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Conservapedia:2008 - A year in review

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2008 was always going to be an eventful year on Conservapedia. The project was now in its second year of existence, and had received much media attention during 2007, far outstripping its low traffic, being billed as "the American Christian-Right's alternative to Wikipedia". It was by then well-known throughout the blogosphere and online communities as a place for a good laugh, and when an event occurred that was suitably entertaining, within hours thousands of gawkers would converge to agitate the situation. The direction of Conservapedia had been set by the night of the blunt knives: it was now an insular place, where outsiders were treated with suspicion and anyone that showed some decency was branded a time-wasting liberal, only there to distract the Conservapedians from their learning and building of a great online resource.

Despite all this, the old guard sysops, Ed Poor, Conservative, and of course, Andrew Schlafly, provided plenty of lite relief against the almost fascist conditions at the online encyclopedia.

We obtained some insights into Andy's teaching with his "Writing Course" (which never happened) and "American History" lessons, where even the most benign topics were turned into a struggle between powerful political factions for the control of the future. We also learned that Ed Poor was both a mathematics and writing teacher, despite questions about his competency in these areas being raised by his edits. This may be explained by the old adage "those who can, do - those who can't, teach". Unfortunately, what they appeared incapable of doing was, in fact, teaching.

Conservative launched several "operations" aimed at raising Conservapedia's Google ranking on various pet topics, telling RationalWiki (to which he referred as "Gentlemen at another website") all about how they would bring an end to evolution and atheism on the internet. What they turned out to be were linking from some rather low rated blogs.

RationalWiki enjoyed regular visits from an always irate Jinxmchue.

Conservapedia saw a slow exodus of its saner sysops, as DanH left over the Obama article and CPAdmin1/TimS abandoned the site with the reinstatement of TK. PJR's contributions dwindled as he entered into combat with Andy over Obama, gun-control, and beauty in nature.

But this only scratches the surface of the year of hilarity that was 2008, so between Christmas and New Year we conducted a poll to find out what were the golden moments of 2008.

WIGO CP's Persons of the Year - The Parodists[edit]

If anyone defined 2008 it was the parodists. Repeating back to Andy exactly what he wanted to hear was all it took to gain block, edit and upload rights. The year began with MexMax, a seemingly dedicated editor. In February, after gaining various rights, he blocked all the sysops and unblocked The Cabal there is no cabal leaving Andy with egg on his face. This was repeated in July when Ace McWicked donned the disguise of a first year political science student and was given blocking rights - only to use them to block everyone again. However the year truly belonged to Bugler, the parodist's parodist. Using hilarious, over-the-top rhetoric to defend Andy's views, Bugler managed to achieve sysop-light powers, and went on a beautiful banning spree of legitimate non-sysop editors, while sowing dissent among CP's ranks and creating absurd articles. Bugler's achievement caused the resurrection of the account RodWeathers. Despite his unfortunate initials and patently obvious parody and toadying, Rod received blocking powers in short order, which were again promptly used and abused to defended teh Assfly. Unfortunately Bugler's further promotion to sysop proved to be his undoing. When asked for his real name he replied "Brian Ugler", which even Andy, in his naivety, would not believe. It is hard to believe that after all this Andy continues to withhold rights from dedicated editors who make thousands of edits but hands them out freely to those who appear to most agree with him.

Top ten moments of 2008[edit]

TEN: Gentlemen![edit]

Operation!

Ken's incessant operations (grassroots, flying buttresses, spamalot, etc.) get the CP evolution article up/down to 9th/11th place on his searchbot.

NINE: How art thou fair maiden?[edit]

Andy's love of "chivalry", by which he means "sexual chauvinism".

EIGHT: Richard Dawkins ♥ Hitler[edit]

When Ken took over the Richard Dawkins article

  1. Ken locks the page
  2. Writes crap all over it
  3. Much better than a picture of Dawkins
  4. Reverts
  5. Unlocks
  6. Ken takes the fight to the main page

SEVEN: Maths is hard[edit]

When Ed "The biggest idiot on Conservapedia" Poor deleted everything he couldn't understand, meaning anything beyond a sixth grade level.

