Editorials and Opinions

Editing blues

By Gabe Glissen-Brown
Published: October 2009

Today is a woeful day for all you Gab fans out there, for I must regretfully inform you that my last article might as well not have been written. Because it was edited.

I know how you feel, my friends, but please put your pitchforks and torches down. It isn’t the fault of the malicious editors (by which I mean the hardworking and sympathetic editors) that they get their sick kicks out of rewriting already masterful works of writing (by which I mean they kindly edit flaws out of submitted writing). So don’t blame them; they’re simply following their evil natures (by which I mean they’re only doing their job).

What could drive a normal person to butcher the works of others (by which I mean make them better)? Well, some may say they are witches, but in reality it’s something entirely different. What happened to free speech? (By which I mean, I humbly appreciate the opportunity my dear editors have given me to express myself.)

While my topics remain more or less the same, these fiends reduce articles to a shell of what they once were. These “editors are nothing more than fancy plagiarizers (by which I mean noble, self-sacrificing journalists).
If any of you out there are editors, I don’t mean to offend. But sure, we columnists may not have the best grammar in the world, and maybe sometimes our columns come up a few words short (by which I mean a whole bloody paragraph like that one time in September), but is that an excuse to gut the works we slaved over to create?

The dinosaurs weren’t perfect, but did somebody tell Tyrannosaurus Rex that it didn’t have a right to exist because it had stubby arms? Did soldiers give up on Napoleon because he was a power-crazed dictator and very short? Did the United States give up fighting the British because they were out-gunned? I think not.

If all of these historical champions prevailed even with minor flaws, why can’t we columnists do the same? Imagine if George Washington had an editor. He would have been the same on the outside, but he would have never accomplished all of his accomplishments. (By which I mean these are examples that don’t accurately portray the situation at all.)

If you still haven’t grasped the horror that editors bestow on us columnists, I’ll give you a little scenario. Let’s say there’s an aspiring columnist with an editor, whom we’ll call Chuck. Mr. Columnist wrote a great column about the wonders of flying fish, teeming with the intricacies unique only to Mr. Columnist’s humor (by which I mean it was absolutely ridiculous).

But when he proudly submits his article to Chuck, Chuck has free reign to do with it as he pleases before it’s put into the paper. With an evil grin Chuck tears out all the jokes (by which I mean the goofy, not really funny jokes) replacing them with his own dry humor (by which I mean subtle, comedic gems that reduce people to hilarious laughter). By the end of the day, the deed is done and the lifeless article is released to the public. It is then read by people who assume that it is written by Mr. Columnist when in reality the intricacies that make his work unique were murdered by Chuck.

Yes, friends. This is what occurs to us struggling writers (by which I mean columnists who only have to write 600 words once a month) on a day-to-day (by which I mean monthly) basis. But today we have made a great leap for writer-kind.

Fear me, editors! For I have just exposed you for the demons you are (by which I mean students with lots of homework who spend late nights editing too-short columns)! For after this column is printed, articles will never again be edited! In fact, not even my editor, to whom I have to release this before it’s printed, will edit this article (please don’t I beg you) (by which I mean YOU WISH, GABE GLISSEN-BROWN).

Well everyone, until next time, stay classy (by which I mean I’m a huge jerk and should watch my back the next time my editor sees me).

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