Thursday, May 04, 2006

iPods and Ineptitude

Editor Alert! Would someone please give Renee a list of suitable topics so she can write something worth reading? iPod research? ARGHH!

Here are some excerpts from her latest column:

In my room, I can belt out the lyrics and dance like nobody is watching (because no one is watching).

How sad for you. Maybe your romantic life will improve.
When we're sad, we listen to sad music, and when we're optimistic, we listen to a song like, "Beautiful Day."

There's a deep sociological insight. I never would have guessed. Tell me more...
Maybe you were one of the lucky few I stopped right in front of, smiled at, and asked what you were listening to. Every person returned the smile and some laughed with embarrassment.

Shiny, happy people....great.

I was invading their private life.

This mixing of plural and singular is painful. They all had ONE private life. Interesting.
The most popular artists, all with two people listening to their music,...

Can you say statistically significant?

So do my results have any true significance? Most likely, no.

Then why share them?

I'm not sure what role the editors play over at the DI, but building Renee's self-esteem by telling her that every idea she gets is worth publication doesn't seem to be working. I'm sure she's a good person (after all, the folks she interrupted smiled and answered her questions without slugging her), and of course this is a student publication, but that's no excuse for accepting this work as journalism.

The buck stops with the editors, and they need to step up, guiding their writers toward starting with solid ideas, trudging through a revision process to refine those ideas, and publishing only the best material. Anything less is damaging to the whole paper.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Just when I thought Bambenek had stretched himself beyond ridiculousness, he has outdone himself. In today's column, he whines about academic freedom ruining higher education. Of course, if a college graduate can't manage his own finances, it must be the university's fault, right John? After all, we can't expect an adult to take responsibility for his own shortcomings!

Bambenek seems to argue that academic freedom is the cause of all things wrong with college graduates. If a college graduate is illiterate, blame her liberal professors.

Bambenek is right in one respect. The liberal crowd that preaches "acceptance of all" needs to be more tolerant of conservative thought. If we are going to embrace everyone, we must include those who disagree with us. Doing so encourages true academic and intellectual freedom. The liberal zealots who immediately dismiss conservative thought as useless are no better than conservatives who dismiss liberalism. We must listen to each other.

However, Bambenek's pot-stirring column does little to make this happen. He blames all things liberal for the shortcomings of higher education, and arrogantly asserts that conservative thought is superior to liberal thought.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Get It Write

Why can't the Editors at the Daily Illini get it right?

In their latest editorial, the editors attack the NCAA for selective enforcement and bullying UIUC into submission. However, the NCAA is a voluntary association. We don't have to belong. If we don't like their rules and procedures, we should withdraw. If we can't afford to do so, we should deal with the rules and work to meet the standards the NCAA sets.

At any rate, the editors at the Daily Illini seem unable to articulate their point of view without fouling up the English language...again..

NCAA's high-handed tactics to strong-arm this institution into submission is simply unacceptable.

Perhaps these folks should take an English composition course. Subject-verb agreement issues abound in this rag!

Thrashing for Thessing

Letter: Unofficial and our dignity - Opinions

Looks like I'm not the only one who had problems with Thessing's attempt at connecting a high academic standard and reputation for UIUC and getting rid of Unofficial.

Kudos to Jennifer Brown for showing the better side of Illinois students.