I have regularly held reservations about the encyclopaedic website Wikipedia, because, so many times, its contents has either been incomplete or, more worryingly, inaccurate.
For my day job, that of balancing fiction and non-fiction on the same pages, research is the most critical part. Living in France, I don’t get access to British newspapers and the lies they purvey, nor BBC news – although it is there if I wish to depress myself with other peoples problems.
So, to me, the internet is my single source of reference for – well, just about everything, I suppose. This week, especially, I needed to get some crucial and detailed information, fast, for personal reasons. And, once again, Wikipedia let me down, giving me a bum steer. Eventually the situation was resolved, thankfully for the better, by trawling some American self-help sites, written by hypochondriac students who miserably failed their medical exams.
But this got me round to thinking that someone should email Wikipedia and give them a rollocking. Why can’t you keep your information precise? And anyway, who writes all that stuff?
Well, by doing some research on my research fountain – a bit like checking what books an author reads, or how many cigarettes your indignant doctor smokes – I find the simple answer.
Yes, in under one minute, I could register on their site, create my own account and start writing – bullshit!
Well, let’s start with an autobiog then. Hmm, let me think.
Andy Frazier, aged 36, 3rd king of the Borrohootta islands. First job, rocket-scientist, astronaut, best-selling author and all round good egg.
OK, what else have they missed?
Straw-badger. Shit-kicking farm labourer who frequents the local pub, wearing rigger boots and ripped overalls. Permanently smells of diesel and bullshit.
Cowell-howler: Untalented person with as much musical prowess as a role of 2-ply, making money after being discovered on talent shows run by that bloke with bad dress-sense and voted for by a million tone-deaf morons.
Coulsening: To lie like a newspaper-editor – see Andy Coulsen
And finally – for now anyway, there will be more.
Wikipillock – a person or persons who make up shit and then post it on Wikipedia just to piss off other person or persons who might try and use it as an intelligent point of reference.
Samuel Johnson, eat your heart out!