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Angry Dan's Final Column

by Daniel Strohl

Here's where I stand.

For the past 2 1/2 years, Jason and Jess have given me this space to go off about stupid shit trying to get more people to read their humor zine. Because I never claimed or tried to be humorous, I took it as a chance to piss off large amounts of people while still expressing my own views, often classified by others as neo-conservative, falsely liberal or poorly moderate. Don't classify me, though; I was just taking people to task. Trying to show them their own ill logic. Guess not too many people got it, if the trickle of emails from the reading public is any indication.

Jason always made the excuse that I was their straight man, the Teller to their Penn, watching as they weaved magical displays of humor around me and laughed as I bitch my way out of it. Jess kept me around so she'd have something original to put in her zine. You guys have been great friends for that, something I won't forget, but it's time to face the facts, kids. I was a mismarketed slice of the pie. You can't sell apple to kids who want cherry. I know, I read the stats page. So ironically, the Internet -- the great mass publisher which supposedly brings the world together -- actually brings only those few who care about the same things you do.

Here's where I stand.

Last night, I got on the roof of one of the dorms. Walking around with gravel and tar paper and partying/sleeping/TV watching/fucking students below me, looking out on campus from a new vantage point, being where I wasn't supposed to be, I felt great. I wanted to stay up there, where I couldn't. A pattern in my life. I came down anyway.

In December, I'll graduate from college. Unlike the majority of my friends, I've got a good idea of what I'll be doing: writing for a midsize newspaper, perhaps the one I wrote for last summer. But near the end of 3 1/2 years of school, I still feel like I know too little. Sure, I've become fluent in German, I taught myself how to design Web pages, I even picked up a little Spanish and learned who the great people of our time are. But I've only had a smattering of life experiences.

Here's where I stand.

Nobody close to me has died, not that I want them to. I know the value of good friends. I've never starved, not that I want to. I know the value of a good woman who loves you and I know how possible it is to take that for granted and throw it away. I know how to sit and cry in the shower and not let your roommates in on the pain. I know the importance people place on image, on face, on clothes, on hairstyles. I don't know what America west of Chicago looks like. Yet.

Wanna say goodbye to Dan? Email him at and we will pass on the good/bad words.

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