All the Things I Wanted to Say and Did

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To the Editor:

This is a letter to the fool who calls himself “The Practical Cynic.”

Your recent article, “The Things You Wanted to Say, But Didn’t” (9/30/03), offended me in innumerable ways. For the sake of saving time, let me focus on my biggest two qualms. I will do my best to strictly attack the writing and not the author, but fair warning: It might be hard.

I was amazed a college newspaper would print such a waste of ink. Not only was it offensive but also it was poorly written. For example, you explained “Annoying Math Girl” as “self-explanatory” and then went on to say “you know [the ones I’m talking about]” and “I think everyone knows what I am talking about” all in one short paragraph, all in reference to her. Aside from the horrible redundancy of it all, I would also suggest in the future you avoid telling us, the readers, that we know what you’re talking about. If we do, we do; if we don’t, you have failed as a journalist.

My second main concern is that after reading your article I was able to picture and even identify several of the people whom you discussed. Let me clear up any confusion right away; I am not, nor do I personally know, any of the people you took such great pains to describe. Simply as a bystander, and as a human being, I am disgusted this article exists. It was not entertaining, funny or thought-provoking. It was just mean. Journalism is about informing and intriguing, not making you, the author, feel better about yourself at the expense of others.

If you have a problem with someone, publicly ostracizing him or her isn’t the best way to handle it. I’ll use “Annoying Math Girl” as an example as she’s pretty unidentifiable. How about you see your teacher after class and talk about how it distracts you and your classmates when the same questions get asked over and over again? You might even implore your teacher to ask “Annoying Math Girl” to see him, or her, after class the next time she asks about something everyone else understands.

Even worse than your inability to resolve conflict maturely is your discussion of “Cowgirl Up” and “Tink.” I doubt as to whether either has ever done you personal harm, but they make your article regardless, simply for being different. You should realize, and be ashamed, that you just didn’t attack a characteristic that bothers you, but rather, one that attacks innocent people. The details given in your article make it easy to pick out “Tink” and “Cowgirl Up.” I assume your goal was to humiliate the two, but you would have humiliated yourself more than either of these girls had you simply signed your name to your article. You are a coward, but certainly not a journalist. The way I see it, you’re one step away from simply publishing a list of people who bother you. If such a list ever appears, I would be glad to sit atop it.