Well, it looks like it’s the beginning of the end for me. As much as I loathed the idea of writing a farewell column and told myself I wouldn’t do it, now that it’s time, it seems awkward not to. I’ve learned a lot of things in my past two years writing as an opinions columnist, a lot of which came from my insightful readers who were kind enough to send me emails. First and foremost is that satire doesn’t print well in a college newspaper and that a lot of people who don’t regularly read my column wouldn’t realize that the readers I was referring to in the previous sentence are actually the morons who flood my email with 10 page essays about how mean I am and demand I get fired from a job that doesn’t pay me — unless we count that slice of pizza I get if I go to the meetings every week.
I mean, really, how much effort would you put into 800 words for a slice pizza and maybe a drink (if there’s cups)? Not much, I bet. I’m a model staff member, but I often get taken for granted because some of my pieces tend to stir up controversy. So rather than continuing my rant about what it’s like writing for The Equinox and getting paid in pizza, I thought I’d put my column to rest and give it a proper burial by writing about the importance of controversy since that’s always been something very important to me.

You see, as a writer, I’ve always strived to stay on the radar. Sure, I could write an ordinary and decent piece simply stating a moderate and reasonable opinion on a subject, but why should anybody really care what I think? Of course, there are many people that do care what I think for reasons that are beyond me, but opinions writing isn’t about what I think. More importantly, it’s about what you, the reader, thinks. This is where controversy plays an important role. In my experience, the best way to get someone to think critically is to present them with an extreme opinion that I might not necessarily even believe, but know full well that it will get people to stop and say, “Wait, what?”.

Now, some will probably say that sounds like an unethical practice for a writer. That’s certainly your right, but think of popular shows like “The Colbert Report.” How often do you actually hear Stephen Colbert give his real opinion on anything? Almost never, unless you believe he’s a real Republican, in which case God bless you for making it this far in life. Is what he does unethical? Sure, a lot of people would classify what he does as pure entertainment, but I’d argue he has successfully inspired an interest in politics in a large demographic of people who otherwise wouldn’t have thought twice about it.

Now I’m not trying to put myself on the same level as Stephen Colbert nor do I actually know if those were the intentions of his show, but they certainly were a result of it and always a goal I strived for in my many columns. Controversy is a valuable tool and I think too many writers are content with floating under the radar and writing what they need to in order to just get by and meet their deadline. I mean, if no one’s complaining, it’s all good, right? Wrong; writing should never turn into a routine chore with no passion. It should be something you do for you, as well as the people you write for. Anyway, I’m starting to digress from my original thesis and go into a discussion on aesthetics, so I better wrap things up before this gets too philosophical.

As I stated previously, I’ve learned a lot these past two years as opinions writer. I learned that many people who preach equality and the detrimental effects indirect communication has on our society don’t really practice it and won’t hesitate to tape several threats on your office door if you question their views a little bit. Isn’t that like fighting racism with just more racism? I also learned that dressing up like a fictional character from a book is actually a perfect example of expressing your individuality. I don’t get it, but okay. But most of all, I learned the majority of people are way more willing to talk and complain about the problems in our world than actually do anything to solve them. Despite how much of a dick anyone might think I am, I’ll be the asshole opinions writer in Miami dedicating the next two years of my life to helping inner-city adolescents get through high school while most of you just sit and talk about how something needs to be done about it.


Matt Miracle can be contacted at


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