Foiled by inspiration, columnist chooses to whine instead

Daniel Pike

From the outside, my job probably seems like a gas. I’m responsible for a measly 600 words a week, all of which can be conjured from thin air with little or no attribution or factual support.

All I do is ramble about subjects I have no real knowledge of, string together not-so-witty phrases and sprinkle insults and minor obscenities into boring paragraphs.

It’s a breeze, right? Think again, chums.

There’s an embarrassing wealth of topics demanding our attention these days – a devastating inferno the size of New England scorching Schwarzeneggerville, plus/minus grading, increasing tuition, Shaq and Kobe fighting again, Reese Witherspoon giving birth – but I’m too lazy and/or indifferent to fashion a rational thought about any of them.

On the Hill, vapidity spreads like a California wildfire. We’re a vacant lot, except when we’re discussing a vacant lot on Center Street. Judging by the flow of letters to the editor in this newspaper, Western students give a damn in two-week bursts, then sink back into a deep, apathetic silence, to be broken only when someone beats them to a

parking space.

For nine columns, I’ve pretended to harbor strong opinions, when in reality I’m no more interested in anything than the rest of you. On days like today when inspiration is on indefinite hiatus, that condition makes this job considerably more difficult.

I honestly intended to craft this week’s installment around a topic of particular concern to Western students, but after blinking blankly at a blank screen for roughly 35 seconds, I lost interest and determined that such an issue might not exist.

Still, my synapses fired warmly enough to nurture a few half-baked ideas.

So, with more than half this column lost to my childish whining, I’m going to serve up a handful of brain nuggets for you to chew on until the professor

shows up.

V� There’s a gubernatorial election on Tuesday. But if “The Bachelor” wasn’t constantly interrupted by a mind-bending glut of television ads involving a dog and an allegedly mishandled insurance settlement, I’m not sure anyone under 22 would notice.

V� Speaking of our torched left flank, which is a still-worsening disaster of monumental proportions, I wonder how many Californians truly regret their vote for governor?

I know I’m beating a dead horse, but seriously. A substantial portion of our most populous state is engulfed in flames. And the man responsible for clearing away the smoke campaigned by pretending to play guitar alongside the formerly makeup-encrusted Dee Snyder of Twisted Sister.

Entire neighborhoods are on fire, people.

V� This weekend is Homecoming, which means there will be much screaming, drinking and fuss-making over … well, nothing.

Homecoming may be utterly pointless, but hey, at least we’ve finally found something to get excited about.

Daniel Pike is the features editor for the Herald. His column appears on Thursday.