2012-03-31

The Critic

While writing my gloriously irresponsible previous post about awful movies that I despise, even though I've never seen them, I was reminded of some work I did back in my college days. I served in various writing and editorial roles on The Tartan when I was a student at Carnegie Mellon, working there from pretty much as soon as I arrived on campus until I finished my undergrad career. I even moonlighted late in my graduate days in 2005, and the few articles I wrote after The Tartan launched its online edition are, amazingly, still posted. That includes a piece about band names that I titled "What's in a Name Anyway?" yet shows up online as simply "What?", and another article bashing opera and boxing that I apparently co-wrote with Rachel Berkowitz, even though I wrote the entire thing and I've never even heard of Rachel Berkowitz.

I also see on the paper's current online home that there are five sets of candidates running for Student Body President and VP, and incredibly none of the tickets feature Optimus Prime. What is this school coming too? Fun fact: I once wrote in Optimus for President (he routinely finished third or fourth in CMU elections) even though I was dating a candidate for that same office. In my defense, she was running unopposed (by actual students) and won easily.

Anyway, my claim to fame at the paper, such as we define "fame" very loosely here on TFB, was a weekly column I wrote previewing the movies showing in an auditorium on campus. Every week, the Activities Board screened four movies: art-house and indie films on Thursday, mainstream movies Friday and Saturday, and weird, weird movies on Sunday. (Actually another group handled the Saturday films, but I forget who it was.) It was a great service, and the showings were only $1 to attend. I would write a paragraph or two about each of them each week, but really just wrote about whatever I felt like discussing. I made no pretenses to have seen the films, did little to no research on them, and usually just used the movies as jumping-off points to write whatever I found to be entertaining. It was a good time. People really seemed to enjoy it, with the notable exception of one group of individuals: the Activities Board.

They thought I was mocking them, I guess, with my irreverent reviews, when the truth was that I really didn't care - I just used the movies as a vehicle to have fun and make jokes. The movies were something of a MacGuffin (look it up). Sometimes I'd highlight one I liked or pick on one I didn't, but my treatments of them were typically tangential at best. The disgruntled AB actually once called a meeting with me and the paper's Editor in Chief, and he and I went over there and listened to their grievances while I ruminated on what a bunch of ninnies they were.

The next week I copied brief summaries of each of the four films from imdb, none of which I had seen, and used those as my text for each movie, concluding each capsule preview with the line: "This is the greatest film of all time." Apparently the AB didn't get the joke, because I got some positive second-hand feedback from them regarding the article. Then the next week I went back to irresponsibly cranking out pseudo-content. You know, kinda like I do here!

3 comments:

Dr. Kold_Kadavr_flatliner, M.D. said...

While croak’n time shall befall each one of U.S. and your body is taken to the cemetery where thy flesh decays, your indelible soul rises to be Divinely Judged by Jesus on how we have lived this finite existence (deserving of either Heaven, Purgatory, or Hell); then, if you don‘t go downstairs for eternity… HEAR YE! O HEAR YE!! Wanna be at my BIG-ol, kick-ass, party-hardy celebrating our resurrection for maaany eons in Heaven? A profusion of peace, eternal plethora of paradise, palm trees, 72ish degrees, fuzzy navels, pink, picturesque-portions-we-possess, without price, nor passwords, nor plastic? You’re more than welcome; you’re most invited --- God only gives bawls to those who see the need for humility.

Andy said...

I feel like you should have poated this on my post about insanity...

Andy said...

*posted