Commentary | Piñata diplomacy A declaration of journalistic independence

“Prudence is a rich, ugly old maid courted by Incapacity.”

– William Blake

The worst thing about being granted a columnist position at The Daily is the scrutiny one is bound to receive under such public circumstances.

I am not referring to the scrutiny of a few able-minded fact-checkers or even that of my many ideological enemies. I earnestly lust for such disagreement and wholeheartedly encourage you to send me your thoughts and your fatwas.

The unwanted scrutiny to which I refer is that of my fellow American citizens 20 or 30 years down the road. Consider what you, my loyal readers, know about me so far:

You know that after a full two weeks of University, I had the balls to apply for a weekly column, mistakenly under the bizarre assumption that somebody would care to hear the thoughts that were otherwise so kind as to stay within the confines of my oversized skull.

You know that as early as eight years-old I was sufficiently plugged in to the American political discourse to have made sure my arts ‘n crafts projects reflected the ideological outlook of their humble craftsman.

And any reader unfortunate enough to be my three-dimensional acquaintance knows that they have for themselves a grossly opinionated and obnoxiously gregarious friend who still will not shut up about the American election.

It should come as no surprise, then, that the carefully discerning reader will behold a faint glimmer of political ambition behind these hazel eyes. There is a chance that one day I will choose to run for elective office in the U.S.

I know what you’re thinking. “Ricky, you can’t run, you’re a dim-witted atheistic Jew with an insatiable desire to grow facial hair. Furthermore, I once saw you at a party, and, friend, you weren’t looking too good. There’s a better chance of Idaho voting Democrat than of you being elected to office.”

Nonetheless, my ambitions thoughtlessly persist. My fear, however, is that dirty opposition researchers will one day dig through The Daily’s archives – so conveniently found online – searching for the smallest evidence of political incorrectness. Such an effort would not be unprecedented.

During the Democratic primaries, Hillary Clinton made a big deal out of a kindergarten essay that Obama wrote entitled “I Want to Become President.” If they were able to find that piece of fine literature, they will surely be able to find this one.

I acknowledge the possibility of a political career not with Obama’s cold, calculating conviction, but instead with the humility of a first-year Political Science major who really has no idea what the hell he wants to do with his life.

In a single day last week, two family members separately sent me emails warning me to watch what I say. The first cautioned, “If you want a career in politics – you seriously need to be careful what you write,” whilst the second seconded with, “If you have any inkling toward a career in politics one day well into the future, or with any employer for that matter, then you might want to keep in mind that all of your McGill Daily writing will be available for all to see years from now.”

I thanked them for their concern and noble intentions but gently informed them that politics is not an activity with which I will involve myself if the populace of the future is so concerned with the ramblings of an eager-to-impress undergrad.

Therefore, it is my humble opinion that a declaration of journalistic independence is in order.

Daily readers deserve more than self-imposed censorship from one of their Monday columnists. I understand that I issue such a declaration with an utter lack of prudence, but honestly right now I don’t care. Right now, all I want to do is write the best commentary I can and hopefully leave readers with thoughts that survive even after they turn avert their eyes to Johanu Botha’s dazzling prose (shout-out).

May the future hold what it may. Prudence is overrated.

Send your familial scrutiny to pinatadiplomacy@mcgilldaily.com.


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