Speaking Hedberg to Italians
“I saw a commercial on late night TV, it said, ‘Forget everything you know about slipcovers!’ So I did. It was a load off my mind! Then the commercial tried to sell me slipcovers, but I didn’t know what the fuck they were!” – Mitch Hedberg
Although I’ve always been reading it, I had never put my hands on Wikipedia before. Turns out the interface is kind of messy; everything is user-generated, but sometimes not so user-friendly. Before I could get to writing I had been going in circles (metaphorically speaking) for a while and my click finger was getting bored. Eventually, I was able to start playing in my personal sandbox and start working on my entry.
Being a stand-up fan and unhappy with the information provided by the italian wiki, I thought I might start with one of the many american comedians who had a lot going on media-wise, like Dave Chappelle. I was thinking the whole Africa thing and the Oprah interview were perfect material to contribute spreading the word on enlighted comedians in my country (an often difficult ground for those who dissent, no matter how comicly).
The italian entry for Chappelle is kinda slim, and it needs some plumping up. However, I wound up creating a page from scratch, and I did it for Mitch Hedberg. The guy was hilarious and acted like only a sincere person in showbiz can do, confused out of his mind. I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to his postumous Do You Believe In Gosh?, but it’s never enough.
I started by translating the English version, working on the same code and template. At first i was just shyly modifying the existing structure, but then I grew more confident and started editing the text, adding info and switching paragraphs to make it all flow better (the collaborative factor in Wikipedia is great, but it has a downside: the writing is fragmented as fuck). I even went as far as to make a correction on the original English wiki page.
Anyway, the result is there, for people to read, and I hope the page doesn’t get cancelled as it was a previous one on Hedberg. And even if I’m not completely satisfied with how it reads (editing a text over and over gets your grammar numb, or at least it does to me), I’m confident the kid will learn its way through life and grow to be a reliable source of information.
Just to be sure, this morning I went to the ComedySubs forum (a place where italians comedy experts discuss and plan italian subtitles for otherwise unavailable comic sources) and opened a topic on the thing, inviting the guys there to edit the entry at will. We’ll see how it goes.