Friday, June 11, 2010


There's a thesis to be had, from the "View history" page of the Wikipedia article on Janet Frame.

Here's an interesting recent deceitful edit, for instance, masquerading as a genuine improvement:

"removed some redundant facts that had already been stated"

If you bother to follow that link, you will discover that the "redundant" passage that has been removed, consists almost entirely of a positive statement about Frame's literary and cultural significance.

In contrast to this, the same editor is content to let stand a large paragraph devoted almost entirely to the fact that one blog author was annoyed that Janet Frame won a major literary prize for her posthumously published poetry book The Goose Bath, and another blog author reported the fact. This brief outburst of sour grapes from a couple of journalistic hacks, a handful of years after her death, is supposedly a significant biographical fact about Janet Frame for the purposes of Wikipedia? I think not. I think it's a certain individual score-settling, and they're so weak and cowardly that Wikipedia is their only forum.

Only more evidence for the fact of Wikipeda sucking, big time...

Now it's more than two and a half years since I tried to change anything on Wikipedia myself. Apparently I was too much of an expert to be trusted with editing an encyclopedia that trumpets the fact that it must be edited only by people largely ignorant of a subject and deriving their information from online newspaper articles.

I was hounded and harassed - and slandered - for being (it was assumed) not neutral enough about Frame. Actually I was standing in the way of some very non-neutral people who have dominated the JF article ever since and turned it into a travesty of the truth of Frame's life. As for her work - the reason she became famous in the first place - it hardly seems to figure.

Well if you peruse the editing history, it's fairly obvious that the obsessive, agenda-driven and occasionally hostile editors that have lurked under the bridges of the JF article like nasty trolls, and have been driving anyone else away, are not at all "neutral".

It's easy to identify the one who is envious of Frame and tries to take away any reference to her fame or success. Pathetic really.

It's easy to recognise the one(s) who are promoting a fringe faux-psychological theory.

It's always easy to spot the hand of a grad-student-gone bad.

It might not be so easy to spot the fact that one of the hostile editors apparently became so frustrated by the fact that I had washed my hands of the article, that they attacked any unsuspecting newcomer who tried to make a benign edit. "There's Pamela Gordon again!" screams the comment on the view history or Talk page, to justify them reverting whatever didn't suit their agenda. I became their straw man to knock down, but whoever it was they accused of the patsy editing, was certainly not me.

Wikipedia. A breeding ground for sick puppies...

Recently, all reference to a reputable scholarly work on Janet Frame was removed, for a spurious reason. The surrounding passage had first been dismembered, under the pretense of improving its grammar, so as to make little sense; and then the resulting incoherence was used as an excuse to remove reference to the fact that there are controversies about Frame; that not everybody believes the pathologizing "myths" that this article promotes.

Here is the link to the evidence for that particular malicious edit, that removed valid references:

"what were these supposed "myths"? there's no mention of them in the article"

There's no mention of these "myths" in the article (except that the article is the physical embodiment of myth-making), because someone has previously taken away the mention of them... and now a subsequent edit has also taken away the mention of an important scholarly source for discussion of the controversy, which the editor has now effectively suppressed. How "neutral" is that?

Fortunately it is not possible (I hope) to change the "view history" information, so the truth of the matter will be plain for anyone to see, eventually, when the current backlash against Frame has died down.

I might not be alive to see those days, but I'm quietly confident that justice will be done eventually anyway, and and I am just making this note for the future researcher who decides to try to continue unravelling the "biographical myth".

Meanwhile, while the hostile editors remove valid links to scholarly sources, they proliferate the links to blogs and magazine columns. This is the level of Wikipedia: the craziest and the nastiest people "win" there, because rational people just shrug their shoulders and walk away from such nonsense.

Who would want to waste one more minute of time in the company of such malice and ignorance? Not me.

No comments: