User:GastonRabbit/Encyclopædia Britannica Takeover
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On April 1 2005, Encyclopædia Britannica, The Ligatured Encyclopædia, announced its immediate semi-hostile takeover of the Wikimedia Foundation (to be known henceforth as Wikimædia) and all of its projects, including Wikipedia (now Wikipædia), Wikisource, Wikiquote, Wikibooks, and Wikinews. Founder Jimmy Wales (known henceforth as Jimmy Wæles), giving a brief statement to the New York Times from his Maui survivalist compound, was reported to be "extremely pleased" with the £133.7 million severance package given to each of the five-and-a-half trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikipædia is best known as the "encyclop[a]edia" that any old fool can edit.
Despite the board's confidence, some Britannica investors privately indicated financial concerns about the deal, noting that "the Wikipedia wasn't really a free encyclopædia after all." Economy measures expected to be implemented as part of the agreement include an immediate restriction on contributions to Wikipædia and its sister projects to those that have already signed formal agreements with Britannica and an immediate appropriation of all funds donated during the last funding drive to be divided amongst previous contributors to Britannica. It's expected that to create or edit a page will now cost users £99.97/page in English or American language. Affordable fee localisation will be provided for wikipædias of economically troubled states.
Wikipædia administrators, members of the Wikimædia Board of Trustees, Arbitration Committee members and several other cabalists will receive free access. However, their adminship powers will be stripped permanently.
The ensuing global crisis has led Arab countries to block all oil imports to the United States; southern hill-billies are lost without gasoline for the SUVs, and the ongoing Canada-Mexico war has laid waste to much of the central and northern parts of the USA. As the US government goes into exile on the West coast, and France and Germany once again pull continental Europe into turmoil, the United Kingdom of Great Britannica rises victorious from the waves. The United Nations declares its loyalty to the the UK; Commonwealth states rescind their independence; and Buckingham Palace suspends the Labour government, assuming direct rule of the globe from the imperial capital, London.
Prospective contributors are welcome to sign up at Encyclopædia Britannica's Web site and send proposals in outline format using Courier New exclusively. Contributions handed in on time and in simple English (only) will make the contributor eligible for a grand prize drawing of a rare 1956 photo of Margaret Thatcher dating from her burlesque days. Contributors will in both word and deed release, indemnify, hold harmless, op. cit., and terra firma in the sole possession of Encyclopædia Britannica and its heirs and assigns, trustees, justices of the peace, bailiffs, playwrights, movie directors, notaries public, et aliter, pro bono, deus ex machina, ceteris paribus, and Notary Sojack. Nothing in this agreement should be construed to release, exempt, hold harmless, harmless hold or in any way free the contributor from the presumption that said party is a damned fool and deserves what he gets. This agreement is made under the laws of the Principality of Liechtenstein except for section 1(a), 4(c) and all of the part the dog ate, which fall under laws in force when men were men, the women were glad of it, and the sheep were nervous (and everyone fell asleep). In case of confusion, this agreement reverts to the laws of Saint Lucia and six of its 11 quarters.
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Representatives of Google indicate that the company is "disappointed" with the turnout of the agreement. Google had previously made indications of wishing to buy out the Foundation in a similar fashion. Instead, they are now focusing on an exciting "reform" of the outmoded Library of Congress, which will henceforth be operated in full accordance with the modern scientific Dewey Decimal System, and with Google's PRank system replaced by the proven-effective Wiki model. Otherwise unoccupied volunteers will be imported from all over the world to Washington, DC, where they will engage in high-minded scholarly disputation and manually cite (by SMS) the local Gutenberg Bible when called upon, in exchange for being granted unlimited access to the library cafetæria. The volunteers will also offer exciting related products to match search results, but Google has promised they will probably forget these after a little more scholarly disputation.
His Royal Highness Sir Prince Charles was interviewed by Sky News on the situation. After saying during actual taping, "JOLLY good. JOLLY, JOLLY good", the Prince later said sotto voce of the executive board of Encyclopædia Britannica, "they are bloody awful people, aren't they? From Chicago, are they not?"
Charles van Doren, son of the man of letters Mark van Doren and former professor of English at Columbia University, later on the center of an American quiz show scandal and subsequently employed by Encyclopædia Britannica, could not be contacted for his take on the situation.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates is reported to be "considering his options" but has not ruled out a licensed DVD set under the name WikiCarta in which owners will be able to edit their own registered version. He also denounced the takeover as monopolistic and predatory.
