The Gaily’ s editorial board has decided to retire the section formerly known as “Compendium.” From now on, page 16 of our paper will be blank. We believe that a blank page fits our anti-oppressive mandate better than a satire, crossword, or comic section ever could. After all, no one deserves to have any fun until the world has been rid of all inequality.
We came to this difficult decision last Friday at 4 a.m. Some members of our understaffed team had been in the office for 13 consecutive hours, while others had been working for a mere 10.
As we toiled away at this labour of love we received a knock on our door. There were three people who had come to talk to us, and they had some very valid concerns about Compendium. For one thing, they don’t find it valuable. “I don’t read the Gaily regularly,” Billie McGrount (Arts U1) told the underpaid board members. “But sometimes I look at the back cover if someone’s left a paper out. And let me tell you, I think it’s disgraceful. Your content is consistently sarcastic. How can you call yourselves journalists?” We explained that out of our 16 page paper, one page per week is devoted to satirical, lighthearted, or otherwise amusing content. We assured Billie that if she were to open a copy, she would find that the rest of our paper is in fact an actual newspaper.
Another concern was that Compendium is rarely funny. “You know who’s funny? Seth Rogen. That guy really knows how to make me laugh,” said Gert Clumbert (Science U0). “Or like, I dunno, who’s that lady comedian? She’s, uh, you know. You know the one I’m talking about.” Despite the entire board repeatedly telling Gert that we genuinely did not know to which “lady comedian” he was referring, he refused to give us any specifics other than: “you know the one I mean, she’s… kinda… you know…” The Gaily remains on the case, pushing our exhausted staff to figure out the identity of this “lady comedian.” Regardless, Gert makes an excellent point. Our sense of humour is a far cry from that of Seth Rogen. We deeply regret this fact.
The last criticism of Compendium was that it draws attention away from the rest of the paper. “Like I have no problem with it, per se, it’s just that it delegitimizes the actual content you produce,” said Brent Gilliam (Arts U2), who then admitted he also had no idea what kind of “content” we produced. “It’s like, a magazine, yeah? Sorta like Vice News?” The three students bid their leave and then proceeded to stand directly outside our office complaining loudly. We alerte them to the fact that we could hear them and they apologized for their rudeness. Once we went back into the office they began again at the same volume. “It’s like, they think they’re a real paper, or something,” laughed Brent. “But what’s most important is that they’re all having fun.” The others agreed, and as they departed we could hear them discussing an “underground artist” they all seem to have “discovered” recently. They deemed Lizzo “a feminist icon,” who “deserves to get more mainstream recognition.” They all shared the same opinion, but the discussion remained lively due to the fact that they wanted to hear themselves speak.
For the reasons presented to us by those three students, we have come to the difficult decision to let go of Compendium. It has served us well, but it’s time to move on. Next week, a blank sixteenth page will be a sobering reminder of the world’s ultimate futility.