I have only made one edit on Wikipedia since I made a big brouhaha about the site several months ago. I ran across a page titled “Cultural depictions of George Armstrong Custer,” and noticed a subsection on musical references to Custer. Human nature being what it is, I rather thought a citation of my music theater work Custer and Sitting Bull might be appropriate there, and added it. It was immediately deleted, as violating the rules against self-promotion. I said “Hmph,” or words to that effect, cursed myself for deigning to pay attention to that benighted web site, and moved on.
Weeks later I get a note from the person responsible for the deletion. He (or she) has restored the reference, explaining that it is better for someone besides the composer to have added it in. He had also supplied, in his text, the helpful fact that Custer and Sitting Bull was premiered in New York in 2000, and asked me to verify the accuracy of what he had written.
Now, given Wikipedia’s philosophy, I am rather affronted to be appealed to to verify facts about my own career. Silly me, I had rather thought I premiered Custer and Sitting Bull in 1999 in Los Angeles, but clearly that impression is too subjective to be trusted. I have no printed reference work to footnote for the information, only my own resumé, which I could have all kinds of self-serving reasons to falsify. Perhaps I am trying to claim credit for having achieved in the 20th century innovations that didn’t really occur until the 21st. And so if Wikipedia’s stance is that information added by an objective party is always better than that added by a self-interested expert, then in the Wikipedia universe, Custer and Sitting Bull will have to have been premiered in New York in 2000. To ask my opinion in the matter seems like hypocrisy.