I like Wikipedia, I really do. But there are also some serious, very serious problems with it. I just read the entries on the Battle of Rorke’s Drift, a few related historical entries, and the entry on the movie Zulu, which is about the Battle of Rorke’s drift.
My interest here is in looking at how things African are depicted in movies and other aspects of popular culture, especially historical events and “traditional” cultures. (I am not an expert on modern African studies.)
I will write about that at another time: Suffice it to say that at this point it is obvious that the overall pattern of divergences from historical (probable) fact in the movie can be best understood in reference to the by then well developed African in Western Eyes trope. One of the more blatant divergences is the invention of a person who simply was not present at the event (interestingly, there seems to be only one significant example of this in the movie) and it is “the young white woman” without which no Western movie about Africa would be complete.
Anyway, in reviewing these Wikipedia entries, I noticed that the Wikipedia process has it’s own pattern, including a preponderance of (amateur?) military historians at the keyboard who are unable to leave a single fact unturned no matter how insignificant, and a nearly complete lack of proportion so that very important facts get glossed. In addition, if you are Black or African, don’t expect your dead to be honored like the white dead will be. Shame.
And so, this all inspired me to make fun of Wikipedia with the following parody:
The following is a brief characterization of World War Two:
- Japanese Imperial, German Nazi, and Italian Fascists, and others, formed an axis intent on taking over large areas of the world.
- They were opposed by British, French, Soviets, American and others who formed an alliance.
- The main part of the war, involving numerous military forces, lasted about five years, and the total death toll from fighting and ancillary strife reached tens of millions.
- Notable was the attempt by the Nazis to systematically exterminate the Jews and some other groups, a project which resulted in the death of about six million people mainly in death camps.
- The war changed the global map of nations, the world’s economy, and gave rise to movements and organizations intent on making sure that large scale war of this type would not happen again.
- The allies won.
The following is a brief characterization of World War Two after the dweebs who write and edit Wikipedia get hold of it:
- Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, is the common name for the country of Germany while governed by Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) from 1933 to 1945.
- Third Reich (German: Drittes Reich) denotes the Nazi state as a historical successor to the medieval Holy Roman Empire (962-1806) and to the modern German Empire (1871-1918).
- A major part of the German military was the Schutzstaffel.
- While a multitude of uniforms existed for the SS, often depending on the theatre of war where they were stationed, the all black SS uniform is the most well known.
- The very first SA uniforms and insignia were paramilitary uniforms fashioned by early Nazis which incorporated parts from World War I uniforms to include such features used by other Freikorps formation such as high boots, daggers, and the kepi hat.
- Nazi Germany had two official names, the Deutsches Reich (German Reich), from 1933 to 1943, when it became Großdeutsches Reich (Greater German Reich).
- For the Japanese Army, the Type 3 Officers Uniform, was introduced in 1943 and was similar to the Type 98 but was made of cheaper materials.
- There were many helmets
- Adrian helmet – As with many countries, the IJA adopted and produced the French Adrian helmet.
- There were war crimes.
- Type 92 – The Adrian helmet was later replaced by a Japanese designed helmet called the Type 92 (1932).
- Six million Jews and others were exterminated by the Nazis.
- Type 90 – was like the cork helmet issued by the European imperial powers.
- Up to nearly 80 million people died as a direct result of the war.
- Type 92 – This was a cork version of the Type 92 steel helmet.
- The US marines came to their own as a major military force during this war.
- The Marine Corps dress uniform is an elaborate uniform worn for formal or ceremonial occasions.
- The marines attacked Guadalcanal on August 7th 1942.
- During the ensuing battle, over 10,000 marines were wounded.
- The dress uniform for the US marines has used a single brass button on the sleeve since 1923.
- And so on and so forth