SIX: Liberal Jesus is a heretic[edit]

In March 2008, Pope Andrew the Scottish decided that the story of Jesus and the Adulteress was clearly the work of Liberal Contamination of the Bible. (If Andy had been alive at the same time as Jesus, the symbol of His death wouldn't be a cross, it'd be a rock.)

FIVE: MOAR Hitler[edit]

When Hitler appeared on the frontpage - and anywhere else Ken could put him. There was also an amusing wandalism along the same lines.

The first ever MOAR Hitler

Standard MOAR Hitler

FOUR: Barack HUSSEIN Obama[edit]

The rise of Barack Obama from the relatively unknown Junior Senator for Illinois to President-elect of the United States of America was the international news story of the year, earning himself the title of Time's Man of the Year. In this election year Conservapedia provided a decidedly pro-Republican slant: initially, they attacked the Democratic Party nominee front runner Hillary Clinton, but as the nation became swept up in Obamania, Conservapedia changed targets to the man Andrew Schlafly once worked with on the Harvard Law Review.

An article on Obama was created in March 2007, when it appeared likely that Obama would be contesting for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. (Andy, always the gentleman, left the user a thank you note on the author's talkpage the next day.) The early tone was as neutral as you can hope for from an article about a liberal politician on a conservative website. (Schlafly himself even removed information about Obama's well known drug use.) However, after Obama won the presidential nomination the article became an attack piece hosting some of the most far-fetched conspiracies; including the obvious fact fringe topic that Obama was born in Kenya.

Schlafly, however, turned the article over to a theory rarely espoused outside the lower branches of the most hardcore Republican Party base: that Obama was secretly a Muslim. The first inklings that Schlafly supported this strange theory appeared on June 17th, when he posted his insight about Obama. His theory is as follows: Obama has a Muslim name, his father was Kenyan, lots of Kenyans are Muslims, therefore Obama's father was Muslim, therefore Obama is a Muslim. Schlafly's grip on this theory grew tighter when he was challenged on the talkpage about it. Initially they were "insights" that deserved a prominent place in the article. Then it became likely he was a Muslim, and finally, when adding some important, well-referenced information on Obama's mind control techniques, Schlafly declared Obama to be America's first Muslim president.

What made Schlafly, a well-educated lawyer, pursue an almost libelous path, which only fringe elements support, is unknown. It is generally hoped that it was little more than politics, but, judging from the fact that one editor (Jinxmchue) would refer to Obama as "B. Hussein", it is clear that some people put too much weight on a few minor aspects of the man.

THREE: The Bible, King Andy Version[edit]

Having realized that all current Bible translations have been befouled by Liberal Linguistic Creep, and not being content with millennia of biblical scholarship and theological study, Andy Schlafly, universal polymath, began his most ambitious project to date, a web-based retranslation of the bible into his conservative newspeak.

This task is made only slightly more difficult by the fact that neither he nor any if his acolytes actually know ancient Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew, or Latin. But the difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits.

Drawing on his boundless expertise in ancient languages and linguistics, history, biblical studies, philosophy, theology, his own personal phone line to St. Wigbert of Fritzlar and armed with a gold-plated copy of the Merriam-Webster gospel dictionary, Andy began to restore universal truth to biblical text, and progress continues rapidly to this day.[1]

TWO: Gurls iz stoopid[edit]

When Andy gave the girls fewer questions than the boys.

ONE: Excuse me Professor, but I think you made a mistake...[edit]

Waving the standard for YEC fundies worldwide, Andy took the offensive against Richard Lenski, an evolutionary biologist who proved the evolution of E. coli bacteria. Unwavering stupidity and certainty driving him forward, Andy wrote to Professor Lenski, attacking Lenski's study and demanding "proof," only to be schooled when Lenski wrote back on two occasions - schooled for the whole world to see.

Not satisfied, Andy sent a letter to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), identifying "flaws" in Lenski's study, only to be told, as he had been many times before, that "The issues raised by Mr. Schlafly are neither obscure nor subtle, but are part of everyday statistical analysis at a level too elementary to need rehearsal in the pages of PNAS."

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. The project was abandoned for most of January 2009, excepting some edits by Andy and parodists-at-Arms RodWeathers and MikeSalter (Bugler)