Sunday, September 23, 2007

I have an addiction...

To Wikipedia.

I know, I know. I should just shut the internet connection off and only use it for writing and the occasional Amazon purchase but I can’t help it! It’s right there, everything I need to know about everything in the universe - including the Universe! (The summation of all particles and energy that exist and the space-time in which all events occur.)

Need to know what George Clooney’s parents names were? Use Wiki. (Nina and Nick.)

Settle a bet about the World Series? Use Wiki. (From 1949 to 1966, every Series involved the Yankees, Dodgers and/or Giants.)

Can’t remember the year The Ramones broke up? Use Wiki. (1996.)

Granted, “wiki’ing” something does not roll as trippingly off the tongue as “googling” it. Which in itself is far superior to “yahoo’ing” it. But Wikipedia has the advantage over Google of gathering material and resources in a single entry and hyperlinking it to various other entries for a more thorough understanding.

Honestly, it’s really good for you. You learn stuff and learning’s good!

In hindsight, I never should have started on Google; it was a gateway search engine, I realize that now, and led me straight to my addiction to Wiki. But when you’re a person who needs to know stuff - right now! - you’re so susceptible.

“It’s a tool!” you tell yourself over and over again while you’re searching for the inventor of the name for Spam (Kenneth Daigneau). “I can quit anytime! I don’t need to know this now or ever! I can live my life without knowing which state consumes the most Spam.” (Hawaii.)

But you can’t. Not really. You’ll go for an hour, a day at most, without looking anything up and then it hits you. You have to know who mentored Claude Monet! Right this very second! (Eugene Bodin.) And then you’re back in the grips of it again. You’re looking up Impressionism and Renoir and “en plein air” painting and you’re done for. Five hours will pass before you come up for your own “plein air.”

I’m not proud of my addiction. I know it fills my brain with useless information. Cells that could be used for better things are being used to store the original cast of “Bewitched” (Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York; there were 2 Darrins, 2 Louise Tates, 2 Gladys Kravitzes, 2 Tabithas, 3 Enchantras and 5 Hagathas).

One day, I hope to be rid of this cruel attachment to Wikipedia. I’m sure another, better search engine will come along soon enough.

Your Hollywood connection,