Monday, April 7, 2008

Dareland banned from Wikipedia


Quick, what do Stephen Colbert, the Department of Health, Congress, and Dareland have in common? We've all been banned from Wikipedia.

It started when I posted a link to a recent article I had written about Sweeney Todd. It was removed with the notice that Wikipedia had a rule against linking to blogs. I did not know that. No biggie. The piece was also in an online issue of Disinfotainment Today, a newspaper archived on my personal site, so I simply changed the link to go to the non-blog version. It was tagged again as a link to a blog. I guess the link had the word "dareland" in it, so it was presumed to be the dareland blog, which is hosted at Blogger. Someone noticed the new link led to the exact same article, and I was tagged as a spammer.

This caused a mighty ripple through the editor universe in Wikipedia. I had dared to repost a link I'd been told to take down, not because of anything in it, but because the OLD link was to a blog. This red flag led to the removal of my posting privileges.

Further research revealed another policy I'd been unaware of, that self-publishing in any way, not just blogs, was against the rules. Since the internet allows anyone to publish anything, everything in Wikipedia has got to have been previously published someplace reputable. Publishing yourself doesn't count no matter how reputable you might be, suggesting the best way to keep yourself OUT of Wikipedia is simply to publish yourself.

What's wrong with the following sentence from Wikipedia policy? Spammers link to themselves so anyone who does likewise is automatically considered a spammer. Shall we examine this peculiar piece of bad logic? All spammers link to themselves therefore all who link to themselves are spammers. Oh yeah, I get it. All salmon are fish therefore all fish are salmon. All idiots read Wikipedia therefore everyone who reads Wikipedia is an idiot. It's called an invalid reverse syllogism, if you must know. Look it up in Wikipedia.

There was no doubt the Sweeney Todd piece, however brilliant it might have been, was indeed self-published, as was a Lee Strasberg piece they removed the link to, so I have no problem at all with their removal. Rules is rules. But the dozens of other links they removed were to pieces all published elsewhere. No rules broken. What the fuck?

Of course your first thought is Who is this Wiki guy from nowhere? How DARE some stranger question my authority and eliminate me from the pedia with one swell foop. You see? That's why I can't write for Wikipedia. Someone would correct one swell foop in one fell swoop, ignoring the fact I meant it that way. And the answer is this Wiki guy is anybody, could be you, and they swarm like sharks around the scent of blood, always moving forward, they must edit and prove their worth to the Wiki hierarchy or they must die.

No points of view included in Wikipedia, or humor either. I defy you to find a pun in Wikipedia, other than the definition of the word "pun." It's not a big hangout for comedy writers except on a subliminal level, pranksters who put themselves in the credits of movies, claiming to be the third sperm from the left in Woody Allen's Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex but were Afraid to Ask. That wasn't me, I swear.

One of their primary rules is "No original research." The gospel isn't "truth," it's "verifiability," and that's where Wikipedia and I part ways. I'll always be looking for the truth. I'm never looking for verifiability.

Sometimes I know something's true. I just know it, even though it's "unverifiable." I saw it myself or I believe the person who told me. Here's a typical story I couldn't post to Wikipedia.

Thirty years ago, Superman was Warner Brothers' big tent-pole Christmas release. Ads were out, the theaters were booked, all they needed was the last reel of film. They got a phone call from Alexander Salkind, the producer of the film, who told them he had the last reel of Superman but he needed another million bucks. They complained that the film was already over-budget and asked him to explain why they should give him another million. "Because I've got the last reel of Superman," he said.

The next day, a guy got off a plane at LAX with the last reel of Superman. In the terminal, he exchanged it for a suitcase full of cash, and got on the next plane out.
Warner Brothers would deny this story. They could never admit they gave in to such tactics. Alexander Salkind would deny this story. Of course he's not an extortionist. Think about it. If it weren't true, they'd rightly deny it. But if it WERE true, they'd deny it even more. The only thing you could do to "verify" the story is weigh the strength of their denials.

How do I know it happened? I was told by the guy with the film can at LAX who ended up with a credit in the film, and that's all you'll get out of me because there are some secrets I can keep. You don't need to know the guy's name for the story to be good because you're not Wikipedia. Wikipedia's a pussy compared to the Washington Post when it comes to protecting their sources. If you can't cite where something came from, out it goes. If Woodward and Bernstein had taken their Watergate story to Wikipedia instead of Ben Bradley, it would have been deleted if they refused to name Deep Throat.



Here's the thing. Having had hundreds of articles printed in dozens of print publications, I've learned you can't trust the archiving systems of the publications themselves to keep an accurate record of your work. Sometimes they pare it down. Every publication is its own Wikipedia, and I've seen articles get smaller and smaller each week as some new editor decided to justify their paycheck by editing me. The only way to view the original article is in my archive at dareland.com.

