Letter from the Editor: For the Love of Jokes

Matthew Korb '14, Editor-in-Chief

For those of you who may not know it (I.E first-years and people who live under rocks), this week’s issue of The Dickinsonian is wrapped snuggly up in The Drinkinsonian, our four-page Spring semester joke issue.

We all look forward to this day. For students, The Drinkinsonian marks the only time that the school newspaper is readable. For the newspaper’s staff, The Drinkinsonian marks the only time that we get to have fun laying out a newspaper.

For me? The Drinkinsonian marks the only time when we are allowed to satirize a college campus in dire need of some humorous criticism.

In The Trickinsonian, our new Fall semester joke issue, we took some light shots at the insistence that freshman should be called ‘First Years’ (“Infants Offended by Term ‘First Years’,” Wed., Oct. 31, 2012) and some things that you’ll never hear members of the community say (“Things People Say…Never,” Wed., Oct. 31, 2012). For this issue, we ran articles on MOB’s spring concert decision (“One Student Ecstatic With Spring Concert Selection,” Apr. 4, 2013) and the administration’s laser focus on public relations (“Our Happy Campus,” Apr. 4, 2013). All of the articles are intended to get a laugh, yes. But they were also written to vent our own frustration with the college’s community and administration.

Satire is an important part of our society. Though enjoyable in their own right, people flock to mock news sources like The Daily Show and The Onion to get a dose of laughter with their information. The world is ridiculous and government doubly so.

It’s healthy to both poke fun of and laugh at its oddities and ridicule its insanities.

I think that’s honestly one of my great complaints with the square, our rival publication. It has such a great opportunity to be a satirical force on campus, to weed out the truly ridiculous things students and faculty do each semester and lay them out for us all to see. But increasingly the square has become sedate, and now it is more of an opinion and arts tabloid than anything else. Useful, yes, but criminal when you consider what the paper could be.

Dickinson College is a great school. I’ll miss it when I leave. But just because I love this school doesn’t mean that I don’t think things in aren’t silly or that it can’t be changed. Satire is one of the few tools we have to allow us to lay bare the college’s mistakes, to point out the ridiculous and the downright insane that we, as a normal newspaper, would be unable to tackle during our regular circulation.

So lighten up, laugh and take a look between the jokes. Amidst the juvenile humor there are some real complaints bubbling up.