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Sorry, I don't have an opinion

I have learned that the only way to get anything published in The Tech is to have an opinion. I found this out the hard way when I submitted a semi-humorous column for the Tuesday edition. It was not printed, most likely because it lacked an opinion that would startle the MIT community. An opinion that would make the community cry, "By God, he's right! I never thought about it in quite that light before. What an insightful, poignant, well-written column."

Like the kind you read in every issue of The Tech.

So, for those three or four people in the MIT community who actually want to hear my opinion, and in order to make the staff of The Tech happy, here is My Opinion[el-.5l]TM[el.5l]: War is bad. Saddam Hussein is bad. Lobdell is even worse.

There. Happy? Now that all that ugly business is done with, let me complain. The other day, I gave the staff of The Tech a satirical column that was written in the form of a television program, complete with commercials. I liked it. I am sure that you would have also. However, it was not in opinion format, so it could not be printed. I had guessed this would happen, but I was crushed nevertheless. Let me tell you why.

I found it next to impossible to submit the piece to The Tech. No, it was not that they avoided me, or discouraged my writing. I am just terribly shy (bordering on anti-social) by nature. Have you ever heard of J. D. Salinger? He is an American writer who is so reluctant to be friendly that he lives in an abandoned nuclear fallout shelter. I am very similar to him in many respects. For instance, I occasionally peer out of my window, and with my clenched fingers I "shoot" people walking outside. "Bang!" I say, to nobody in particular.

[el.19i]

who

Jason Merkoski, a freshman, lives in MacGregor House.

[el1l]

I am positive that such behavior is not normal (unless one is a serial killer, perhaps). However, you can probably understand how terribly nervous I was when I finally geared myself to enter the office for The Tech. Puppy dogs were bouncing in my stomach. For comparison's sake, the only times I have been more queasy was when I first took the SATs and when I heard my Boy Scout leader was a child molester.

Upon entering the office, The Tech assured me that everything would be taken care of, so I handed over my column. I then flashed a shaky smile, as if I had been caught making love to a dead sheep.

I spent the next few days in glorious anticipation of having my piece published. But on Tuesday, I found that the editorial pages had been filled with letters poo-pooing columns. So much for me. So much for my prose.

Of course, I should have expected it. My column lacked opinions, as I have said, so it was deemed unpublishable. Off with its head. In my column's place was a slew of comics. And I was insulted. Badly drawn minimalist garbage like Jim's Journal is barely suitable for cleaning up vomit. But of course, I should not say that. If I honestly meant that, the MIT community would have no qualms about lynching me. You see, Jim's Journal symbolizes the mundane, repressed lives many people here have. To use an analogy, MIT is to Jim's Journal as America is to apple pies and porno movies.

Depressed, I trundled through the mucky slush back to my dorm. What to do, what to do? In my paroxysm of grief, only one solution presented itself. It was the only honorable way out. . . .

So I now type this story out: my first and last column. My last wish on this, my last hour of life, is to have it published in The Tech. When my computer is done printing this column out, I will pin it to the cuff of my right-hand trouser leg. I will then pour myself a glass of Draino.

I wonder how it tastes. . . .