The LA Times mysteriously doesn't archive illustrations, so an article I wrote for them explaining how a certain photograph was taken is right there in their archive without the photograph the article is about. Preposterous. I beg everybody to see the article at my site and not at the LA Times.

I've written many liner notes for movies on the Criterion label. When those discs go out of print, my liner notes disappear from the Criterion website, perfectly good liner notes, vanished from the earth. The only place to view them is here at dareland.

Which means lots of search engines are pointing to the wrong place. Unfortunately I don't have access to the Google archives which are massively fucked, but I do have access to Wikipedia. We all do. That's the point.

I've shied away from actually posting or rewriting articles. My writing style doesn't make a good fit, and they're ticklish about "citations," wanting a scholarly source for new tidbits of information. Unfortunately, in my case, I'm the scholarly source. I'm quoting something John Belushi or Steven Spielberg or Andy Kaufman actually said to me face to face. I can't prove it. You've got to believe me. The only potential evidence that these meetings weren't hallucinations is the Polaroids I took of everyone, but if you've seen my Polaroids you know they tend to prove the opposite, that I WAS hallucinating, and wildly. Just like Britannica, there's no gonzo on Wikipedia, so I don't even try. But that doesn't mean I can't stick a link at the bottom of the page, a footnote as it were, as long as there's some actual information buried in the gonzo.

There were links all over Wikipedia that led to my articles posted elsewhere, but as those websites got restructured, the links became bad and no one could read the articles. I went onto Wikipedia and fixed all the links to point to dareland.com, links that have been up for years, articles from the LA Weekly, the LA Free Press, the LA Times, Billboard, Movieline, Daily Variety, Interview, and numerous other publications. I did this more than 25 times, funneling all the clicks to the only place I could absolutely guarantee the articles actually were. I thought I was improving Wikipedia by fixing links. My profile of Demi Moore for Daily Variety? Dropped from the Daily Variety site, up at mine, etc., etc., the examples are endless, but the point isn't. These links brought me an amazing amount of new readers. Sometimes up to 50% of my traffic comes from Wikipedia.

Not any longer. Thanks to a "letter of the law" editor (Irishguy), every single link in Wikipedia that led to a page on dareland.com has been removed and my efforts to restore them have been futile.

There's weird shit going on here. When I asked for a second opinion, one Wikigrump declared "All this account has done is to repeatedly, and against prior warnings, add links to a website of questionable utility and reliability." So's your penis, dude.

Irishguy retired just days ago so there's no taking it up with him. He wasn't well liked. His personal site had been hacked hundreds of times by other disgruntled writers whose links had disappeared. The Irishguy page with all the active discussions has conveniently been taken down and he never actually participated in the discussions on MY page, so it's like none of this ever happened. It's unverifiable truth, Jimmy Jimbo's worst nightmare. Once again, you've just got to believe me.

It is my suspicion that none of the Wikipedians have actually seen my articles and that content has nothing whatsoever to do with these decisions. It's all a matter of power and policy. I have simply exceeded the limit one user is allowed to post to one single site, therefore the links came down because I must be "promoting" something. There's nothing for sale on those pages. The only thing I'm promoting is reading. You're welcome to see a discussion with several editors here. It's like talking to Republicans. They won't discuss content, only process.

They actually called me a "spammer" because their definition of spamming is anyone who goes on Wikipedia and creates a bunch of links to one site. They said it was "advertising." The ban has now been removed but I've been warned if I ever post another link to dareland.com, the ban will be permanent.

And then, out of the blue, my blog at http://dareland.blogspot.com was tagged as spam by Blogger. You can see it but I can't post anything new. Let the conspiracy theories begin. Does Irishguy have a new job?

I need your help for an end run. Below is a list of 30 links to my site that Irishguy took down from Wikipedia just because I'm the one who put them there and he's a jerk. Anybody but me can put them back. Won't you do just one?

Simple instructions. Go to Wikipedia and sign in. Anonymous postings are automatically tagged as suspicious. If this is going to work, each addition has got to come from someone else so really, pick only one.

Go to the page. Scroll down to External Links. Click on EDIT. Add the code provided in the appropriate space. Preview it to make sure it looks right, then publish it.

If it's already there, someone beat you to it. REPEAT the previous paragraph. Pick something more obscure.

I've only used articles that were previously published elsewhere and I've left off my name. Even I understand the problem of quoting something called Disinfotainment Today as a reliable source.

Thanks for joining the conspiracy.

