Let’s face it: I’m a great
writer. I must be a great writer. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be
sitting there reading my column. These sorts of spaces aren’t
reserved for just anyone, after all: There’s only four
Weekend Magazine columnists each semester, and I can only assume
that makes me one of the four best writers on campus this semester.
There’s a good chance I’m in the top two, but I’m
not one for gloating.
I mean, if I wasn’t such a fantastic textual presence, a
virtual waterfall of lyrical fluidity and convoluted sentence
structure and inane cultural references, then they wouldn’t
have “led off” the first rotation of columnists with
me. They wouldn’t have “baited the reader” with
the picture of the handsome gent above. They sure as hell
wouldn’t have given me top billing on page three.
And while some may suggest that they were merely “getting
me off of their backs after months of begging and numerous monetary
bribes,” I think the evidence above points sharply to the
contrary. I’m not one to argue.
So the introduction goes. And there must be an introduction,
lest I become just another columnist in your Carr-cursing,
Navarre-hating collegiate lives. Really, though, introductions are
rather difficult. Even for someone of my unflappable charm and wit,
they can be awkward. To wit: My go-to pickup line for the last two
years has been a sheepish glance, another sheepish glance, and
“Hey, I write for The Michigan Daily.”
Honestly, there was a lot of sleep lost over what tone to take
with this opening submission. Do I recreate the unassuming,
charming dork that caused his fellow high school classmates to vote
him “most cynical?” Do I shoot for the casual genius
that consistently makes me Gladys Knight to the Daily’s Pips?
Or shall I use this opportunity to once again reinvent myself for
Unable to choose from — let’s face it — a bevy
of equally wonderful scenarios, I chose to begin with the only
thing I know for sure: the truth. All the facts point to the
conclusion I drew in the first paragraph, that I must be a really
fantastic writer. To paraphrase Mr. J. Hova: I’m the realest
that’s runnin’, I just happen to write. To once again
paraphrase Jay-Z: Best Writer Alive.
Really, I’m in the truth business. For two years now,
you’ve seen my opinions on various music artists crystallize
into fact on these very pages, and then crystallize into bigger
crystals of fact in the minds and hearts of Wolverines all over
campus. In the past, however, I have bestowed upon you only my
music knowledge. In the coming months, you’ll find that
I’m just as proficient and knowledgeable about film, fashion
and athletics. I compared myself to Gladys Knight. It just as
easily could have been Dennis Eckersly, Bruce Willis or Calvin
Klein. But I digress.
Really, reader, I see a few important differences between our
old relationship, as music reviewer and reader, and our new one, as
guru and student. Most obvious is the fact that I’ll
expanding my areas of expertise to include things that I also feel
stronger than you about. Second, whereas before we had random
lapses in contact — say, if there was a two- to three-week
period without an album that deserved my knowledge and insight
— now we have regular, bi-weekly sessions. Finally, prior to
this column, our rendezvous were sickly sweet but tragically short.
Fortunately, the higher-ups at The Michigan Daily — huddled
in circles that reek of inky arrogance — looked up from their
self-imposed bourgeois roundtables and decided that I could
probably use 800 words or so to stretch my figurative wings.
What you shall come to learn, however, is that this is both a
blessing and a curse. Though to this point you could wean yourself
of me due to lack of contact or interest in music, you will now
become so enraptured by my musings that you’ll barely make it
through Psych 111 when I inevitably leave you. For while these may
be trivial musings for me — a way to blow off steam after
enjoying another week of uncannily great taste and Mr. Pizza
— you will take to them like the frayed blanky you
“threw away” when you hit junior high.
But that all sounds a bit high horse-ish, doesn’t it?
First, we’ve got awhile before my one-man Scientology cult
leaves town. So though I’ve got boatloads of friends, 17
first cousins, a famously handsome 6-foot-4-inch frame, a way with
animals, internship experience and every good record Sly Stone ever
released, and the best thing about you is that you made it this far
into my column, we mustn’t forget that we’re in search
of the truth here. Together, we’ll roam the fields of life
like 25,000 liberal Joe DiMaggios, and, upon finding some shred of
dignity, some uncovered corner of human unity, some gleaming,
astral nugget of truth, we’ll hoard like pirates and lie like
fisherman to stay one step ahead of the rest of man — nay
Just don’t forget, motherbitches, that I’m the
ringleader of this ramshackle tour, my pen, my bullhorn, my
boy-next-door good looks, my snapping whip. When I tell you to stop
the truth-hunt and immediately view my VHS copy of “Die Hard
2: Die Harder,” you will simply respond “How many
times?” or “Can’t we watch the whole trilogy, all
the way through?” (to which I will reply, “Between six
and eight,” or “Yes,” accordingly). Fittingly I
will temporarily rescind my title as “Campus’s Foremost
Musical Authority” and temporarily adopt
“Campus’s Foremost Authority.” Now what’s
my motherfuckin’ name?