This wasn’t exactly the Editor-in-Chief experience I was expecting. This wasn’t the school year I was expecting, either. I realize that sounds like I’m disappointed, but I’m actually not. I’m very go-with-the-flow, as it were.
Ugh, Chandler, someone who says “go-with-the-flow, as it were,” obviously isn’t very go-with-the-flow.
Yeah, that’s something I’ve been doing a lot lately: talking to myself. Not for any particular reason, but I’ve just noticed I do it more often.
Ugh, Chandler, that sounds like you don’t have any friends.
But that’s not true. I’ve got plenty! I’ve got plenty of friends, and a great family, and everything! This year, more than others, we all relied on each other more, and in more nuanced ways. COVID-19 changed the way we viewed our world, our interconnectedness. We learned to connect in new ways, we learned to see ourselves in new ways, we learned to see the world in new ways.
You’re not being specific enough. This is way too general. Vague. That’s the word. You’re being too vague.
Fine, ugh. Look, I’m writing this as Joe Biden is being inaugurated as President of the United States, Kamala Harris is coming in as the first female Vice President (and first of color), Donald Trump is flying to Florida like a coward, pouting the whole way back to his golf course (which he visited 298 times over his presidency, according to TrumpGolfCount.com, costing roughly $144 million to American taxpayers). Just to be clear, that’s at least one day every weekend spent playing golf. The Capitol mall is all but shut down for security concerns following a far-right insurrection, which, honestly should be called what it was: domestic terrorism.
This year has been full of unexpected good and uncontrollable evil. For instance, we got “Tiger King,” but, at the same time, we’re also stuck with “Tiger King.” What I mean by that is, of course, that we were entertained by the scandal and the shock of Netflix’s “Tiger King,” but also that we were completely inundated with the misadventures and legal crises of Joe Maldonado-Passage—Joe Exotic.
Perception versus reality.
It’s been an overarching theme throughout 2020. The perception of fake news only exists for people to protect themselves from the reality that change is inevitable. The perception of a massive COVID-19 conspiracy theory only exists for people to protect themselves from the reality that science is not only real, but influential on our lives. The perception of election fraud only exists for people to protect themselves from the reality that the democratic system is fair, but life is not.
Yikes, Chandler, this got dark. People are gonna send you some mean emails.
But it’s realistic! People have relied on communication and honesty in ways that we have not, for a long time, before this year. Truth is always important, and always finds the light, but there are definitely some elements of storytelling that we forget are only communicable via fiction. It’s much easier to name one person responsible for a crisis than acknowledge the interconnectedness and complexities of the modern world: Big Unnamed Media is responsible for fake news; China is responsible for COVID-19; the Democrats-with-a-capital-D are responsible for election fraud. The real world is complicated, with a level of interconnectivity that would make an episode of “Bridgerton” look boring.
Get to the point, Chandler! Ugh, you’re losing them!
This year, the world has seen unexpected good and uncontrollable evil. The United States has elected its first female (and African-American and South Asian) Vice President, the inspirational Kamala Harris. At the same time, we have seen the rise of populism, nationalism and racism in an attack on the US Capitol by white supremacists.
The Patriot Talon has been a lot of things over the last few years, but incorrect, outdated and simplistic are not them. This semester, we’re back with a vengeance. Not literally—we’re not out to get anyone—rather, we’re coming back with a theoretical vengeance: an amazing staff, unprecedented stories in the works and a new perspective on interconnectivity.
There you go! Now bring it home!
This year, The Patriot Talon is going to continue to cover the stories that matter to students, and we want to hear from you on what matters. Reach out to us on Twitter and Instagram @thepatriottalon and tell us what topics and stories you’re looking forward to this year. It’s a brave new world, a brave new America, and whether it’s COVID-19, politics, campus occurrences, crime stories or even horoscopes, The Patriot Talon is back, and we’re Swooping ready to tell the truth.