Monday, April 12, 2010

120 Years in Your Face


Hello there. Turns out the newspaper I work for is celebrating its 120th anniversary. I wrote this column for a special commemorative edition. The rest of the page was reprints of old editorials about famous events from our archives. Here it is:

Chrony reigns after 120 years of tussles
The trick to writing an articulate opinion piece any time between 1920 and 1940 was to use the word “preposterous” every here and there. If you couldn’t think of a few things that were totally preposterous, then you probably weren’t going to do a good job as an opinion columnist until 1941. Up to that point, opinion columnists’ major function was to clearly point out to the public what things were completely preposterous, and what things were not.

At least that is what I’ve deduced from the time I’ve spent flipping through the archives of The Daily Utah Chronicle. After World War II, preposterous things—and other events that can only be described with similar exciting adjectives—appear to have stopped happening. I’m sorry to say that, according to my archival research, only a meager handful of outrageously preposterous things have happened in the past 70 years.

On Nov. 2, 1933, The Chronicle reported: “Plan for Tussle Discomboberated.” I’m even more sorry to say that, according to our archives, not a single tussle has been discomboberated since that day. Tussles have been going haphazardly undiscomboberated for years now. It’s a wonder the campus hasn’t tussled itself to pieces.

But these aren’t the only things that have been tragically lost during the past century. Once all the rage, it’s become nearly impossible to find an advertisement in the paper directing me to where I could rent a decent typewriter or acquire a Dunlap hat or frock. There hasn’t even been a single ad in the past 60 years that can explain to me the complexities and benefits of a long-distance phone call. Why, oh why has the paper refused to print these lucrative advertisements? There are desperate, hatless, frockless individuals wandering around campus with not so much as a typewriter to comfort them. They probably don’t even have the information required to call home on these newfangled telephony doohickies.

Despite the many things that have fallen by the wayside, The Chronicle is not one of them. Hatless, frockless, and without the aid of even typewriters for several decades, the paper has lasted 120 years. The rest of the page is dedicated to editorial content found in our archives. Hopefully readers can imagine what it was like reading this now commonplace information for the first time.

I just hope The Chronicle can last another 120 years, even while we face the risk of engaging in an undiscomboberated tussle. The thought of the U without its independent student voice is truly preposterous.

5 comments:

jaime said...

Hahaha! Craig I bet your student readers are really gonna miss you when you graduate. I think you should start a paper for your friends to read and write articles and advertisements just for us! Maybe that can be your summer job...we'd all pay for a subscription...but only if you deliver them on a bike.

Melissa said...

This is a fine editorial, Craig. Mighty fine.

Bridger W. said...

I love you Craig!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Andrea Jolene said...

And to think you called me a word-smith (which was aptly corrected word-smithy if you recall)! Well said, sir! Well said indeed... haw haw haw. Good show.

婉菁婉菁婉菁 said...
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