Chris Woodrich

On this page  we examine the interaction between the Wikipedia administrator Crisco 1492 and the blocked Wikipedia  editor Coat of Many Colours, whose sock C1cada is claimed to be.

Crisco 1492 is the administrator in charge of Wikipedia's  Featured Pictures forum. At a later date we shall describe this group more fully. For the time being, suffice it to say that the part of it devoted to featuring works of art is a very problematic cartel indeed, as this post at Wikipedia's "Village Pump" makes clear, a post incidentally that Crisco 1492 multiple times tried to block.

Crisco 1492 self-identifies (through his signature and User page, though the latter continues to describe him as a student) as Chris Woodrich from Canada, living in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He maintains an Academia.edu account where he describes himself as an alumnus of Universitas Gadjah Mada (Yogyakarta).  His term papers at this institute are cited by him several times in Wikipedia article space. His Curriculum Vitae is available for inspection at Academia.edu. This decribes him presently as the Chief Administrative Coordinator at the International Indonesia Forum, whose substantial Wikipedia article was entirely contributed by Woodrich, and as a school teacher at the Hagios School of Life in Yogyakarta, a Pentecostal church community which runs a kindergarten and creche as well as a small school of some twenty-two students as at August 2015.

How Coat found herself involved with Woodrich and the Featured Pictures forum is documented elsewhere on the site. Her main interaction with Woodrich we deal with here, leading to her being blocked from editing at Wikipedia, concerned Woodrich's nomination as Featured Picture of a painting titled September Morn  by the French artist Paul Chabas.

Chabas was a salon  painter of some distinction, active at the turn of the last century. He specialised in genre  paintings of naked or scantily dressed young girls provocatively posed in isolated surroundings. His work is no longer exhibited in art galleries that we are aware of, and in particular September Morn  has not been on display for decades. His work is routinely cited today as pedophile fantasy. September Morn  depicts a young pubescent girl bathing alone in a lake. The pose is ambiguous: either she is reacting to the cold of the lake, or she is protecting her modesty. Chabas apparently posed his model over a three year period in his studio to create the painting, which he regarded as his masterpiece.

Coat opposed the nomination because she didn't feel Wikipedia should be valorizing the painting in this way. She was not trying to suppress or remove the image from its article. She simply opposed drawing attention to it by featuring it, equivalent to displaying it in a gallery.  Her oppose read as follows:

Oppose, the subject is too young for the image to be decent by modern standards. Some common-sense discretion surely advisable here. Are we also to feature the more provocative of Balthus' paintings for example? In making this oppose I exercise my right to make an oppose clearly stating a reason. I'm not prepared to debate it.

Woodrich replied as follows, in our view (and doubtlessly Coat's judging from her response) an extraordinarily immature, insensitive, insolent, and frankly obscene response:

"the subject is too young for the image to be decent by modern standards" - You better not watch any diaper commercials, then. About the same degree of nudity.

There followed a debate which initially centred around the age of the subject, supporters apparently unaware that from the outset it has never been disputed the subject is a juvenile. Eventually Coat intervened to remark that the issue was that this voyeuristically  suggestive image would serve to gratify pedophiles and today galleries remove such images from display . Another opposer noted the nominated image, essentially yellow monochromatic, was a very poor one which did not do justice to the merits of the painting such as they were noted at the time, that is to say the use of cool grey tones to suggest the cold of an autumn morning. Woodrich defended the image on the grounds that it probably represented the condition of the painting after forty years in storage. A pleasant remark by Coat welcoming Hafspajen to the debate, was met by an offensivily aggressive response  followed by at least another dozen edits in the same vein. The Wikipedia editor Sca began an ironic verbage count, of which quite a few of the edits enumerated (more than Coat's)  in truth were his own. This same editor gratuitiously made the usual tiresome lame joke about "pedophilia" and "foot fetishm", whereas Coat and others were using the anglicized spelling "paedophilia". The Wikipedia editor Xanthomelanoussprog (we believe this account to be a sock of the Wikipedia Arbcom member Doug Weller) contributed a pointy support:

Support, painting appears to have supported and continues to support a whole industry of impostors, yellow journalism, concerned citizens and axe-grinding academics, and therefore has EV [Educational Value].

A dispassionate observer might have surmised by now that Coat was being trolled, but she soldiered on gamely. Her final contibution was pleasant enough:

It would seem this nomination is to go forward tomorrow, even though it's not all clear that the image is a good one. I shall roll my eyes and look away.

Once again, she was not allowed to leave herself to herself. What happened next was disgraceful.

In the course of Coat's remarks, she had described the nomination as "suspect", by which she meant its intent was plainly to re-establish Chabas as an artist of note. At the DYK ("Do You Know" front page feature) for the associated article, the Wikipedia editor Etienne Dolet enthused "Let's bring this painting out of the darkness it's in!" In the event the article itself, rated as of low importance by all the Wikipedia projects it linked to, was accorded the full Featured Article treatment, eventually receiving its badge of honour here. Ironically Coat can said to have been a contributor as it was she who drew attention to the only modern source of any utility regarding this painting, Fae Brauer's 'Moral Girls' and 'Filles Fatales': The Fetishisation of Innocence, in which Brauer examines how Chabas escaped censure for his paintings.

Woodrich regarded the "suspect" remark as an an accusation of pedophilia directed at him, justifying his reaction here, and took Coat to an ANI ( Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents), with the result that Coat was eventually blocked indefinitely from editing. Those siding with Woodrich included the editors Euryalus, Drmies (Aaij), Knowledgekid87, Mark Miller, SagaciousphilXanthomelanoussprog, Hafspajen, Fylebecatulous, and Chillum. Coat called them Aaij's Dead Pedo Society, which made us laugh anyway.

The most depressing thing about all this saga (setting aside the distress it caused Coat), is that if Woodrich had been teaching in his native Canada he would probably not have nominated this image for  featuring, or at any rate not as an editor who had declared his identity and profession. Certainly he would have been very unwise to do so, simply for fear of being misunderstood in his motivation, precisely indeed as he appears to have misunderstood himself when Coat described the nomination as "suspect".  That was the point of our edit in our very short-lived account blocked by Aaij in which we, for the first time on Wikipedia, drew attention to Indonesia's problems with its burgeoning sex trade, the result of its naivity about issues such as pedophilia, citing Luh Ketut Suryani .

As for the Featured Article "September Morn", it must be considered indeed suspect. It carries a list of more than one hundred sources, mostly from web searches, suggesting obsessive editing. A glance at it shows that it strives to minimise Chabas'pedophilia. For example "young girls" (what the published sources actually say) becomes "young women". Attempts by editors to redress the balance, either on the Talk page or the article itself, are reverted by the article's watchers. For example the editor Deco Engel (apparently a faculty member at Aaij's university) inserted a reference to the painting's 1905 predecessor Au crepuscule. The reference is important because the subject is plainly a child and the pose deliberately coy, giving the lie to the nonsense that the later painting, which repeats the exact pose, is about sponge-bathing or the cold of the lake or anything other than coy eroticism, a populular salon  subject at the time and for which it is today condemned in view of the subject's youth . The edit was nevertheless reverted by the editor MarnetteD (mentioned here at Wikipediocracy in connection with possible conflict of interest editing at the actor Brian Dennehy's article). Woodrich continues to watch and edit minutely at the article.

It seems to us that the editing at this article must be regarded as a matter of  public interest, given Woodrich's position in the Wikipedia hierarchy.