Several prominent academics including Noam Chomsky reported that this is the classic example of corporate led system of information control and the prime instance of elitist Manufacturing Consent. He said that "This is the saddest day in the long history of the fight towards an anarchist society."
Opposition MPs in the British parliament have led calls for the name of the country to be renamed "Magna Britannica" in recognition of the victorious and learned cyber-empire now under construction. Anticipating a British attempt to re-assume her glorious years of world domination via a new, virtual hegemony, the United States has withdrawn its Ambassador to London in protest. The CIA is said to be contemplating an attempt by the British to resume sovereignty over the original thirteen colonies, starting first with their computer terminals. The French have taken the opportunity to invade North Africa and reclaim her former empire there – a move which has irritated the new Spanish socialist government, but enabled unanticipated German troop manoeuvres in the region to proceed unimpeded. The Supreme Allied Commander in Europe has fled from NATO headquarters. Germany has, because of the news of this, decided to invade Poland and France simultaneously. Their current reasoning is unknown. It is believed that one of the secret Wikipedia über-servers is located in Gdańsk (formerly Danzig), and another might be located in Metz. In a first statement, a government spokesman declared that "this was the revenge for their continued claims that Schröder dyed his hair". Ironically, both of these cities were at one time part of the German Empire. Also, Michael Kuklinski, now the apparent Emperor of The Republic of Canada, has invaded and conquered Mexico. It is currently unknown how this was accomplished, seeing as neither nation shares a common border with the other. Also, in the Ukraine, mass protests have occurred against the takeover.
In a brief statement, the Élysée Palace has indicated the intention of president Jacques Chirac to react by nationalising the French version of Wikipedia; the name of Alain Juppé was unofficially mentioned for the post of CEO of the resulting corporation. Shortly after this announcement, troopers of the elite Chasseurs du Derrière were seen setting up barricades around the Paris offices of Wikipedia and being really, really rude to the volunteers trapped inside. Allegations of infrequent bathing on the part of the French could not immediately be confirmed. One woman reported that "some French guy in tight pants and a funny hat" (an apparent reference to the uniforms of the Chasseurs) approached her, presumptuously referred to her as "mon bebe" and asked her to "shake le bon-bon," as he blew smoke from a Gauloises in her face.
Immediately afterwards, United States President George W. Bush issued a press release condemning the French position and declaring, "We must stand against those who despise free knowledge so much." He also condemned the rudeness standoff at the Wikipedia complex, and said "You know, the problem with the French is they just don't have a word for etiquette. Reportedly, Bush will send former Secretary of State Colin Powell to the United Nations to make a presentation denouncing the French president's decision; the presentation will apparently include several satellite images of Chirac having lunch. Asked if he knew anything about rumors that his son, Kojo stood to make $480 million from the "Encyclopedias for Food" programme, Kofi Annan replied, "Hell, no!"
The European Council has declared that as a result of this takeover, every Wikipædia article will now constitute A piece of code not relating to "the use of controllable forces of nature to achieve predictable results" and thereby be immediately covered by a software patent owned by Encyclopædia Britannica.
The Catholic Church in Poland has declared the Britannica takeover unconstitutional because it does not refer to Europe's Christian heritage and furiously denies the existence of wikimædia servers in Gdańsk, as that would suggest that the church is fallible.
Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin informed the United States that Canada will not partake in any action against the French, much to the anger of Bush, who will also ask the UN to blame Canada. The rest of the world, believing Canada to be the 51st state, think that the US are declaring another civil war. Bush's first official response was to declare by Executive Order that Canadian bacon will henceforth be formed from strips of freedom-loving Gnu and be referred to as "Liberty Bacon", which is both more patriotic and less fattening.
The McKenzie brothers have also been designated as unlawful combatants, and Amnesty International has protested their detention and deprivation of beer. Though they have reportedly been provided with Dixie cups of Bud Light in their 6'x3' holding cell at Abu Ghraib, human rights spokespeople have responded, "Come on. We said beer." In a message to family members (those that weren't drunk), the brothers McKenzie issued this statement: "This detention blows, eh."
