HOPKINS: My opinion isn’t grounded in fact but, gosh golly you will listen to it!

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I have a lot of hot takes.

Veronica Sirotic | Cavalier Daily

This past Tuesday, March 13, The Cavalier Daily printed an opinion column claiming that there is not a problem with guns in our country. The Cavalier Daily once published an article written by the same writer which stated that President Donald Trump’s frequent trips are good for the health of the country. The Cavalier Daily also published another article by the very same writer which suggested that the way to save endangered species is to domesticate them. Now, I believe in freedom of speech. I understand the importance of freedom of speech. I am currently taking advantage of my freedom of speech! But freedom of speech has seemingly given way to freedom of lunacy. Maybe we should slap this baby up in the News Section instead of the Humor Section, because I feel like the notion that people should not say whatever they want to just because they can might be a novel concept.   

Allow me to elaborate. I have a lot of hot takes. One such hot take is that Phineas and Ferb is the greatest piece of television to grace our screens since the turn of the century, challenged only by Planet Earth and The Great British Baking Show. This opinion, though valid in that it is my true belief, is simply not worth publishing. I have done absolutely no research. I legitimately only watch three TV shows, and those are all of them. Honestly, the last time I chose to watch a program other than Phineas and Ferb was at least a year ago. But it’s 2018, baby, and dearth of experience and perspective mean nothing in the realm of journalism! I can see that piece now: “HOPKINS: Phineas And Ferb is the only television show we need and everyone who thinks differently will be the ruination of this country and also it’s wild that one of the central characters was a mute, highly skilled platypus-combatant-family pet.” People could read that article. In fact, with such a spicily worded headline, many people would probably read that article. But those 600 words would constitute a cursorily researched and copy-edited piece of flaming hot trash, carelessly tossed into the hands of a readership who relies on this paper to be a worthwhile source of news for them. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking — Lucy! You can’t just go around calling people out like this! It’s not right of you to say inflammatory things without carefully researching all sides of the situation, and building a clear, thoughtful argument! And you know what? I used to agree. But, here’s the thing: if history is any indicator, I can. Yeah, after about a year and a half of careful research at Mr. Jefferson’s University, I’ve realized I can actually say pretty much whatever I want — creditable or not — and, if it’s wild enough, it will be printed. 

I don’t think it’s fair to fault a newspaper for trying to expand their readership. So I won’t. I also don’t think it’s fair to fault newspaper for publishing opinions of a wide variety. So I won’t. I don’t think it’s fair to fault someone for holding an opinion. So I won’t. But I do think it’s completely fair to fault someone for not thinking before they speak, for being careless with their research and for willfully ignoring the messages they send in publishing such nonsensical pieces. I just want people to think for like, two seconds before they open their mouths or pick up their pens. That’s all. 

I am certain that this article will incense some people if it’s printed. They might ask how The Cavalier Daily could publish something as reactionary and off-the-wall as this. They might think that this piece is a prime example of exactly what I’m decrying. To them, I say you might very well be right, but that my article was published is proof of the phenomenon itself. You go have fun with your domesticated Galápagos tortoise and handgun, I’ll just be balling out on someone’s couch watching a children’s TV show. 

Lucy Hopkins is a Humor columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at humor@cavalierdaily.com

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