors. A paragraph charging that young George had "knocked up" a girl named Rayette and arranged for her abortion sat in place for six weeks. Similarly, abuse of the Bush family dogs Barney and Miss Beazley may also go uncorrected
  • Total lovefest articles like Jones Soda, whose Talk page shows that all us cool people are totally down with Jones Soda, so what's the problem?
  • Lizzie Borden's "Alleged lesbian affair with actress Nance O'Neil" gets more wiki-ink than the actual murders
  • People who don't provide edit summaries. Prominent among these are the Mafioso wannabes who quietly add their own names to the "See also" section of Colombo crime family, and remove any photographic record of disgraziati such as Sammy "The Bull" Gravano
  • Pimps like 68.184.116.173 who act as PR agents/spammers for a product (Absolut vodka, in his case), dropping the product name like a golden turd into as many articles as they can
  • In Talk:Jill Pike during a debate over the article's proposed deletion, an anonymous user has correctly observed "Where's her picture? Jeez, she's smoking hot! You have articles for navel lint, Pocket Pool, Dirty Sanchez, etc. and you want to delete this one. What a joke!"
  • People who think the way to fight sexism is to remove any mention of gender. On the Train surfing talk page, one asks "Is there anything to support the claim that 'Practitioners are usually teenage boys'? Surely 'teenagers' would be more appropriate and less sexist." Elsewhere, one starts a campaign against the phrase "lone gunman"
  • Indeed, "hell is other people"

-- to be continued

Other thoughts[edit]

  • It's amusing to watch the town humorists have their quiet way with the Mannings Heath article.
  • Young Wikipedians are really scared of the culture-baiting Jack Thompson (attorney).
  • Jimmy Breslin has written that the most demeaning act a human being can perform is walking behind a dog and picking up its droppings. This has crossed my mind when cleaning up Barney and Miss Beazley.

CAN YOU SPELL HAND JOB???, I SPELL IT C-L-I-F-F-C.

Pharmacology and pharmacokinetics[edit]

[Placed in a drug article by a well-intentioned user, reverted shortly thereafter]

WARNING Be wary of consulting an encyclopedia that anyone can edit, especially for drugs like these. For example, the British National Formulary link given below is a dead link. Consult your doctor always and if you do rely on information from Wikipedia about drugs, print the page and ask your doctor to read it and verify the information given. End Warning.

Userboxes amusing or annoying[edit]

Divisive
Steel guitar-KayEss.1.jpeg
This user believes that mankind cannot progress unless
Country Music is eliminated.


Well intentioned
Face-angel.svg This user tries to do the right thing. If they make a mistake, please let him or her know.


Saving the Earth, uh, for...?
Earth Western Hemisphere.jpg This user is not a biological parent.


My own new philosophy
DGAF This user does not give a fuck about vandalism and will respond to sightings with apathy.

One editor asked another to remove this anti-country-music userbox from his user page, saying, "Posting an anti-something userbox on Wikipedia diminishes your credibility in your editing or it certainly doesn't show WP:Neutral_point_of_view." The box also inflamed other editors, who characterized it as "divisive", "fractur[ing] the community" and "an attack on a population of people", although not everyone seemed quite as bothered.