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Nap Time!!!

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.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 5/12/2008 01:40:00 AM #
Comments (17)
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Thanks for keepinng your blog for so long. I've enjoyed reading it over the years, although I think you are a little harsh to poor Josh Daniels.

I am sorry to hear you are hanging up your hat. You are one of the few, if only, people who are willing to say that the emperor has no clothes - or the ASUC is completely self-serving, or the Daily Cal is pablum, etc.

A few comments and questions -

1. What do you mean you've run out of things to say? Most of what you blog about is commentary on current events or daily cal media. Do you think the locals are going to suddenly stop doing comment-worthy stuff?

2. Middle name? Aurora? Did you ever explain the name you post under?
Congrats on 5 years of blog service and thanks for providing. It's harder to quit cold turkey than it sounds, though.

It's strange to think that in 2003, there was an actual blogosphere in Berkeley, but it has now been reduced to the quasi-emo LJ community, a clearly-trying-too-hard Clog, and a virtually non-existent OTR. Maybe you can roll Nuts & Boalts into that mix but they really don't do general campus coverage. Hopefully someone comes around and fills the gap again.
1. The local events repeat themselves. Almost every comment on a local event is a comment I made on a previous local event.

2. I did discuss it way back when. If you're looking for any deep meaning, though, you are going to be disappointed.
thanks, beetle.
This may sound somewhat selfish, but I'm relieved to be leaving this fine institution right shortly after your final post. I am filled with trepidation that there isn't anyone available to hold the ASUC, Daily Cal, and administration accountable next year, but hopeful that someone will step into your role. Enjoy the extended time for research that the reprieve from blogging may provide! ;)
thank you for your time, beetle
i pour one out for you beetle

Your blog has been an invaluable part of the Cal community. I hope your work on the Patriot blog is as good, funny and insightful.

Best of luck.

Ariel Kaplan (that Tikvah guy with glasses and long hair)
Just so you're aware, I won't be blogging at the Cal Patriot blog. I'm just managing it. (If I wanted to keep blogging, I would've kept Beetle Beat!)
Thank you for your commitment to making a difference. Your work and dedication to local issues and the ASUC will be sorely missed.
crap, with anoncom gone and you gone, how else am I suppose to procrastinate during finals?
I enjoyed reading about all the craziness going on in Berkeley. Made Davis seem that much saner.

But don't worry, things at ASUCD are almost as absurd as ASUC (though that might not be the most comforting of thoughts)

Regardless, I wish you well in the future.
Dude, you couldn't have waited until I graduate next spring?

Ah, well. Best of luck and all that other cheesy crap people do to say goodbye to each other.
even though I've only read beetle for a year...you're definitely legendary and infamous. I really admire your commitment to what u believe and to hold the ASUC up for its own stupidity, along with everything else.

I often disagree, but often agree - I just wish being logical legislators and reasonable budgeters could be so clear to folks that actually end up with ASUC control.
actually fluff is a part of communism. Don't hurt people. So why be against it? In Communistic regimes, they did not like dissenting views of the status quo. You seem so surprised. I actually thought you would have understood.
You're the man now, dawg.
Your assertion that you wanted to see a better whatever is undermined by the reality of your vitriol. Did you actually ever have an idea of your own challenged on your blog? To you ever learn anything other than "yeah, this confirms that liberals suck".
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