14 OCT. 1970 / Why Read This Column
October 14, 1970
Why should you be reading this column? I could tell you why I read it, but I don't think they apply to you. I read it: 1. because I write it, 2. to look for typographical errors.
But if those motives aren't helpful, try these: If you are a freshman, you can read this column to find out how another frosh is adjusting, and what he thinks and sees around this Boston, this Cambridge, this M.I.T. (some 3000 miles from his home in the verdant forests of Oregon) or if you're not a freshman, this collection of randomness may remind you of your long-lost feeling of disorientation when you first arrived here, lo that many years ago. The feeling which you gradually discovered your way out of. That's what this is, or at least what it's intended to be. A column of discovery. And among other things discovered in the last three issues:
- A Column on Culture was a pretentious title. So, the title was changed, but the intent of the column is not.
- This author has discovered, on the advice of the editor, the first person singular. I have mixed feelings about the editorial we, so it's hard for us to make up my mind. But we will keep working on it. If you have a comment, write it down and send it in to this column. We will save all the best ones for ideas, and print the others in this column.
Half the column gone, and no reviews of any sort yet! You may have noticed that. As long as you have survived the column up to this point, I might as well give you the good word about this week's column. It's gotten off to such a slam bang start that I'm going to finish it off with a few general musings about ERGO, if God and my editor (not necessarily in that order) are willing. People that know me and know that I write for ERGO ask me why our paper does not look as "pretty" as some of the opposition. (Not that looks are the only thing that counts). To them and many others, I reply that this paper is no more or less than the joint efforts of those who produce it. We need more photographers and lay-out men. With more people, we could be unshackled from the day-to-day details of just getting the paper out and concentrate on the long-range task of putting out an ever-improving paper, esthetically. So, until you get up off your veranda, that's the way it will be. (The opinions expressed are those of the author, not the editorial staff of this paper.)
A word on the nature of criticism: It is an art which I am unashamed to admit I am still learning. Many, many people have said to me that my reviews in the last issue of ERGO were too positive, that a true critic would have pointed out the faults in each of the three events. There were, no doubt about it, some faults in each event. I plead guilty to over-enthusiasm, and promise regular readers of this column (both of you) that I will make an effort in the future to be a little more critical of that which I view and hear.
SHORT NOTES: Catch 22 is probably one of the most reviewed movies in the business today, but having just seen it, I feel I owe you one: believe the favorable reviews you read elsewhere, it's a good movie.
AND: Thanks to the anonymous student who brought the title quote of this column to my attention by writing it on the wall in the main hall.
There were two misspellings in the P.S. a Column on Things column in the last issue of ERGO. Apologies to both Tim Phegley and Mike Wildermuth for incorrect spellings of their names due to errors in the author's text.