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The 10 most ridiculous Wikipedia edits Congress made in 2015
Your tax dollars at work.
2015 isn’t all bad, it turns out. We’re ending the year a little bit smarter and certainly far more entertained by our politicians. U.S. Congress has gone above and beyond the call of duty. Thanks to everyone’s favorite Twitter accountability bot, @CongressEdits, the Internet has been graced with 365 days of Wikipedia tweaks by our notoriously nitpicky legislature.
@CongressEdits began in July of last year, as a way to track the weird and wonderful ways our senators and representatives have made Wikipedia a better place. They’ve added to the Internet’s encyclopedia in surprising ways, editing page after page of conspiracy theories and—predictably—anything about themselves. This year, however, they’ve truly outdone themselves. Perhaps the most effective thing Congress did in 2015 was dick around on the Internet. Here are their best efforts.
Sure, it’s not a substantial edit, but I’ll be damned if y’all are gonna miss the fact that Congress looked at the “Gallows humor” Wikipedia page long enough to notice a grammatical error. Besides, “humor about very unpleasant, serious, or painful circumstances” is pretty much the tagline of the 2016 election.
1) Nerd alert
Let’s pull the nerdiest escape hatch and take a dive down into the solipsistic world of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. The first book introduces readers to some pretty evil characters, albeit ones with confusing names. If you’ve slogged through all 782 pages of The Eye of The World, you’ve undoubtedly faced the confusion of who the hell the Dark One is and whether he is, in fact, Ba’alzamon. The two are pretty much interchangeable, but that’s not good enough for our junior and senior statesmen, now is it?
2) Boho typo
There isn’t a single person among the 535 voting members of Congress I can imagine referring to as “boho-chic.” Not a damn one of them. Here’s hoping Lindsey Graham is debuting his “new year, new you” boho-chic look on the Senate floor next year.
3) Hockey obscurity
There’s got to be some hockey-obsessed politician secretly ghostwriting their love of the Washington Capitals on the “Russian Machine Never Breaks” page and missing necessary meetings to continue watching their meteoric rise in the NHL. My bet is on Marco Rubio, because that dude hates attending anything and is probably secretly living in the Verizon Center.
4) Bond, James Herbert
This is the kind of knowledge we didn’t really need. It certainly makes sense that one of the most fascinating fictitious spies in the world would shield his weak-ass middle name from the world. The only thing lamer than a James Herbert Bond is a James Herbert Walker Bond. C’mon, Ian Fleming, you should’ve predicted this.
5) Slightly creepy
Judging by the timestamp of this edit to an entry on ultra-creepy graffiti about an unsolved murder, it’s safe to say some politician wanted to ruin their staffers’ lunch breaks. The edit itself is pretty innocuous, but the page sure ain’t.
6) Nice boys who make the good, rocking tunes
Congratulations, Congress. You have successfully honored the Mountain Goats.
7) The Rudolph diatribe
There’s a small part of me that can kind of respect the political posturing of this Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer diatribe some politician unleashed on Wikipedia. I’ve opened my own cans of festive whoop-ass in defense of Frosty Returns, perhaps the greatest Christmas film of all time. The addition of “as in not real” after the page notes that Rudolph is fictional as fuck is a little bit of a low blow, though.
8) James Lampert is a fan
Calm the hell down, James Lampert. WWE Raw is good and all, but it’s lately become a lackluster product with just one point of positivity in the form of The New Day. Most Monday night slogs are mediocre at best; do you really want to be associated with that? Oh, and are you even alive?
The best car in the world
Shout-out to Congress for putting some Aston Martin fanatic in their place, whether it’s the truth or a thinly veiled show of patriotism. Gotta rep those American cars, blast some Eminem, and try not to fuck up enough to get sued like VW and Toyota.
10) Chicken is not ham
This is literally the most important political information you will have going into 2016. Someone in Congress took it upon themselves—presumably after a heated debate, and possibly inspired by Ted Cruz’s sad-sack Obamacare filibuster, in which he read Green Eggs and Ham—to clarify that chicken is not ham. I repeat, chicken is not ham.
Photo via Elliott P./Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
A former Weekend Editor at the Daily Dot, April Siese's reporting covers everything from technology and politics to web culture and humor. Her work has been published by Bustle, Uproxx, Death and Taxes, Rolling Stone, the Daily Beast, Thrillist, Atlas Obscura, and others. Siese joined Quartz in December 2016.