Brotherhood for the Preservation of Local Color [james t.]
[The second member of this brotherhood better be a woman, because I like the name and don't want any guff from equalists, genderists, retro-masculinists, or those who like to cut color out of not only WP but language altogether. +sj+ 08:35, 2004 Mar 14 (UTC)]
- I thought of the above when I saw this, a nice example of definitional confusion. phoebe/(talk) 23:12, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
The ideal article is *not* colorless and bland. It is NPOV along lines which are orthogonal to understanding and becoming one with the subject at hand; but it is written by someone who cares deeply about that subject -- yes, deeply enough to make sure that views with which she vehemently disagrees and views she supports are each presented fairly -- with flair and color. It engages the reader, and its content, organization, and spirit combine to make the article stick in the reader's memory for a good while afterwards, at least until teatime.
Some poor examples; as time passes I will remember and add better ones; then perhaps attract other adherents to this little cult.
Raul Hilberg is, as it happens, a rather gray man; focused and stable and, on first impression, bland. But when you read his life's work about The Destruction of the European Jews, you get neither the emotional, angry histories written by most Holocaust historians (traditional and revisionist) nor the bland, statistical summaries provided by similarly data-laden essays and encyclopedia articles trying to avoid the same... you come away with a sense of how deeply the author cared about his investigations, how meticulous he was, how much it all meant to him to demand such prolonged, steady attention.
Corollary : Don't be overwhelmed by seriousness
A little planned unseriousness, carried out with style, is integral to reminding and reassuring people that innovation and new ideas are welcome. A day of arbcomm discussions carried out in olde english for a change; the local News Office @ Harvard that meticulously observes 'talk like a pirate' day; occasions when the logos across all sites are changed, toyed with, made fun of. Google is good about this; it at least has served them well.