Attempt at news article devolves into humorous Bradley joke

Here lies a masterful cartoon crafted by a real cartoonist. While it may have been created with preset shapes in Google Docs, it has a unique meaning to the well-informed viewer. Courtesy of Blair Webber.

Dear Readers,
As a staff writer for the Misc Humor Section, I’ve spent the last year-and-a-half entertaining the Vassar campus with whimsical tales of far-away lands entirely of my own creation that are not even close to being based in the reality of our lives at this scenic, coeducational liberal arts institution nestled delicately in the bosom of the scenic Hudson Valley. But after the events of the last week—no, month…no, wait, year (actually make it two years)—I feel I can no longer make jokes. Gone are my cleverly spun tales of laundry and deceit, roommate struggles and the food we all must eat. But now, it will be only the cold, hard facts: truth at 700 words per week.

My first article as someone who writes about serious things in a serious manner is about the recent declaration on the part of Health and Human Services in which they pretend to care about “science.” By science, they mean stuff they make up so they can invalidate the identities of millions of trans, non-binary and intersex people.

Damn it. I made a joke. I’m sorry I’m barely a paragraph into my first serious news story and I’ve let you all down.

You know what, I don’t want to write about that anyway. It’s making me cry, and my laptop’s been acting weird since I got tears in it yesterday while I watched a video of a dog and a duck who are friends to avoid finishing my World Cinema essay

But I made a promise to my Misc readers to be serious from now on, and I am a man of my word, so I’ll try again.

Last week, President Bradley got lost in the Engaged Pluralism Initiative’s cloth labyrinth while participating in a walking meditation.

CRAP. That’s not true. President Bradley isn’t lost. She isn’t stuck in a week-long contemplative exercise. I just thought maybe a serious story about a pretty cool activity on campus would be a nice balance to all the other upsetting things, but I guess I can’t take that seriously either. So maybe News isn’t my section.

I still want to try serious writing because we are living in an era too serious for humor. I guess I’ll try my hand at the Arts section.

“Taylor Swift breaks political silence to throw support behind restoring Shōgun to the throne of Japan.”

Nope. I can’t do this. I have to confess: I copied that from The Onion. I didn’t even come up with that joke.

So maybe I’m not an Arts or a News writer. Maybe I’m not a writer at all. Maybe…just maybe…I’m a……

I did it. I’m a successful cartoonist. See my drawing above? It’s hard-hitting political commentary, à la World War II—era Dr. Seuss, and I’ll tell you why it is—it’s because…we’re all Pac-Man on a rectangle because…we…all eat ghosts.

Wait, no. We’re not all Pac-Man on a rectangle, that doesn’t even make sense. And I didn’t draw that, I just used preset shapes in Google Docs.

I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m out of ideas. If I can’t be serious, how can I contribute to the conversation? Humor has no place in such a tenuous time.

Oh well, it makes me happy to think up headlines like “Clogged cushing sink now largest body of water in New York State.” Maybe that’s all I can do: little things like make myself laugh and take a shower every day. Taking care of myself by getting out of bed every day and correcting people when they call me “she” instead of “he” and staying hydrated is enough, perhaps. Maybe concentrating on what I can control, or feeling the joy of seeing brightly colored fall leaves, is revolutionary enough.

On the other hand, I could also scream and throw things. Maybe set something on fire—who knows where lawlessness in the face of injustice will take me? Until then, I’m going to keep trying to write serious articles for the Misc and be the best, most honest, most sincere reporter I can be because nothing is more impactful than exposés in liberal arts college newspapers.

Until next week, my loyal readers,

Blair Webber

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