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Davis, California

Monday, May 20, 2024

This is hello

Hello, everyone! As you may have realized, this is my first column. I’m so very sad that I’ve reached the beginning; I truly will miss the feeling of not knowing what I am missing.

On the one hand, because this is my first column, I suppose I should spend the majority of it blabbering about how I look forward to growing as a voice, as a writer and as a human being. But – wait – my other hand is trying to tell me something … one moment … he seems to be telling me that the hand that said this is a sappy five-fingered lout better-suited for writing soap operas! He must be jealous that the other gets more attention at night…

Let’s move on, shall we? You know, over this past school year, I’ve really enjoyed not writing for The Aggie; it’s been great not being sent a few e-mails and not descending the stairs into Lower Freeborn Hall every Thursday afternoon.

As your leftie Friday columnist, I hope to achieve a few things this upcoming year. I want to make your day a little brighter, either by humiliating myself or by pointing out how hypocritical and stupid (for lack of a better word) certain aspects of American culture are/have become. As easy as the latter will be, the first will prove to be yet easier, because I don’t have to try – it’ll come naturally. A good friend once told me, “Zack, you really have no self-respect,” to which I answer here, publicly: I have plenty of self-respect – what I lack is a respect for others, which means you. That’s right – I don’t care about you; if I did, I wouldn’t be able to force my weekly dosage of horrendous wit and puns upon your sorry souls.

I solemnly aim to drop all dignity and secrecy and to present myself as I really come. The one promise I’ll make all year is that I’ll be a hell of a lot more interesting to read than someone who carries himself/herself carefully and who presents a manicured image to his/her audience.

Because this is my first column, there seems to be one thing in particular that I really need to address: the ocean. I like to think of the ocean as the epitome of myself: beautiful and serene on the surface, but full of vicious life and hectic chaos beneath. And occasionally, a whale beaches – or a human body – and everyone asks, “where the f— did that come from?” That perfectly synopsizes my life.

There are three things I’d like to invoke that will likely summarize all of the columns I will write this year: impulsive, natural exploration; frivolity and randomness; chocolate-covered pretzels. The last, of course, is the most important of the three, as it stands as a synecdoche for the larger whole of personal indulgence. Indulge beyond your needs though, and thou greed shall be publicly showcased by your American fatness.

Remember and cherish the fruitful advice I will henceforth provide you in the areas of poetry, parking tickets and testicular troubleshooting. In short, be sweet with your prose, the parking police blow and treat your balls like a delicate rose. By the way, I will also later reject strict poetic pentameter, so the inherent beauty of the previous sentence will be upheld (for those of you who are not English majors, what I basically just said was go read a book, you ruffian).

I realize that I can’t be a voice for all of you. My opinions and observations will be narrow-minded at times – sometimes sounding shockingly uneducated and crass – but one thing I can promise you is that I will make promises that I won’t keep, and I promise that those promises will be promising in their lack of promise. There is, of course, no guarantee on that besides my word as a human being which, to tell you the truth, is essentially meaningless.

One more thing: I’ll be watching you this year – observing your quirks, your trends, your foolish ways. But don’t think of my lurking as creepy; I’m more like Santa Claus than Big Brother, and this column will be your stocking. When you act like idiotic little boys and girls, I’ll unload ridiculous quantities of coal upon the page. Carry yourselves with cheerful, selfless demeanor, and you’ll still receive coal. Remember: Selflessness does not exist. Of course, my own stocking – ztcrockett@ucdavis.edu – will likely be overflowing with black lumps by year’s end because criticism, like anything else, is recipro-coal.


ZACK CROCKETT will miss you all, but the writer doesn’t die with the page. Neither does his e-mail, ztcrockett@ucdavis.edu, so don’t be a stranger.


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