I’m sure you don’t agree with everything you read. Good.
You’re not supposed to interpret all materials that pass in front of your eyes as unbiased truth, seamlessly integratable into your particular concept of reality. Life is too full of contradictions and exceptions for everything to be an objective fact, able to be proven true or false; there are going to be varying subjective interpretations of the factual evidence and subjectivity and objectivity aren’t necessarily opposites. But asking the media to represent solely what you believe about the facts is like expecting Walmart to provide for you on command an unopened packet of fun size M&Ms in only the color magenta – it won’t happen unless you have the power or influence. Personal opinions are of no value if they are never shared or acted upon. They are as common as grains of sand and as meaningless individually until one gets into someone’s shoe. In the same way, only with some kind of audience does a single opinion command attention.
Let me wear that shoe. There are approximately seven billion humans on this planet. What makes your perspective on critical issues unique? What allows you to make the claim that you know the answers? Through what lense do you view current events? Can you present your case in an appealing, logical way? Tell me about it. Fill me in. As the opinion editor of The Highland Cavalier, I can’t help you reach all seven billion people, or even every student at UVa-Wise. But we can try, and I think it’s safe to wager more people will notice or care about your words in print than unedited on your Facebook page.
What do you think will make America great and why? Are you proud to be an American? Have any thoughts on parents who use drugs? Should children learn to write in cursive? Do people who curse in public make you seethe? Is the concept of modesty a form of patriarchal oppression? Do trigger warnings stifle academia? Are you sad when you see a dog chained up or behind a fence? How about the feral cat population on campus? When you look at steak, do you think about your family’s traditional BBQ or slaughtered animals? Did you disagree with something you read in a previous edition of The Highland Cavalier?
Of course, I’m not going to publish your 2,000 word treatise on the habits of waterfowl, but if you are passionate about a local geese infestation, a brief statement could give your solution a chance to be considered by the community. Perhaps the mayor will read it, follow your advice, and award you the key to the city. At the very least, your parents will put it on the fridge and use it as bragging fodder against the neighbor’s tuba prodigy.
Write around 150 to 200 words to inform and persuade on a concerning topic. Send it in an email addressed to me, Lorraine Dresch, at email@example.com. I’ll respond to inform you if I will be able to publish it. Then I will edit it for clarity and length if necessary and it will appear in the print or online edition or both.
If you want hear my opinion on an issue you care about instead of sharing yours, email a topic or question (feral cats/What should be done about the feral cat population on campus?) and I’ll see if I can provide my thoughts in a future column of The Pretension Headache.
Voltaire was famous for the phrase, “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Since the pen is mightier than the sword, I’ll do one better by publishing it, and there’s a pretty good chance I’ll survive. Email me and let’s see if I can take it. Remember, your opinions can’t change the world if you never do anything about it.