An Avid Guardian Reader Gets Noticed

Ever been to the UCSD Guardian Web site ( Well, if you have, then you know the name of Ben Boychuk. Coincidentally, Ben isn’t actually a member of the Guardian staff. He’s what I would like to call a Contributing Opinion Writer. He contributes his opinion by writing comments about each and every article we write.

By deductive reasoning, we can thus assume that he reads each and every article we write. I didn’t know anybody did that, besides Tom Vu, the opinion editor. Like Tom, he makes suggestions and comments about what we should, and shouldn’t write on. So this brings the obvious question: What the hell are we paying Tom for? This man, Ben Boychuk, will read and edit all of our opinion articles for free! He even spell checks letters to the editor.

There are other reasons I like Ben better than Tom. Tom calls me Bertrand or Bert, whereas Ben refers to me as Senior Staff Writer Mr. Fan. Senior Staff Writer Mr. Fan sounds a lot classier than Bert — that and I don’t think Tom is really giving me the whole nine yards.

Sometimes, Tom will call me up or write to me and say that such and such sentence is “”risque”” or “”inappropriate.”” Ben will just straight up call me a damn idiot. It’s that sort of constructive criticism that really gets the point across. Tom usually tries to keep his comments cordial regarding the article, but Ben really looks out for my well-being.

For example, Ben advised in his May 3 post, “”Get good grades. Get your degree. Get out. And shut the hell up. You aren’t half as clever as you think.”” Ben isn’t just an editor to me, he’s a counselor and a psychologist for my personal life as well — a journalistic messiah, if you will.

One good thing about Ben is that he is the end-all opinion on everything. I now find it unnecessary to have an opinion about anything because if I ever need the absolute divine truth, I just turn to Ben. I don’t subscribe to the theory that Ben is a pedophile who sits at home in his underwear refreshing the Guardian Web page until new articles appear, I think it is simply wonderful that he takes the time out of his busy day to write comments longer than the articles themselves and lecture an entire staff on the “”basic tenets of journalism.””

The fact that he has chosen the Web format of the Guardian over the actual printed newspaper demonstrates his tender embrace of what some would consider an anti-social haven for losers. Such gestures bring a tear to my eye.

Another humble bow should go to Ben, because I don’t believe he is even a student at UCSD, from his references to Thurgood Marshall college as Third College. I had no idea that our publication was so popular. I had originally assumed that the only set of people who would read the Guardian outside of students and faculty would be stalkers and crackheads, but it can be clearly seen from Ben’s enticing writing skills, this is not the case. We can now extend that set to pseudo-intellectual elitists, who are always needed.

I have always felt that the Guardian was a mere college newspaper to amuse the students during boring college lectures but Ben has taught me that what we write in it is more important than any written work on the planet. What we write affects an entire nation.

In the past, when I wrote columns, I followed a simply strategy. The very first thing I did was determine which groups I would want to offend. I would have a bit of a checklist (e.g. Jews, midgets, feminists, Nazis, feminazis, etc). And then I would check them off. Then, rather subtly, or in some cases not so subtly, I made offensive remarks to those specific groups and inject them into various parts of my column.

But my editors aren’t stupid; they would catch most of them. So I was forced to throw as many things as possible at them and hope one or two would go through. Sometimes I would throw in so many that they would just throw out the entire column altogether.

But no more, Ben has shown me the way. From now on, only important issues shall be covered in my column, and I will have no opinion on anything. Some may consider that a news piece, but I direct those ignorant fools to the general direction of Ben Boychuk.

It’s OK. I used to be ignorant as well; I used to think it was acceptable to express my opinion on opinion pages. My vote for next year’s editor in chief goes not to Jeffrey White or Alison Norris, but to Ben Boychuk, the man who knows everything.