Mein (self-imposed) Kampf: an editor’s explanation


“In the clearing stands a boxer and a fighter by his trade, and he carries the reminder of every glove that laid him down or cut him ’til he cried out, in his anger and his shame ‘I am leaving, I am leaving’ but the fighter still remains.”

-Paul Simon

I love to fight.

I enjoy picking fights, I enjoy making people angry, and I enjoy arguing. If I had been born a male, I probably would have been in a lot of bar fights that would have resulted in a lot of broken bones. As it is, my verbal sparring has just resulted in a lot of self-inflicted emotional injuries. But that’s ok; who wants to die without any scars — inner or outer?

Am I a sadist? Not really. It’s just that long ago I realized that there are some horrible things that happen in this world. And I also realized that the only people who ever tried to change those wrongs were those who took time to get angry about them. So, I took it upon myself to get people fired up enough about something — anything so that maybe the world could get a little bit better. It’s idealistic, but I had to try something.

For the last year and a half, I have been largely responsible – with input from the other editors – for the “In Our Humble Opinion” feature. I’ve also been responsible for writing the “Our View” editorials that ran sporadically. Using these two vehicles, I tried to offend everyone I could think of. I picked on the SA. I picked on faculty. I picked on athletes. I picked on the UPD. I even picked on my old high school. Needless to say, I didn’t get put on a lot of people’s Christmas lists. But hey, I didn’t go into this business to make friends.

I went after these people and groups because I believed someone had to hold them accountable. Someone had to watch what they did. And a lot of times, someone had to criticize their actions.

Did it make a difference? Maybe not in measurable degrees. The SA probably still has its best interests ahead of the students it desires to serve. Many faculty members probably are still too concerned with the prestige of their positions rather than teaching the students. The UPD is probably still to heavy-handed when dealing with the people it is sworn to serve.

But my hope is that these groups now know 1) they are accountable for the actions they take and 2) someone is watching them and is not afraid to speak up when they screw up. If a faction of people know this, then they are less inclined to make mistakes. And then I have done the job I set out to accomplish.

Don’t get me wrong, I know I have made a great deal of mistakes myself. And sometimes, although I’m ashamed to admit it, my motives have been less than pure. And yes, I know I lack tact in most areas. But for 95 percent of the time, I wanted things to be better for the students on this campus.

May people have told me to “pick my battles.” But right now, I’m still young, naive, idealistic and energetic. So, if I perceive that there is a battle, I’ll probably throw myself into it, head long. Maybe I’ll get more choosy when I’m 30. I hope not.

So, I hope this helps to explain some of the things that have appeared on these pages over the last year and half. I offer no apologies. And I hope everyone finds something worth battling for in his or her lifetime. Most of life doesn’t seem to be about the winning or loosing, but rather the process of the fight.