Wikipedia’s crusade against Trivia sections is actually something I could get behind (although I do feel wiser knowing the name of the breakfast cereal Gary Coleman ate during tapings of Diff’rent Strokes) – but why stop there? It’d almost be nicer to have a character limit on what you can post, so the Wikipedians will get to the point and not include a litany of events that weren’t even worth noting when they first happened (“On January 3, 1983, it was announced that Gary Coleman ate “Wheaties”).
Take the article for “One of Us” as your guide. This article is short and straightforward: yes, there was a song you heard in the 90’s by Joan Osborne, the one about God, it was popular for a while and she got a Grammy nomination. It doesn’t pretend to be anything more than that. We do not find out what Joan Osborne had for breakfast when she recorded it. And believe me, I’m no happier about pointing you toward a Joan Osborne article than you. I doubt she’s thrilled about it either (we haven’t talked since I made her watch “Hot Dog: The Movie”).
But neither you nor Joan Osborne need me to tell you this plain, workmanlike little article is the exception and not the rule on The Encyclopedia That Anyone Can Edit. In fact, Anyone’s edits are a lot more like those found in the article for the Meredith Brooks song “Bitch”, which makes the “One of Us” article shine like a diamond by comparison:
The song has a drum loop rhythm with a guitar accompaniment and riffs that emphasize the word “bitch” throughout the chorus.
The lyrics deal with the viewpoint and feelings of somebody deemed a bitch
As we can see, the song “Bitch” – which prominently features the word “bitch” – is about someone “deemed” a bitch… wow! I would suggest Wikipedia needs a separate article to explain the awkward use of the word “deem” here, but “Bitch-deeming (in Meredith Brooks’ ‘Bitch’)” would just lead to more teenagers making bad Dave Chappelle references and heaven knows the web doesn’t need more places for that.
Sadly, the article actually expounds further:
Brooks has stated in interviews that “Bitch” was almost omitted from the album, reportedly because of the song’s strong language (containing the word ‘Bitch’), which could have prevented it from becoming a radio hit. However a friend loaned her the money to help record the song and encouraged her to do so.
So a song called “Bitch” also contains the word “Bitch” in it! Blow me down!
Also: I have no research to back this up, but I’ll go all a priori on you and say that the person who made that loan was, in fact, encouraging Meredith Brooks to record the song. That doesn’t need to be spelled out, as the odds are slim that her mysterious benefactor said “Here’s a few grand to record that song, please don’t do it.”
I think I know what I “deem” this article.