Volume 96, Issue 100
Tuesday, Aril 8, 2003

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My Gazette breakup: cruel, yet loving mistress

Chris Lackner

Dear Gazette,

For me, leaving you is kind of like ending a long-term relationship.

I've been a part of you for four irreplaceable years of my life. Together, we've been through countless journalistic (and personal) highs and lows; naturally, I kind of feel like I'm in the dying moments of a torrid, epic love affair.

While you never expected "meaningful" conversation, candlelit dinners or anything as stupid as me wearing a condom, you were an extremely demanding partner – a partner who taught me more about myself then I could have possibly imagined.

I've spent the better part of four years willingly trapped inside your office – a windowless, dust-ridden land full of raging hormones, sparks of creativity and prolific substance abuse (which, ironically, is an adequate description of many of my actual relationships with members of the opposite sex).

I've written, rewritten and edited what amounts to thousands of stories, columns and headlines, and seen dozens of impossibly endearing characters be embraced and later cast aside by your tantalizing touch (I've noticed the word "fidelity" really isn't in your vocabulary).

I now follow in my predecessors' often drunken and staggering footsteps. As a mistress, you can be cruel and you can be kind, but none of us will ever forget you as we move forward with our lives.

As much as you drove me well beyond any normal measure of insanity, you also put up with so many of my strange eccentricities. I offer my humble apologies to you (and one former colleague and friend in particular) for my profound overuse of the words "magical," "pixie," "leprechaun," "unicorn," "wily," "mermaid" and "Magnum P.I." during my three-year tenure as one of your staffers. I have a strange feeling that I'll soon have to retire these words from my journalistic repertoire (oddly enough, I don't think "leprechaun hunting" is a credible story pitch in most newsrooms). I do not, however, apologize for my calculated abuse of the word "pork chop," for it is truly a beautiful cut of meat.

During my time as your journalistic pet, I came to realize you were a hard person to take out in public. You consistently caused a stir among your readers, something I know you secretly take much pride in.

As much as I was a little bit jealous of all the attention you received, I offer my gratitude to your many admirers and critics. You owe a lot to your readers – in particular, to those who consistently wrote you, phoned you or stopped by your office to tell us (your enslaved editors) when we were right, when we were wrong and when your content had reached new lows on the scale of human morality (at one point this year, I think your content registered below both United States Vice-President Dick Cheney and people who club baby seals).

We depend on the feedback of Western's study body to guide your content – even though we know we're always right and only proceed to make fun of them behind their backs (I'm kidding – I think).

During my time at your helm, our staff tried to combine populist, colour stories, with credible and balanced news journalism. I believe sports, entertainment and politics should always be accompanied by the absurd. Journalism should inform and entertain – even if that means endorsing a garden gnome during a political campaign.

Most importantly, you taught me what it means to love and truly believe in both a purpose, and a group of people. For the most part, my ex-girlfriends' friendship circles have featured a wide-array of wankers and tit-weasels, so I found the friendships I made through you impossibly refreshing.

My mesh-back cap goes off to the ghosts of Gazette past, those who are about to join me in their ranks (in particular, two individuals who always kept me from drowning) and those we leave behind to set the ship on a new course.

Thanks for the memories Gazette; breaking up is hard to do and I will always carry you close to my heart.

Chris Lackner
Editor-in-Chief, 2002-2003


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