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he will ban exports of caviar and vodka to the United Kingdom in retaliation. Intelligence sources indicate that the true source of his displeasure is that the takeover will prevent him from further updating the article on American Idol; Putin is reportedly rooting for Kock Han. Shortly after the news was aired on the BBC, riots were reported in several major UK cities as angry mobs of drunks and caviar connisseurs stormed animal research labs freeing lab animals in frustration, after finding the Houses of Parliament too heavily guarded. A CDC spokesperson has warned that such actions may lead to the spread of animal viruses to human beings, but stated that conclusive test results would not be available for 28 days. In response to the crisis, British Prime Minister Tony Blair is expected to ask HM The Queen within the next week to dissolve parliament, thus triggering a general election. New Labour ministers, concerned that the caviar shortage spurned by the "Wiki Crisis" will undermine voter support in their heartlands, plan to go to the country on 5th May with a policy which will radically alter the university admissions procedure. British students will be asked to complete an unspecified number of Wikip[a]edia articles in their chosen fields of interest, with the expectation that a strong Wiki portfolio will attract the best universities. In response to Tony Blair's unanticipated policy announcement, a Conservative Party spokesman said "You can't believe a word he says anymore, and don't tell anyone about our £335 million public spending cuts."
Fearing for its future integrity under the new system, the University of Oxford has declared war on her younger rival, the University of Cambridge. International observers in the region have reported troop movements in quadrangles across the city, as up to 17,000 be-gowned students plan to mount punts and requisitioned barges to sail to Cambridge in the next few days. In response, the European Union has declared a state of emergency across the continent, and the United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan has pleaded for calm. Commenting, one Oxford student said, "We'll do to the Tabs in the twenty-first century what we failed to do in the twelfth."
Osama bin Laden has issued a fatwa against Encyclopædia Britannia, Wikipædia, and Barack Obama, saying that all three are in the hands of the "enemies of Islam" and that Obama used his namesake. In a statement from North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, bin Laden was advised to trim his hair in accordance with that the Socialist lifestyle since it is widely rumored that Kim is incapable of growing facial hair. bin Laden has hired Doctor Strangelove as a response. The esteemed former "doctor" could not be reached for comment, but it is reported he is attempting to devise a strategy that calls for the "drain of precious bodily fluids" from the baby faced communist leader. Shortly afterwards, the Korean People's Army led by the flying disembodied head of actor Patrick Duffy attacked UN Forces along the Demilitarized Zone. When asked about the attack by reporters, South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun was quoted as saying: "OMG ZERG RUSH!!!! KEKEKE!!!"
When asked, U2's lead singer Bono said, "What Britannica did was wrong. They could of spent that money feeding all the starving people of the world. Instead, they allowed Jimmy Wales to buy another ivory backscratcher." He proposes a benefit concert to buy Wikipædia, and use it to help the world's poor. So far, the only group to agree is Led Zeppelin, who will reunite to save Wikipædia. Jim Morrison, frontman for The Doors, will apparently come out of retirement in Tibet to make an appearance. To everybody's delight, Elvis Presley has announced that he will sing a duet with William Hung, at what has been dubbed, "Wikistock." Also appearing will be the up and coming metal group, Tendrix. When asked for comments, the lead singer, known only as Anthony replied, "Give me the C-Ream." In other news today, the Encyclopædia Britannica said it was also taking over Amtrak, the troubled National Railroad Passenger Corporation, in an effort to make Amtrak's famous Superliner double-deck coaches into roving Wikipedia libraries where commuters can go read and study when going to and from work The refurbishment may be supplemented by new sleeping and lounge cars from the Colorado Railcar company, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, and from Bombardier. BNSF subsequently announced that it would purchase SEPTA, METRA, and NJ Transit, and convert their buses into armored carriers for transporting Klingon Halloween masks to an upcoming Star Trek convention in Fallujah, Iraq.
Richard Stallman has stated he was "upset" to hear today's news, and has committed seppuku with a Frisbee. Memorial services are to be held Monday, pending federal, state, and traffic court action by Stallman's parents to prevent the Frisbee from being removed. The US Congress has also called an emergency session seeking to pass a resolution that would make the sale, use, and removal of frisbees illegal in the United States. Cardinal Ratzinger has already given Stallman Extreme Unction, regardless of whether or not Stallman was actually Catholic, thus jeopardising Ratzinger's command of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Numerous residents of Thailand, outraged at these events have begun rioting in the streets and throwing durians at each other.
