Fair and Balanced and...(Issue 3)
I decided to write about a more serious topic than video games for this column, and looking back, I should have continued to write on topics like this one. Politics is one of those subjects that doesn't win too many friends, so I wasn't completely enthused with this assignment - I had to watch what I said. I could've walked on eggshells and given this sterile, impeccably politically-correct argument to the readers, or I could try to play it like Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart and look very irresponsible while making a great argument. Going with the latter, I wrote in a "flip" voice and did everything in my power to avoid writing an essay (the essay voice in columns is something I despise greatly), and I got compliments in the hallways from people I didn't know. I pulled it off, and I give most of the credit for that to writing with "spice" (as Paul would say) and just having fun with it. I wish the other members of staff would do this, because they're great writers - if they really used their voice, we'd have a lot of color for a black-and-white page.
Hardware Updates Aren't Worth $200 (Issue 2)
I was really, really mad at tech companies when I wrote this because they kept releasing so many new incarnations of their products, so I decided to complain to as many people as possible. I don't think I changed the world or anything, but I did change how I looked at op-ed writing - it turns out it's more of an art than it might look at first. This could've been a dry article that talked about economics in economic terms, but I instead went for the plain-English approach and threw in a personal anecdote that I believe really made this piece. It added a certain verisimilitude (there's a vocabulary word for you) to a piece that would've seemed really empty without it. I could quote all the statistics I wanted, and I would never make a better point than that.