No pan intended
The editor-in-chief’s instructions were clear: write about people and events that are in the news. Be irreverent if you want – irreverent, not irrelevant. Be sarcastic like you always are. Bark and bite until you grow fangs, but there has to be the news element in the article.
In a plain act of insubordination, I won’t be doing that in this piece, my first for this paper’s main editorial section. To write about marriage scams and their contribution to global warming just doesn’t sound right when it still feels uncomfortable being here. And another Alex Badayos banter would be unfair, considering how the man summoned all his Photoshop strength for the mug shot above.
No, I won’t talk about the news right now. Not yet. I am a neophyte; allow me to feel comfortable first.
This paper’s Weekend Magazine was my home for years, until red wine and foul weather last week made the editor-in-chief decide to transfer me here. “Here’s an offer you can’t refuse…” It could be the rain, or the wine, or both, but I swear I wet my pants at the invitation.
It got me thinking. There are two reasons why a person gets to write a column: either he has grown too old in the media industry that column writing is the last remaining thing to do, or he is barely out of college but writes like he’s old enough to care. The former is a humanitarian case, the latter a freak show. As a neophyte here, I wonder which group I belong to, especially that either way, there’s no escaping that the columnist is old.
What it makes clear, however, is that there’s nothing glamorous in column writing as many think, columnists themselves included, neophyte columnists most especially. Writing a column is nothing but filling up space, hoping some bored soul reads it and wishing the world gets better after that. But the last part is just that, a wish.
There has to be some kind of a Friday union among columnists where sober veterans assure wide-eyed neophytes that nothing changes, that everything is normal, that getting invited to be a columnist is not a new day dawning (far from it; it can be an end to a career that has never taken off), and so enough of that messianic complex because the President will never step down even if your column comes out twice a day.
That’s why this column will not take things seriously. Those who read me at Weekend (ten at the last count, all of them my relatives) won’t feel alienated because I simply transferred residence. And my reason for writing is still the same: half of the pay I will get goes to booze while the other half goes to charity, meaning I will treat my close buddies to booze.
And if you think the name “Insoymada” means anything, then you don’t know what a pun is, or bun, or pan.
(sun.star cebu, 2007)