Revolutionary Left community members have declared their intentions to hack and take back Wikipædia "in the name of free software and workers' liberation everywhere". Bob Avakian has declared he is the one true way to reclaim the free encyclopedia, "for I am the vanguard of the masses, and only my line is correct".
Also from the Elysian fields, the shade of Jacques Derrida was asked for his thoughts on the situation. "Let's be serious", said the late philosophe: "let us engage the Austinian performative itself of a high seriousness, even on this first day of April which as we know was a Fool's holiday in mediaeval times, when buffoons were celebrated as at once marginal and insofar as they were constituted by that marginality, essential to the life of the community."
"Seriousness", continued the renowned philosopher, who has recently learned to his despair that Heaven's non-smoking section has been closed, "is less an absolute state than a relation, a dignity, a comportment condign and with dignity which addresses itself, with equal seriousness, to the concerns of an embodied human being and a fictional Hamlet. At another level, and in another register, it is able to ask 'what's he to Hecuba' of an embedded play in a matter predictive of the mathematical phenomenon of recursion. Vous avez un cigarette? Non? Helas, mais c'est la vie dans ces champs Elysee, champ. Chic alors, pipe l'ange dans cette cloud".
Kurt Cobain promptly came back to life, and under the supervision of Courtney Love demanded millions of dollars worth of unpaid money from Nirvapedia, which was renamed to commemorate what was once Wikipedia. Nirvapedia rejected the request, and Kurt Cobain went on a killing spree, and killed Courtney Love in the process, which was greeted with much celebration.
BBC News realised that under new law, they were not allowed to break the fourth wall, and from then on, delivered reality TV style news. Chavs across the world celebrated, but the upper crust of society promptly melted into a fondue, ending world hunger.
Peckham became a separatist state and called itself 'Chavland'. A coup was initiated by Chelsea who took over, and made it the law in Chavland to only speak in Serbo-Croat. Chavs were unable to speak, and the world rejoiced.
Celebrations chocolates became the most popular chocolates across the world. Chocolate lovers raid stores, emptying all chocolate supplies for the next 2 years. Women promptly become extinct, and Bridget Jones has a sex-change operation.
Comedian, Mitch Hedberg was also contacted for a comment, his official statement was "Not even all the grilled fritos in all of Texas could sate the angered and confused masses when dealt a crushing blow by this news."
Larry Sanger, whose reputation has been tarnished by the encyclopedia in the past, reportedly gave Wales the finger with a snarky, "I told you so". He was then sued for copyright infringement by Ayn Rand and the RIAA.
Everything2 has called this a victory in the war on Wikipedia.
Sovereign Prince Lazarus Long of The Principality of New Utopia has announced that his nation will change its name to Wikitopia in memory of what once was Wikipedia. For no apparent reason, the United Nations has accepted Wikitopia as a member, and the nation is now a world power.
Howard Dean was quoted, once again, as saying "YEEAAAARRRGHHHH!!!"
God was not available for comment.
Atheists world-wide took the recent merger and the lack of comment by God as proof that he/she/it does not exist/is dead. God could not be reached for comment regarding these concerns.
A stunned Cats, star of the smash-hit video game Zero Wing, simply shouted, "What you say?!" when he learned of the merger.
Manitù told our sent chronist ATMB "I'm not agreeing with this fool. Shame on you. I'll send you rain!"
John Kerry commented that he was a rather frequent contributer to the Wikipedia, particulary on the articles "John Kerry," "Skull and Bones," and "George W. Bush," and that he will sorely miss being able to work on these, despite his wife's vast fortune allowing him to afford the fee to edit. Kerry also stated that he voted for the takeover before he voted against it.
The transexual Ha Ri-su shouted that she will do a thousand edits on wikipedia about herself.
James Mercer of The Shins said, "I called to see if their back was still aligned. It turns out they were pulling teeth from the pimps of gore. If only they hadn't sold like a gull takes to the wind, I would of jumped from my trees and danced like the king of the eyesores."