Let me know which ones you did so I can cross them off the list, and if Wikipedia gives you grief, if someone removes your link, definitely let me know.

michael@dareland.com

John Carpenter's Starman
*[http://www.dareland.com/emulsionalproblems/carpenterjohn.htm LA Weekly interview with John Carpenter on the making of ''Starman'']

Jonathan Demme's Start Making Sense
*[http://www.dareland.com/emulsionalproblems/startmakingsense.htm LA Weekly interview with Jonathan Demme on the making of ''Start Making Sense'']

James Cameron's The Abyss
*[http://www.dareland.com/emulsionalproblems/abyss.htm Movieline interview with James Cameron on the making of ''The Abyss'']

Hal Ashby's Being There
*[http://www.dareland.com/emulsionalproblems/ashby.htm WGA article on the ending of Hal Ashby's ''Being There'']

John Waters' Hairspray
*[http://www.dareland.com/emulsionalproblems/waters.htm Movieline, February 19, 1988: interview with John Waters on the making of ''Hairspray'']

Godfrey Reggio Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi
*[http://www.dareland.com/emulsionalproblems/reggio.htm LA Weekly interview with Godfrey Reggio on the making of ''Koyaanisqatsi'' and ''Powaqqatsi'']

*[http://www.dareland.com/emulsionalproblems/maltin.htm WGA story on What's Wrong with Leonard Maltin]

Dean Stockwell on Married to the Mob
*[http://www.dareland.com/emulsionalproblems/stockwell.htm Movieline interview with Dean Stockwell on the making of ''Married to the Mob'']

Jean-Jacques Annaud on The Bear
*[http://www.dareland.com/emulsionalproblems/annaud.htm Movieline interview with Jean-Jacques Annaud on the making of ''The Bear'']

*[http://www.dareland.com/emulsionalproblems/raw.htm Man Bites Dogma: LA Weekly interview with Robert Anton Wilson on Politics, Religion, Drugs, and Quantum Mechanics]

William Hjortsberg on Legend
*[http://www.dareland.com/emulsionalproblems/hjortsbergwilliam.htm LA Weekly interview with screenwriter William Hjortsberg on the making of ''Legend'']

Neal Jordan on The Company of Wolves
*[http://www.dareland.com/emulsionalproblems/jordan.htm LA Weekly, April 18, 1985: Interview with Neal Jordan on the making of ''The Company of Wolves]

*[http://www.dareland.com/emulsionalproblems/russmeyer.htm McFarland Publisher's ''Movie Talk from the Front lines'': the cast reunion of ''Beyond the Valley of the Dolls'']

*[http://www.dareland.com/kubrick.htm LA Weekly: Five Things You Didn't Notice in ''The Shining'']

*[http://www.dareland.com/emulsionalproblems/robbins.htm WGA story on How to Write Like Tom Robbins]

*[http://www.dareland.com/emulsionalproblems/kaufman.htm WGA story on Andy Kaufman's Last Performance]

*[http://www.dareland.com/tonyscot.htm Daily Variety, Aug. 6, 1996: Spotlight on Tony Scott - Billion Dollar Director]

*[http://www.dareland.com/emulsionalproblems/mooredemi.htm Daily Variety, 1991: Spotlight on Demi Moore - Demi Goddess]

*[http://www.dareland.com/emulsionalproblems/ullman.htm Interview Magazine cover story, January, 1989: Tracking Tracey]

*[http://www.dareland.com/landis.htm Daily Variety, May 24, 1994: Spotlight on John Landis - Billion Dollar Director]

*[http://suprmchaos.com/bcEnt-MichaelDare.index.html Bartcop Entertainment: The Life and Death of Captain Preemo (alternative theory of John Belushi's death)]

Frank LaLoggia on Lady in White
*[http://www.dareland.com/emulsionalproblems/laloggia.htm LA Weekly, May 20, 1988: Interview with Frank LaLoggia on the making of ''Lady in White'']

*[http://www.dareland.com/blob.htm Liner notes from the original Criterion Laserdisc]

*[http://www.dareland.com/5easy.htm Liner notes from the original Criterion Laserdisc]

*[http://www.dareland.com/sexliesvideotape.htm Liner notes from the original Criterion Laserdisc]

*[http://www.dareland.com/midnight.htm Liner notes from the original Criterion Laserdisc]

*[http://www.dareland.com/breakermorant.htm Liner notes from the original Criterion Laserdisc]

*[http://www.dareland.com/keysview.htm Palm Springs Life: the true story of Bill Keys and Keys View (the highest viewpoint in Joshua Tree)]

*[http://www.dareland.com/freep/ A dozen issues of the new revitalized Los Angeles Free Press]

2 comments:

  1. The Blob is not back on wikipedia and I'm perfectly confident I have not created an account there just to do this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Did you consider using the ultimate Bitcoin exchange service - YoBit.

    ReplyDelete