When I was asked to write a biweekly column in scene, I blindly accepted, without any expectation that what I wrote would be heavily scrutinized for its social and political worth. Admittedly, this was fairly ignorant, since my columns generally touch upon hot political topics, like how Lent is a celebration of the Daytona 500 and how Machu Picchu used to be an Inca-themed amusement park that Hiram Bingham III invented. I should have anticipated the passionate responses my columns would incite, but frankly, I didn’t think anyone would read them, let alone dedicate several minutes to crafting an impassioned response on the News’ Web site.
I was wrong. Really, really wrong. And what’s worse, I’ve been too busy underestimating the desire of the larger Yale community to respond to every asinine column scene prints to furnish an appropriate response of my own. As such, in the spirit of academic discourse, I’d like to use this week’s column to finally respond to a few of my critics. The following posts have been reprinted without alteration to content or grammar:
In response to my column on Machu Piccu, Alex wrote: “You clearly are ignorant.I dont even know were to start. If you wre trying to be funny or something of the sort your not. And if you were for real, it just shows the kind of stupid aragance that yale stands for. Do us all a favor cut your fingers off so you can’t type that type of garbage again. i thought Yale was a respectfull and sought out school, but if you are any indication of the type of students there. I was greatly mistaken” First of all, Alex, I appreciate your critique and have acted upon your suggestion that I cut off my fingers. I can honestly say I am no longer an indication of the type of student for which Yale stands, since almost everyone here has all 10 fingers.
In response to my column on not liking Boston, Gabe wrote: “From your lengthy article the only thing I could see that you didn’t like about Boston was its mass transit, which is actually one of the best in the country. If you haven’t heard about this little thing called global warming, you might actually realize the ‘T’ is a really good thing. Grow up.” First of all, Gabe, I value your criticisms and have taken them into consideration. I’m also glad you picked up on a subtle theme that permeates all of my columns: A little thing called global warming is a man-made phenomenon that can only be alleviated by using mass transportation. Another common theme is that my roommate is a virgin, which he is.
Again, on my Machu Piccu column, Kody wrote: “My only problem is that you called the Book of Mormon a work of fiction … This third grade drivel(thats being kind)speaks of nothing,and therefore has rendered you up to the very ridicule that you so copiously vomited about the greatest work of non-fiction the world has ever known.Your pedantic ways shall never usurp the erudite.kody was here!” First of all, Kody, I appreciate your contribution to this discourse. Since you’ve demonstrated a penchant for literary awareness, I don’t feel bad admitting to you that you’re absolutely right! “The Stranger,” in my opinion, is probably the best work of fiction ever created, although the “Book of Mormon” is still a close second. Thanks again!
In response to my column on veganism, Chris wrote: “I don’t even know how to respond to the stupidity of this article. It is ignorant, hateful, stereotyping, insulting, uninformed, etc etc forever. I can’t believe this was even published … Becoming vegan is just about the most positive thing a person can do with the way they live their life. Please let me know if there is another lifestyle change that will have a bigger impact on helping the world, because I would love to do it. Thanks.” First of all, Chris, I cherish your opinions and thank you for your input. I have since re-evaluated my position towards veganism, and I no longer believe that eliminating racism, practicing safe sex, not smoking and avoiding overeating will have a bigger impact on helping the world than becoming a vegan. It was absurd of me to assume that meat or dairy products could play any role in alleviating hunger worldwide, and I thank you for seeing the error of my ways.
Also on my veganism column, Shawn wrote: “So let’s see… To vegans, life and the minimization of suffering are sacred. To you, buttered sirloin and pork ribs are sacred.” Yes. That is absolutely correct. You nailed it.
Shawn continued: “Do you really expect anyone, meat eaters or otherwise, to associate with your so-called values?” Yes. I absolutely do. You nailed it again.
Another vegan, Leah, wrote: “You’re witty and funny …” Thank you, Leah! I’ll pick you up around eight.
Then she continued: “… but you’re snide and inconsiderate. You expected this reaction from a vegan and for that you are an awful human being …” Wait. So … I guess I’m just a little confused. One minute you’re hot, then the next minute you’re cold. You can’t keep doing this to me, babe. Are we or aren’t we dating anymore? Because if not, I want my sweatshirt back. But I mean, if we are, you can keep wearing it. I don’t really mind.
In response to my column on Shia Labeouf, Mary of Harvard wrote: “Ugh. This is such a disgusting and pointless article and waste of my time. I expected greater from ‘yalies’. Since when are Shia LaBeouf and the Jonas Brothers worth anyone’s time to mention?!” Since you asked, no, Leah and I aren’t dating anymore. We broke up about a week ago, and she still hasn’t given me my sweatshirt back. But yes, I would absolutely love to get coffee with you! I thought you were just criticizing me, but you were actually asking me out?? Of course I’ll go out with you! You sound hot.
In response to the same Shia Labeouf column, ABD for PhD wrote: “Your article is neither funny nor clever.” I’m sorry ABD for PhD, but I’m not single. I’ve been dating Mary of Harvard for a few weeks now, and we’re in love. As far as I’m concerned, you can go to — oh God, now you’re crying. Okay, this is uncomfortable. Listen, I’m sorry … I didn’t mean to come across so coldly. These past few weeks have been pretty tough for me and Mary of Harvard. Leah sent me a text message saying she still loved me, but then Mary of Harvard read it. Things are just really complicated right now. I’m sorry.
I hope this has been as productive for you as it has been for me! I always love a rousing discussion or two, and I want to thank all of you who have so diligently and seriously commented on my articles.