I’m not sure if it’s natural skepticism or the fact that one of my heroes is Seth McFarlane, the creator of Family Guy, but I’ve always been quite the cynic.
You see, while many of my peers take ordinary things at face value, I’m the one standing there going all “David after dentist” — minus the Satanic screaming — wondering if this is indeed real life.
The hard truth is that unless I’m watching Law and Order and I can quickly remind myself that 11-year-old pregnant heroin addicts are not realistic, it is real life.
So that’s what I would like to show you: life through the eyes of a cynic.
Now, you may think I’m going to be one of those cynics who think all movies are terrible, especially the ones everyone likes. You know the type: They cite things that people don’t actually care about, like the quality of the screenplay or some award they give out at the non-televised portion of the Oscars before James Cameron has gotten out of bed.
Don’t worry, that’s not me. I’m the one making fun of the people whose life’s ambition is to report Kristen Stewart to the facial expression police. Are we really criticizing the emotional depth of a movie marketed to 12-year-olds now?
In case you’re still not sure about my angle, I’ll give you the first of many examples.
In one of my Fall Semester classes, we were assigned a digital take-home midterm that had a maximum character count. That was just to prevent that one person in every class who makes you feel like you belong in remedial 9th grade English because he or she has written 16 pages as a response to “Identify the protagonist of the story.”
Simple enough, right? I mean let’s be honest, “take-home exam” is code for “hope someone on Yahoo! Answers has some insight.”
Apparently, once you get into your final years as an undergraduate student, factors like spelling and using fonts called “painfully hard to read but really cute” are still areas of concern.
My professor was so appalled by the poor spelling and grammar on a midterm we had a week to complete that he dedicated the whole class to talking about it.
The response he received was several frustrated outcries, including one student who asked him to reconsider because there was no spell-check function on the exam.
No spell check, that monster! The outrage! What’s next, making us read books?
That’s where my cynicism comes in: Did one of the soon-to-be movers and shakers of this great country just use the absence of a personal editor as an excuse for turning out work that could be compared to a monkey banging its head against a keyboard?
Time for me to reply:
Did professional writing exist before the advent of the red squiggly lines of doom you rely so heavily on? Yes? Then for the love of all that is journalistically sound, stop talking.
Whoever coined the phrase “There is no such thing as a stupid question” should be put in a time-out corner with “It’s always in the last place you look” guy.
Are you sure? Because I tend to play out the situation like this:
“FOUND IT! But for fun, let’s press on and look for it some more!”
Jacqueline Runion is a junior studying journalism at Ohio University and a columnist for The Post. Do you rely on spell check? Email Jacqueline at email@example.com.