COLUMN: No holding back this time around

Tony Cox

The month of January was named after Janus, the Roman god of new beginnings. We find ourselves in a new year with new opportunities, that much is sure enough. But for my fellow seniors and I, it’s not so much a time for beginnings as a time for endings. This is my final semester at Kent State, and consequently, this is my final semester as a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater.

Wait, wait. Don’t stop reading just yet. This isn’t meant to be a weepy, sentimental fluff piece about how much I love my dear old alma mater and all the super-duper people I’ve met here. Sure, I’ll miss Kent State. Despite its shortcomings – and there are plenty, let me tell ya – I love this place and I’ll be sad to go. But there’s plenty of time to worry about that in May.

My purpose for starting in this manner is to put out a warning: This semester, it’s no holds barred. My presence on the Forum page has been a brick through the windshield of liberalism since spring 2004, and I’ll keep slaughtering sacred cows this semester. But this time, I won’t even cook the meat before I eat it.

Rest assured, Gentle Reader, that I will refrain from making ridiculous comments just for shock value. It’s never been my style to rock the boat just for the sake of entertainment. Anything I have to say will have a purpose behind it, and I’ll be able to back up any comments that may seem to contradict this promise at first glance. But other than that, all bets are off.

After all, what have I got to lose besides a couple megabytes of space in my e-mail account from all the hate mail I’m sure to get? I have nothing to fear. I have no reason to be afraid of even my most politically outspoken professors – they’ve always treated me cordially and fairly despite our profound disagreements. I’m not afraid of being called a racist, a homophobe, a fascist, a fundamentalist, an elitist – all of that is old hat. I’m not afraid of the Anti-War Committee, BUS, the Allocations Committee, the city police department or PRIDE!Kent. I’m not even afraid of my bosses at the Stater. Worst case scenario, they fire me and I have one less responsibility to worry about. (Don’t get me wrong, I’ll play by the rules. But I’m not going to mince words just to make my editor happy. There’s been too much of that going on lately.)

I’ve had people threaten to beat my ass at Europe Gyro at 3:30 in the morning. I’ve had a smelly little hippie kid half my size threaten to hit me over the head with a plastic water bottle while I was waiting in line at the Kent Market. No matter what you’ve got to throw at me, chances are pretty good that I’ve been there, done that, bought that T-shirt.

Politeness is a virtue, but so is honesty, and I intend to be as forthright as possible in what is likely my final turn at the bully pulpit. After all, I’ve finally reached that glorious time in life when I’m too young to know any better and too old to care.

Tony Cox is a senior philosophy major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].