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Grow Up Kent State Mag Staff –Cagle

June 2011

Bits and Pieces

Ah, there is nothing quite as pious as a college student who uses those precious moments at school not spent inebriated or asleep to rail against social injustice. Their voices are loud, their beliefs misguided and the facts, well, they're usually inaccurate.

The students at Kent State were up in arms just as the spring semester and scholastic year came to a plodding halt. Well, some of them were. The staff at Fusion magazine, the school's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) publication, were apparently angry and frustrated that a trio of printers refused to print their spring edition due to the use of language and a rather graphic image of a student wearing a leotard, leaving nothing to the imagination.

The student newspaper, Campus Progress, attempted to portray the request by the three printers to adjust content as censorship and homophobia (actually, one of the three printers couldn't schedule the job in time for Fusion). The Progress also quoted the executive director of the Student Law Press Center as saying that while printers are allowed to have any standards they want, it would be a "very anomalous policy in the publishing business."

That's an interesting take on the matter. The great fictional character Ed Earl, from "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," gives us this gem that seems to aptly sum up the aforementioned situation: "Boys, I got myself a pretty good bullsh*t detector, and I can tell when somebody's peeing on my boots and telling me it's a rainstorm."

I'm here to tell you those kids are full of themselves, not to mention crap. Let's break it down and take a closer look at this apparent perversion of free speech.

• Student publications are frequently asked to tone down their content. Much of the time, it's the adults who are trying to save the students from making fools of themselves. That is generally a losing battle. Casual and frequent use of the F-bomb only marks you as an immature amateur and distracts from the point you're trying to make.

Frankly, it is nearly impossible to thumb through the pages of a university magazine—especially one with a liberal leaning like Kent State—and not find the prose littered with F bombs. It's a byproduct of a new-found media voice combined with the desire to shock readers. That desire generally wears off around graduation.

 

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