You might expect that when I was named Mirror Editor this fall, I would have been most excited to use The Mirror as an arm for thorough, thoughtful investigations that inspire campus conversation.
Alas: I might’ve been a new dog back in the fall, but I was far too stubborn to be taught a new trick. If you have read this column in the past term, you’d know that I recoil from campus dialogue — or anything now, for that matter.
No, what I have yearned for as Mirror Editor — the sacred cow to which I have prayed — has been something else entirely. During wide-eyed meetings in Robinson Hall throughout the fall and winter, my thoughts often drifted elsewhere. I sleepwalked through eight issues of The Mirror.
For all I have been thinking of has been these very pages: our very first (note to my readers and editors: do not fact-check this) food issue.
Why food writing? Well, I’m someone who firmly believes that over-caffeinated verbiage makes a strong substitute for actually having something to say. Food writing is the ne plus ultra of this philosophy.
I could see it so clearly: The Mirror’s food issue would incorporate words like “purée” and “mince” and “broiled,” and our readers would never think to analyze the substance of these pages.
Hell, I might even overcome my distaste for investigations because I could sneak in food words like “zesty” or “pickled” — thereby allowing me to publish my dream headline, “You Will Never Believe This Zesty, Pickled Secret About Phil Hanlon.”
It would be like a series of my Editor’s Notes, except eight pages long: meaningless, not-so-vaguely insulting and liable to get hurled violently in my face when I’m least expecting it.
Thus when my writers submitted their articles this week, I felt as if they’d deflated a closely-held dream. Rather than prioritizing food, they emphasized people. They managed to salvage an issue primed for me to torpedo with errant inclusions of words like “saucy” and “saccharine.” Instead they wrote pieces that display a nuanced understanding of how closely intertwined food remains with human life.
So I’ll have to make due. Have a zesty and pickled weekend.