Op-Ed: Wikipedia, Stop Nagging Me

Look. I’m not trying to make a big deal out of this. All I’m saying is, I get home from a hard day at work, and all I want to do is sit down, have a beer, and relax with some internet encyclopedia pages about battleships. But here she comes—“she,” in this case, not to be sexist, but in the great tradition of ship-naming that I would be learning about right now if not for this unholy intrusion—asking for money. Not just money. A donation. A handout. Government cheese. And what work, you ask, for this payment? Nada.

Well, actually, there was some work that went into it. But I don’t have to pay to enjoy the fruits of that labor, so why would I? It would be like tipping at Hooters if you had any other way to see tits: absurd.

And, you know what, it’s insulting. I sit down to read about Prussian generals, after busting my ass all day, and all of a sudden I can’t even have that without being reminded of money. When I click through from one page to another and it jumps from telling me that it’s the 15th time I haven’t donated to the 16th, I’ll admit it, I see red. I mean, what kind of website looks at a solid, hardworking American and says, “Gimme.” Do they know what that does to a man? Sharon’s voice asking me to “go back to school so you can be a manager like my sister’s husband” ringing in my ears every time I want to learn about different types of whiskey barrels? Have some compassion, people.

And they wonder why this world has gone to shit.