Friday, January 27, 2017

Good Article on Snopes's New Liberal Bias


Snopes-- a website about urban legends, whose name comes from the fiction of William Faulkner--  was once my favourite website. I have happy memories of discovering it, the first Christmas I worked in UCD university library. I spent hours clicking its 'randomize' button, reading story after story. I'm very interested in folklore in almost all its guises. In fact, nearly everything that interests me has some "folkish" aspect to it. It was also a good website in which to savour the many-sidedness and giddy diversity of life. (I love anything like that-- Ripley's Believe It or Not, Trivial Pursuit, general interest magazines, film almanacs, and so forth.) The site was very nicely laid out-- its bright primary colours took me back to low babies and high babies (as we call junior and senior infants class in Ireland). And finally, its main contributor Barbara Mikkelson was a fine and witty writer, who had a good sense of how an article should be structured and paced.

That Christmas, someone gave me a Kriskindle gift of a book called Can Reindeers Fly? The Science of Christmas, which showed Santa's silhouette sled against a huge full moon. And I was drinking a lot of Coke. I chugged so much Coke in my twenties and early thirties, much of it in the cinema, that eventually I had to call halt altogether.

All those images run together in my mind and form an idyll of that particular Christmas.

More recently, however, Snopes has gone to hell. First of all, they changed the look of the site, so it was less reminiscent of infants' school and more reminiscent of a CIA file (I guess). They seem to have reverted closer to the original look now, but that doesn't help the more significant change-- it's become a liberal soapbox, where once it had been fairly non-partisan.

My favourite website is now TV Tropes. Maybe I only like websites that rhyme with soaps, dopes, ropes and popes.

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