Thursday, March 6, 2008

The charms of Wikipedia.

Great essay by Nicholson Baker in the New York Review of Books:
The Pop-Tarts page is often aflutter. Pop-Tarts, it says as of today (February 8, 2008), were discontinued in Australia in 2005. Maybe that's true. Before that it said that Pop-Tarts were discontinued in Korea. Before that Australia. Several days ago it said: "Pop-Tarts is german for Little Iced Pastry O' Germany." Other things I learned from earlier versions: More than two trillion Pop-Tarts are sold each year. George Washington invented them. They were developed in the early 1960s in China. Popular flavors are "frosted strawberry, frosted brown sugar cinnamon, and semen." Pop-Tarts are a "flat Cookie." No: "Pop-Tarts are a flat Pastry, KEVIN MCCORMICK is a FRIGGIN LOSER notto mention a queer inch." No: "A Pop-Tart is a flat condom." Once last fall the whole page was replaced with "NIPPLES AND BROCCOLI!!!!!"

6 comments:

S. E. Ward said...

For a while, I took to Wikisurfing anything I could think of. Once, I looked up two or three unrelated things in the space of a couple of days, only to find that all of them had been hacked by the same jerk--he did stupid stuff, like replace the work "Kazakhis" with "douchebags," which annoyed me to no end--and ended everything with jabs at some kid named Jordan. I have no idea why he did it, but his edits were to the weirdest, most unrelated things--like, obscure Central Asian languages-Strontium 90-the history of the tampon unrelated.

Dwight said...

My experience has been with the fascism side of Wikipedia.

I contacted an author I admired with no Wikipedia presence (and darn little Internet presence). I worked with him for months to write up an accurate and complete Wikipage on his life and works.

I referenced old newspaper print articles for sources (The guy's career heyday predated the Internet age.)

A month after the Wikipage was complete it started getting tagged for deletion because there were no links to other INTERNET sources. I guess newspaper articles from the early 80s don't count.

It's like, if you can't vector something to somewhere else on the Internet, it isn't real. The whole point of making the page was to establish original digital content.

It's been a frustrating exercise.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

It seems you're back to what I assume is your chipper self. Glad to see you're feeling better.

Seth said...

*clutching his sides, laughing hysterically*

Adaora A. said...

Wow.

How can anyone dare discontinue Pop-Tarts? Are they mad? That's like discontinuing chocolate spread, hell they might as well discontinue reces pieces! I wonder what those people do with themselves.


I had no idea George Washington invented them. I'm astonished (my favorite new word).

Amie Stuart said...

>>Popular flavors are "frosted strawberry, frosted brown sugar cinnamon, and semen

OMG so that's what's in the Smores flavored ones!