Monday, May 12, 2008
Best Post Ever
Because it's my last one!
As I mentioned in February, this was the last year of Beetle Beat. Having run out of things to say, the only reasonable thing to do is to stop saying things.
The fact that this blog had the most in depth coverage of the ASUC is not a boast on my part, but a condemnation of the state of Cal media. How is it that an actual news organization, with a large staff, a dedication to Cal news, and representatives at every Senate meeting for hours upon hours, can be outdone by some uninvolved bored guy when it comes to covering the student government of Cal? Did you know that the Daily Cal still hasn't even told its readers who next year's Senators are?
The reason I harp on the Daily Cal so much is not because I have some kind of animosity towards the newspaper. On the contrary, I want to see the Daily Cal actually do that thing we often refer to "journalism." I want them to actually investigate things that go on around campus, rather than ask random people about stuff and hope one of them knows what's going on. I want them to do more than just mouth press releases without actually checking the facts behind them. I want them to stray from countless fluff pieces and actually print news that some people might find portrays them in a negative light. I want them to do away with their meaningless and at times comically ignorant editorials. In short, I want a Daily Cal that actually adds something to the lives of the student body.
As far as the ASUC goes, I think the fact that the people who would bitch about how I paid too much attention to what the ASUC does were themselves ASUC Senators or otherwise deeply involved in the ASUC speaks for itself. An organization which demands hundreds of dollars from each student but asks that those students not actually follow what it does with that money was practically begging for someone to take my role. It shouldn't have been just me, but on a campus full of people who pretend to care about injustice and misgovernance in the world, when it comes to a scale small enough for them to actually take action and make change, they decide they have better things to do. Why actually try to improve things locally, when you can fail to tackle much larger problems by proposing simplistic solutions and say "I told you so, but nobody listened to me" when events beyond your control happen? Failing to make change means never having to deal with the consequences of your efforts.
I never intended to become a minor celebrity in the ASUC, or to be a go-to location for its news. I was far more interested in comedy like AlcoholEdu and the subsequent "desperate college student" Google hits. I never particularly cared about the ASUC, but I love coming up with solutions to problems, and the ASUC presented a target-rich environment. I still have a ridiculously long list of issues with the ASUC By-Laws from when I went through them last summer and was floored by the jaw-dropping contradictions and comfort with which the Senate ignored inconvenient rules. I hope somebody steps up to keep an eye on them, because you can be sure they have no motivation to keep themselves in check, and they've shown little interest in actually engaging in two-way communication with the student body about what they do. I would love to see ASUC insiders get up and proudly blog under their own name about how awesome their work is, but such pride doesn't exist. (They have the time for it, though: See ASUC Election Anonybots)
Finally, I'll just leave you folks with a reminder: Blogging is really, really easy. If you have opinions, and like to tell people what they are, blogging is just a slightly different medium for it. If you actually want your ideas to be challenged, defended, and developed, blogging is excellent for achieving those goals.
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