Commentary

Ebb and Flow

Don't stop me now

POSTED AT 08:33 PM ON May. 3, 2012  (UPDATED AT 08:34 PM ON May. 3, 2012)

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If you had told me a year ago that I’d be the Spring Opinion editor for the IDS, I’d have said you were bat-shit crazy.

Not that I don’t like the IDS, or that I think the paper itself doesn’t meet my journalistic standards. On the contrary, I have no journalistic standards. I’m not a journalist. I think I’ve said this to my computer screen at least a dozen times this semester when reading all your lovely letters (rants) to the editor.

I think the reason Past Francisco would be so baffled by Now Francisco would be the near-30 hours a week the desk puts into making the page happen for you folks every day. Newspapers have never been in my realm of interest. I’m pretty sure I’ve hated every journalism class I’ve ever taken.

But opinions. Those are special things. Not only do they isolate Patrick and myself from the rest of the newsroom, but content-wise, we’re completely liberated. Opinions are the reason I’m writing and editing for the IDS. They’re the reason we’ve been able to publish radical Marxist feminist propaganda, Beyoncé gossip, not one but three crude illustrations of nuns and a cartoon of Ron Paul smoking a doobie.

We get away with a lot, and while I’m unprepared as to answer why, I can say confidently that without that unfounded liberation, there would be no interest left (on my part or yours).

The most readership this semester came from when we were ballsy enough to comment where others failed to — Ron Paul’s white supremacy, public breast-feeding, Doug Wilson, bullying, IU Student Association unchallenged and apologist Occupy support.

We’re arguably the most controversial desk and typically referred to as “the voice of the paper,” but I wouldn’t necessarily vouch for that.

But in my opinion (if you’re asking), a paper should have a personality. I’m proud to have fulfilled the quirky and shameless aspects of the IDS’ character, even if we made it too boisterous, more Bieber-supportive and gayer than warranted.

Side note: Opinion won “Gayest Desk” in the IDS semester awards this year, and it’s pinned proudly above our heads at our desk.

This year, when I wrote my column “I’m a survivor, alright?” I did not expect to receive the flood of stories, thank-yous and unprecedented love. I didn’t even expect people to read “just another gay column,” especially one I had named in reference to a line from “Titanic.”

But that’s where our agency is coming from: the survivors, the underdogs, the not-spoken-for who just need a place to put their ideas. I’ve learned the most from you guys. When I look at my future, I want to write for you guys.

Thank you, readers. Thank you, columnists. Thank you, IDS fam.

But more importantly, thank you Patrick Beane. My coeditor is one of the most pleasant, forgiving, well-grounded people you will ever get to work with. Thanks for putting up with me and for getting behind even the most “liberated” content we’ve had. I’m so glad you get to revamp the Weekend dream job while I’m abroad, but as Dorothy said in the “Wizard of Oz,” “I think I’ll miss you most of all.”

So, I’ll see y’all another time, but for now, it’s London Town.  
 
­— ftirado@indiana.edu

 

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