Wikileaks for Dummies

cartoon by Randy Bish in Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

“What’s a wiki?” While I’m sure most of my highly informed readers would never ask such a question, (The answer, by the way, according to wikipedia is “a website that allows the easy creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor.”) you might be scratching your belly over the whole wikileak episode.

The reason, I believe, so many of us are still bedraggled over the issue is that, while technically savvy and ultimately geeky, the champions of leaking classified U.S. government information have overlooked a critical medium for conveying information quickly and succinctly in American culture. No, not the internets. I’m referring of course to the Dummies book enterprise driven by Wiley Publishing.

Wikileaks, while causing a massive stink and lending a puffy, black hue to the government’s most hypocritical eye (the left one, or wait, is it the right one? So confusing.), has failed to generate true, seismic change at a grassroots level. Duh. Keep it simple, for dummies!

The internet, while wickedly fast and widely available, is innately bogged down and bejeweled with twinkly lights and youtube videos depicting BooBoo killing Yogi (honest to God! It’s the saddest damn thing I’ve ever seen!). How can a serious little wiki expect modern web-surfers to understand the gravity of what they have to say in that context?

As soon as the meme known these days as Anonymous begins to publish its leaks in a savvy little yellow-covered ebook entitled, “Wikileaks for Dummies,” I’m sure any whiff of corruption or duplicity will be wiped clean from both the American government and its people. Now I just have to come out with a “Green Porch for Dummies.”

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