COLUMN: Fresh from the Fruitman
By Paul Fruitman
The soapbox of the untortured, the rare pigeonhole of zaniness, the refuse for hippies and freaks, the last bastion of freedom in a sea of conservatoids. This is Entertainment. Or at least this is what it should be.
It is a shame I only realized it when it was almost too late, but here is the one place in this paper where one should have the opportunity to be a little nuts, to admit to having inhaled and to write copy that would make the faceless yes-people at The Globe and Mail and The Financial Post scratch their heads in utter confusion.
This final sound off marks the end of my two seasons as your campus entertainment guru and the last time I shall lend my name to a piece of Gazette copy. In my time here I have gained invaluable information about journalism, people and how to run a publication.
In short, I have learned the rules. And it is oh so ironic that as I leave this ramshackle office, decorated as much with wide-eyed enthusiasm as it is with old movie posters and fast-yellowing newsprint, that I now have the skills and ambition to break them.
Entertainment this year was good. It was the best section in this newspaper. The writing was in many cases exceptional, the section as a whole was aesthetically pleasing and the diversity of coverage was easily on the right side of satisfactory. But it really could have been better. Band interviews and album reviews are fine, but college press affords much more freedom for creativity and fringe entertainment. Think of polka and square dancing and drug culture. Think of humour and sarcasm. We're here to entertain, not simply to write about the latest pseudo-grunge band or Brit pop act.
The key to making Entertainment as entertaining as possible is more open communication between the section and the student body. Because the turnover for this job is so great, the editors do not have time to really find out what the readership wants and consequently falls into the trap of re-doing for the most part what has already been done. But I have a feeling college students often like things off the beaten path. Talk to your entertainment editors in the coming year. Tell them what you want and, if they have any brains, they will do it.
Finally, it should be understood that overall this experience was definitely a positive one. I have learned so much. I just wish I could have learned it sooner and done a little bit more to shake up the establishment.