April 30, 2011

Call For Crowd-Sourcing - Wikipedia Song Parody "Junk Food Junkie"

One of FAQ's (Frequently Asserted Querulousness) about Wikipedia criticism is charging some sort of hypocrisy when Wikipedia critics have been known to read Wikipedia. This has always seemed to me a kind of cheap "gotcha" strawman. I don't know any critic who thinks that reading Wikipedia will cause someone to go insane, like an Internet version of H.P. Lovecraft's Necronomicon (working on Wikipedia may indeed drive you mad, but that's another topic).

After yet another discussion going around this, it struck me that it was analogous to when a nutrition advocate eats junk-food. Now, a person's claim about what's healthy may be right or wrong. And if they said anyone who ate junk-food was a horrible person who was doomed to a heart-attack immediately, one might legitimately call that hypocritical. All of which put me in mind of an old humor song "Junk Food Junkie".

It's about someone who's a public health-food promotor, yet enjoys eating junk-food in private:

Yeah, in the daytime I'm Mr. Natural
Just as healthy as I can be
But at night I'm a junk food junkie
Good lord have pity on me

Which suggested to me something along the lines of:

Oh, in the daytime I'm The Professor
Just as scholarly as I can be
But at night I'm a Wikipedia reader
Good lord have pity on me

That is, parody the above "gotcha" argument, as an academic who considers reading Wikipedia to be a secret shame. So from

Ah, but when that clock strikes midnight
And I'm all by myself
I work that combination
On my secret hideaway shelf
And I pull out some Fritos corn chips
Dr. Pepper and an Ole Moon Pie
Then I sit back in glorious expectation
Of a genuine junk food high


Yet, but when that clock strikes midnight
And I check there's no risk
I type in the password
Of my hidden encrypted disk
And pop up wikipornography
Anime and Star Trek too
Then I click round in glorious expectation
Of a popular culture zoo

I'm not going to claim I'm particularly good at this, especially given all the references that can go into good parody. Rather, I will be true the wiki way, which is to have others do work for you. Thus, anyone who is an expert is invited to do it, because it's a valuable civic task that needs to be done.

[Disclaimer: Kidding around is one thing, but no libel/defamation, please.]

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in wikipedia | on April 30, 2011 11:59 PM | (Infothought permalink) | Comments (3)