He-man, and his association of "Masters of the Universe", immediately declared war on the United Kingdom upon hearing of this Encyclopædia Britannica, using his aggregated military might under the banner of Castle Greyskull. Despite landing the 15th Avion Force , Chav forces led by one Michael Carroll drove them off the isles after a vicious street battle in Southampton.
Goku, saviour of our Universe quoted "This is madness"
and the dude from 300 said"THIS IS SPARTAAAA!!!!!!
The Dalai Lama has taken a giant mecha and is quoted as saying: "Violence is the only answer to hostile takeovers of open-source encyclopedias" and then proceded to jetpack his way to Brittanica's headquarters.
General Grievous, who is currently serving as droid general of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, has been quoting as saying: "I think this is the greatest thing to happen in this forsaken universe since the foundation of the Separatist order. Too many fools these days are plaguing existence--particulary the internet--with undeserved free speech, and it's about time that common sense took over." He could not be reached for further word as he claimed the lives of two more Jedi during a border conflict on Dantooine.
Sam Beckett muttered a dismayed, "Oh boy." before disappearing in a blue haze.
M.C. Hammer is making a comeback to protest the merger, saying, "When I said you can't touch this, I didn't mean wikipedia. Everyone should touch that."
Ross McColl, Professional gamer and village idiot, also known on some boards as _Trojan_Tuvai_, expressed his rage today by summoning a devil named Ki-yuroi-viuk and unleashing it upon innocent people who were in the wrong place at the very wrong time. A reporter claimed that he had also opened the actual physical path to Hell in order to unleash more chaos. He (The Reporter) was shortly OWN3D by Ross' summoned devil.
When the users of the GameFAQs board, Random Insanity, were told of this, everyone's only comment was "XD."
The supreme Archemperor of the Cosmos, Al Borland, has obliterated the 67th dimension in protest of the Takeover. Not realizing that he was inside the 67th dimension, Our Majesty subsequently melted into cosmic antimatter (otherwise known as Velvetta), and was last heard screaming "I hate Sethosayher!" Kraft Food Inc then proceeded to sue the remains of Al Borland.
Let us here repeat that founder Jimmy Wales, giving a brief statement to the New York Times from his Maui survivalist compound, was reported to be "extremely pleased" with the £633.7 million severance package given to each of the five-and-a-half trustees of the Wikimædia Foundation. But many Wikipedians were upset upon first hearing the news of the acquisition. When Mr. Wales was questioned as to why the organization was sold, he stated that he was "drunker [sic] than a skunk", and needed money to pay debt to an unnamed escort service. In protest, former Wikipedia users have flooded Mr. Wales's e-mail account with Nigerian 419 scam e-mails and NAMBLA newsletters (allegedly, some from Michael Jackson's secret publishing-house). The 38 year-old Florida native has called the response "hurtful", and said that he would force scaphism on those responsible.
However, before entering the unidentified vehicle which was to take him to the compound, several sources confirm having heard mr Wales whisper "sick [sick] transit gloria mundi". Whether this cryptic comment referred to the fact he had just discovered that the small print of the contract implied he had to trade in the wiki-hegemony to a real queen, or whether it was a comment on the latest health bulletin of a famous pole remains uncertain at the time of writing - the truth about which will be uncovered shortly by ample discussion in a more apropriate place.
It has however left many with questions, chief among them "Where does this leave us?" "Where will we find free, sometimes accurate information?" and "Can I use your bathroom and then take your toilet paper holder to put in my collection?"
Reportedly, one user has gone so far as to file a lawsuit against Jimbo Wales and the Microsoft Corporation, claiming that Wikipedia's absence has caused him erectile dysfunction and lockjaw. The defendants have issued a strong denial, stating that the individual attempted sexual intercourse with either a bucket of nails or Maria Shriver.
The MediaWiki developers, after consultation with the Free Software Foundation, placed the copyright to the software used by the Wikipedia projects on ebay. Delivery could be late; however, the MediaWiki developers assure potential buyers that they are Great ebayers!! A++++++++++++++++++! Would buy from again!.
Collaboration by Britannica and Departments of Education of the PRC and ROC were reported in the Chinese version of the takeover. Reaction connected it with the March 28 rally in Taiwan against the Anti-Secession Law of the People's Republic of China, the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 and some notable members of the Chinese wikipedian community.
New corporate structure
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Britannica has instituted a new corporate structure for the Wikipedia, with several high profile nominations: