Nov 102010

Rohleder: If you’re reading this, it would be better if you stopped right now. There is simply no validity enveloped in the forthcoming words. They offer very little in terms of sociological, cultural or political insights. They offer no meaningful opportunities for productive public discourse, and will most likely be a waste of your time.

Seriously now, it’s time to stop. Put the paper down and walk away. I’m sure you have a lot to do. If nothing else I recommend doing the Sudoku puzzle in the back, or taking a minute to read RamTalk, or staring at the wind, but I promise you that you’ll regret it if you continue to read this article.

If you’re still reading, I really can’t stress enough the importance of discontinuing your course of action. Abandon ship! Retreat! Call it whatever you want to call it, just make sure to stop reading after this paragraph.

I can see that my rhetoric is becoming less imaginative and lacking in persuasion. I’ve failed to move many of you to action. Many of you continue to read despite my constant pleas to stop, despite my promises of regret.

Therefore I admit defeat. If you won’t listen to me, perhaps another can convince you regarding the grievances that your continued reading will cause you. Here to offer a word on the subject is my fellow opinion writer Johnathan Kastner. Please, I urge you; listen to what he has to say.

Kastner: When Shane told me the subject of his column, I was intrigued. “You’re going to dissuade your readers from trying to read?” I asked. “Yes,” he replied, feeding a mewling baby panda to the dying fire, “for I fear that a literate people would rise up and overthrow the system that supports my wanton excess.”

I mused upon this as he poured me another cup of distilled poor-person tears. “But wouldn’t it simply be easier, then, to make your article a relevant and sensible piece that evenhandedly examines both sides of a complex issue? If you stay away from avidly declaring for one side or another and avoid using dehumanizing rhetoric, people will instantly feel compelled to watch Snooki flash a nightclub.”

“That’s it!” Shane cried, slamming an iron-shod fist into the whimpering back of an underpaid immigrant. “From this very moment on I’ll dedicate myself to a wide understanding of complex issues! There are no simple solutions to overwhelming problems like immigration and healthcare, but rather the necessity of facing the uncomfortable truth that there is no objective right or wrong!”

I would have congratulated him, but I was already feigning sleep. The fool does not know that I have kept the greatest secret for myself. The blind masses will work to keep themselves ignorant should you say something to incite them to strong enough rage. Please stay tuned for my column next week, “Obama and Beck –– quit flirting and get a room already.”

Rohleder: Do you see? Kastner has put it in simple layman’s terms, yet still some of you persist, determined to reach the end, hoping for a punch line, a quick shift in tone, a satirical bail-out that will negate everything above and become a serious foundation for a topic that will determine the future course of action for our great country, or city, or town, or school, or classroom or that guy on the bus picking his teeth with a Swiss Army Knife.

Or perhaps some persist for the evident reason that talking about Fox News and tuition hikes is simply irrelevant. The relevant things are trends from the 90s that still afflict our society, as our columnist Molly Ungerer wrote Tuesday.

The relevant things are the deliciousness of pork burritos smothered in habanero sauce with a warm guacamole and sour cream center. The relevant questions are why Kastner made me kill a baby panda with his incessant questions about my chosen topic? And will the panda come back for revenge in his Beck-Obama article?

These questions bring life and social change. And man, I sure hope somebody read this whole article.

Shane Rohleder is a senior communication studies major. His column appears Thursdays in the Collegian. Johnathan Kastner is in his second year of his second bachelor’s degree, majoring in computer science. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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