Why is it that at a school of 8,454, we find the need to publish two opinions a day? How many things happen here each day that are worthy of critical thought and analysis? Not many. How many times have you ever lost your way and needed the tender guidance of The Herald’s opinions page to lead you true? I hope never.
To gain some insight, let me walk you through the typical process of writing an opinion for The Herald, using myself as an example.
I joined The Herald’s staff with a couple of good ideas in my pocket. We’re talking New York Times-caliber material about investment banks, Spring Weekend, you name it. But then I wrote a column called “Why I hate smartphones” (March 19). Do I actually hate smartphones? Not really. So why did I write this nonsense?
At the time, columns were due every other Saturday, so my typical turnaround would be between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. the day of. Like all Brown students, on Saturdays I’m usually so hungover from binge drinking that my fingers shake. On this particular day, I could feel the pulse in my temples as I stumbled over to the computer to deal with reality. In between bursts of leaning over the trash can and vomiting out my insides, I thought about things that I really hated, besides myself – hatred, remember, is the place from which all good opinions come.
And so I – as all opinions writers do – decided to slap together a vomit-soaked piece of garbage so that The Herald wouldn’t go without its article for the day. Was I happy about it? Of course not. How could I be? Afterwards, I looked at myself in the mirror with a level of disgust I reserve for people who fart audibly in crowded elevators. But if I wasn’t going to do it, then some other schmuck was.
Little did I know that this particular article would became the most popular column on The Herald’s website for nine months – people still know me as the guy who hates technology. Sadder still is that informative Herald articles based on cutting-edge research like “Poll: Single students have sex, seek relationships” (Nov. 12) or “Poll: Majority have no opinion on Paxson” (Nov. 6) don’t even get a quarter of the page views that the drunkenly written opinions columns do.
For the sake of humanity, let’s rectify this wrong. If this entire newspaper is like MTV, then the opinions section is like “Jersey Shore.” You hate yourself for loving it and come back every day to get your fix, but – like MTV – The Herald would be a credible news source without it.
Lucas Husted ’13 hopes that none of the 8,454 Brown students apply to be opinions columnists next semester. So don’t email firstname.lastname@example.org for an application.