You Gotta Believe! Or Do You?

April 2, 2007

It’s terrible to be a naysayer, with all the talk lately about “The Secret” and the power of positive thinking. But rather than kick that controversy around, let’s talk about some things that are just not to be believed, or even designed to be taken all that seriously in the first place.

wikipedialogo.jpeg Case One: Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia written and edited by people all over the world. It recently tightened its editing rules, after some embarrassing pranks. One was a report that the comedian Sinbad was dead (not just in career terms).

Today, The Daily Orange tells us that Syracuse University, perhaps surprisingly, has no outright ban on letting students use Wikipedia as a quotable source in their research papers. Even some people behind Wikipedia say it’s not meant to be the ultimate authority on anything.

In an interview with “NBC Nightly News,” Jim Redmond, a Wikipedia administrator and editor, said… “Students shouldn’t even be tempted to use Wikipedia as an original source.”

And the site’s co-founder and chairman emeritus Jimmy Wales told The New York Times, “…students shouldn’t be citing encyclopedias. I would hope they wouldn’t be citing Encyclopedia Britannica, either.”

Moving from scholarly controversy to unadulterated hokum, let’s go to the “Hair Match” in Detroit Sunday night, between Donald Trump and World Wrestling Entertainment owner Vince McMahon.


Surrogates for the two billionaires fought it out in the ring, with Trump’s man winning, and saving the Big Apple Blowhard from getting his coyly combed blond bouffant shaved off. Trump gleefully sheared McMahon’s scalp, giving him and the alleged sport of wrestling the publicity they’d been craving.

Finally– and we hate to suggest it because it hits so close to our Circus home- does anyone seriously believe that Bello the Clown actually lost his tiny two-wheeler on a New York City street, before it was heart-warmingly returned to him?

Bello Nock, the daredevil clown, was all smiles Sunday when he was reunited with his lost little bike.

The star of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus thanked Ricky Robinson, who found Bello’s shiny foot-high, 6-inch-wide contraption Friday night outside a restaurant on Manhattan’s West Side.

“Give me a hug. I need my bike. That is my bike. Thank you, buddy,” Bello said, outside Madison Square Garden, where the circus was performing.

In exchange for returning the bike, Robinson, 54, will receive a $1,000 reward, a new bicycle donated by Toys R Us, and free tickets to Knicks games and the circus show named for Bello, “Bellobration.”

Albany Times Union

Perhaps hinting at the truth about the bike, the writer of that story took note of the fact that Ricky Robinson is from Bridgeport, Connecticut- the hometown of P.T. Barnum, who is supposed to have said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

But if Bello’s happy, we should all be happy. It’s also a good thing he wasn’t involved in the Hair Match. He had so much more to lose.