Well, it’s now been three weeks since the convincing landslide victory in my unopposed campaign for the title of Campus Times Opinions Editor, and I’m pleased to say that I’ve settled into the position well. Admittedly, though, I accepted the responsibility with some apprehension – after all, the journalistic world has been under fire as of late, thanks to the illegitimate efforts of some scourges within the field. Even the “New York Times,” the cornerstone of the news publishing, fell victim to deception and skullduggery. Naturally then, as I approached my new post, I realized that the expectations for my performance were high. Historically speaking, many people have struggled to resist the siren’s call to abuse their newfound power. Rest assured, no such thing will happen to me. The abuse of my position will be perpetual and unrestrained.
You see, Jayson Blair and the other journalists of ill-repute only scraped the surface of newspapertorial abuse. They had full-time jobs with benefits and corner offices, and fudged only what was necessary to survive. I, on the other hand, fight sleep deprivation, work in a claustrophobic basement office, and harbor an inexplicable fear of swimming. That considered, if I’m going to fabricate stories, you better damn well believe they’re going to be about one thing and one thing alone – me.
After all, this is the newspaper, and everyone believes the newspaper. Therefore, if I were to write that I was selected to start in place of Drew Bledsoe this Sunday, you’d have to believe me. Maybe I’ll scribe that Incubus fired their drummer in favor of this opinions editor – you’d buy it. I could even tell you all that Shakira and I were engaged – hell, I’ve been telling that to myself for months now. I also cry a lot.
But you don’t know that! You only know that Neil Janowitz just won the World’s Strongest Man Competition, shortly after his return from climbing Mt. Everest in board shorts and flip flops – information you know because it appeared in the Campus Times, the absolute apotheosis of accuracy. Yeah, I had to look that word up, too.
Of course, I’d be foolish to assume that my initial ubiquity will be without detractors, so I’ll tell you what – I’ll criticize myself. “Neil Janowitz is a self-indulgent ego-maniac,” I’ll write, “but remains an unparalleled genius of our time.” Then I’ll include a picture of myself with Steven Hawking and Shakira that I hastily Photoshopped on my computer. Hey, illegitimacy isn’t just limited to writing.
I also realize that one might question the potency of my proclamations, particularly considering that of my voluminous library of work, the bulk has appeared in a small college newspaper. However, I dare say that the circulation of the Campus Times – a lowball estimate of 5,000, not counting Web site traffic that rivals Google – is increasingly more widespread than most would think. In fact, reliable imaginary sources indicate that the CT is one of three periodicals that George W. Bush consults every week, resting on his coffee table alongside “Guns and Ammo” and “Highlights.”
In the end, though, the lines between truth and fiction will blur and my musings will become completely indistinguishable. What can you expect?
Well, for example, in UR news, Neil Janowitz led the basketball team to the NCAA championship after being permitted to play four different positions at once. Seth Hauben rounded off the starting five, on the grounds that he is much, much bigger than Janowitz and could effortlessly dismember him.
Meanwhile, in local Rochester news Janowitz has, just as in Superman I, reversed the direction of Earth and provided year-round warmth. When asked for details on the phenomenon, he coyly replied, “No comment.”
You want national news? Janowitz was just elected president of both the United States and Microsoft. Bill Gates steps down gracefully, noting, “I can rest assured that my empire is in good hands. I’ll buy your soul for $90 million.”
In international news, Janowitz bested Saddam Hussein in a duel, and then pistol-whipped him for good measure.
And in intergalactic news, Janowitz just bought outer space. Time shares soon available at competitive prices.
So thar she blows, folks – I can and will scrawl whatever I want within our hallowed pages, and now that I have the power of the press behind me, you disciples of deception will have no choice but to read and believe. Censorship will be a non-issue – as far as the checks and balances are concerned, well, did you hear that Editor-in-Chief Chadwick Schnee not only won the Pulitzer Prize, but is also the topic of early Oscar buzz for the film he recently wrote, directed, produced and starred in? Or that managing editor Kerri Linden is to be canonized when she gets a break from her Miss Galaxy responsibilities? Yeah, that’s right. Relentless self-glorification is addictive, and the Campus Times staff is rife with junkies. From this day forth, the Campus Times will be the world solely as I see. And you know what the best part is? You poor bastards will never know.
Janowitz can be reached at email@example.com.